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FPL Tips: Manchester City defenders become must-haves?

:Headline: FPL Tips: Manchester City defenders become must-haves?:
Team-mates John Stones and Joao Cancelo are also appealing pick-ups for a double gameweek.
Sports Mole

Manchester City's defence has become the must-have FPL commodity for a packed gameweek 19.

Having kept six clean sheets in their last eight games, Pep Guardiola's side now host Crystal Palace and – coronavirus permitting – Aston Villa as one of a dozen teams doubling up this week.

Here, the PA news agency assesses how to make the best of 16 matches this week.

Shut-out City

Manchester City's defenders are riding high (PA graphic)

PA uses a Transfer Score metric to assess all FPL players – though this week, we have restricted the selection to those with a double gameweek for those managers using their wild card or free hit chips.

Form is the main driver of a player's transfer score – backed up by low cost, ownership and fixture difficulty (FDR) – so City's defenders unsurprisingly rank highly.

Ruben Dias, John Stones and Joao Cancelo have locked out the top three places in the defensive rankings, with the 30-day period assessed for form covering four games in which they have conceded only once to Chelsea.

Dias carries the best form rating and a transfer score of 79, but the £5million Stones is £800,000 cheaper than either of his colleagues if cost is a factor in your decision. He scores 78 to Cancelo's 77.

Team-mate Ederson is second in our goalkeeping ranking with a transfer score of 71, two points behind Fulham's Alphonse Areola.

With a limit of three players per club and City thriving across the field, Aston Villa's Kortney Hause and Fulham's City old boy Tosin Adarabioyo are low-cost defensive alternatives.

Foden firing

Phil Foden joins City team-mate Ilkay Gundogan on the midfield podium (PA graphic)

Phil Foden scored City's winner against Brighton, following up his goal and assist against Chelsea for 25 points and a maximum six bonus points over the last two games.

That sees him join Ilkay Gundogan among our three midfield picks, with the German leading the league in transfer score for the second successive week on 85.

Anwar El Ghazi's recent scoring streak keeps the Villa man second in midfield, with a transfer score of 84 to Foden's 82. Villa are due to face City and Newcastle in gameweek 19, though their recent postponements give cause for concern.

Buck the trend up front

Roberto Firmino heads a crop of overlooked strikers (PA graphic)

Our top three strikers this week are all boosted by low ownership, with Liverpool's Roberto Firmino leading the rankings with a transfer score of 69.

The £9.3m Brazilian is averaging 6.2 points per game and is selected by only 4.6 per cent of managers, giving him strong appeal as a differential.

The same is true of Chelsea's Tammy Abraham, a pick for just 3.5 per cent of managers, and Manchester United's Anthony Martial at 6.4 per cent – the pair follow behind Firmino with respective transfer scores of 67 and 66.

Liverpool and United meet in their first fixture of the week while Chelsea face Leicester in their second, so there are FDR considerations for all three players. West Ham's fit-again Michail Antonio is an under-the-radar option if he is cleared to face both Burnley and West Brom.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2513483833543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2513483833543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
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