Spot the Differential

Signing Cancelo a week before fixture swing can give FPL owners the edge

Fantasy Premier League managers could turn to Manchester City, Aston Villa or Crystal Palace to replace their Liverpool defenders for Gameweek 9.

Key members of the Reds’ back-line leave teams in their droves following the international break, so we have used this week’s Differential column to identify three exciting replacements; all of whom we think have the ability to deliver points at both ends of the pitch over the forthcoming weeks.

As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.

João Cancelo

Cancelo stars for City as Sheff Utd's weak right-side bodes well for Chelsea
  • FPL ownership: 2.4%
  • Price: £5.4m
  • GW9-13 fixtures: tot | BUR | FUL | mun | WBA

João Cancelo (£5.4m) endured a tough first season in England, but is now starting to shine.

Since making his first Premier League start of the campaign in Gameweek 5, the Portugal international has amassed 24 FPL points, averaging six per game. In that time, he has registered two clean sheets and, despite only providing one assist, has created more chances than any defender in the entire division.

Having performed as a right full-back in his first appearance against Arsenal, he has since been deployed on the left in Benjamin Mendy’s (£5.9m) absence. It remains to be seen what will happen when the Frenchman returns from injury, but given Cancelo’s excellent form, it is hard to see an immediate route back into the team.

Since losing 5-2 to Leicester City back in September, Manchester City have conceded just four goals in nine games in all competitions, keeping five clean sheets. While many FPL managers will be looking at Gameweek 10 as the optimum time to invest in their backline, there could be value in going a week early, given Matt Doherty’s (£5.8m) positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test, and the fact most of Tottenham Hotspur’s chances tend to be conceded from their right-side.

Manchester City’s left-back problem has been a theme throughout Pep Guardiola’s time at the club, but the recent form of Cancelo has perhaps provided a solution. Consistency will now be the key to retaining his place, but if he can do that, it’s hard to envisage him being a differential too much longer. 

Matt Targett

  • FPL ownership: 2.4%
  • Price: £4.5m
  • GW9-13 fixtures: BHA | whu | NEW | wol | BUR

Matt Targett (£4.5m) has been a solid performer for Aston Villa since joining from Southampton in 2019, making the left-back spot his own.

A product of the Saints academy, he has played a key role in a defence that has already kept four clean sheets in seven attempts this season, and perhaps doesn’t get the praise his performances often deserve.

The Englishman is yet to miss a single minute of league action so far, and with Jack Grealish (£7.5m) regularly drifting infield in front of him, plenty of space often opens up for him to attack. He’s got a good delivery too, which he showed in flashes against Arsenal last time out, when he provided the cross that was turned in by Bukayo Saka (£5.3m) for Villa’s first goal in their 3-0 win.

Interestingly, the 25-year-old scored his first goal for the club when he netted an injury time winner against this weekend’s opponents, Brighton and Hove Albion, back in October 2019.

This time, with Tariq Lamptey (£4.8m) likely to surge forward for Albion and support their attack, Targett could have his hands full defensively on Saturday, but at the same time, gaps could appear if space is left in behind. That has certainly been the case so far this season, with the Seagulls giving up 17 of their 42 chances down their right-flank, compared to just nine from the left. 

Still priced at just £4.5m, Targett offers the cheapest route into Villa’s defence, and could be a solid set and forget option given their appealing fixtures.

Patrick van Aanholt

  • FPL ownership: 0.7%
  • Price: £5.4m
  • GW9-13 fixtures: bur | NEW | wba | TOT | whu

Having just returned from a long-term injury, Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) looked back to his best against Leeds United before the international break.

The Dutchman supplied an assist and carried plenty of goal threat, registering three shots in the box. Determined to get forward at every opportunity, his attacking runs created space for Eberechi Eze (£5.8m) and Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) to thrive and gave them a cutting edge which has been missing without him in the team.

In his absence, Tyrick Mitchell (£4.1m) has impressed, but it was evident against Leeds just how much they’ve missed the 30-year-olds attacking nature, which leads us to think he’ll retain his place in the starting XI come Monday.

Despite often struggling in attack, Crystal Palace have had a bright start to the season. They sit eighth in the table, and looking at the run of games coming up, they have the potential to pick up points given the struggles of goal-shy Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, and to a slightly lesser extent Newcastle United.

In Gameweek 8 there were signs of progress. The expectation now is that results should pick up, and with the possibility of goals and clean sheets, at least in the short term, van Aanholt could be a nice pick-up for those in search of a differential currently owned by just 0.7% of FPL managers. 

