It is Gameweek 8 in Fantasy Premier League and ahead of our second international break of the season, we’re back with three more differentials for you to consider.
This time, we’ve selected assets from West Ham United, Southampton and Chelsea who we think have the potential to make an impact.
As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 1.5%
- Price: £6.4m
- GW8-12 fixtures: FUL | shu | AVL | MUN | lee
After a challenging first season in East London, Pablo Fornals (£6.4m) has emerged as one of West Ham United’s standout performers in recent weeks.
The Spanish midfielder is beginning to show the level of performance many fans expected upon signing from Villarreal, with two goals and three assists so far this season. It could have been more too, having hit the woodwork against Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
One reason behind his improved form is David Moyes’ 5-4-1 setup, which has enabled the 24-year-old to occupy a more central role. Regularly drifting inside from the left-flank, which in turn creates space for Aaron Cresswell (£5.1m) and Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m), he often finds himself in the half-space where he is at his best. Fornals’ defensive work is also an underrated part of his game, which will ensure new signing Saïd Benrahma (£6.0m) faces a tough task to dislodge him from the team.
Despite a testing fixture list that has seen the Hammers take on six of last season’s top-eight in their opening seven matches, only seven midfielders have registered more shots in the box than Fornals, while his expected goal (xG) total also ranks in the top 10.
West Ham now sit 14th in the Premier League with eight points and a positive goal difference. Next up is Fulham and Sheffield United, and there is optimism that they can build on their start and now start climbing the table.
Available for just £6.4m, Fornals is coming into form just as West Ham’s fixtures ease, and could be an effective differential for Gameweek 8 and beyond.
- FPL ownership: 3.0%
- Price: £5.8m
- GW8-12 fixtures: NEW | wol | MUN | bha | SHU
With Danny Ings (£8.4m) facing up to six weeks on the sidelines following knee surgery, the onus is on Che Adams (£5.8m) to step up and take on the scoring responsibility.
Adams had to wait a while for his first Southampton goal, but has since repaid the faith shown to him by his manager with six goals in 15 Premier League appearances since the restart.
This season alone, the Saints forward has registered 13 shots, with 12 of those efforts arriving in the box. He also ranks joint-fourth amongst forwards for chances created which has led to three assists.
Those numbers suggest he could carry the burden up front, but it is still unclear who will partner him in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s 4-4-2. Shane Long (£5.2m) or Michael Obafemi (£4.7m) may provide cover, but it could be that Theo Walcott (£5.8m) is deployed in an advanced role.
Southampton sit fifth in the Premier League having won four of their seven games, knowing a win against Newcastle United later on will see them go to the top of the table. Bearing in mind how inconsistent the Magpies have been this term, the Saints will head into the game with confidence that they can get the job done, and if they are to do that, there is a good chance Adams will be involved.
- FPL ownership: 4.8%
- Price: £6.8m
- GW8-12 fixtures: SHU | new | TOT | LEE | eve
Mason Mount (£6.8m) may get less love than some of his more popular teammates, but the 21-year-old has a huge influence on the way Chelsea play.
The England international was excellent during the Blues’ 3-0 win over Burnley last weekend, which coincided with Frank Lampard moving to a 4-3-3 formation. N’Golo Kanté (£4.9m) screened the back four, with Kai Havertz (£8.4m) and Mount playing either side of him in the no. 8 roles.
It enabled them to completely dominate midfield with 64% possession, while Mount led the team for shots and chances created, as well as having more touches in the opposition half than any other player.
It is also worth noting that he took all of Chelsea’s corners at Turf Moor, despite Hakim Ziyech (£8.0m) and Ben Chilwell (£5.9m) being on the pitch, one of which resulted in Kurt Zouma (£5.3m) heading home.
Ominously for Saturday’s opponents Sheffield United, Chelsea are starting to click. Rennes, Burnley and Krasnodar have all recently been dispatched, 10 goals scored without reply.
Rotation at clubs involved in European competition is always a concern, but with Mount’s positional flexibility and pressing ability, he could be one of the ‘safer’ routes into Chelsea’s midfield and should not be overlooked.
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