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GW15 Lessons: Chelsea defence still have short-term value

The Scout 6 Dec 2021
Antonio Rudiger

The Scout says FPL managers may be hasty in selling Blues stars ahead of favourable schedule

Managers in Fantasy Premier League are losing faith in Chelsea’s defence after their 3-2 loss at West Ham United.

Four of the seven most-sold defenders in Gameweek 16 play for Thomas Tuchel’s side, who have now conceded in each of their last three matches.

Prior to that, they had recorded eight clean sheets in the opening 12 Gameweeks, joint-top with Manchester City in that period.

Chelsea’s short-term schedule certainly looks encouraging for popular picks such as Reece James (£6.2m), Antonio Rudiger (£6.1m) and Edouard Mendy (£6.3m).

According to the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR), each of their next five matches scores no more than three.

Chelsea’s next five GWs
Gameweek Opp. FDR
16 LEE (H) 2
17 EVE (H) 3
18 WOL (A) 3
19 AVL (A) 3
20 BHA (H) 3

James offers huge all-round potential over that run. The right wing-back has combined four goals and four assists with four clean sheets and 13 bonus points.

Rudiger and Mendy both offer secure routes into Tuchel’s first XI, both starting 14 of the first 15 Gameweeks.

Rudiger goal v Leicester

But Chelsea’s schedule in the new year indicates many managers will be looking for defensive replacements before long.

They face Liverpool and Man City in back-to-back matches over Gameweeks 21 and 22.

Soon after that, Chelsea blank in both Gameweeks 24 and 25 due to their involvement in the FIFA World Club Championship.

See: Chelsea matches postponed due to Club World Cup

Strong alternatives

Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool defenders offer strong alternative solutions.

Spurs have three clean sheets in their four matches under Antonio Conte. Just one of their next seven matches scores more than three in the FDR, with Sergio Reguilon (£5.3m) the standout pick.

The wing-back is expected to be fit to face Brighton & Hove Albion at the weekend after picking up a knock and being substituted early on against Norwich City on Sunday.

Managers looking to hold their Chelsea assets for now could consider Liverpool’s backline after the Blues’ short-term schedule has passed.

With their 1-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend, the Reds earned their league-high ninth shutout of the campaign.

Centre-back Virgil van Dijk (£6.6m) has climbed to third among defenders after starting all 15 of the opening Gameweeks.

Left-back Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) has supplied three of his four assists this season in the last three Gameweeks.

GW16 deadline: 18:30 GMT Friday 10 December

Also in this series

Part 1: GW15 FPL stats: Son rewards those who overlooked Salah
Part 2: GW15 Bonus points: Richarlison shares the top score
Part 3: Saturday review: Bernardo going up as managers make moves
Part 5: FPL experts: What to do with the Chelsea defence?

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