For Fantasy Premier League managers, the Champions League and Europa League games can come as a mixed bag, as a player can gain good form or sustain an injury that could force you to quickly find a replacement. And however obvious that may be, no one could have predicted the horrific injury to Manchester United star Luke Shaw.
The defender will be out for the majority if not the entire season, and we wish him the best of luck on the road to full recovery.
But now we have the unfortunate duty of replacing the consistent left-back in our crowd-sourced Fantasy Football Team, and we will be giving you five options that you can vote for below!
Here are FIVE Defenders that can replace Luke Shaw in our Fantasy Football Team with an extra £1.0m in the bank!
The most obvious choice would be an almost like-for-like swap for Manchester United team-mate Matteo Darmian. The Italy international costs the same as Shaw (5.7m) and operates in a similar manner on the opposite flank.
Darmian does however have the tendency to pick up more yellow cards (with three already) than the English full-back, yet he is a guaranteed starter in Louis van Gaal’s back-line.
But with United’s fixtures set to get trickier, it may be best to avoid bringing in a Red Devils defender for now with games against Southampton (Away), Sunderland (Home), Arsenal (Away), Everton (Away), and Man City (Home), coming up in the next five. Only the home game against the Black Cats offers a great chance of a clean sheet.
If you do not have a Manchester City defender already in your squad, then it’s almost impossible to not consider Aleksandar Kolorav despite his hefty 5.9 price tag.
The Serbia international left-back is the highest scoring defender in the Fantasy Premier League game, scoring one goal and keeping five clean sheets while amassing an incredible 10 bonus points for his attacking forays, meaning he can produce on both ends of the pitch.
Many may consider Bacary Sagna as a cheaper and adequate alternative (5.1m), but with first-choice Pablo Zabaleta (5.9m) set to recover from injury soon, the Frenchman’s position may be under threat.
West Ham United seem to have finally stabled their inconsistent ship after their 2-0 home win over Newcastle United on Monday, and although Dimitri Payet took the plaudits with two goals, the Hammers also recorded a nice clean sheet for their defenders.
The pick of the bunch is undoubtedly attacking left-back Aaron Cresswell (5.5m), who has amassed 28 points in five games and has the potential to give you attacking returns with two assists already to his name.
Cresswell will come in 0.2m points cheaper than Shaw and apart from their next game against Manchester City at the Etihad, the schedule is set to get kinder for the marauding left-back and the Irons, with Norwich (Home), Sunderland (Away), Crystal Palace (Away) coming after the City clash.
Craig Dawson (5.0m) is an option based purely on the fact that West Bromwich Albion are being managed by defensive master Tony Pulis, who has already guided his side to three clean sheets in the space of five games (with the two games they’ve leaked goals against Manchester City and Chelsea).
And it looks like there will be more shut-outs in the upcoming gameweeks as the Baggies face Aston Villa (away), Everton (Home), Crystal Palace (Away), Sunderland (Home), and Norwich (Away) in their next five games.
We could very well also pick Gareth McAuley (5.0m) at the same price as Dawson, but although we want Jonny Evans (4.8), the former Manchester United ace is currently carrying a knock and we have no intention of risking it.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Eric Dier (5.0m) is an interesting proposition to replace Luke Shaw in our Fantasy Team after the youngster already collected 23 points in his first five games.
What makes Dier an attractive option is that the 21-year-old is currently being deployed in an out-of-position defensive midfield role for manager Mauricio Pochettino, increasing his chances of attacking returns.
Dier also had a man-of-the-match performance against Sunderland that earned him three bonus points, and Spurs don’t concede many goals after shipping just four in their first five games. The Lilywhites have three home games in their next four, although Manchester City visit them in gameweek seven.