The Premier League's 2021-22 season isn't far off, and we're sure you've been scratching your head trying to put together the perfect team for your Fantasy Premier League for quite some time now.
Setting up the perfect defense for your team is hard enough considering the options currently available. But with the transfer window still open, and players moving in and out, your task becomes significantly harder.
We've put together a list of 10 defenders you can pick for your team, but we've also done you one better and divided the list between five premium options and five budget options. Go forth and pick your best defensive lineup ahead of the new season.
Five Best Premium Defensive Options
10. Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool | £7.5m
Alexander-Arnold has been a key figure in Jurgen Klopp's side and has been one of the best FPL assets to own over the last couple of seasons. He finished last season with 160 points, scoring four goals, and provided 13 assists. No other defender had more goal attempts than the Liverpool defender, who finished as the second-best defender in the league, behind teammate Andrew Robertson, who scored 161 points.
9. Cesar Azpilicueta | Chelsea | £6m
The Blues skipper has been one of the most consistent performers in FPL, averaging a total of 134 points per season. There's a reason why the Spaniard is priced this high, and while he might take a significant chunk out of your budget, he is a reliable addition to your team.
8. Ben Chilwell | Chelsea | £6m
The left-back was a top 10 defender in FPL last season, scoring 139 points. He contributed to Chelsea's campaign with three goals, six assists, and 12 clean sheets. Chilwell featured for England at Euro 2020 this summer, and will play an important role in the Blues' campaign next season.
7. Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool | £6.5m
Van Dijk missed a huge chunk of Liverpool's season last term, but he still remains as one of the top FPL defenders to consider. The Netherlands captain is a constant threat from set-pieces and will be expected to bolster Klopp's defence as they look to regain their Premier League crown.
6. Ruben Dias | Man City | £6m
The Manchester City defender was last season's Football Writers' Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Year, and Manchester City's Player of the Year. Needless to say, Dias must be a part of your defensive backline for the new campaign. He regularly picked up bonus points as he helped Pep Guardiola's side to 17 clean sheets on the way to the title.
Five Best Budget Defensive Options
5. Lewis Dunk | Brighton | £5m
Dunk was the highest-scoring defender in the league last season, along with Chelsea's Kurt Zouma. The Brighton skipper contributed with five goals, helping his side avoid relegation, and picked up 130 FPL points in the process.
4. Luke Shaw | Man United | £5.5m
Shaw scored 124 points in FPL last season, and has been a key cog in Ole Gunnar's Solskjaer's defence. He helped the Red Devils to 10 clean sheets, and contributed with five assists and a goal.
3. Aaron Cresswell | West Ham | £5.5m
Cresswell had more assists (11) than any other defender in 2020-21, setting up 11 goals for the Hammers last campaign. He also finished as the third-highest scoring defender in the game behind only Trent Alexander Arnold (£7.5m) and Andrew Robertson (£7.0m).
2. Lucas Digne | Everton | £5.5m
Digne helped Everton keep 12 clean sheets last season, and registered an impressive nine assists, which was the second-highest in the league. Digne has never scored lower than 120 points in the three seasons he has played in the Premier League, and is certainly an option to be considered ahead of the new season.
1. John Stones | Man City | £5.5m
Stones missed 16 of City's games last term, but managed to end the season on a high, with four goals and a Premier League winners medal to his name. Stones' FPL score was 128 - higher than the likes of Digne and Shaw among others.