Chelsea are going to be a highly sought after club in Fantasy Premier League. This article will analyse their best players for FPL, how their system will play into this and how appealing their fixtures are to begin the Premier League season.
This will be done in two parts primarily looking at the system employed by the side from a tactical standpoint, followed by analysis of fixture’s (FDR) and concluding with the implications on certain assets as a result.
Since Thomas Tuchel took over Chelsea his stats have been mightily impressive. He won 11 of his 19 Premier League matches.
There is little evidence to suggest him and Chelsea won’t continue in the same vain. Consequently, the Champions League winners’ assets are already looking appealing.
As demonstrated last season Chelsea proved very difficult to score against, conceding just 13 goals, 14 big chances and 74 shots in the box (amounting to 11 clean sheets) since Thomas Tuchel’s appointment in Gameweek 20.
The question is can they replicate this defensive form this season, whilst bolstering their attack; and the simple answer is yes.
Jorginho and Kante
The Jorginho + N’golo Kante double pivot system is key to this, and with Jorginho finding the best form of his life this will simultaneously improve attacking assets. The “Regista” is often over criticised for their lack of defensive contributions to a side.
With that said their primarily role is to create. Just because they are deployed in a deeper role on the pitch shouldn’t and doesn’t deter them from this. The midfielders alongside, in this case N’golo Kante, are there to accommodate for this.
Why the system is so well suited from a defensive standpoint is the utility of the three centre-backs. Often a problem with a two man midfield, especially with a “Regista” is the space left in between the lines and especially the half spaces, where high quality players with good technical ability can continue to hurt you from, should they operate in a inside forward/ false 9 role.
However, employing three centre-backs allows at least one to be more aggressive and play with a higher line on this transition of play (improves the probability of recoveries from balls played in behind). For example, Kyle Walker is excellent at this on the right side of a three.
It is advantageous having an aggressive centre-back whilst having another two to cover. This is because not only does it limit the utility of the ball in behind but it also closes the window of opportunity for opposing players to operate freely in the half spaces.
Against the “lesser teams” they don’t have the quality nor does their manager set them up in a way for them to ever have a numerical advantage this high up the pitch. Rather the ball is often lost or recycled in a way it keeps finding the attacking team’s wingers.
There, lies another positive for Chelsea as creating from wide areas against a 3-4-3 is very difficult. This is due to the constant 2 on 1 scenario the opposing wide man will face themselves with.
Even an overlapping full-back makes less of a difference as they can use the additional central midfielder or the forward to track back creating a 3 on 2 situation in favour of the defence.
With Tuchel clearly having implemented defensive discipline in his side, similar results are to be expected for their defence. It might even improve (more time to implement his philosophies) and result in Chelsea being more robust when it comes to facing the bigger teams.
From an attacking standpoint they are less attractive in comparison naturally, but still present some value.
Who benefits from Tuchel’s system?
The wing-backs will be a huge source of creativity. Ben Chilwell on the left side especially finds himself coming inside quite often opening avenue’s for shots, hence goal scoring opportunities.
Reece James is capable of similar but often holds his width with the right forward staying slightly more central. Chilwell being quite dynamic in a wing back position (capability to tuck in and create from slightly more central positions due to range of pass) allows Chelsea to shift play quicker. As discussed below it’s highly effective in tangent with the free three.
When looking at the front three, the movement they possess (Kai Havertz and Timo Werner in particular) is their greatest asset and compliments the system beautifully. They don’t have a No. 10 behind them to create or even an attacking No. 8. Instead they create opportunities between and for themselves by brilliant usage of early runs to drag opposition defenders wide. They then use their highly technical ability to operate in the half spaces.
Gameweek 1 to 6
Whilst facing four of the traditional top 6 doesn’t sound particularly attractive certain players could present brilliant opportunity when taking a more long term perspective.
You want to minimise the amount of players you know you’re going to want to transfer out in the mid-near term future.
Furthermore, the fixtures aren’t as bad in the first six Gameweek’s as they look on paper. Liverpool and Manchester City are seemingly the most difficult fixtures which, of course, is far from ideal.
While Tottenham isn’t easy by any measure they could play into the Blue’s hands. Chelsea are a better side and if Nuno deploys a 3 back. As a result they could struggle to create against Chelsea.
In regards to Arsenal they don’t have the quality to sustain attacking pressure. Furthermore, they don’t possess a good enough press to dispossess Chelsea often enough in the transition.
I’d expect a minimum of three clean sheets from the first six games. The fixtures are difficult but Chelsea are arguably the best defensive outfit on the planet.
Gameweek 7 to 12
The next six fixtures spanning from Gameweek 7-12 are the predominant reason for acquiring their assets in Gameweek 1 and trusting them.
Chelsea don’t face a single side who finished in the top half of the table last side. This includes two promoted sides.
Southampton do have Danny Ings, one of the few players that can single-handedly create a goal scoring opportunity from nothing. Outside of him though, it doesn’t look like any particular indiviual is capable of hurting Chelsea by themselves.
Come the conclusion of Gameweek 12 it isn’t unreasonable to expect a Chelsea defensive asset in the top 5 out of all players.
The best players on paper for Chelsea in Fantasy Premier League for the 2021/22 season are Chilwell, Rudiger and Havertz.
Chilwell is their most picked player behind Mason Mount who finished as their top point scorer in 2020/21. Given Mount’s £7.5m price tag, in comparison with Havertz, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech, who are either as much or more, this is hardly is surprising.
Rudiger and Werner can be considered Chelsea’s best FPL differential picks selected by 6.6% and 6.5% of teams respectively.
Consequently, the best strategy I see in regards to Chelsea players is one defender from the start, then from Gameweek 7 acquire either one or two more assets.
Ben Chilwell (£6.0m)
The former Leicester man was Chelsea’s highest scoring defender last season. It should therefore come as no surprise he is their highest picked defender as of writing.
He appears to be the most likely to “haul” of all defenders and looks certain to start. Should he remain present throughout the season, he could even compete with Trent Alexander Arnold for overall points.
Chilwell appears to be the best player to pick from the start because with difficult fixtures you want the potential of attacking returns. This means he has a higher ceiling and you don’t have to rely on the clean sheet.
Antonio Rudiger (£5.5m) and Kai Havertz (£8.5m)
Neither are appealing, at least from the start. However, following the start of Gameweek 7 both look viable options. Rudiger is the most secure of the three centre-backs as he has the least risk of rotation and has a goal in him from a set piece.
Meanwhile, Havertz, had a breakout season following a strong end to the campaign and EURO 2020. If he is deployed in a false 9 role in particular the positions he will find himself in (largely in the box), as a result of his movement could lead to goals galore.
Additionally, keep an eye on Timo Werner (£9.0m) in the opening fixtures. He could be an option against the “lesser” sides.
Chelsea Set Piece Takers
|Team||Penalty Takers||Free Kick Takers|
|Chelsea||Jorginho, Mount, Werner||Mount, Chilwell, James|
Jorginho will be expected to take Chelsea’s penalties. He scored 9 of his 12 last season (75%) and scored 6 of 6 the previous season.
Mount was the second to last player to score a penalty for Chelsea, although he has only taken one in his entire career.
It may be Werner who is second in line though, having scored 3 of his 4 during his time at Chelsea.
Chelsea have only scored one free kick (in the Premier League) in the last two seasons. That was from Mount in 2019/20.
He will be favourite to take their next one but crossing specialists, Chilwell and James, will likely be involved.
You can find a full list of FPL set piece takers here.
Chelsea’s corner kick takers vary between Mount, Chilwell and James.