FPL tips: Favourable fixtures make Arsenal and Man City top prospects in defence

Southampton v Manchester City – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Any FPL managers looking to plug a hole in defence could do a lot worse than Arsenal or Manchester City.

That’s according to PA’s Transfer Score, that is, which combines form, cost, ownership and upcoming fixture difficulty rating (FDR) into one figure.

The result is a rough guide which hints at those players who could make useful FPL additions over the coming gameweeks.

A graphic showing potential FPL purchases in defence

First Laporte of call

Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku (right) and Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte shake hands after the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture date: Saturday September 25, 2021

Aymeric Laporte has impressed at both ends of the pitch (Adam Davy/PA)

Aymeric Laporte has the highest Transfer Score among defenders ahead of gameweek 24, with a very respectable score of 82.

The Spain international scores well across the board as an affordable (£5.7m) defender whose ownership is not too high (8.1 per cent) and who has something to offer at both ends of the pitch.

Laporte has two goals, two assists and two clean sheets in his last five games, returning 39 FPL points to his backers – he now has three goals, two assists and 11 clean sheets this term.

As a result, he has passed the 100-point mark, but it is his recent form which is most eye-catching – the 27-year-old has returned a goal, an assist or a clean sheet in each of his last eight appearances.

Manchester City, meanwhile, go from strength to strength – having last tasted defeat in the league in October, they have the best defence in the division with just 14 goals conceded.

Brentford, Norwich, Tottenham and Everton are next – how many points will Laporte earn in that time?

Bargain Ben

Arsenal’s Ben White (left) and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Saturday January 1, 2022

Ben White has shown consistency and competence after a bumpy start to his Arsenal career (John Walton/PA)

Arsenal might seem a less obvious place to go and stock up on reliable defenders, but Ben White scores excellently on the Transfer Score.

After a bumpy beginning the Gunners’ summer signing has shown consistency and competence, returning 10 clean sheets so far this season.

White scores impressively for cost at just £4.5m, while he notched eight FPL points in his last outing against Burnley.

White offers little in the attacking part of the pitch however, with no goals or assists this season – he ranks 45th for Creativity among defenders and 86th for Threat.

That said, he has played 90 minutes in every Arsenal league game since GW4, and with Wolves, Brentford and Watford up next, more clean sheets might not be far away.

Tierney time

Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney celebrates scoring their side’s second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Carrow Stadium, Norwich. Picture date: Sunday December 26, 2021

Kieran Tierney’s FPL price has rocketed by £0.4m (Joe Giddens/PA)

White’s club colleague Kieran Tierney does plenty in attack however, and his return to the Arsenal team after a period of time out has been impressive.

The Scot scores 78 on the Transfer score thanks in part to his price (£5.1m) although his ownership of 12 per cent is a little high to be considered a differential.

Since Tierney’s return to action he has managed one goal, three assists and five clean sheets in seven appearances, returning double figures for FPL points on three occasions.

His price has rocketed by £0.4m as a result, while 58 points in those seven games tells its own story.

Tierney ranks just 17th for Creativity among defenders and 26th for Threat, but his recent form suggests he has it in him to climb the rankings between now and May.

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