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. funny money
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Quick rule clarification if someone can please help. If I use my free hit and have 2 free transfers going into the week, can I utilise a transfer before playing the free hit and have it reflected when the team reverts in the next GW. Thanks

    1. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Funny, 11 years. We need a ht about rules.

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        You will get your old team back with one FT. No matter when you play FH and how many transfers you do.

    2. thegaffer82
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      No you can’t. You will lose the 2FT & your team will revert back to what it was at the end of the last GW

    3. Sgt Frank Drebin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      No. FH cancels all the transfers you made. If you go into the GW with 2FT and Free Hit you will lose a free transfer

    4. EmreCan Hustle
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      All FTs and transfers made get wiped out by the chip.
      You go back to the squad before using the FTS

    5. funny money
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Thanks all

  2. Den
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Anyone hear any rumours re Torres at Man City being in isolation? Have him in my team atm and hope he will lead the line at the Bridge, but if out will try to switch before deadline. Is there a City presser today?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Yes presser at half 1 I think.

  3. Gabbiadini
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Bench one of Stones, Dallas, Coufal and Mitchell.

    Cheers.

    1. Galza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      I’d say Mitchell

    2. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Mitch

  4. Catastrophe
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 9 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..

    1. Pukkipartyy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      B

      1. Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Cheers

    2. wilson007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      yeah I agree, D

      1. Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Ta

    3. Tonyawesome69 FH36
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      B or D. Alioski could be a rotation risk once llorente and Cooper are back.

  5. wasp3000
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 9 days ago

    Have no City and only Martinez for Villa. Can only field 6 players in BGW 18 which includes Lamptey and Taylor who are probably out.

    This addition of games has done nothing for me and then i see loads of people saying they can field 15 DGW players. What the hell was their plan before the lucky announcement.

    I have no choice but to FH 18 TC 19 now. WC & BB combo for later in the season.

    1. ivantys
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Lamptey and Taylor could be back.

      • Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        To navigate without FH and have a lot of dgw players?

        1. wasp3000
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 9 days ago

          But neither Villa or City had DGWs for 19 until the announcement. Having say 2 x Villa and 2 x City wasn't planning for the DGW it was just pure luck the fixtures were rescheduled.

      • My neck my back my Saed Kol…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Personally I was building a squad of 10 for the blank and was gunna free hit the double but now as I have city, united villa and Burnley players I don’t need to free hit the double and will just triple C

        1. wasp3000
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 9 days ago

          That's ideal man. All the best with it.

          1. My neck my back my Saed Kol…
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 9 days ago

            Cheers man, got very lucky I can’t lie. Good luck with your plans

    2. Atimis
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Have following dilemmas for DGW

      1) Stones or Justin - have Cancelo
      2) Ghazi or Raphinha - have Bamford

      ??

      1. Catastrophe
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Stones (close) Raph

      2. Tonyawesome69 FH36
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Stones raph

    3. TAT
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      My team for this GW. If FH-ing next GW, is it worth doing Vestergaard + Taylor > Robo + Dias for a -4?
      Or is it better to just do Vestergaard > Robbo for free, and play Dallas or Coufal?

      Martínez
      Chilwell - Dallas - *Vestergaard*
      Son - Raphinha - Fernandes - Salah
      Watkins - DCL - Bamford
      (Button - *Taylor* - Coufal - Anguissa)

    4. JelliedSpark968
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Worth taking a -4 to go Firmino to Kane?

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

        If you're not using Free Hit in GW18 it could be worth it

      2. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Probably worth more than -20 if we calculate their pts difference in the end of the season.

    5. JariL
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Would you do anything here or burn a transfer? FH18, BB19. 0.0ITB.

      McCarthy // Johnstone
      Cancelo // Justin // Coufal // Balbuena // Alioski
      Salah // Bruno // Son // Rashford // Soucek
      Vardy // Bamford // Brewster

      Ideally I'd like to downgrade someone in order to afford Son to KDB in GW19, but hard to justify downgrading anyone!

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

      Happy New Year folks.The team news section regarding Man city seems to have completely ignored Aguero, am I missing something and do we think he will start?

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

        You seem to have ignored that Kun is old & an injury waiting to happen these days...

        If I were compiling the expected teams for all sides, I wouldn’t include Kun either... why would you?

    7. wilson007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      MARTINEZ Forster
      CANCELO Robbo Dallas Coufal Bernardo
      KDB BRUNO SON Salah Soucek
      BREWSTER Adams Bamford

      2FT 0.7 ITB

      Was going to FH18 BB19 but thinking I could survive 18 and BB19 if I did Bernardo, Adams -> Lowton, Watkins

      which gives

      MARTINEZ
      CANCELO LOWTON Robbo Coufal Dallas
      KDB BRUNO SON Salah Soucek
      BREWSTER WATKINS Bamford

      for gw18, and would have 1 more FT next week. Can always FH if things go wrong.

      Could then BB in 19 if I sort out Forster.

      Am I nuts? Or could this work...

