Unlike my 6thGoal squad, where the transfers came fast and furious, while the Merseyside Derby was still going on, I have decided to take my 5-man defensive team and approach it a bit more rationally. There was no knee jerk transfer for Virgil van Dijk during the week. Add to that the news that James Rodriguez won’t play and I decided to hold Kevin De Bruyne last week instead of transferring in Heung-min Son. This team is not without its share of problems, with a FT in my pocket and just 0.3 ITB. This team is also on a run of green arrows to start the season and who thought you couldn’t be successful with an all premium, 5-man defensive team?
If asked to compare this squad to that of my my other team, I am beginning to favor the “big at the back” setup. While clean sheets have been at a premium, down by just one CS from last year (23), teams have spent more time scoring than playing defense. While I had not had intentions to use free transfers to move defenders in and out, I’ve made changes every week at the back but the defense still isn’t settled.
Looking ahead to GW6, van Dijk will need to be moved, as I will plan on holding over Rodriguez, in hopes it’s just a one week miss for the Columbian. At 6.4M, I’ve got options for another big defender. While I haven’t ruled out sticking with a Liverpool replacement, Ben Chilwell (5.7M) and Patrick van Aanholt (5.4M) top my list of defenders I am looking at. Chilwell was sporting a 1.42 VAPM for the first four weeks, even though he missed two games and increased after GW5 on the back of his second assist. As long as Edouard Mendy is back, I’ve got some confidence in the Blues defense through GW14, even with a trip to Old Trafford this weekend.
While I would like to put more emphasis on defense, it’s been very difficult to do with many perennial favorites conceding week in, week out. Just look at Liverpool and City, while I still back them, my faith has been shaken that they won’t finish with the number of CS they have posted the last three years. While Chelsea has a good FDR, Crystal Palace tops the FDR facing ful/wol/LEE/bur in the next four weeks. Honestly, I could see three clean sheets out of that run of games (FUL/LEE/BUR). Waiting for further information from Gabe (@FPLLENS) and his fancy defensive charts before I make a decision.
If there is any week I need Tomas Soucek to finally capitalize on his chances this week against City would be that week. He will most likely get the nod as my third midfielder in a 5-3-2 formation with Steven Alzate as my first and only bench. Thankfully Brighton host West Brom, so if there is any week to score, you might think the Seagulls could put a few balls in the back of the net.
I do like how my defense looks for GW6, Spurs and City are the only teams away, playing at Burnley, while City is at London Stadium. Confidence is high in this defense to pick 3-4 clean sheets, depending on what direction I go with van Dijk.