Fantasy football Gameweek 9 transfer tips. With Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) on a now-lengthy FPL injury list, we assess the best replacements for the Liverpool defender ahead of the Gameweek 9 deadline.

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.

Injury latest

Liverpool have yet to provide a timeline on Alexander-Arnold‘s injury, with no communication from the club on the matter since November 8. After the 1-1 draw with Manchester City in Gameweek 8, Jurgen Klopp stated:

“Trent will be out for England, that is clear. What he has, we don’t know but he cannot play for England. He will not be the last and not the only one who Gareth [Southgate] will miss for this international break. He will have a scan tomorrow and then we will see.”

On November 9, the reliable Paul Joyce reported that the Reds right-back could face a month in the treatment room.

Despite some other notable FPL flags at the time of writing – none more so than TAA’s team-mate Mohamed Salah (£12.3m) – the defender looks to be a priority sale once Klopp confirms the length of his injury absence on Friday.

Trent Replacement Options…

Ben Chilwell (£6.0m)

Next four gameweeks: Newcastle (a), Spurs (H), Leeds (H), Everton (a)

Fantasy Premier League bosses will be sweating on the availability of Chilwell after he picked up a back problem on Sunday. Ahead of England’s tie against Iceland on Wednesday, Southgate said of the Chelsea left-back:

“We will keep checking on Ben Chilwell as he keeps having treatment on a back issue from the other day but everyone else has no problem.”

Sky Sports report that the ex-Leicester man returned to England training on Tuesday. Chilwell is already the most transferred in defender ahead of Gameweek 9 with nearly 250,000 new owners. That figure will only rise if Frank Lampard gives a positive update on the full-back ahead of Chelsea’s visit to Newcastle on Saturday.

best transfers for fpl gw9

Chilwell owners and potential investors will need an injury update on the left-back

Chilwell tops all defenders for ‘expected goals’ over the past four gameweeks, though the majority of that xG figure was racked up with a strike in GW8 that he “didn’t know much about”. On his goal against Sheffield United, Chilwell explained:

“Although I didn’t know much about it, I’ll take it and it’s another goal so I’m happy! I have been told to get in at the back post, we’ve worked on that a lot with Hakim Ziyech (£8.2m) cutting in and crossing it to the back post, and me or Timo Werner (£9.4m) being there.

“I didn’t really have my bearings to be honest, it was a bit of everything, the post, the goalkeeper. I thought I would just get in the back post and hopefully it would hit me and go across goal or go in. I was lucky it went in, the goal.”

That fortuitous effort may have boosted Chilwell’s statistics but he is also top of the defender rankings for shots on target (4) and BPS (108) since Gameweek 5. Only Harry Maguire (£5.4m) has had more efforts in the area than the Chelsea full-back.

The Blues’ fixture list is a mixed bag from Gameweek 10 but Chilwell’s attacking threat makes him a standout replacement for Alexander-Arnold. Reece James (£5.0m) is another Stamford Bridge option for managers with a lesser budget and a greater appetite for rotation risk.

Update: Chilwell on the England bench [Wednesday]

Joao Cancelo (£5.4m)

Next four gameweeks: Spurs (a), Burnley (H), Fulham (H), Man Utd (a)

Pep Guardiola’s recent appraisal of the Portugal defender will be music to the ears of his owners. Following the 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool, the Manchester City chief said of Cancelo:

“He played exceptional, with and without the ball with his quality. Up front he has a special talent, defensively sometimes he needs to be consistent but when he is consistent and focused he is a fantastic football player.”

Since Gameweek 5, no defender can match the Portuguese full-back for ‘expected assists’ (xA) or key passes. Cancelo has also created the joint-most big chances (2) over that period.

fpl transfer tips gw9

If Cancelo can hold his place, he looks a great option for the upcoming Gameweeks

While City face Tottenham and their cross-city rivals over the next four fixtures, they have an excellent overall run of matches from Gameweek 10.

Cancelo does have competition at left-back in the form of Oleksandr Zinchenko (£5.5m) and Benjamin Mendy (£5.9m), though the latter has not played since October 3. The Frenchman has said on Instagram that he is back in training but the level of his participation is unknown.

Cancelo will undoubtedly be subject to rotation at some point, particularly given the congested fixture schedule, yet his attacking output and recent minutes are very encouraging.

His countryman Ruben Dias (£5.5m) offers a potentially safer option in the Man City defence, particularly since Nathan Ake (£5.5m) picked up a hamstring injury on Holland duty.

