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. circusmonkey
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Have been wondering whether to do KDB to Son hokey cokey but have decided it isn't worth it, it costs me 4 points + 2 transfers just for one game. I'm actually at the stage where I don't want to change my team much and am saving this week.

    It would be good to know whether Burnley v Fulham goes ahead but I guess we won't know until after the deadline. Soucek off the bench isn't a bad Lowton replacement.

    1. IRBOX ⚽
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Would you captain Son? That could be the decisive factor

      1. circusmonkey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Yes, although Bruno still is higher on the RMT tool, so that was another reason to put me off doing it.

        1. IRBOX ⚽
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          RMT is not a reliable source of points, very far from

    2. Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Wait for Presser

      1. circusmonkey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Oh yes, just seen that: Parker 1pm, thank you.

  2. Nolberto Solano
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Which of the following should I do this week? FH18, the other I will do in DGW19:

    A) Son -> Rashford
    B) Kane -> Vardy

    1. Origi-nal
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Taking Kane out before Leeds at home seems like madness

    2. Cruyff's Eleven
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I'd keep Son against Leeds.

  3. AC/DC AFC
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Hi 2021!

    Insights please, what's the best information on the Chelsea v Man City game happening? Cheers.

    Good luck in this new year.

    Which may not be radically different until May or June ...

    1. Mr Arsenal
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I just hope KDB and Sterling have been spared by COVID. Sounds like Cancello and Ederson haven’t...

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Thanks.

        so we're confident the game will happen?

  4. Ruinenlust
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Captain Son or Bruno?

    1. JoeJitzu +42
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I’m going with Bruno

    2. faver
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Im going with Son

    3. Cruyff's Eleven
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      AVL defence improving

      1. IRBOX ⚽
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Improving? It’s been an incredible all season

        1. Cruyff's Eleven
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Son it is 🙂

  5. JoeJitzu +42
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Want to setup for DGW19 have 1 FT and 0.7 in the bank, willing to take a hit

    Forster
    Taylor*
    Son
    DCL

    Current 19;
    McCarthy
    Robertson Zouma Coufal Dallas
    Salah Fernandes Rashford Soucek
    Bamford Watkins

  6. Sausage
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Is Vardy fit to play..?

    1. faver
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I would say so. Last game he came for 30 minutes. It was purely resting reasons.

      1. Well you know, Triffic
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        No wolves on here pal, only sheep

        1. Well you know, Triffic
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Woops fail!

  7. faver
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    RE:
    Any Wolves can can confirm that Max Kilman can play this GW? With Boly on 75% I can see bench

  8. The Prophet
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    Lads, a quick one but a big one.... please advise -

    Start Podence or Raphinha??

    Thanks.

    1. faver
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      I would say Podence. Also it depends on your front 3.

      1. The Prophet
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        This week -

        DCL, Bamford, Wood

        1. faver
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Ye, Podence. Cover more games.

  9. HMC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 6 days ago

    what to do here? have 2ft 0.1m itb and def FH18 so prefer to use one if not both transfers this week
    95% BB19, currently non playing second keeper
    tempted to do adams to rodrigo but still not enough for keeper upgrade

    could do kdb to son (c) then bring back for gw19
    any advice would be great!

    Martinez
    Robbo Dias Coufal
    Salah Bruno Kdb Grealish Soucek
    DCL Bamford
    Steer Dallas Adams Taylor

    1. Tinfoil Deathstar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Could you do Taylor to Targett, and Adams to Watkins? You could save FH then as you’d have 10 for next GW

      1. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        no. martinez steer grealish from villa

        1. Tinfoil Deathstar
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Ah I’m clearly still struggling with the NYE hangover. Taylor to Holding looks a good bet then.

  10. egan
      4 months, 6 days ago

      el Ghazi or Raphinha

      1. faver
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        If you can hold for 1 gw then do it. There is a slight chance, that Ross return will decrease El Ghazis minutes. On Dean Smiths place I would bench Traore and start El Ghazi Grealish Ross Watkins and McGinn

    • Tinfoil Deathstar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Who to bench: Adams or Soucek?

      1. Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Close. Probably soucek (just)

      2. HMC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        i'm benching adams

    • Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 6 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.

    • Inazuma X1
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Already own Martinez

      For next 4 GWs

      Who to pick?

      1. Targett
      2. Lowton

      1. faver
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        As a Targett owner I would say Targett. From those 4 fixtures I can say Burnley will keep 1 clean, and its vs Fulham.
        I can see AVL clean against Everton and 60% chance vs Spurs. Also Targett is more likely to get attacking return

      2. moz_1983
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Lowton for me, and I'm considering the same dilemma.

