As we count down to another action packed weekend of fantasy premier league action our coaches here in the Managers Room have been hard at it analyzing the upcoming fixtures in an attempt to find those defenders that will deliver those all important clean sheet points. Last weekend saw no fewer than 5 premier league teams keep clean sheets, which goes to show despite the challenges faced by fantasy football managers there are clean sheets a plenty out there for those who choose wisely.
With that in mind we have come up with some early contenders for your back line in week 3 of The Irish Times Fantasy Premier League.
Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City) £4.7 million. Fixture: QPR (Home)
Zabaleta has always been a firm favourite of Roberto Mancini’s and with Micah Richards out injured for the foreseeable future, the Argentinian has made the right back slot his own. City have leaked 2 goals in each of their opening two games which is something Mancini will undoubtedly be addressing this week in training. This weekend City host QPR at the Etihad and the champions will be keen to prove that they still have one of the strongest defences in the league. Zabaleta should continue at right back and at £4.7 million he offers a decent chance of a points return for Fantasy Football managers. He is never afraid to bomb forward and with QPR’s leaky defence, City could really put a few past them whilst keeping their first clean sheet of the campaign in the process.
Steven Taylor (Newcastle United) £3.7 million. Fixture: Aston Villa (Home)
The Magpies will be delighted to welcome back Taylor from an injury, which kept him out for the majority of last season. Taylor has quite an impressive goal scoring record for a defender. In 08/09 he scored 4 goals and 2 assists while the following season he bagged 3 goals and an assist. Newcastle play Aston Villa who have been less than impressive in their opening 2 games and who currently sit on the bottom of the league. Alan Pardew will be keen to get his side’s first win of the campaign and they should well do so here. Taylor will continue his partnership with Coloccini, which has been so formidable in the past.
Rafael (Manchester United) £4.8 million. Fixture: Southampton (Away)
Another top team who are yet to keep a clean sheet, United will want to set that right this Sunday against new boys, Southampton. Rafael was excellent in last weeks home away against Fulham. The Brazilian full back was on the score sheet and also had a goal disallowed . At just £4.8 he offers a cheap alternative for Fantasy Football managers to have a United defender in their team. Rafael will be keen to cement his place in United’s starting 11 with the current injuries to Smalling and Jones. As everyone knows, Rafael is much more comfortable going forward which increases his chances of goals and assists. After such a good start last weekend he will be keen to further his claim as United’s first choice right back.
Angel Rangel (Swansea City) £3.4 million. Fixture: Sunderland (Home)
Rangel has picked up where he left off from his very impressive debut season in the Premiership. Rangel is a permanent fixture in the Swansea back four which has again been very solid in their opening two games. The Swans are yet to concede a goal and have scored 8 goals in the process, one of which was scored by Rangel himself last weekend, which was seen his ownership rate rise which in truth is no surprise for a player who was so consistent last season. Swansea have been outstanding so far and are showing no signs of letting up. This weekend sees them face a Sunderland side that had their game postponed last weekend. Rangel is currently the second highest scoring defender and at such a low price, Fantasy Football managers should be snapping him up as he is a real bargain.
So there are some options to mull over as we get ready for another round of fixtures, be sure to check back into the managers room tomorrow as we give you our thoughts on midfielders for the coming weekend.
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