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. Taegugk Warrior
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Chose 2 to bench
    A. Zouma
    B. Mitchell
    C. Kilman
    D. Adams

    1. Puntillimon
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      B D

  2. LIARS POKER
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Would you FH this or just use another 2 transfers to get 8 out? Only problem is I am planning BB in the DGW so would be losing 2 DGW players

    Dias Cancelo Taylor
    Bruno Son
    Kane

    Thinking best to FH as could bring in KDB/Rashford/DCL and then a couple of differentials

    1. Tsparkes10
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      FH defo

  3. Dannyb
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    A Cancelo to Maguire
    B Lamptey to Holding
    C both - 4

    1. FPL.team
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Why would you want to lose Cancelo?

      1. Dannyb
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        Hasn't he got covid?

        1. FPL.team
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 16 days ago

          Source?

    2. Reckoner
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Why ditching Cancelo? I've had him for a while and he's killed it! Assists incoming also surely soon!

    3. akashan99
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      B, dont lose cancelo

  4. Alli
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Any suggestions?

    McCarthy - Johnstone
    Robbo - Coufal - KWP - Justin - Dallas
    Salah - Bruno - Son - Soucek - Raphinha
    Kane - Adams - Bamford

    1. Tsparkes10
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Exactly mine but Lowton and Vardy for KWP and Kane. I did Aguero to Vardy this week... what moves you planning for Bb?

      1. Alli
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        Probably going for Vardy at least.

  5. corderz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Best for GW19 BB?

    A) KDB + Brewster
    B) Sterling + Decordova-Reid

    1. Nikolai Volkoff
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      B

  6. Tsparkes10
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    How does Vardy, Son, Johnstone to Antonio, KDB, Ederson sound for bb in 19

    1. drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      -8 ?

    2. Pukki Party
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Keep Vardy, any other downgrade to get Son to KDB?

    3. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      I brought in Vardy for dgw! No other way to get in city? If not then sounds good. Actually looking at sterling Over KDB for a change

    4. Z
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Ederson is Covid+ and why would you transfer out Vardy????

    5. Tsparkes10
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Would be quite difficult. Easy option is Salah out, see how they al do this week. Do really fancy Antonio aswell if he’s fit and the -8 could be beaten alone by Johnstone to ederson

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

    Who comes in for Burnley now that Taylor is out?

    1. Totti
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      no one knows!!
      i don't know why people are transfering him out

      1. FPL.team
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        He's injured, why would you keep?

        1. Totti
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 16 days ago

          still 50%

      2. swobe
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        Bad DGW, hamstring injury so mightn't even be back for it

    2. Would Ed Woodward
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Pieters moves to LB.

      1. swobe
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        cheers, Ed

  8. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Any news on Burnley vs Fulham?

  9. Totti
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    who to captain?

    A) son
    B) kane
    C) bruno

    1. Napoleon IV
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      play your own game, pick your own team

      1. Taegugk Warrior
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        So why you in here...?

        1. Napoleon IV
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 16 days ago

          team news, postponements etc mainly

      2. TimoTime
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 16 days ago

        Lol what a strange response.

        I'd go B personally

  10. Nespinha
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Pick an option for BB19

    A) soucek + KDB + martial (-4)

    B) barnes + son + martial (-4)

    C) rashford + son + watkins (-4)

    D) cancelo + barnes + KDB + watkins (-8)

    1. akashan99
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      D, cancelo and kdb edges it. Though watkins has 2 tough dgw fixtures, maybe one of the leeds strikers?

  11. Z
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Do you think that Taylor could be ready for double GW?????

    1. Totti
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      i think yes
      still 2 weeks

    2. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Does it really matter ?
      2 very bad fixtures.

    3. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Not worth keeping with those fixtures anyway - sell for Leeds or West Ham defender, even for a hit.

  12. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Score prediction:

    Everton vs West Ham
    Crystal Palace vs Sheffield

    1. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      1-1
      2-0

    2. DandyDon
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      2-0
      2-0

    3. Sanchit
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      2-1
      1-0

  13. AYLD28
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Which looks better prior to BB in GW19

    1. Stones Soucek Rodrigo Antonio/Watkins
    2. Balbuena Raphina Watkins Antonio

    1 will cost -4
    2 will cost -8

    Current team

    Martinez Johnstone
    TAA Dias Cresswell Taylor* Dunne*
    Salah KDB Fernandes Grealish Soucek
    DCL Bamford Welbeck

    1. Van der Faart
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Without knowing whether Antonio is/will be fit 1 is definitely better to me

  14. DandyDon
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Best 5.4 defender? FH 18
    A) Cresswell - no competition on left has him in front for me
    B) Maguire - similar but plays Pool during week 19
    C) Tierney - only one wk 19 fixture
    D) Stones - will get rotated with Laporte over fixture congestion

  15. itsmeguneet
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    My mid:

    Bruno, KDB, Pulisic, Grealish

    Want to bring in a liverpool asset so thinking of Puli + KDB > Salah/Mane + Martinelli/Saka ??