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1,986 Comments Post a Comment
  1. wilson007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 8 days ago

    For a Defence of Robbo, Chilwell, Cancelo, with a 3.9 always benched, would you choose Kilman or Lewis as the 4.3 (to also be benched)?

    1. Bobby_Baggio
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Kilman

    2. DK_13
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Wouldn't be comfortable with that bench in December. Would stretch to a 4.5 defender atleast

      1. DK_13
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Because cancelo won't play all the games and that's not something you can plan for before the deadline. So the 4.5 defender becomes all the more important apart from the December fixture congestion for other players

    3. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      If you are sure about Kilman's game time, Kilman. Otherwise Lewis

    4. wilson007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Cheers guys, yeah I mean I'd say Lewis is effectively a 4.5 cause he is nailed. But Wolves are obviously much stronger defensively.

  2. Saka_me_sideways
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Think I’m set on losing Salah till gw13, what’s the best route to take though?

      A: Salah > Bruno this week,
      GW10- Son + Kane > KDB + Vardy (-4)

      B: Salah > Ziyech this week,
      GW10- Son + Maupay > KDB + Bamford (-4)

      C: save and play Maupay or Lamptey?

      Team atm:

      Martinez

      Chilwell / Semedo / Cresswell

      Son / Grealish / Barkley / Zaha

      Kane / DCL / Maupay

      Subs: Salah / Lamptey / Douglas

      P.S. I’d probably keep Ziyech long-term, Bruno I could see myself shipping out again for funds.

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        A

        1. Saka_me_sideways
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Thanks pal... you’re not bias though are you? lol

      2. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Bottomed

        So consensus time.

        Son > KDB not worth a -4 this week right?

        (Already have Bruno and also have Kane fwiw)

        1. Karan14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Not worth it this week. But I would be happy to sell both Kane & Son for Vardy & KDB next week for a hit.

          1. Don Kloppeone
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            That move is high on the wish list. Also maybe Robbo out if needed!

      3. C_G
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        on WC

        A) Grealish & Watkins
        B) Grealish & Bamford

        1. Pukki Blinders
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 8 days ago

          A

        2. andres
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          I went for Watkins

      4. Jet5605
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Bottomed. Doherty out for...

        A - Coufal
        B - Targett

        1. andres
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          B if no other villa coverage

      5. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Will Vardy or KDB price rise tonight! Got plans for both next week

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Question mark missing

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Thanks. Was just wondering how quick they go up. Not always right is it. Especially around WC time.

            1. doher.ty
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Hard to say, seem a bunch of WC being played with Salah being out. I would say it's unlikely that they go up tonight but come next week and depending on Salah news could be a different story.

        2. cigan
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          GTG? Bench order ok?

          Martinez
          Robbo Digne Chilwell Coufal
          Mane Bruno Son Grealish
          DCL Adams
          (Mitchell / Wilson / Bissouma)

        3. thepirates
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          So... how long do you think Salah will be out for based on all the info we have atm?

          1. Pukki Blinders
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 8 days ago

            2 gws

          2. doher.ty
              2 months, 8 days ago

              1gw + Champions League

            • caldracula
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              50/50 back for Brighton

          3. Mr. Mystic
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Is Mitchell expected to start?

            1. abhirup780
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              I'd say 30% chance after listening to the presser

          4. abhirup780
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Is there a chance that Sterling might get rested?

            1. doher.ty
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Why?

                1. abhirup780
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  He trained for the first time today. And the game is tomorrow.

                  1. doher.ty
                      2 months, 8 days ago

                      OG post is a bit misleading. Rested would imply he is fit, which he isn't. None the less, looking unlikely that he'll start.

                2. The Ilfordian
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  Yes. Doesn’t sound good. Good possibility of a rest or benching

                3. DA Minnion
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  I'm thinking the same. Might go straight to De Bruyne from sterling today. I've 2 free transfers.

              • Pukki Blinders
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 8 days ago

                What’s best?
                A. Richa (343)
                B. Ziyech (352)

                1. F4L
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  Richy

                2. Make United Great Again
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  B

              • OLLY G
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                (A) Telles and Watkins

                (B) Targett and Bamford

                Thanks

                1. F4L
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  Bamford is better than Watkins, but then you're comparing a 5.5 defender with a 4.5 defender so it evens out.

                2. Tonyawesome69
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  For a set and forget for at least a few GWs then B

              • NeverLucky
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 8 days ago

                Anyone else doing C on Werner and also have Fernandes?

