After an international break, the English Premier League hits back with last year’s champions Leicester taking on Chelsea in gameweek 8. Meanwhile, Everton travel to the Etihad Stadium to play Manchester City in Saturday’s other high-profile match.
Gameweek 8 concludes on Monday night with the granddaddy of them all, Liverpool versus Manchester United from Anfield.
With so much great football to come, let us look at five defenders to get in your gameweek 8 Fantasy Premier League team.
Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal
Games: 6; Goals: 2; Clean sheets: 3
Laurent Koscielny makes the FantasySports.co.uk defender list for the second consecutive week. Against Burnley, not only did the Arsenal centre-back post a clean sheet, but he got the game winning goal.
This week, his Arsenal side should continue their momentum when they take on Swansea. If you are picking any of Arsenal’s defenders, make sure it is Koscielny this week.
Shkodran Mustafi – Arsenal
Games: 4; Clean sheets: 2
Shkodran Mustafi has been excellent in his last two matches for Arsenal. The German international has played all 90 minutes of the Gunners’ back-to-back clean sheet performances.
Arsenal take on Swansea in gameweek 8, a team near the bottom of the Premier League. The Swans have also just changed managers, bringing in the much criticised Bob Bradley. Swansea have only scored six times this season, but Arsenal are winless in four of their last six against them.
Regardless, Mustafi and company should do well in Wales. A third consecutive clean sheet is not out of the realms of possibility.
James Milner – Liverpool
Games: 6; Goals: 4; Assists: 1
James Milner has three goals in his last two matches for Liverpool and is a good choice as a scoring defender. Problem is, Liverpool’s defence are yet to keep a clean sheet with Milner in the side.
This week, the Reds host Manchester United, which will be a major test for Jurgen Klopp’s men post-international break. Milner and company are winless in their last four Premier League fixtures against Manchester United. Monday’s match will be one of epic proportions as Liverpool attempt to reverse the recent trend of losing to Manchester United.
Virgil van Dijk – Southampton
Games: 7; Clean sheets: 3
Southampton have surprisingly kept three clean sheets this early Premier League season. Virgil van Dijk has been at the centre of the team’s defence, playing all 90 minutes in each game this Premier League season.
Southampton host Burnley on Sunday. Burnley have scored the fewest goals in the Premier League this term– tied with Stoke City – therefore, it is a good idea to get Van Dijk into your Fantasy Premier League team.
Danny Rose – Tottenham
Games: 4; Goals: 1; Clean sheets: 2
Against Manchester city in gameweek 7, Danny Rose scored the highest rating amongst Tottenham defenders, according to WhoScored.com.
Rose has only played four times this term, but when he has been on, he has contributed tremendously to a fantastic Spurs’ defence.
Not only have Spurs given up the fewest goals this season (3), they shutout a Manchester City team that was threatening to run away with the Premier League title.
In gameweek 8, Tottenham travel to West Brom Albion. Spurs should be good value for three points, and Rose should play a factor in keeping West Brom out of goal.
Petr Cech – Arsenal
Games: 7; Clean sheets: 3; Saves: 19
This week’s defenders’ list is heavy on Arsenal players, but when in-form, go with the hot hand. Back-to-back clean sheets have Arsenal near the top of the Premier League table and playing a first-time Premier League manager on Saturday could see a third shutout.
Petr Cech has been good behind a solid Gunners’ defence. He has 19 saves this season, good for ninth in the Premier League. He should have a good day against the Swans and he should get a spot in your Fantasy Premier League team’s goal.