Who are the best Fantasy Premier League defenders to own for Gameweek 9? 4-time top 1k finisher Abdul Rehman uses the Hub's OPTA, Prediction, Comparison and Fixture tools to find the best FPL budget and premium defenders for our FPL teams.
Check out our Ultimate Guide to FPL Gameweek 9 for all the key information, stats and tips you need going into the weekend's action.
Gameweek 9 sees a number of teams with good fixtures as you can see from our defensive Fixture Ticker below. It's been a strange and unpredictable season so far and who would have thought that after eight games Liverpool would have one clean sheet and Southampton and Aston Villa would be leading with four. It's been a tough task picking the best defenders weekly but I do think things will normalise and we should see the usual suspects like Liverpool and Manchester City racking up clean sheets again soon. As always I will look at the stats, form, and fixtures and pick the best five defenders for the current Gameweek.
Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) – Chelsea
Fixture: Newcastle United (a)
Chelsea currently have the second most clean sheets in the league with three and are the second most likely to team to keep a clean in Gameweek 9 according to the bookies (42%). Despite only playing five league games this season Ben Chilwell is the third-highest scoring defender. He has notched three clean sheets, two goals and two assists and sits on 41 points. Not only is he nailed and plays for a defensively sound team but his attacking stats are amazing. He has six shots, five Shots in the Box, five Shots on Target and one Big Chances. He has also created 11 Chances (3rd among all defenders).
Chelsea’s defensive stats as a team are also impressive. They have conceded 45 Shots in the Box (3rd), 25 Shots on Target (3rd) and 10 Big Chances (2nd). They also have the least xGC (7.94) in the league. It’s clear they have one of the best defences in the league and in Gameweek 9 they come up against a team who have one of the worst attacking stats in the league.
Newcastle United have only managed 64 Shots (20th), 20 Shots on Target (19th), 38 Shots in the Box (18th), and have an xG of 8.22 (18th). They have also only created 50 Chances (18th) and 6 Big Chances (18th). On top of this, it seems like their top goalscorer and main attacking threat Calum Wilson (£6.6m) could miss out this Gameweek with a hamstring injury he picked up in Gameweek 8 against Southampton.
Whatever way you look at this fixture it all points towards a Chelsea clean sheet and Chilwell is clearly the best defensive option for the Blues. Our Point Prediction Tool has him third among defenders for any time returns also at 53%.
Alex Telles (£5.5m) – Manchester United
Fixture: West Brom (H)
The Brazilian left-back has yet to play a game for Manchester United yet but he will be a sure starter now seeing as Luke Shaw is out long-term with a hamstring injury. In five seasons he has scored a very impressive 26 goals and 57 assists for FC Porto. He is an extremely attack-minded fullback.
In the 2019-20 season, he scored 11 goals and eight assists, averaging 1.0 shot per game and 0.4 goals per game. He also created seven Big Chances and averaged 1.9 Chances created per game. It’s important to note that the Brazilian was the penalty taker at Porto and eight of those 11 goals were penalties. It is unlikely he will oust Bruno Fernandes (£10.6m) as the number one penalty taker at Manchester United but he will surely be the second choice and may get them if the Portuguese is not on the pitch. Telles has a great chance to get his United career off with a clean sheet and showcase his attacking threat as they play 18th ranked West Brom.
The Baggies have scored only six goals (18th) and not surprisingly have one of the worst attacking stats in the league. They have 22 Shots on Target (17th), 37 Shots in the Box (19th), and have only created a measly two Big Chances (20th). For a bit of context Burnley who have created the second least amount of Big Chances have six and they have played a game less. Furthermore, West Brom also have the lowest xG in the league too with 4.93.
A clean sheet looks likely here for Manchester United despite them not being great at the back themselves. The great thing with Telles is that he is so attacking that he is a great option on his own without the clean sheets. He actually ranks second among all players in Gameweek 9 behind only his teammate Bruno Fernandes (£10.6m) for any time returns (61%) according to our Points Prediction Tool and United are the favourites to keep a clean sheet (49%) according to the bookies.