    1. itsmeguneet
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Tempting to go for Mane

    2. notlob legin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Mane and Saka

  16. corderz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    A) Watkins + Son

    B) Sterling + Decordova Reid

    1. Reckoner
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      A) better combo

    2. MikeS
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      A easy

  17. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Taylor to
    A) Alioski
    B) Holding
    c) another def under 4.7m

    (BBoost in 19gw, FH in 18gw)

    1. Tambling5
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      A as two games inDGW cf to B, I think

  18. Reckoner
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Which would you buy for the double GW 19 (I have to do it now, downgrading DCL)

    A) Watkins
    B) Antonio

    Thanks!

    1. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      That's a tough one, Antonio could be a great option, but it's possibly a couple of weeks too early for him. I'd go for Watkins at the moment.

      1. Reckoner
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        Yes, I think I'm going for a nailed option right now. Unfortunately we can't be sure Antonio will regain his starting spot for the gw19...

  19. TheDragon
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Bench one:

    A) Dallas
    B) Adams

    1. Reckoner
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      I'm afraid Liverpool will concede 1 or even 2 goals, so A)

    2. MikeS
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      A

  20. aardvark22
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Any thoughts on who will play MCI GK if Ederson out?

    1. KAMARA-COPY
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Zack Steffen

  21. MikeS
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Best dgw defender for < £4.9mn to replace vestergaard? Kwp?

    1. PogBruno
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Leeds ones?

      1. MikeS
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        Got dallas

  22. Ginkapo FPL
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Martinelli why arent you a striker?

    1. Zim0
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      I'll ask him

      1. Zim0
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 16 days ago

        He says his da was a striker and he was a vile man so he swore never to play as the no. 9 ever. True story. Don't google it.

        1. Ginkapo FPL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 16 days ago

          Cheers babs

  23. PogBruno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Your predictions for today's games?

    Everton 1-1 westham
    Man United 2-1 Villa

    1. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      0-6
      1-1

    2. drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      0-0
      2-1

  24. ‘Tis the Season
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Start soucek or Watkins

    1. PogBruno
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Watkins

  25. Slim25
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Happy new year gents!
    Looking to set up for the double gwk in 19, what option would be best? (2 ft's)
    A: Grealish, Lewis & Mitchell - Raphinha, Chilwell & Phillips
    B: Lewis, Mitchell & DCL - James, Phillips & Bamford

    Current team
    Martinez (Button)
    Stones, Ayling, Coufal (Mitchell, Lewis)
    KDB, Bruno, Salah, Grealish, Soucek
    Kane, DCL (Brewster)

  26. Napoleon IV
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    has anyone here tried those earwax cleaners?

    1. BUZZBOMB
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      Made me worse. Best thing I ever did was pay £55 to have both ears sooked out at House of Hearing. Been listening to birdsong ever since.

  27. Hazardous1983
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Start podence or.soucek

  28. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Captain in this GW:

    a) Salah
    b) Mane
    c) Bruno
    d) Martial

    1. MikeS
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 16 days ago

      C easy there

  29. zah1d
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Happy new year all.

    My current GW18 team is -
    Martinez
    Kilman
    Fernandes, Son
    DCL, Kane

    I have 1 FT. 0 in the bank.

    Free Hit next week or make a transfer and play it out?

    My current team is below and has 10 DGW players currently.
    Martinez (DGW), Macy
    Zouma (DGW), Justin (DGW), Bernadek (DGW), Kilman, Coufal (DGW)
    Maddison (DGW), Salah (DGW), Fernandes (DGW), Son, Romeu (DGW)
    DCL, Kane, Bamford (DGW)

    Any help appreciated guys!

  30. LIARS POKER
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 16 days ago

    Best Taylor replacement if playing FH next week and BB in the DGW?

    Got 5.3 to replace

    Bailly?