                1. doher.ty
                    2 months, 8 days ago

                    Both good options

                2. Tonyawesome69
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  Vassilev and Salah to Watkins for -4?

                  3.5itb 1ft
                  Martinez
                  Chilwell Taylor Ayling Cancelo Justin
                  Grealish Son Rodriguez
                  DCL Kane
                  (Peacock Bissouma Salah* Vassilev*)

                  1. Tonyawesome69
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 8 days ago

                    that should be Vassilev and Salah to Watkins and Bruno for -4

                3. RAFA THE GAFFA
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  Any talk of Killman?

                4. F4L
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  Decided to either bring in Ziyech or Hamez. Everton have less fixture congestion and no more International travel for Hamez either for a while, but Chelsea are the better attacking side. Who would you pick?

                  1. doher.ty
                      2 months, 8 days ago

                      Hames has 3 really nice fixtures. I've owned him this whole time so I'm going to hold for those and then sell.

                      1. F4L
                        • 6 Years
                        2 months, 8 days ago

                        They do look good. I think I would be keeping Hamez long term being on all set pieces means he could get points any time. Plus I liked hearing Ancelotti say he sees Hamez as a 10 in his press conference, maybe we'll see Everton use wing backs soon and Hamez won't have to bother tracking back.

                        1. doher.ty
                            2 months, 8 days ago

                            When Everton are fully fit they have class about them but as soon as those injuries came about they really did struggle. I think I'll hold him for as long as they are full strength and sell if more injury are about.

                            1. F4L
                              • 6 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              Yep, I think I'll be doing the same; they definitely don't have the strength in depth, that's for sure.

                      2. Pukki Blinders
                        • 1 Year
                        2 months, 8 days ago

                        Hamez for fixtures

                        1. F4L
                          • 6 Years
                          2 months, 8 days ago

                          Cheers, ideally would be keeping long term though as well.

                      3. caldracula
                        • 4 Years
                        2 months, 8 days ago

                        Z

                        1. F4L
                          • 6 Years
                          2 months, 8 days ago

                          Cheers, does look a great pick this year.

                    • Atimis
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 8 days ago

                      Robo/Chilwell/Kilman

                      with Reguilon/Mitchell on the bench

                      is that def good enough for this week ? ?

                      1. doher.ty
                          2 months, 8 days ago

                          It's good enough - some are struggling to get 11 out this week.

                      2. Mr. Mystic
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 9 Years
                        2 months, 8 days ago

                        Best TAA replacement?

                        1. F4L
                          • 6 Years
                          2 months, 8 days ago

                          Sadly its a week early for Castagne, probably Chilwell still if you don't have him.

                        2. Tonyawesome69
                          • 2 Years
                          2 months, 8 days ago

                          City def for the fixture turn

                        3. doher.ty
                            2 months, 8 days ago

                            Chilly, Man City, Castagna (when fit)

                        4. Super Sharpe Shooter
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 8 days ago

                          Wildcard activated! Thoughts on below welcomed. Good to go?

                          McCarthy/Forster
                          Telles/Chilwell/Coufal/Kilman/Targett
                          Grealish/Ziyech/Jota/KDB/Bruno
                          Watkins or Bamford/Werner/DCL

                          For GW10 thinking Dias or Cancelo for Telles and Foden for Jota. Or if Sterling is back and looking sharp then Sterling and Brewster for Jota and Werner

                          1. Pukki Blinders
                            • 1 Year
                            2 months, 8 days ago

                            Too many booked in transfers for my liking, something is bound to go wrong

                            1. doher.ty
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                This

                            2. frenchfries
                              • 4 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              Nice team, but would personally not prefer having 6m+ player on bench

                              1. Super Sharpe Shooter
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Yeah you're right, it does force me to make a tough choice on first sub. Probably Watkins/Bamford. Could upgrade Jota to Mane and downgrade Werner to Brewster

                          2. frenchfries
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 8 days ago

                            Having Fernandes, which alternative is better:

                            A) Salah->KDB
                            B) Salah+Podence->KDB+Ziyech(-4)
                            C) Podence -> Grealish (bench Salah)

                            1. Tonyawesome69
                              • 2 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              A - bring in City mid 1 GW early

                              1. Super Sharpe Shooter
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Yeah A. If Salah isolates for the full period after testing negative the other day then he misses Brighton too

                          3. Miguel Sanchez
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 8 days ago

                            Still deciding between Rashford and Werner for the captaincy but GTG otherwise?

                            Martinez
                            Chilwell coufal Kilman
                            Rashford(c) Son Rodriguez Grealish
                            Kane Werner Jimenez

                            Button Justin Bissouma Ferguson 0FT 2.7 ITB

                            1. Tonyawesome69
                              • 2 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              Rashford back training today, you think OGS will risk playing him?