Aaron Cresswell (£5.1m) – West Ham United
Fixture: Sheffield United (a)
The Hammers have had a good start to the season. Despite playing Arsenal (a), Wolves (H), Leicester City (a), Spurs (a), Manchester City (H) and Liverpool (a) in their first eight games they have still managed to get 11 points and keep three clean sheets. They have only conceded 46 Shots in the Box (4th), 28 Shots on Target (6th), and 12 Big Chances (4th).
They kept a clean sheet against Fulham last Gameweek and in Gameweek 9 come up against Sheffield United who are really struggling to score this season. The Blades have only scored four goals (19th) this season and sit rock bottom of the league with only one point. They have had 21 Shots on Target (18th), 42 Shots in the Box (17th), and 11 Big Chances (17th).
Aaron Cresswell has already managed to notch three assists along with his three clean sheets and looking at his offensive stats more attacking points are sure to come. He has created the most chances (17) out of all defenders in the league and also created the second most Big Chances (2). He takes some corners and indirect free-kicks and is also a goal threat too as he is on direct free-kicks.
With West Ham’s defensive numbers and their good fixtures to come, I think they will now start to keep a fair few clean sheets and Cresswell will be a great option with his added attacking threat. He has a plum fixture against The Blades to get returns at both ends of the pitch this week.
Lucas Digne (£6.1m) – Everton
Fixture: Fulham (a)
Lucas Digne has had a decent start to the season picking up three assists however that was somewhat dampened by the red card he received at Southampton in Gameweek 6. He clearly has a great delivery and high assist threat which is evident as he got eight last season. This season also he has created 11 Chances and two Big Chances which is only bettered in his team by his counterpart James Rodriguez (£7.9m) who has created 17 Chances and five Big Chances. It’s clear that he is the main creative player for Everton after the Colombian.
Everton come up against a Fulham side who are struggling to score this season. They have only managed to bag seven goals (17th), 31 Shots on Target (14th), 57 Shots in the Box (11th) and 11 Big Chances (17th). Furthermore, they have the 6th worst xG with 10.18.
The Toffees on the other hand have been quite decent in the final third. They have scored 16 goals (4th), with 34 Shots on Target (10th), 59 Shots in the Box (8th) and 17 Big Chances (5th). They have also created 12 Big Chances (4th). It looks a good fixture for the attacking Everton assets this one and with Dominic Calvert Lewin’s aeriel threat that makes Digne a better option. Both of his open play assists have been for the Evertonian forward.
Rayan Ait Nouri (£5.0m) – Wolves
Fixture: Southampton (H)
Wolves have kept four clean sheets so far this season – the most in the league along with Aston Villa and Southampton and they have also conceded the least amount goals (9). They are a defensively strong team and kept the third-most clean sheets last season (13). This season however their defensive stats have not been as good but they are still grinding out clean sheets.
They have conceded 62 Shots in the Box (14th), 29 Shots on Target (15th), and 12 Big Chances (4th). Although they are conceding a lot of shots in the box not many of them are on target and they are restricting Big Chances for teams which explains their clean sheets and low amount of goals conceded.
Their new signing – 19-year old Ryan Ait Nouri seems a really bright prospect. He has played a total of 23 games SCO Angers and managed four assists. One of those assists came from three games this season and the other three from his 2019-20 season in which he played 17 games. Looking at his heatmap it's clear that he is very attacking down that left side which he also proved in his first start for Wolves grabbing a goal and ending up on 15 points. We don’t have much more information to go on from his previous history but what we do know is he is a very attack-minded left-back and if he carries on playing the way he is more attacking returns will come.
In conclusion, I will rank these Gameweek 9 defenders in accordance to our Power Rankings for Hub members!
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