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Josko Gvardiol, Ben White and Rico Henry: Top Defensive Picks to Replace Reece James in Your FPL Team

Josko Gvardiol, Ben White and Rico Henry: Top Defensive Picks to Replace Reece James in Your FPL Team

Reece James has reportedly come off with another hamstring injury, that could potentially see the Chelsea captain be out of action for 4 weeks.

These 2 days have been a rollercoaster for the Blues, missing out on the signing of Palace winger, Olise as well as losing their captain for the foreseeable future.

The signs were there, as James was subbed early in Chelsea’s clash against Liverpool but shrugged off as fatigue by Pochettino in his post-match interview.

Chelsea’s nightmares came true and yesterday, conformation of is injury went viral on socials. This is troubling news for FPL managers who own the Englishman as well but this article will provide you with 4 options that you can use to replace the England international.

Here are the options you can explore:

Ben Chilwell(5.6M): Our first replacement isn’t somebody from another team but Reece James’ fellow fullback on the left side at Chelsea in Ben Chilwell. Ben Chilwell managed to produce an assist against Liverpool, Both him and James had similar numbers in terms of xGI as James managed 0.45 and Chilwell managed 0.34 in their clash against Liverpool.

Chilwell has been excellent for Pochettino in the entirety of preseason where one could see that the Argentine Manager likes to build from the back with a Back 3 and Chilwell has moved into a wingback, almost winger type role with players like Chukwemeka and Sterling being deployed as interiors.

Another advantage Chilwell provides is his delivery from set pieces and while Enzo Fernandez looks to be the priority set piece taker for the blues, James’ absence can lead to increased opportunities for Chilwell to whip crosses using his left foot.

Chilwell faces a great run with Games against West Ham, Luton Town and Nottingham Forest in the upcoming 3 Game-weeks, which provide Chelsea with a major chance to keep a clean sheet as well as Chilwell to get an attacking return given his advanced position under Poch.

Rico Henry(4.5M): Our next potential replacement for the injured Reece James is another Englishman and fullback, Rico Henry from Brentford. Rico Henry is a regular starter for Thomas Frank’s side as he managed to start for his side in 37 out of the possible 38 games in the season.

As one can see, he was amongst the top 3 for the most chances created in GW1 where he faced one of the tougher opponents in Tottenham Hotspur but still managed to bag an assist in a 2-2 draw against the North Londoners.

Thomas Frank’s 3 center back formation allows Henry to play up top quite a lot and the result of that can be seen as he bagged an assist in the first game-week. He had a high xGI of 0.74 in that game as well.

The upcoming Fixtures of Brentford increase their chances of managing to keep a clean sheet with games against the likes of Fulham, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth, which also allow him to have a single haul, potentially as all the above-mentioned sides conceded more than or equal to 50 goals in the Prem last season.

Josko Gvardiol (5.0M): Next up is Manchester City’s big summer signing, Josko Gvardiol brought in from German side, RB Leipzig for a reported fee of 90 million Euros. What makes him an attractive replacement for James is his scouting report and his player profile.

The fact that he can play as a Left back in a back 4 as he did against Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup final wherein he managed to commit zero fouls and had 3 key passes in the game, along with this he can also play in the double pivot of the 3-4-2-1 system that worked so well for City last season.

His scouting report showcases his strengths which are carrying the ball and progressive passes which are in the 82nd percentile along with his passes attempted, passes completed, passes into the final third and goals which are all in the 90th percentile or above making him a great pick at a modest price of 5.0M.

Emerson Royale(4.5M): Next up is Tottenham Hotspur Fullback Emerson Royale. One of the reasons why Emerson could prove to be a great pick is that he has a an exceptionally low selection rate of 1.6% amongst defenders in FPL.

While Emerson may face a dangerous Manchester United where the likelihood of keeping a clean sheet is quite low, Emerson could prove to be a great long term pick as he has fixtures against Bournemouth, Burnley and Sheffield United after the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

His goal against Brentford and an 8 point haul from a defenders point of view just goes to show how crucial he will be in liberating Postecoglou’s attack.

Ben White (5.5M): Ben white can p.rove to be a great replacement for James as he is in a similar price range to James. White did not have the best showing in Arsenal’s opening fixture against Nottingham Forest where Arsenal won, 2-1. White also got a yellow card, scoring only a single point.

White however has proved doubters wrong as he majorly outperformed his expectations last season playing as a full back, even though he primarily played As a CB during his time at Brighton. Injury to teammate Jurrien Timber, allows White to increase and guarantee his minutes. Against Crystal palace, he could be on for a haul.