Spot the Differential

Updated fixtures boost case for Maguire and Man United defence

The Gameweek 17 deadline is almost upon us which gives us the opportunity to have a look at some differential options.

This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks from Manchester United, Arsenal and Crystal Palace, who we think have the potential to make a big impact.

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

Harry Maguire

  • FPL ownership: 3.6%
  • Price: £5.4m
  • GW17-21 fixtures: AVL | bur | liv + ful | SHU | ars

Manchester United are now unbeaten in nine league games, and following Tuesday’s late win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, have put themselves in the thick of the Premier League title race.

One of the key players for the Red Devils during that run of improved form has been Harry Maguire (£5.4m).

The England international has bounced back following a tough start to the season, and could be a shrewd differential pick for FPL managers on the lookout for a new defender.

Following yesterday’s fixture announcement, United now have a favourable schedule which includes games against Burnley, Fulham and Sheffield United in the next five. In fact, between Gameweeks 17 and 25, they sit top of the ticker from a defensive perspective. Obviously, they need to improve at the back having already conceded 23 goals, but it does feel like progress is being made and a clean sheet in midweek now gives them something to build on.

However, the real appeal lies in Maguire’s goal threat. Since the beginning of the season, the 27-year-old has registered more shots and attempts in the box than any defender in the game, while he ranks third for excepted goals (xG). For context, his 17 shots in the box is only three behind team-mate Bruno Fernandes (£11.2m).

Importantly, Maguire has been ever-present for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season, and with his ability to contribute FPL points at both ends of the pitch, is a tempting New Year investment.

Gabriel Martinelli

  • FPL ownership: 0.8%
  • Price: £4.9m
  • GW17-21 fixtures: wba | CRY | NEW | sou | MUN

Next up is an interesting budget option at Arsenal, Gabriel Martinelli (£4.9m), who has recently returned from a six-month spell on the sidelines.

The Brazilian has now started back-to-back league matches, and been central to the Gunners’ upturn in form which has seen them beat Chelsea and Brighton and Hove Albion.

Admittedly, it took them a while to get going against Albion, but they found their rhythm in the second half, with youngsters Emile Smith Rowe (£4.4m), Bukayo Saka (£5.2m) and Martinelli pulling the strings. The inclusion of the young trio behind a striker has galvanised Mikel Arteta’s side, and with a great run of games against West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United coming up, they could offer real value. 

However, if it comes down to goal threat alone, I’d put Martinelli comfortably ahead right now. His clever movement and knack of being in the right place at the right time will see plenty of goalscoring opportunities come his way, and having netted 10 goals from 26 appearances across all competitions last season, his potential is evident. 

His link-up play with Kieran Tierney (£5.3m) down Arsenal’s left-side has also stood out, which is important considering Arsenal’s next two opponents concede plenty of chances from that side of the pitch.

After a turbulent few weeks, Arsenal will be hopeful of moving up the Premier League table in 2021, and with Martinelli making an instant impact upon returning to the starting XI, they could yet turn their season around.

Eberechi Eze

  • FPL ownership: 0.9%
  • Price: £5.8m
  • GW17-21 fixtures: SHU | ars | mci | WHU | WOL

Eberechi Eze (£5.8m) has impressed for Crystal Palace this season, developing into his side’s main creative outlet.

Since becoming a regular starter in Gameweek 8, he ranks top amongst team-mates for chances created, big chances created and successful take-ons, while only Andros Townsend (£5.7m) has attempted more crosses. 

Key to his appeal is this week’s opponents Sheffield United, who are still without a win all season. The defensive data tells us that they have given up a significant amount of chances from their right flank. In fact, only West Bromwich Albion have conceded more from that zone this season, which is relevant with Eze operating off the left in Roy Hodgson’s 4-4-2. 

It’s also worth noting that the Blades have often looked vulnerable defending set-plays, having allowed 72 attempts on goal from dead-ball situations so far, more than any other side. With Eze being known for his ability from set-pieces and drawing fouls from the opposition, he could be set to profit in Gameweek 17.

Palace currently sit 15th in the Premier League table and despite a dip in form over Christmas, looked more assured in Monday’s draw against Leicester City. A win on Saturday would see them rise above Newcastle United, Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers into 12th spot, at least temporarily, and they won’t get a better chance than against the Blades.

While three attacking returns is a fairly modest total for Eze so far, he is an exciting player with big potential, and given his opponents defensive vulnerabilities, could be set to add to his tally this weekend.

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1,606 Comments Post a Comment
  1. ElChapo
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    No Spurs or United, who should I be prioritising this GW?

    1) Kane
    2) Son
    3) Bruno
    4) Other

    1. nadman89
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      id say son , high line leeds and his ownership is through the roof if he hits its bad

    2. Milkman Bruno
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Get Bruno already

    3. Podge
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      3

    4. JohnBlack
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Bruno

    5. Wicked Weapon
      8 months, 28 days ago

      3

    6. ElChapo
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      cheers all

  2. Brosstan
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Seriously.. how the f are we supposed to play this game when they can't tell us what games are going ahead in the upcoming game week? Pathetic from FPL

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Pretty sure FPL dont know anything about this

      1. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        I know. Don’t know why you bother even explaining. Leave it be.

