The best FPL defenders for a Gameweek 33 Free Hit

Seven Premier League teams will play twice in Double Gameweek 33 and we’ll be running down a position-by-position guide to the pick of the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) options in each position, whether you’re using a Free Hit or even just free transfers.

Over a third of the site readers polled in our sidebar vote said they are planning to activate their Free Hit this week, comfortably making it the most popular chip option.

The best FPL goalkeepers for a Gameweek 33 Free Hit 2

You can read a rundown of the stand-out balls here.

All stats from this article are from our Premium Members Area.


The best FPL defenders for a Gameweek 33 Free Hit 1
The best FPL gamepads for a Gameweek 33 Free Hit 1

Fabian Schar (£4.4m) has re-found his form since the arrival of Eddie Howe and has formed a solid partnership with January signing Dan Burn (£4.4m).

The 30-year-old, who was rarely trusted by either Rafa Benitez or Steve Bruce, has amassed 58 points in 12 outings since the turn of the year, thanks to two goals, one assist, four clean sheets and seven bonus points.

It’s also worth noting that Schar’s 12 goal attempts over the last eight Gameweeks can’t be beaten by any defender, with seven of those arriving efforts in the box.

Newcastle United’s ‘double’ is arguably the pick of those in Gameweek 33, as they are on home soil in both games and face opponents who will be in cup action just three days before they head to Tyneside. Only four goals have been conceded by Eddie Howe’s troops in their last six home matches, highlighting the defensive improvements made under the new boss, while it’s also worth noting that Leicester City and Crystal Palace are both at the wrong end of the table for set- piece goals conceded this season.

Matt Target (£4.7m) is an alternative – and slightly pricier – option at the back and does have a share of corner-taking duties.


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With Kieran Tierney (£5.0m) injured, Gabriel Magalhaes (£5.4m) is the standout option from Arsenal’s backline.

The Gunners have had a solid defense for much of this season, although they are faltering at the wrong time, both for their Champions League push and in FPL.

On Saturday, Mikel Arteta’s side went down 2-1 at home to Brighton and Hove Albion – their second defeat in a row – five days after being humbled 3-0 at Crystal Palace in Gameweek 31. It means Arsenal have now lost three of their last four matches in the Premier League, as they struggle to cope with key injuries.

Luckily for the Gunners, it’s Southampton up first in Gameweek 33 – and they seem like the perfect opposition for rediscovering form.

Gabriel has had a solid season for Arsenal and has started every game since Gameweek 4. In that time, he has managed three goals, 13 clean sheets and 13 bonus points, while Ben White (£4.6m) Cedric Soares (£4.2m) are cheaper options at the back if your budget won’t stretch to the Brazilian.


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There’s not much more we can say to you about Joao Cancelo (£7.0m), who averages more points per match (6.0) than any other player or forward in FPL bar Mohamed Salah (£13.2m), Son Heung-min (£11.1m) Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m).

With 10 attacking returns and 16 clean sheets to his name in 29 Premier League appearances, the Portuguese should comfortably hit the 200-point mark by the time the 2021/22 season draws to a close.

He’s also, remarkably for a defender, 14th among outfield players for attempts – only one of which has been converted, admittedly – ​​in the current campaign.

Manchester City aren’t actually ‘doubling’ in Gameweek 33, but given that opponents Brighton have managed only three goals in their last eight outings, Cancelo has the potential to outscore any defender playing twice.


After Saturday’s loss at Everton, faith in Manchester United assets is perhaps at an all-time low.

As Opta pointed out, Ralf Rangnick has the worst Premier League win ratio of any United manager, with just eight from 17 games (47%).

As a result, Norwich City – and not United themselves – are the biggest pull for Alex Telles (£5.0m), who is a differential shout given that Luke Shaw (£5.0m) is injured.

The Brazilian looked a bit shaky at the back at Goodison Park last weekend but did create two good chances in the final-third, while it’s also worth noting that the Canaries have conceded more crosses from their right flank than any other side this season.

Questions will understandably be raised over United’s underperforming defence, and admittedly an away match at Liverpool doesn’t offer much hope of returns, but they have allowed just 18 goals in 17 Premier League matches under Rangnick – including five clean sheets.


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Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.4m), Andrew Robertson (£7.3m), Rece James (£6.3m) Antonio Rudiger (£6.2m) are all on home soil in Gameweek 33, but there is perhaps a bit of hesitation about selecting them on a Free Hit. It’s not the lack of a ‘double’, so much as their involvement in cup ties before we even get to their Gameweek 33 fixtures. Their FA Cup semi-finals, for instance, all take place after Saturday’s FPL deadline has passed, so we can’t react to the latest line-ups and any fresh injuries as we try to second-guess what their managers are thinking. Still, their seasonal performances suggest they should at least be in the Free Hit conversation, although there are arguably better options elsewhere this time round.

Tottenham Hotspur, meanwhile, are in a rich vein of form, winning six of their last seven Premier League matches, which suggests Gameweek 33 Free Hitters who are stacking their team exclusively full of ‘doublers’ might want to think twice. The confirmation has yet to come from Spurs but Matt Doherty (£4.9m) looks set to miss the rest of the season with the knee injury that he picked up on Saturday’s win over Aston Villa. As a result, Emerson Royal (£4.5m) is Antonio Conte’s only recognised right wing-back, and as mentioned above, Brighton have managed just three goals in their last eight matches.

Leicester’s double ranks high up on the Season Ticker, although they have two away games and both Newcastle and Everton have been performing better on home turf. Rotation risk is the biggest concern with the Foxes due to their continued involvement in Europe, as highlighted on Sunday, with only four players retaining their places in the XI. For those willing to risk it, full-backs James Justin (£4.9m) Timothy Castagne (£5.3m) carry the most potential, and if either were to be handed a rest on Thursday, it would certainly boost their appeal.

You’d be hard-pressed to make a case for any Southampton or Burnley defenders in a Gameweek 33 Free Hit XI, given their respective performances in the latest round. The Saints, for example, squeezed in their annual pasting-to-nil on Saturday, while Burnley are on the division’s longest run without a clean sheet. As a result, the likes of Jan Bednarek (£4.4m), Tino Livramento (£4.3m) Charlie Taylor (£4.4m) haven’t given us much recent reason to invest, but they are cheap and could perhaps feature on a few Free Hit benches.


Rate my Team (RMT) is a tool designed to give you an approximation of how many FPL points your team will score over a series of Gameweeks.

Our points projections show algorithm-generated predictions for every FPL player both this Gameweek and in future ones.

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