Last week we highlighted a weakness down Chelsea’s left flank, which as expected, was exposed by one of our differential picks Matheus Pereira (£6.0m).
The Brazilian playmaker ended the Gameweek with an assist, while one of our other selections Chris Wood (£6.5m) found the back of the net, only for assistant referee Scott Ledger to have already flagged for offside.
This time, we’ve selected three differentials from Manchester City, Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur who we think have the potential to make a big impact.
As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 4.0%
- Price: £8.4m
- GW4-8 fixtures: lee | ARS | whu | shu | LIV
After his pre-season preparations were affected by a positive COVID-19 test, Riyad Mahrez (£8.4m) has now completed 90 minutes in three successive matches.
The Manchester City winger made his first appearance of the season in last Thursday’s 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Bournemouth, and followed it up with a 12-point haul against Leicester City in Gameweek 3. He only needed four minutes to open the scoring and also supplied an assist for Nathan Aké’s (£5.5m) second-half goal.
Interestingly, against Burnley in midweek, Mahrez took up positions on both flanks, and grew into the game showing quality to lay the ball on for Ferran Torres’ (£6.9m) goal.
When selected last season, Mahrez delivered. He ended the campaign with 11 goals and 14 fantasy assists, which highlights his points potential as both a goalscorer and creator.
Up next for Man City is a trip to Leeds United, in what is sure to be an intriguing tactical battle between Pep Guardiola and Marcelo Bielsa. Both coaches’ positive approaches tend to be non-negotiable, which suggests we could see an entertaining, open spectacle. That should leave plenty of space for both teams to exploit, and in particular Mahrez, who is excellent in transition.
It’s also worth noting Leeds have conceded 15 chances from their left flank this season, the highest total in the division from that side of the pitch, which was highlighted by Neale in this week’s Big Numbers article. That vulnerability in their system further heightens Mahrez’s appeal, who could be an explosive differential in Gameweek 4.
- FPL ownership: 1.7%
- Price: £6.0m
- GW4-8 fixtures: eve | cry | WBA | tot | BUR
Leandro Trossard (£6.0m) has started the season strongly, providing returns in each of the first two Gameweeks.
He should have had more too, having been denied by the woodwork on three separate occasions against Manchester United last weekend.
The statistics also suggest there is more to come. Amongst midfielders, only James Rodríguez (£7.7m) and Mohamed Salah (£12.1m) rank higher for expected assists (xA), while his eight shots and seven created chances highlight his growing importance to Albion’s attack.
Tactically, he is starting to take a more central role, linking with Neal Maupay (£6.5m) up front, which is a key reason behind those improving numbers.
Despite picking up just three points, the Seagulls have played some superb football so far this season and can consider themselves unlucky not to have come away with anything against Chelsea and Manchester United. However, those performances will give them confidence ahead of a testing trip to Goodison Park in Gameweek 4, with enticing games against Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Burnley to follow.
Last season, Trossard struggled with consistency both in terms of form and selection, but now he’s settled in at Brighton, is a key man there and you would expect him to improve. The early signs are certainly positive, with Albion boss Graham Potter, somewhat surprisingly, making minimal changes to his line-up so far in 2020/21. That’s great news for Trossard, who was hard to predict starts for last season.
All things considered, that makes the Belgian one of the most appealing options in the budget midfielder category, and an exciting differential for those willing to roll the dice.
- FPL ownership: 0.4%
- Price: £5.5m
- GW4-8 fixtures: mun | WHU | bur | BHA | wba
Tottenham Hotspur’s new signing Sergio Reguilón (£5.5m) is a player very much on the rise.
In the 2019/20 campaign, he caught the eye in La Liga and the Europa League, which he went on to win with Sevilla. Starting 29 league games, he established himself as the primary left-back ahead of Sergio Escudero, and performed well in metrics like expected assists (xA) and crosses.
Spurs’ midweek penalty win against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup saw Reguilón make his debut, and despite an error which led to the Blues opener, he looked lively, helping himself to an assist to set up Erik Lamela (£5.9m).
Going forward, you’d expect Jose Mourinho to settle on a 4-3-3 formation, but seeing as both Reguilón and Matt Doherty (£5.9m) are also comfortable playing as wing-backs, it opens up the possibility of moving to a 3-4-3, which would further heighten his appeal.
While some will suggest his selection in this column comes a week too early, Man Utd’s weakness down their right-flank comes into our thinking. Against Brighton, time and again Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.4m) was left exposed due to a lack of protection offered by teammate Mason Greenwood (7.4m). It resulted in the Red Devils giving up five chances and numerous shots from that zone, which is surely something Moutinho and his staff will look to exploit on Sunday.
Following Ben Davies’ (£5.0m) runout against Maccabi Haifa in the Europa League last night, we expect Reguilón to start at Old Trafford, where he will look to take advantage of those United weaknesses.