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. Dannyb
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Grealish and Lamptey to Maguire and Saka?

    1. 2hotty
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      not sure i would get rid of Grealish with the double

    2. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Don't like that. Just Lamptey to someone around his price range - or get El Ghazi & someone else instead.

  2. Roysgotnoboys
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 18 days ago

    Taylor to Holding? 0.0 ITB 1 FT

    1. 2hotty
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Yes good move im going Tierney but holding is a bargain if nailed

    2. TNB
        3 months, 18 days ago

        In a similar dilemma.
        Thinking of getting Holding or one of the following for DGW in mind
        1. Alioski
        2. Balbuena

        Current defence: Coufal+Dallas+konsa+Taylor+Bernardo

        Going to wait on Taylor until closer to DGW

        1. Roysgotnoboys
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 18 days ago

          Thanks. It's tricky.

          Was planning on FH in the blank and the BB for the double but now wondering whether to try get through without FH.

          FH, then BB Balbuena or Alioski makes sense (I have too many Leeds so can't)

          No FH - Holding has better fixtures and no blanks

    3. Scotty84
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Martinez button
      Zouma cancelo robertson coufal ferguson
      Salah Bruno kdb grealish soucek
      Dcl Bamford brewster*

      Current team, free hitting gw18, so planning for gw19. I am thinking brewster > Antonio but I am 1 mil short.
      Question is who would you downgrade to allow this move?

    4. FDMS All Starz
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Choose 1 to bring in now? Will play FH18.

      A) Watkins
      B) Wood
      C) Antonio

      1. Scotty84
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        C for me

      2. Coys96
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        C

      3. aapoman
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        C

    5. Hödi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Is
      Dier > Maguire & Bellerin > Stones
      worth a -4?

    6. ChuckyPancamo
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Hi! A quick yes or no to this option would be great.
      I've got 2 FT's this week and planning to Free Hit in 18.
      Take a hit in 19 for Son and Kane to KDB and Vardy or bring Vardy in for free this week?

    7. Original - Wolves Ay We
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Had Son and Kane for the Double. Stick with them or bring in KDB and Grealish, now that Villa and Man City have two fixtures?

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Just sold KdB and Grealish for Rashford and C Son 😉 KdB needs monitoring and so does Avl and Grealish. Downgrading Son to El Ghazi is an option as well as upgrading him to KdB and downgrading Kane.

    8. jonnybhoy
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Taylor + Podence to Lowton + El Ghazi for -4pts?

    9. Coys96
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Hopefully R.James' "small hamstring issue" is sorted before the DGW then...

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Besides that he has his ongoing knee issue. Chilly probably better choice.

        1. Coys96
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 18 days ago

          I've got him though. Don't want to switch for -4

    10. Marco Del Wattsio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      James, Dallas, Coufal, C Taylor and Bryan Is my back 5.
      Thoughts on moves?

      Maybe Stones, Balbuena, KWP? Am i missing someone? Cant stretch to a Cancelo. Need to try and get a playing 5. Has Kilman found his way back in?

    11. aapoman
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      What to do? 1ft and 0.5itb

      Martinez
      Coufal Stones Cancelo
      Salah KDB Son Grealish
      Kane Bamford Watkins

      Forster; Bissouma, KWP, Ayling

      Thinking about KWP/Ayling to Mee. Sound good?

    12. NejiHyuuga01
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 18 days ago

      Any news for the Burnley-Fuhlam game?

      1. Cruyff Turn
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        50/50

    13. Nay08
        3 months, 18 days ago

        so from Pep press conference, we still don't have a hint of who got covid do we? or am i missing something

      • Pukki Blinders
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Wood to who?

        A. Adams
        B. Antonio
        C. Keep

      • The Yorkshire Pirlo
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 18 days ago

        Team G2G? Can’t decide on cap between Kane and Vardy...

        Martinez
        TAA/Robbo/Coufal
        Salah/Bruno/Saka/Soucek
        Kane/Vardy/Bamford

        Steer/Dallas/Burke/Taylor*

      • Origi-nal
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 hours ago

        Would you do:

        a) Antonio > Kane
        b) Cavani > Kane