    • Munny Man
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Hi all.
      Do I still get a free transfer in GW19 if I’m playing the bench boost chip?
      Thanks.

      1. Origi-nal
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Of course.

        1. Munny Man
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Thanks fella.

    • thegaffer82
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      The news yesterday still hasn’t had time to sink in yet thanks to NYE &

      1. thegaffer82
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Premature ejaculation here...

        I’ll try again soon 🙁

    • Napoleon IV
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      MF Doom dead 🙁

    • fridge
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Think I’m going to stick to my FH 18, BB 19 for now. Worth doing Taylor > Lowton this week?

      McCarthy
      TAA. Coufal. Dallas
      Salah. Bruno. Son. Soucek
      Kane. Wood. Bamford

      4.0. Raphinha. Taylor. Balbuena

    • Oggle22
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Martinez
      Konsa Mitchell Holding
      Salah Son Bruno Saka
      Bamford Firmino Kane

      Steele Soucek Kilman Taylor

      Should I get rid of Firmino and Taylor -4? Surely even the troll Firmino has to do bits with a double game week?

    • Burger_and_Chips
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Best Taylor replacement? 0.4 ITB.

      1. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Coufal / Lowton

      2. Tonyawesome69 FH36
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Depends on what you are doing in GW18/19

    • Tonyawesome69 FH36
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      RP - Currently have 6 players for BGW18. I can carry 2FT to 18 to get 8 players but not sure who to transfer out or I can FH18. Any thoughts on this. Thanks

      1FT 0.1itb
      Martinez*
      Taylor* Robbo Cancelo*
      Son* Bruno* Salah Raphinha
      Bamford Kane* Rodrigo
      (Johnstone Soucek Coufal Balbuena)

      1. thegaffer82
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Neto might be a nice punt (for Soucek or Raph)

        1. Tonyawesome69 FH36
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Not enough budget for neto. I would ideally want to bring in a player from villa, City, Utd or bur.

      2. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 6 days ago

        I'd just free hit. The United game in 18 makes the free hit a much more attractive option imo especially as there will be many looking to muddle through with 7 or 8 now.

        1. Tonyawesome69 FH36
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          Cheers

    • TheDragon
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Is Taylor -> Dias -4 worth it?

      Other defenders are Robertson, Mitchell, Taylor, KWP, Dallas

      1. Tonyawesome69 FH36
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Yes, good fixtures so the hit will pay off quickly

    • Tarzan
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Hi, I have a 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. Tonyawesome69 FH36
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        No you will only have 1FT in 19

        1. Tarzan
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          ok thank you sir

    • Origi-nal
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Play Coufal or Soucek?

      1. Tonyawesome69 FH36
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Soucek

      2. Original Pirate Material
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Soucek.

      3. JoeSoap
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Soucek

    • Andre_The_Giant
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Well lads, any word on Charlie Taylor?

    • FDMS All Starz
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Do we think antonio starts all 3 games in gw17&19?

      1. Original Pirate Material
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        No

      2. Origi-nal
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        No

      3. thegaffer82
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Very unlikely considering the length of time he’s been out

    • konrad.sygula95
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Who is best replacement for Taylor?
      Justin?

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

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

    • Original Pirate Material
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Lamptey to Tierney sound good?

      Current defence:

      Robbo, Dias, Coufal, Mitchell, Lamp

      1. Origi-nal
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        I'd get rid of Mitchell first

        1. Original Pirate Material
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 6 days ago

          But he got a game over PVA last week and looked solid?

          1. Cruyff's Eleven
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 6 days ago

            PvA was rested

            1. Original Pirate Material
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 5 days ago

              Cheers.

        2. Original Pirate Material
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 5 days ago

          Cheers.

      2. EmreCan Hustle
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Yes

    • ZoumasBloomers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Start KWP or Dallas?

      1. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Dallas

      2. JoeSoap
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Dallas

      3. IRBOX ⚽
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 6 days ago

        Is this a serious question?

    • JoeSoap
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      Planning on Son>KDB GW19 (not BBing)

      Who would you being in this wk and for whom? (will have 1.8 to play with allowing for above transfer)

      A. Stones
      B. Cancelo
      C. Diaz
      D. Other

      MCCARTHY, Steer
      ZOUMA, JUSTIN, DALLAS, COUFAL, Mitchell
      FERNANDES, Grealish, Son, SALAH, MENDY
      BAMFORD, dcl, ADAMS

    • Burger_and_Chips
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 6 days ago

      What about Stones as a replacement for Taylor? 0.4 ITB so can just about get him.

      Any other better defenders?

      (Going to free chip next gw then Bench boost the DGW)