                              1. Miguel Sanchez
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                He usually does - think it was page out of Fergie's book on withdrawing players from international duty to give them a rest

                                1. Tonyawesome69
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  That is true. I wiould go with Rashford captain

                            2. RAFA THE GAFFA
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 4 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              V nice. Worry about Rashford not playing but prefer him as captain over Werner

                              1. Miguel Sanchez
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                You guys usually get the better of us at St James'

                                1. RAFA THE GAFFA
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 4 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  That’s when the mighty fans are there. Fancy you to destroy clueless Bruce tbh. But it could go any way

                          4. Oooo Matron
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 8 days ago

                            Dias or Cancelo?

                            1. Tonyawesome69
                              • 2 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              Dias safe option, Cancelo more attacking but need back-up incase he is benched

                            2. Hazz
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 3 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              Cancelo gets the BAPs, but Dias probably gets more starts.

                            3. djoker_nole
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Dias

                              • Miguel Sanchez
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Cancelo - think he scores more in three starts than Dias in four

                              • CONNERS
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 2 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Cancelo assuming you have cover on bench.

                              • Super Sharpe Shooter
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 4 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Would have said Cancelo until Dias bagged a brace in the international break. And the December rotation factor definitely counts against Cancelo too. Cancelo has 5 goals in about 150 games for Valencia, Benfica, Juventus, Inter and Man City while Dias averaged a goal every 10 games at Benfica. So you could argue that Dias carries the bigger threat anyway.

                            4. dbeck
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 3 Years
                              2 months, 8 days ago

                              thoughts on the WC, stuck on Vardy vs Werner?

                              McCarthy
                              Coufal Dias Chillwell (Targett, Lewis)
                              Grealish, KDB, Ziyech, Bruno (Soucek)
                              DCL Vardy Bamford

                              1.1itb, happy to leave it there to maybe move Bruno to Sterling if it looks like city click

                              1. doher.ty
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  I love watching Vardy (outside of FPL) his work rate is amazing to watch. I also like owning him in FPL - sometimes he's a hard watch but can grab a brace out of nothing. I'm siding with Vardy due to fixtures.

                              2. jay01
                                • 6 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Anyone captaining Vardy?

                                1. CONNERS
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  Next week probably.

                                  1. jay01
                                    • 6 Years
                                    2 months, 8 days ago

                                    Im tempted vs a weak liverpool defence

                                    1. andres
                                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                      • 9 Years
                                      2 months, 8 days ago

                                      exactly, I am wondering if I should bring him on on WC.

                                      Would have to ditch Kane though

                                2. Zim0
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  Next week for sure

                              3. andres
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 9 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                do we have any way of knowing if Justin will loose his spot not that other LEI defenders are being declared fit?

                                1. F4L
                                  • 6 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  Could be out of the team come the Fulham game. Pereira is back in training, it all depends if Rodgers choses to give Pereira a run out vs Braga instead, then Justin would get Fulham but then I think he's done.

                                2. Tonyawesome69
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  No, he has played 90 mins since GW1 and LEI have had injury issues so can't confirm until the situation comes up

                                3. andres
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 9 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  Thanks to both.

                                  As I am on a WC will sell I think.

                                4. Zim0
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  He could possibly still start but at CB if leicester use 5 at the back formation

                              4. CONNERS
                                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                • 2 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Assuming all 3 start (unlikely), who would you play out of the below?

                                a) Wilson (CHE Home)
                                b) Cancelo (TOT away)
                                c) Mitchell (BUR Away)

                                Thanks!

                                1. Tonyawesome69
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  B

                                2. CONNERS
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 2 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  cheers

                              5. The Red Devil
                                • 5 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Current defence

                                Robertson Taylor zouma kilman dunne

                                Think I can get 3 starters from the above? Or take a hit to bring in Cresswell/Chilwell/cancelo
                                (No budget issue)

                              6. The Count of Monte Cristo
                                • 8 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Mitrovic --> DCL (-4) worth it?

                                Been trying to ditch Mitrovic for weeks and just think I'll just do it now. It will be worth it soon enough, no?

                                1. JVALDEZ
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 8 Years
                                  2 months, 8 days ago

                                  yea do it

                                  1. The Count of Monte Cristo
                                    • 8 Years
                                    2 months, 8 days ago

                                    Gracias. Debating between DCL and Rich but on DCL atm.

                              7. Gunner Boy
                                • 6 Years
                                2 months, 8 days ago

                                Maupay > Vardy or Werner?