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FPL watchlist: Early schedule suits Chester

The Scout 4 Jul 2019
James Chester, Aston Villa

The Scout says Aston Villa defender is a big threat at set-pieces and can get clean sheets from the start of 2019/20

As Fantasy Premier League managers can now select their 15-man squads, The Scout analyses standout budget and premium players in each position.

James Chester (AVL) £4.5m

Aston Villa have one of the most appealing runs of opening matches.

Over the first nine Gameweeks, the Championship playoff winners face only two of last season's top seven sides.

Aston Villa's first nine Gameweeks
GW Opp FDR GW Opp FDR
1 TOT (A) 4 6 ARS (A) 4
2 BOU (H) 2 7 BUR (H) 2
3 EVE (H) 2 8 NOR (A) 2
4 CRY (A) 2 9 BHA (H) 2
5 WHU (H) 2  

On both occasions, they travel to north London, visiting Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal in Gameweeks 1 and 6 respectively.

Indeed, according to the Fixture Difficulty Rankings (FDR), all of Villa's other seven opponents during that period score only two.

Chester's attacking potential at set-pieces raises his appeal as the go-to defender for Villa.

Dean Smith's men were a major threat at such situations last season.

Their 25 goals from free-kicks and corners were joint-top in the Championship and more than any side in FPL.

Set-piece goals

Crucially, Chester was their top scorer at set-pieces, finding the net on five occasions.

Only two players, Shane Duffy (£5.0m) and Callum Wilson (£8.0m), matched that total in FPL last term.

Only 0.7 per cent of managers have snapped up Chester since FPL launched for the new season last week.

And his schedule and eye for goal could make him a budget differential in defence over the opening weeks.

See: The Scout's 2019/20 FPL watchlist

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