    8. JelliedSpark968
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Odds on Smith-Rowe starting some games? Only 4.4m

      1. EmreCan Hustle
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Won't be nailed on. Especially if Arsenal sign a creative midfielder in January

    9. mojoindojo
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      A. Maddison Soucek Firmino
      B. Son ElGhazi Watkins

      1. mojoindojo
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        For DGW 19

      2. EmreCan Hustle
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        A. But maybe Ings instead?

    10. Babit1967
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Guys how does Podence and Taylor to Martinelli and Bellerin look for free?

      Not using fh till 19 so building a team for blank 18 and Martinelli will usually be benched as a fifth mid

    11. Tshelby
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      2FT/0.0 ITB

      A or B?
      A) KWP to Ayling
      B) Grealish to El Ghazi

      Team:
      Martinez
      Kilman, Chilwel, Coufal, KWP, Dias
      KdB, Bruno, Salah, Grealish, Soucek
      Adams, DCL, Bamford

      1. mojoindojo
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        B

    12. xHaTr
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Start Two:

      A: Mitchell (Sheff Utd Home)

      B: Dallas (Spurs Away)

      C: Coufal (Everton Away)

      D: Dias (Chelsea Away)

      1. mojoindojo
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        BD

      2. JelliedSpark968
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 9 days ago

        C and D

    13. The Tinkerman
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      The S*n reporting that HALF of the Man City squad was diagnosed with Covid before the Everton game. Probably rubbish as per, will be an interesting presser though.

      1. Pukkipartyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        And still they opened training two days ago. Sounds like bs.

      2. EmreCan Hustle
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        IMO they would have cancelled both games at the same time if that was the case.

    14. ZoumasBloomers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Starting Soucek over Raphinha when already starting Bamford and Dallas is logical right?

      1. Atimis
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Sounds reasonable

      2. JelliedSpark968
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Yes, chances are that you'll need your bench anyways

    15. LIARS POKER
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Can't see a good way to bring KDB in as I am FH next week and for the funds would have to significantly downgrade Kane for a hit

      Thinking of trebling up on City defender and bringing in Stones for Taylor (already own Dias and Cancelo). Would then do either Son to Rahsford or Kane to Vardy for the DGW

      Thoughts? Too risky to go without KDB?

      1. The Tinkerman
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Wait to see who is out with Covid at the presser today

    16. EgyptianKing
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Any advice here? 1 FT 0.0 itb

      Martinez
      Cancelo Dias Dier
      Bowen KDB Salah Son Bruno
      DCL Adams

      X Kilman Brewster Mithcel

      Thank you!!

    17. Sgt Frank Drebin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Now that Man City and United play in the GW18 I'm not so sure it is worth to FH. Even fielding 7-8 players should be fine rank wise and I would ideally save it for later, especially with possible covid postponements. What do you think?

      1. Make United Great Again
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Completely agree. It’s changed everything.

        7-8 starters isn’t worth taking a free hit for

    18. Sif
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Majority of team now has a DGW18

      BB would mean downgrade Grealish > Soucek and use cash to upgrade Button & Brewster.
      Or just put out best 11 on gw18 & play TC

    19. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Pep presser today? Time?

      1. EmreCan Hustle
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        1.30pm UK time.

    20. Steve Stiffler
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Rashford or Son for captain?

      1. Miguel Sanchez
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Son

      2. JBG
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Son

      3. Make United Great Again
        • 8 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Son.

    21. thegaffer82
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

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

      Overnight I have been given an extra 5 DGW19 players as well as 1 extra BGWer.

      What are people who WERE building for BGW18 and FH19 NOW doing?

      Doesn’t seem worth a FH in 19 anymore to me. Don’t really have time or transfers to build a BB team either...
      TC (KDB) perhaps?

      1. CRO KLOPP
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        In my case it's TC in 19,and either 8 players for a hit or FH
        BB is not good beacuse there is no rest betwen 18 and 19,so I expect rotation again

    22. FatmanAndRobin
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Dilemma: A B or C
      On a WC

      A: Keep Rashford v Villa -> then to KDB
      B: Flip to Zaha for 1 GW -> then to KDB
      C: Rashford to KDB now

      This is all aimed towards BB GW19. Will have .1 ITB so thinking about price rises and taking the risk of leaving the KDB transfer until GW19

    23. CRO KLOPP
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Maybe there is chance that Roy plays Mitchell behind PVA?
      Mitchell does improve Palace defence when he is on the pitch

    24. shirtless
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Banking my 0.1 and moving Taylor out for Pieters which gives me 0.5 in the bank and the option of bringing in a 4.5 keeper for DGW19. I can then play BB instead of TC'ing as I will in theory have a full XI but no City. Still FH'ing next week BGW.

    25. manu4life99
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Would you FH or play this team gw18

      Martinez
      Cancelo Dias
      Bruno Son Grealish
      DCL

    26. JelliedSpark968
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 9 days ago

      Most likely 3.9 defender to start? Amartey? Mitchell?

      1. xHaTr
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 9 days ago

        Strujik

        1. JelliedSpark968
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 9 days ago

          I thought so, but I have 3x Leeds already