Well with only three clean sheets on the board last weekend there will be plenty of fantasy premier league managers hoping for a better defensive display from a number of team come round 13 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League. There are a number of player missing for round 13 most notably Brede Hangeland of Fulham after he picked up a straight red car against Sunderland on Sunday and will now be missing for three games, another who is looking doubtful for this coming weekend’s action is West Brom’s Gareth McAuley has he stuggles with a hamstring injury. John Terry is of course still out for a number of weeks and Johnny Evans is still out with a groin injury.
With all that said here are our lastest defender tips for round 13 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League.
Rafael (Man United) £4.8 million Fixture: QPR (Home)
The young Manchester United full back has been ever present in the United defence this season with the exception of that opening day defeat to Everton at Goodison Park and since round 2 has produced 2 goals, 1 assist and 2 clean sheets which is no mean feat for a full back. United’s defensive record is perhaps not as spectacular as we would like at this point in the season, but despite only keeping two clean sheets they have only conceded 14 clear cut chances to opponents all season which is only bettered by Stoke, West Ham and Man City and this is quite remarkable given the seemingly contant rotation of the center half pairing. QPR go into this one without a win this season and struggling to find goals and as we mentioned in the goalkeepers tips the R’s have only managed one goal in their last five visits to the Theater of Dreams and judging by their recent form they may well struggle to breach United’s defence as they only have a 4.2% conversion rate and it is unlikely that they will create the amount of chances needed to convert this weekend and with Mark Hughes’s side conceding 54 chances so far this season from their left hand side (Rafael’s right) there is a good chance we may see him add to those assists come the weekend.
Liam Ridgewell (West Brom) £3.5 million Fixture: Sunderland (Away)
Ridgewell has settled in well at the Hawthorns since his move from Birmingham during the January transfer window last season and has missed only two games under new boss Steve Clarke. The 6ft 2′ full back has four clean sheets to him so far this season and although he is not known of his goal scoring ability he does a goal to his name this season against Liverpool on the opening day of the season. West Brom head into this one full of confidence after they be Chelsea last time out and they will be keen to continue their run of three wins on the bounce against Martin O’ Neill’s side this Saturday. Sunderland of course are fresh from their 3-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday and they too will be looking to continue where they left off, but that result aside the signs aren’t good for O’ Neill’s with his side having the lowest amount of goal attempts in the league along side Stoke and with the fourth lowest conversion rate of 6.0% all the stats and form are firmly stacked in the Baggies favour.
Jose Enrique (Liverpool) £4.1 million. Fixture: Swansea (Away)
After being tipped last weekend Jose Enrique produced the goods last time out against Wigan as he picked up the holy trinity as far as defenders are concerned with a clean sheet, a goal and an assist which saw him pick up a highly impressive 15 points. As we stated last week Brendan Rogers seems to be bringing out the best in the former Newcastle man since he took over at Anfield during the summer and Enrique has been quietly going about his business and has slipped under the radar of many fantasy football managers. This will certainly not be the case now that he has claimed a points haul like the one he picked up over the weekend. This week however Liverpool are on the road and travel to Wales to face Swansea which will not ba an easy game as Brendan Rogers returns to his old club. Both sides have won two of their last six games, with the Swans however losing one of those six against Man City. Enrique has linked up well down the left with Sterling and Suarez and his goal and assist last week was no accident as he has been showing signs of getting in on the act over the last number of weeks. Really this weekend a clean sheet could be a bit of a stretch but as far as attacking potential goes that is the reason you want him in there.
Ivan Ramis (Wigan) £3.2 million. Fixture: Reading (Home)
Wigan go into this one on the back of that 3-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out and will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they welcome Reading to the DW Stadium on Saturday. Reading of course are coming off the back of that impressive 2-1 win over Everton and will be keen to keep their winning run going this weekend. Wigan of course have two clean sheets to their name so far this season but are yet to keep one at home. Reading on the other hand are struggling to find goals away from home in the league and as we said despite the good result for Reading last weekend they will struggle to breach the Latic’s defence. These two teams have not met with much regularity over recent seasons but it is worth noting that Reading have not beaten Wigan at the DW in their last two encounters and have not scored a single goal either. So with all that said a clean sheet is a viable option, not to mention that Ramis does pose a threat from set pieces so a goal would not be beyond the realms of possibility against the Royals.
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