Wondering who are the best Gameweek 1 premium defenders for FPL 2021/22? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ll be keeping this list of premium defenders, those above £6.0m, regularly updated before the Gameweek 1 deadline, so make sure to bookmark this page.
You can find all our other FPL content in our FPL Ultimate Guide and other positions below:
- Best Budget Keepers (4.0 - 5.0m)
- Best Premium Keepers (5.5m+)
- Best Budget Defenders (4.0 - 4.5m)
- Best Mid-Priced Defenders (5.0 - 5.5m)
- Best 4.5m Midfielders
- Best Budget Midfielders (5.0 - 5.5m)
- Best Mid-Priced Midfielders (6.0 - 8.0m)
- Best Premium Midfielders (8.5m+)
- Best Budget Forwards (4.5 - 6.0m)
- Best Mid-Priced Forwards (6.5 - 7.5m)
- Best Premium Forwards (8.0m+)
There are only seven Premium defenders in Fantasy Premier League this season. The premium price range is £6.0m and above and the names on the list are pretty well known.
The Premium defender spot is one that you don’t want to change in FPL. Having a solid ‘glue’ pick who you can play pretty much every game is the ideal scenario.
A glue pick is a player you select for all, or most, of the entire season. It’s not a position where you typically want to chop and change.
The Best Premium Defenders in FPL
Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) - Liverpool
Since Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been at Liverpool, the question at the start of every season is which one to pick out of the two if you are going for just one premium defender.
Both are great options and have been for the past three seasons. It was the Scotsman who won the battle last season finishing as the top-scoring defender just one point ahead of his teammate.
Robertson posted some impressive stats with 19 Shots, five Shots on Target, 14 Shots in the Box while creating 66 Chances (3rd) and 11 Big Chances (3rd). He had his worst season in terms of attacking returns and overall points in three seasons.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.5m) - Liverpool
Trent didn’t have the best season by his high standards either, managing two goals and eight assists. He accumulated four goals and 15 assists in 2019/20 and one goal and 13 assists in 2018/19.
Liverpool’s poor season was a major contributing factor to Trent's poor form where the scousers just managed to scrape a top-four finish.
What is promising though is his underlying statistics remain elite and I wouldn’t be worried about Trent in terms of attacking returns. He had 55 Shots (1st among defenders in the Premier League), 12 Shots on Target (3rd) while also creating 77 Chances (1st) and 14 Big Chances (1st).
They both come in reasonably priced and what I expected them to be. The £0.5m difference in price is fair and Trent offers more attacking threat whereas Robertson provides more security with starts.
Out of the pair, I would start with Trent but I wouldn’t mind going for Robertson if I could improve my team elsewhere with that extra £0.5m.
Although Liverpool only kept 12 clean sheets (5th) compared to 15 (2nd) in 2019/20 and 21 (1st) in 2018/19, I am still confident in their defence and their fantasy assets. I can’t see them having anywhere near as bad a season as the last.
Also, I like their opening fixtures and our Fixture Ticker agrees. They play Norwich (a), Burnley (H), Crystal Palace (H), Brentford (a) and Watford (a) during their first eight games which suits them both from an attacking and defensive standpoint. The two are perfect glue picks.
Ruben Dias (£6.0m) – Manchester City
Manchester City were the best team in the league last season winning the league with 12 points to spare. The Citizens kept 19 clean sheets (1st) and only conceded 32 goals (1st).
Ruben Dias had a dream debut season and was arguably the player of the season. He played the most minutes (2843) out of all the outfield players for City and was benched on just four occasions. Three of them came in the last eight games due to Champions League rotation and once when he had a small niggle.
He is their most nailed-on defender and has a bit of threat going forward too. He registered 14 Shots, six Shots on Target, 14 Shots in the Box and three Big Chances.
Although he isn't as offensive compared to other premium options, we know he offers security rather than attacking output. He is the safest route into the City backline bar Ederson (£6.0m).
Joao Cancelo (£6.0m) – Manchester City
Fellow Portuguese teammate Joao Cancelo also had a stellar season and provided much more attacking threat. He scored two goals and accumulated four assists with 35 Shots, 11 Shots in Target, 15 Shots in the Box while also creating 45 Chances and nine.
Cancelo was injured for the first three games and was benched on seven occasions in the league, so he posted all these statistics in only 27 starts.
Although no player in a Pep Guardiola team is safe from rotation, the silver lining is he doesn’t tend to bring on his defenders from the bench. If you have good backup substitutes, you can get away with it. Cancelo was only brought on once while John Stones and Ruben Dias also stayed rooted in all of their benchings in the league.
When deciding on going for a City defender or not you have to take into consideration your team structure. If you like to spread the cash and have a strong squad then they are good options. For those who like to squeeze all their money into the starting 11, you may want to think twice.
Not only do City have great opening fixtures but they are almost fixture proof. They play Norwich (H), Arsenal (H), Southampton (H) and Burnley (H) in their first four home games and it doesn’t get much better than that.
Ben Chilwell (£6.0m) - Chelsea
Since Thomas Tuchel took the reigns at Chelsea, they have transformed into a strong defensive unit. In his first season, he managed to secure a top-four finish, reach the final of the FA Cup and win the Champions League.
The Blues kept 18 clean sheets (2nd) and only conceded 36 goals (2nd). What's even more impressive is this was achieved after a poor start to the season under Frank Lampard. The Chelsea full-backs offer attacking potential too.
In 27 starts, Chilwell managed an impressive three goals and six assists with 27 Shots, 10 Shots on Target, 22 Shots in the Box and four Big Chances while creating 30 Chances and two Big Chances.
César Azpilicueta (£6.0m) - Chelsea
Azpilicueta scored one goal and two assists with 11 Shots, five Shots on Target, seven Shots in the Box while creating 27 Chances and three Big Chances in 24 starts.
It's important to note that the Spanish full-back was not a regular starter under Lampard which explains his lack of game time. The only problem with the Chelsea defence is Tuchel likes to rotate and I don’t think any of them are nailed.
Chilwell has Marcos Alonso (£5.5m) for competition while Azpilicueta has Reece James (£5.5m) breathing down his neck.
Chelsea also have four centre-backs in Kurt Zouma (£5.5m), Antonio Rudiger (£5.5m), Thiago Silva (£5.5m) and Andreas Christensen (£5.5m) all of which were utilised last season.
It is a real shame as you would want at least one of their defenders in your team with their elite defensive statistics. I think it might be a wise move to wait on the Chelsea defence so we can identify who Tuchel prefers. It could be the case that one of the cheaper ones turn out to be nailed.
Their fixtures are also not the best to start with. During their first eight games, they play Arsenal (a), Liverpool (a), Spurs (a) and Manchester City (a).
I want a Chelsea defender in my team at some point so may look at them again after they play Man City in Gameweek 6 where their fixtures also pick up massively.
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