FPL tips: The 5 defenders elite managers couldn’t live without in GW32

As most FPL coaches will already know, defenders are back in fashion this season, with top players offering potential for points at both ends of the field.

But which PL advocates are the toast of the FPL elite?

By analyzing the moves of a pool of 1,000 trainers with multiple top 10,000 finishes, we can see how the top bosses prepared for Game Week 32.

These were the best defenders among them before the weekend.

A chart showing the most owned defenders among elite FPL managers in game week 32

Trent Alexander Arnold

Manchester City's Jack Grealish (left) and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.  Picture date: Sunday April 10, 2022

(Martin Rickett/PA)

The Liverpool right-back is the third most scoring FPL player this season with 191 points, behind only his teammate. Mohammed Salah and the one from Tottenham Son Heung-min.

Alexander-Arnold was backed by more than 70 per cent of our sample in GW32 despite his team’s title clash with Manchester City.

The £8.4m Englishman is ranked first for Creativity among defenders and second for Threat, and recorded an assist and four FPL points during the Reds’ 2-2 draw with City.

Alexander-Arnold now has two goals, 12 FPL assists and 16 clean sheets this term, while none of Liverpool’s remaining league games are rated higher than three out of five according to the FPL match difficulty rating system. .

matt doherty

Tottenham Hotspur's Matt Doherty warms up before the Emirates FA Cup fifth round match at the Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough.  Picture date: Tuesday March 1, 2022

(Mike Egerton/PA)

Fighting for a place in the Champions League rather than the title, Doherty’s popularity with the elite reached 66.8 per cent before Tottenham’s trip to Aston Villa.

The £4.9m winger recorded two goals, four assists and three clean sheets in the six games leading up to GW32, returning 55 FPL points in that time.

However, he only managed 20 minutes of his team’s 4-0 win against Villa, scoring a point and missing out on a potential big scoreline.

With the Spurs’ next three games rated two out of five by the Fixture Difficulty Rating system, Doherty could sit out because of a hit.

Joao Cancelo

Manchester City's Joao Cancelo during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester.  Picture date: Saturday February 19, 2022

(Mike Egerton/PA)

Liverpool’s title rivals Manchester City boast their own in-demand full-back, with Cancelo backed by over 44 per cent of our top manager sample in GW32.

The Portuguese returned five points against Liverpool thanks to an assist, raising his season total to one goal, nine assists and 16 clean sheets.

Ranked first for Threat Among Defenders and third for Creativity, Cancelo also has the most minutes of any outfield player in Pep Guardiola’s side, having missed just two league games this season.

Meanwhile, City’s remaining matches are rated no more than three out of five in the FPL’s match difficulty rating system. Will the £7m defender get a say in where the title goes?

anthony rudiger

Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger during their UEFA Champions League round of sixteen first leg match at Stamford Bridge, London.  Picture date: Tuesday February 22, 2022

(John Walton/PA)

Third-placed Chelsea boasted the fourth most popular defender among our elite managers in GW32, with Rudiger backed by more than a third of them.

Like Cancelo, Rudiger has missed just two league games this season, while he is the FPL’s second-highest points scorer at Stamford Bridge with 131 points.

Ranked fourth for Threat among defenders, the 29-year-old has three goals and three assists this term, and added a further six points thanks to his 13th clean sheet of the season against Southampton in GW32.

Chelsea, meanwhile, can look forward to consecutive double weeks of play in GW36 and GW37, and their form is solid, having scored 15 goals in their last five, with four wins in that period.

andy robertson

Liverpool's Andrew Robertson during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.  Picture date: Wednesday March 16, 2022

(John Walton/PA)

Coming in at number five among our top management sample is Scotland captain Robertson, whose elite ownership clocked in at 33.6 per cent in GW32.

Robertson is a more profitable option than Alexander-Arnold, worth £7.3m, while ranking second for Creativity among defenders behind his club colleague.

Meanwhile, the left back’s form is something to marvel at, with six assists, eight clean sheets and 79 FPL points in his nine appearances ahead of GW32.

However, a yellow card and two goals conceded against City meant that Robertson returned zero points at the weekend.