Aaron Cresswell (£5.1m)

Next four gameweeks: Sheffield United (a), Aston Villa (H), Man Utd (H), Leeds (a)

West Ham have an admittedly mixed run of fixtures from a defensive point-of-view in the medium term. David Moyes’ men are also one of the lesser-ranked teams for defensive statistics since Gameweek 5, though that run included games against Spurs, Man City and Liverpool.

Creswell leads the way for key passes among defenders since Gameweek 1, ranking third for that statistic over the past four gameweeks.

Speaking about Cresswell’s performance in the Hammers’ 1-0 win over Fulham in GW8, Match of the Day pundit Jermaine Jenas said:

“We’ve got a player who is playing left of a three, he can play left-back and he’s one of West Ham’s most creative players. We saw one of his set pieces he whipped in there, [then] he’s got to deal with Mitrovic at the back post; the positioning he gets himself into has been brilliant.

“He’s been a threat to every team that he’s come up against. He gets himself into these midfield positions and he just could have put the icing on the cake [by scoring the free kick].”

The £5.1m man is monopolising set-pieces under Moyes and as Jenas points out, Cresswell’s left centre-back position is allowing him to move further up the pitch when the Hammers are attacking.

He also leads the way for crosses among defenders since Gameweek 5, though his manager expects better delivery from both sides of the pitch. In his post-Fulham press conference, Moyes explained:

“One small thing, I think our crossing tonight was terrible and our ability to get into positions like that, we didn’t do well enough. We either overhit it or hit the font man and that was one aspect. We thought we would have more of the ball, it panned out that way later in the game and we didn’t quite pass the ball well through the lines enough.”

Wing-backs Vladimir Coufal and Arthur Masuaku (both £4.5m) represent cheaper routes into the West Ham defence, though Cresswell’s attacking threat is superior to both.

Matt Targett (£4.5m)

Next four gameweeks: Brighton (H), West Ham (a), Newcastle (H), Wolves (a)

Aston Villa sit top of the Hub’s Fixture Ticker when sorted by defence from Gameweek 9 to Gameweek 15. Asked about the improvement in that area after beating Arsenal 3-0 in Gameweek 8, Dean Smith explained:

“It [our defence] changed when we started Project Restart. We worked on some things we needed to do during lockdown and came back a stronger team. We’ve got a really good defensive shift now when the whole team lose the ball. If we can’t win it within the first five or six seconds, we get behind the ball very quickly and make it hard for teams to play through us.

“I know we conceded seven in the last two games [v Leeds and Southampton]. It’s very easy to look at the goals against column and the scorelines, rather than the fact Southampton scored three goals from 25 yards from free-kicks and another set piece. That rarely happens in one game in a whole season, let alone one game. I had no doubts that defensively we were still strong and I’m pleased the players went out and proved that [against Arsenal].”

fantasy football transfers

Hub’s Fixture Ticker GW9 to GW15

Targett is now the only starting Villa defender available at £4.5m in FPL. The left-back provides an attacking threat along with the opportunity for clean sheets, while he also takes the odd free-kick.

Budget Liverpool option

For FPL managers seeking to free up funds, there are three budget replacement options for Alexander-Arnold in the Liverpool ranks. At £3.9m, Neco Williams is the pick of the bunch.

The Wales international is set to battle with James Milner (£5.3m) for the right-back spot in TAA’s absence. There is a minor concern over the full-back’s fitness, though that should be cleared up if Williams plays for his country against Finland on Wednesday.

Rhys Williams (£4.0m) might be one to steer away from considering a “minor” issue caused a precautionary withdrawal from the England Under-21 squad. Nat Phillips is also available at a cut-price £4.0m. The availability of Fabinho (£5.4m) could determine whether the centre-half earns another start.

Anyone investing in these budget options would be well advised to have a squad otherwise full of relatively sure starters.

Update: Neco Williams makes the Wales bench [Wednesday]

Conclusion

Apart from those on a wildcard, the best advice for every other FPL manager is to hold your transfers until Friday at least. With the Gameweek 9 deadline set for 11am (GMT) on Saturday, there is plenty of time left to assess the wreckage of this international break – which still has several matches left to play.

The Saturday morning deadline also means that we can also avail of embargoed press conference quotes, which should emerge on Friday night.

For the best defenders to own specifically in Gameweek 9, Abdul Rehman has got you covered.

Best Defenders For Gameweek 9 | Fantasy Premier League Tips

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.

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