As we stated in the Goalkeeper Tips for the forthcoming round of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League there were clean sheets a plenty with no fewer than 8 in round 13 which meant it was a good week for defenders and with the same teams facing home fixtures on Wednesday and Thursday fantasy managers will be hopeful for more of the same in round 14. On the injury front as far as defenders go there is on two new injury worries for fantasy managers to contend with since the weekend, Sunderland’s John O’ Shea could only manage 45 minutes against West Brom and had to be withdrawn with a calf injury and is rated as 50/50 to play against QPR tomorrow night. Elsewhere Wigan’s Ivan Ramis is also highly doubtful to recover in time to play on Wednesday as he was taken off on 48 minutes with a hamstring injury, Ron Vlaar was another who picked up an injury and looks set to sit out round 14.
So with the latest injury updates to hand here are our defender tips for Round 14 of the Irish Times Fantasy Premier League.
Jonny Evans (Manchester United) £4.9 million. Fixture: West Ham (Home)
The United defender made his return to the side after missing two weeks through injury and wasted no time in making an impact at the other end of the pitch as he popped up with United’s first of the afternoon and his second of the season against QPR over the weekend and fantasy manager will be hoping for more of the same this coming Wednesday. West Ham go into this one on the back of a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham but with the Hammers having the fourth worst goal scoring record in the league away from home managing only 5 goals on the road so far this season,United and Evans will be hopeful of the clean sheet. The last time the sides met at Old Trafford back in 2010 it finished 3-0 to United in fact the Hammers have failed to score on the their last five visits to Old Trafford in the league, so all is not lost for those worried about the Hammers attacking threat it seems that they just can breach the United defense at the Theater of Dreams.
Ryan Shawcross (Stoke City) £3.6 million. Fixture: Newcastle (Home)
The Potter central defender has been rock solid at the back for Stoke this season and has featured in all 6 of their clean sheets this season. As we stated in the Goalkeeper tips the Potters have the meanest home defensive record so far this season having conceded only one goal which is no mean feat in one of the most competitive leagues in the world.Newcastle are going through a rough patch at the moment having lost 3 on the trot and only managed to score once in the process. The Magpie’s are of course going through somewhat of an injury crisis with manager Alan Pardew reporting that he has 11 first team players currently undergoing treatment, but what is bad news for one is good news for another and with Newcastle currently firing blanks infront of goal the clean sheet for Stoke and Shawcross looks increasingly likely.
Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa) £3.4 million Fixture: Reading (Home)
The young Villa defender finds himself in our tips for the first time this season after an impressive display last time out as Villa kept the Gunner goalless over the weekend. Villa’s form of late hasn’t been anything to write home about but there are signs that things are looking up for Paul Lambert’s side after they showed good spirit against Man United but came unstuck and the same can be said about their performance against Man City in the first half. This time out the face a reading side that have only managed one win in their last 6 and despite the fact that they have scored as many goals away from home this season as the aforementioned Man City (6) they have yet to win on the road, but if you consider that 2 of their 6 goals on the road came last time out against a weakened Wigan defense then there is hope for Villa and Clark of a second clean sheet in a row.
Aleksander Kolarov (Man City) £4.7 million Fixture: Wigan (Away)
City recored only their second clean sheet at the weekend as the faced Chelsea at the Bridge, Kolarov has been in and out of the City side od last but with an injury in Gael Clichy he looks set to continue at the back for this Wednesday’s game against Roberto Martinez’s Wigan at the DW Stadium. Wigan are no slouches at home this season and have netted 11 times in 7 games, but with City defence registering their second clean sheet on the bounce it seems that all is well at the back for Mancini’s men. Kolarov does also posses an attacking threat down the wings and he will be keen to push on and expose that infamous Latic’s back three and add to his 1 goal and 2 assists so far this season, so really the Serbian international is one for both defensive and attacking potential this week which isn’t half bad for a mere £4.7 million.