THOSE who played Dream Team last season may be about to experience deja vu.
Right now, eight of the top 15 defenders (in terms of points) play for the same club: Chelsea.
The Blues have been hugely impressive in defence ever since Thomas Tuchel took charge in January of 2021 – no team in Europe’s top five leagues have kept more clean sheets (all competitions) in the same time frame.
And what’s remarkable is that the standard of defending doesn’t waver no matter which players are selected.
Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.1m) and Antonio Rudiger (£4.4m) are favourites but the likes of Reece James (£5.2m), Ben Chilwell (£4.7m), Thiago Silva (£4.0m) and Andreas Christensen (£4.5m) are all regularly rotated.
Marcos Alonso (£3.8m) started the season as first-choice left wing-back (and generally did very well) while Trevor Chalobah (£3.5m) has made nine appearances this term – the 22-year-old has also scored two league goals.
Dream Team bosses could have picked any combination of these eight defenders and enjoyed plentiful returns, such is the scale of Chelsea’s defensive dominance these days.
CHELSEA’S INCREDIBLE DEFENDERS:
- Reece James – 67 points
- Cesar Azpilicueta – 61
- Thiago Silva – 54
- Trevor Chalobah – 53
- Andreas Christensen – 52
- Antonio Rudiger – 51
- Marcos Alonso – 51
- Ben Chilwell – 47
It’s interesting that the most successful asset, James, is only the fifth-most popular selection among Tuchel’s defenders – his ownership is a very modest 6.4% currently.
The marauding right-back is the outright best defender in Dream Team at this stage.
Conversely, Alonso is the most selected, appearing in 25.5% of teams despite the fact Chilwell has seemingly reinstated himself as the first-choice option on the left of Tuchel’s preferred 3-4-3 formation.
The England international has scored three goals in his last three Premier League appearances and will surely be one of the most transferred-in players this month – his ownership of 5.2% is expected to rise sharply once transfers are refreshed in November.
While it may seem like Chelsea’s monopoly couldn’t possibly be strengthened any further, upcoming fixtures against Newcastle, Malmo and Burnley look ripe for yet more clean sheets.
It’s not inconceivable that the reigning European champions could have seven representatives in the top ten defenders come the next international break.
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