It’s that time of the week again when we present the cases of three Fantasy Premier League differentials who are all owned by fewer than 3% of FPL bosses.
A much-maligned striker going through a purple patch in front of goal and two midfield gambles are our choices this week, with explanations detailed in the article below.
Alvaro Morata (£8.7m)
FPL ownership: 2.7%
Perhaps the most obvious differential pick for Gameweek 11, the in-form Chelsea striker looks set to return to the Blues’ starting XI for the visit of Everton after being rested in midweek for the Europa League tie against BATE Borisov.
Morata seems to have nailed down a starting spot in the Premier League in the short-term at least, having started the last three fixtures for Maurizio Sarri’s side in the top flight.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£10.9m) is the only FPL forward who has scored more goals than Morata (four) over the last four Gameweeks, while the Spanish striker has had more shots on target than any player in his position during this period.
No FPL forward has registered more big chances than Morata during the last four rounds of Premier League matches.
Chelsea as a club have also had more attempts on goal and big chances than any other Premier League side from Gameweek 8 onwards.
In Eden Hazard (£11.3m) and Willian (£7.4m), the Blues possess two of the statistically most creative midfielders in the Premier League this season – which could bode well for Morata’s rate of chances against the Toffees.
Marcos Alonso (£7.0m), meanwhile, has already registered as many assists in 2018/19 (seven) as any FPL defender did in the whole of last season.
Everton are one of five Premier League clubs yet to record a clean sheet on the road this season and only three other teams in the division have allowed more big chances than Marco Silva’s troops away from home.
Chelsea also welcome a leaky Fulham side to Stamford Bridge in Gameweek 14, for any FPL manager looking further ahead.
Xherdan Shaqiri (£7.0m)
FPL ownership: 2.3%
With James Maddison (£6.9m) ruled out of Gameweek 11 with a knee injury and a mid-price midfield spot up for grabs in many FPL squads in the Leicester City midfielder’s absence, Shaqiri potentially fits the bill as a short-term gamble.
For those Fantasy managers who have the rare luxury of a settled squad, perhaps two free transfers and few fires to put out elsewhere, Shaqiri could be an intriguing, one-week punt who could then be moved on in Gameweek 13, possibly for someone like Anthony Martial (£7.5m).
Those FPL bosses still sitting on their Wildcards and planning to use that chip in the coming weeks also have the fall-back of knowing that Shaqiri could be easily dispensed with without their squads suffering any long-term damage from such a nonconformist gamble.
The reason Shaqiri has entered out thinking for Gameweek 11 is that the Swiss midfielder wasn’t risked for the trip to Belgrade on Tuesday for personal/political reasons and offers Jurgen Klopp fresh legs in one of the attacking midfield positions.
It needn’t take the benching of Mohamed Salah (£13.0m), Roberto Firmino (£9.2m) or Sadio Mane (£9.8m) for Shaqiri to feature, either, as Klopp has rolled out a 4-2-3-1 formation for the Reds’ last two home fixtures against Red Star and Cardiff City.
Adam Lallana (£6.9m) would seem unlikely to feature in one of those positions as he did against the Bluebirds, having flattered to deceive against the Serbian side in midweek.
Shaqiri has delivered three assists in his two league starts for Liverpool this season and came off the bench to score against Neil Warnock’s side in Gameweek 10.
The former Stoke City player also has the best chance creation rate among his Liverpool midfield colleagues in 2018/19 and has a better minutes-per-shot average than Mane.
Liverpool’s opposition needs little introduction, meanwhile, with Fulham having conceded more goals than any other Premier League side this campaign. The Cottagers are also the only club in the top flight yet to keep a clean sheet.
Demarai Gray (£5.4m)
FPL ownership: 1.1%
Facing the Premier League’s leakiest defences in Burnley and Fulham in the next four Gameweeks either side of encounters with Brighton and Watford, Gray is a candidate for those FPL managers who want a Leicester asset for the visit of Sean Dyche’s porous Clarets this weekend.
With Maddison out, Gray’s place in the starting XI looks secure in the short-term – particularly after his goal against Cardiff last weekend.
Daniel Amartey‘s (£4.4m) injury may also aid Gray’s security of starts, with Ricardo Pereira (£5.0m) now seemingly no longer an option in midfield with his services needed at right-back.
Gray has the ability to play wide left as he did against Cardiff last weekend or, perhaps less likely, through the middle – possibly in behind Jamie Vardy (£9.0m) in Maddison’s absence – as he demonstrated against Liverpool in Gameweek 4.
Marc Albrighton (£5.2m) has the edge over Gray creatively and could stand to benefit from Maddison’s absence at set-piece situations, but Gray offers the bigger goal threat, averaging a shot on goal more often than Albrighton this season.
More impressive is his penalty box touch count – Gray has racked up more of those than any Leicester midfielder this season (including Maddison) by some distance and the same number that Ryan Fraser (£6.1m) has managed despite playing almost 400 fewer minutes than the Bournemouth winger.
Burnley, Fulham and Brighton have conceded more shots in the box than the other 17 Premier League sides this season.
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