      2. Houldsworth Hatter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        Correct Holmes- they need to be told by the PL first!!

      3. Brosstan
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        They should cancel the entire game week then

    2. Forza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      FPL are just waiting for what the Premier League says, and the Premier League might be waiting for test results.

    3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      don't forget there could be games which we are not expecting called off. It will happen within a few hours so whatever move we take is a risk

    4. Podge
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      No point ever, it’s just killing time until we die. It’s not like you can win it or that the prize is worthwhile anyway

      1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
        • 11 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        imagine putting in hours on end for a fantasy game and to win it and get a £20 copy of fifa

    5. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      "Events, dear boy". - James Bevan.

    6. Ron_Swanson
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Ask for your money back

    7. The Son-dance Kid
      • 3 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      I got dumped out of the LMS comp and also failed to qualify for the fantasy cup due to Spurs and City no shows last GW. Super tough pill to swallow.

  3. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Would you FH or play this team gw18?

    Martinez
    Cancelo Dias
    Bruno Son Grealish
    DCL

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Play that team, maybe use FT to add one more

    2. nadman89
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      id play it , maybe make a transfer for a united or burnley defender too because they also play double gw

    3. Milkman Bruno
      8 months, 28 days ago

      You have the main areas covered to be fair. I’d be tempted to keep my FH with that. Unfortunately I’ve only

      Martinez
      Dias, Taylor*, Mitchell
      Bruno, Son
      Kane

    4. Bounce
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Have you got any FT left? I think you might be okay without FH as you've covered most of the big hitters. You'd only be filling the gaps with cheap fodder.

      1. manu4life99
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        No sadly this would be including use of FT.

        However I would have 15 x dgw players for BB in gw19...

    5. Shineonme
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Play that team

  4. Killitzer
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    HYN to everyone

    Just working out what transfer to make this week as will FH next week and then likely BB.

    McCarthy Steer
    Bednarek Dallas Taylor Coufal Neco Williams
    Salah Son Soucek Bruno Raphinha
    Kane DCL Bamford
    £2.7m

    Neco Williams is never likely to play again (Taylor might) so thinking
    1. NW ➡️ Stones?
    2. Another move

    No point in saving as the FH will cancel the 2FT next week.

    Cheers

    1. Houldsworth Hatter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      1

    2. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Sounds good. Pool young centre backs seem to be rotating when called upon(?) so hard to call right now

  5. Houldsworth Hatter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Captain

    A) Salah
    B) Son
    C) Kane

    1. Forza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      B

  6. Gandalf
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Which option do you think looks better for DGW19?

    A. Bench boost for -8 across coming game weeks with 14 DGW players. Soucek/Raphinha rotation thereafter. Can get a playing keeper but for further -4.

    McCarthy 4.0
    Cancelo Dias Dallas Justin Coufal
    KDB Salah Fernandes Soucek Raphinha
    Vardy/Firmino Bamford Watkins

    B. Triple captain 4-4-2 (or possibly with Soucek in 3-5-2)

    McCarthy
    Cancelo Dias Dallas Coufal
    KDB (TC) Salah Fernandes Raphinha
    Vardy/Firmino/Kane, Bamford

    4.0 Watkins Justin 4.4

  7. LIARS POKER
    • 5 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Thoughts on triple City defence (Dias/Stones/Cancelo) for the next few weeks if no easy way to get KDB in without making huge sacrifices in other parts of the team?

    Great fixtures over the next 6

    1. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      To much. Could get a game where Laporte plays ahead of stones/Dias and Walker or mendy plays ahead of cancels. Would be very surprised if this didn’t happen to you to be honest!

      1. LIARS POKER
        • 5 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        Yeah fair enough probably too much of a risk. Thanks

      2. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        Agree

  8. Sterling Archer
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    On a dog walk planning my 2 ft's only to realise I did lamptey to alioski in the early hours lol

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Stupid bitch.

      1. TimoTime
        • 2 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        :O

  9. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    are people fh next week? it's difficult to make transfers for cheaper players as they mostly blank next gw or play next gw but don't have a dgw

    1. PLerix
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Think I’ll stick to the plan and use it

  10. Ruinenlust
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Captain Bruno or Son?

    1. Podge
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Bruno

  11. Super Jack Grealish
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Free hitting next GW, so what to use my FT on? Also Salah or Bruno for (C)

    Martinez, Forster
    Robbo, Dias, Cancelo, Dallas, Branthwaite
    Salah, KDB, Bruno, Grealish, Soucek
    DCL, Bamford, Adams

    1 FT 0.5 ITB

  12. HMC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Kdb to Son this week and switch back gw19?
    2ft and FH18 BB19

    1. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Is your bench good enough already?

      1. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        Steer Coufal Adams Taylor
        Would like a 2nd playing keeper but not critical

    2. notlob legin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      It's what I've done. Son as captain now this week

      1. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        Yolo

    3. Shineonme
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Thats what I'm doing

  13. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Worth -8 on bb?
    Brewster and Mitchell to Watkins/Adams and Balbuena/Lowton.
    Could also do -4 and keep either.

