Bargain Hunt - Analysis of the 4.0 defenders
The budget 4.0 defenders can be a crucial part of our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) squads, as we look to save cash in the fourth and/or fifth defensive slots for more illustrious players in attack.
The likes of Ryan Taylor, Danny Simpson and Neil Taylor all started at 4.0 last season and all went on to score well over 100 points.
Unfortunately all three have incurred price hikes this time round, so we’re left searching for their equivalents this season.
The challenge in this price range is finding the defenders who’ll play regularly, so I’ve done my best David Dickinson impression to pick out potential targets.
Here’s nine contenders.
Nathaniel Clyne – Southampton
Signed from Crystal Palace, the England Under 21 international is an attacking right back who bombs up and down the right flank.
Clyne is competing with Frazer Richardson and Danny Butterfield for the right back slot, but Clyne’s starting role and encouraging performances in pre-season suggest he’ll start as first choice.
Jose Fonte – Southampton
Fonte is a definite starter at centre back and a fans’ favourite. He has 8 goals in 106 appearances for Southampton, with 1 goal from 42 appearances last season.
A slightly safer choice than Clyne but offers less chance of attacking returns.
George McCartney – West Ham
McCartney is West Ham’s first choice left back, but faces a small rotation risk from Matty Taylor, who filled in for McCartney at left back on occasions last season.
McCartney missed West Ham’s last two friendlies with a back injury, so that is worth keeping an eye on.
Guy Demel – West Ham
Demel is West Ham’s first choice right back, and currently faces little competition for the role until West Ham strengthen that area.
Unfortunately Demel is an injury prone player who missed a large part of last season, but looks good value if he can stay fit.
Kasper Gorkss – Reading
Gorkss made 42 appearances last season at centre back and scored 3 goals. Reading’s success was built on his partnership at the back with Alex Pearce.
Gorkss and Pearce started Reading’s final pre-season friendly, suggesting Brian McDermott is keeping faith with Gorkss, despite the recent signing of Adrian Mariappa.
However, a few poor performances from Gorkss could see Mariappa replace him.
Adrian Mariappa – Reading
Signed from Watford, Mariappa is a centre back who can also fill in at right back. Hardly prolific, Mariappa scored just 4 goals in 216 appearances for Watford, but is a highly regarded defender.
Mariappa is likely to be the long term centre back for Reading, but it looks like he’ll need to bide his time as Brian McDermott looks set to start with Alex Pearce and Kasper Gorkss.
Chris Gunter – Reading
The new signing from Notts Forest is competing with Sean Cummings, who failed to score or assist last season, for Reading’s right back slot.
Gunter started Reading’s final pre-season friendly and his attacking abilities look to have secured him the right back role.
Marc Tierney – Norwich
Tierney was first choice left back last season until injury ended his campaign. He’s now fully fit again and pre-season suggests he’s nailed down the left back role under Chris Hughton.
Don’t expect goals from Tierney (he’s only scored 2 in his whole career), but Norwich have kept 4 clean sheets in 6 pre-season games and look to have tightened up under Chris Hughton.
Enda Stevens – Aston Villa
The 22 year-old rookie has come from nowhere to produce encouraging attacking displays at left back in pre-season, and is in contention to start the season in that role.
Last season’s left back, Stephen Warnock, looks to be on his way out of the club, but Villa are thought to be targeting a number of left backs, putting Stevens’s long term role in doubt.