As we draw closer to the halfway point of the season, it becomes more common to see Fantasy Premier League teams that look similar in their core player composition.
This makes it harder for many to make up ground in their respective mini-leagues.
Therefore, especially when there is a short fixture turnaround time, there’s a need to identify viable differentials that can give you that edge against your mini-league rivals. Here’s three that may be of interest to you…
With Mourinho’s high profile exit from Old Trafford earlier this week, an opportunity has arisen for their current crop of first-team players to prove their worth and make a good impression on their new caretaker manager.
No doubt some Fantasy managers will be looking to Paul Pogba as someone that is most keen to make an instant impact.
However, he isn’t the only one. Look no further than Jesse Lingard (£6.7m) as a budget option with that recent form to boot, as demonstrated with two goals in his last three league games.
Lingard has played more minutes in his last league three matches (233) than he has done in his previous six games combined.
His injury issues from earlier this season seem to be behind him for now and he is an integral member of Manchester United’s first team squad.
Lingard is capable of attacking centrally, as well as on both flanks, which validates his dynamism.
I expect him to be an initial first-team pick under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, even if substituted off before the end of each match as was often the case under Mourinho’s tenure.
Finally, his good run of upcoming fixtures also further supports his status as a viable differential option – Cardiff (away), Huddersfield (home), Bournemouth (home), Newcastle (away).
Despite not being able to start a number of matches earlier this season, it’s still somewhat surprising to think that a player of Dele Alli’s (£8.9m) pedigree is owned by less than 5% of FPL managers.
He has been a Fantasy football stalwart in the last three seasons, having registered 37 league goals and 36 assists.
Not all of Tottenham’s key players have been fully fit at the same time this season, including Alli. It goes without saying that he, Eriksen and Kane complement each other and Tottenham are at their strongest when they are fully fit and playing regularly in the first team, which seems to be the case now.
Even if Alli hasn’t matched his number of goals and assists at this stage from last season, he still remains a threat with 416 touches in the opposition half, of which 249 have been in the final third.
He will certainly ask serious questions of Everton, Bournemouth, Wolves and Cardiff’s defences during the next four games.
His goal against Arsenal in the EFL Cup earlier this week was a positive indication that he is still capable of getting attacking returns.
Going forward, I expect Tottenham to win more comfortably as opposed to grinding out victories with Alli greatly improving his FPL score.
With all of that said, any potential punters will have to be wary of rotation.
Tottenham fielded a strong team earlier this week during the EFL Cup tie against Arsenal, with Alli playing 90 minutes. I think his minutes will be managed over Christmas to some degree even if it simply means starting but not playing ninety minutes.
You may be forgiven to think that Felipe Anderson is West Ham’s stand out attacking player at this moment in time, but in some ways, he’s quietly being outdone by his team-mate who has a lower price and is owned by far fewer FPL managers.
Robert Snodgrass (£5.4m) has rolled back the years and reminded us what he is capable of.
He has registered two goals and three assists in his last four games and has in fact scored five more FPL points than Anderson during the same period. It’s no wonder he has featured in our Scout Picks over the last month.
Admittedly, Snodgrass’ lack of touches in the penalty box this season is a bit of a concern (24 from 994 minutes played) and you probably wouldn’t consider him if you already have Anderson.
However, I fully expect him to remain an attacking threat in his next four games – Watford (home). Southampton (away), Burnley (away) and Brighton (home).
He’s definitely worth considering as a fourth or fifth midfielder option for the festive period. With Andriy Yarmolenko out injured for the long-term and Grady Diangana clearly not ready for regular football, the Scottish international should feature heavily between now and the new year.
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