    1. Podge
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Meh wouldn’t bother

  14. Cak Juris
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    If Barkley play again, who will be benched by Dean Smith?
    A. El Ghazi
    B. Traore
    C. Watkins
    D. McGinn

    1. faver
      • 6 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      I hope B

  15. zotter
    • 12 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Ok. So by rolling the FT I am kind of committing to NOT free hitting next week

    Taking a -4 would get me this team for 18.

    Do you think it’s ok to put this team out for 18?

    Martinez
    Dias. Cancelo
    Grealish. Bruno. Rashford
    Wood. Dcl.

    1. Houldsworth Hatter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Yep that’s fine

  16. swobe
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Who would come in for Burnley now that Taylor is out?

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Pieters

  17. corderz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    For GW19:

    A) Watkins
    B) Antonio
    C) Adams

    1. zotter
      • 12 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      C probably. But would prefer A for medium term.

      B is just not reliable enough

    2. The Hunt
      • 12 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Antonio 100% if he proves his fitness.

    3. HMC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Rodrigo

  18. MikeS
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Anyone else think bench boost in gw 19 is a stupid idea? At the moment we need a full bench just to field an 11 (if we are lucky) due to the number of postponements.. which is likely to get worse over the coming weeks. Maybe free hit in gw18 is for the best though, can get a full squad of 15 playing in, even with a potential postponement that could be enough for a full team still..

    1. ebb2sparky
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      It’s not stupid. Might not be ideal though. Will know nearer the time

    2. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Requires to many hits for me so will leave that and the WC til later in the season

  19. konrad.sygula95
    • 3 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Repost

    Who is a better replacement for Taylor?
    A Dallas
    B Justin

    Martinez
    Dier/Coufal/Cancelo
    Son(c)/Fernandes/Salah/Grealish
    Watkins/DCL/Bamford

    Bench: Forster/KWP/Anguissa/Taylor
    1ft 2.7 itb

    1. Danstoke82
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      A for me. Good fixtures

  20. CelticBhoy1
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    bench one:

    A) Bellerin

    B) Dier

    C) Dias

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Close. Probably C, bizarrely

    2. ivantys
      • 1 Year
      8 months, 28 days ago

      C

    3. ebb2sparky
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      B

  21. davies
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    A) Stones James

    B) Dias Balbuena

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Close. B.

  22. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Best 3 defenders under 4.7m?
    Alioski?...

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Coufal/Balbuena

      1. ludaslol
        • 4 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        I have both. And slight concern after last week. Is he nAiled 100% if fit?

  23. Pompel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Covid rumours aside, who's most likely to start both in gw18 & gw19:

    A) Cancelo
    B) Stones

    1. Super Jack Grealish
      • 9 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      A

    2. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      A given Walker had/has COVID. Wait for presser

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        txs. Might of course also consider DIas, but Cancelo more attacking threat as I understand it

    3. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      *should rather be start all three

    4. Shineonme
      • 5 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Stones definitely won't start both if any

  24. Super Jack Grealish
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Best 3.9 defender?

    1. JelliedSpark968
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Struijk, Mitchell, Johnson

    2. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Never ending list.

    3. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Douglas and pocket 0.1. Unless you need 3rd Leeds spot

      1. Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        8 months, 28 days ago

        Actually probably Mitchell.

    4. Ron_Swanson
      • 11 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Any of them

  25. JelliedSpark968
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Anyone else on Vardy (c)?

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      Sold him for crack.

  26. Mr. O'Connell
    • 9 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Martinez
    Holding, Dias, (Mitchell)
    KDB (c), Bruno, Grealish
    Kane, (Brewster)

    Reckon that's enough to get through the blank week and save free hit? 6 decent players, 1 Holding and 2 players which just about amount to half a player between them?

  27. Catastrophe
    • 10 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Happy new year! Best option for DGW19?

    A) Zouma, Alioski, Vardy.
    B) Robertson, Cancelo, Rodrigo
    C) Dallas, Balbuena, Vardy
    D) Cancelo, Alioski, Vardy..

    Thinking D for balance (will have 2 City, 2 Leeds, 2 Liverpool + Vardy).

    Cheers.

  28. Danstoke82
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Play one?

    A) Mitchell
    B) Stones
    C) Coufal

    Thanks all

    1. Podge
      • 10 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      B

  29. HD7
    • 4 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Hows this plan, mates?

    Mccarthy
    TAA Holding Taylor
    Salah Son Bruno Grealish
    Wood Bamford Kane

    Button Mitchell Coufal Bissouma

    1 FT
    Taylor to Alyoski

    FH18
    GW19: Kane to Aguero (hopefully Kun is in shape by then) and play 4-4-2

  30. Tarzan
    • 7 Years
    8 months, 28 days ago

    Hi, I have a #RP question

    I have 2 FTs right now, I plan to FH GW18..
    If I use 1 FT this week, will my other FT roll over to GW 19?

    1. JelliedSpark968
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      8 months, 28 days ago

      FTs don't roll over when you FH, if you hold FT this week you still only get 1FT on GW19