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. Weasel Boy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Vardy to Kane or no?

    Vardy DGW coming up so reluctant

    1. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Nah. Keep Vardy. He has a good fixture

    2. EmreCan Hustle
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      No.

    3. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Vardy and his ongoing groin injury is probably an issue.

  2. Ha.
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Taylor to

    A. Lowton
    B. Holding

    Captain

    1. Kane
    2. Salah

    1. Lignja
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      A1

  3. TAT
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Worth doing Vestergaard + Taylor > Robbo + Dias for a hit, or just one of the transfers, and play Dallas or Coufal?

    1. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      One and play Coufal

      Both moves are good in the long term though

      1. TAT
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 15 days ago

        Yes. Not doing the Dias move this week, will make me have to do a -4 for GW 19. Maybe a -8, if needed.

  4. Burger_and_Chips
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Shall I get rid of Grealish and go with Al Ghazi, seems a better value considering also on pens?

  5. FDMS All Starz
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Wood or Watkins?

    1. wantsharptv
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Woods

    2. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Watkins. Burnley attackers should be banned from FPL.

    3. iveseenitall
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Watkins

  6. Steve Stiffler
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Captain Rashford or Son?

    1. wantsharptv
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Son

    2. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Son

    3. Over Midwicket
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Son

  7. wantsharptv
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Dilema

    Who would you sub?

    A. ZOUMA V MAN CITY (H)
    B CHILWELL V MAN CITY (H)
    C. DALLAS V TOTTENHAM (A)
    D. LOWTON V FULHAM (H)

    Thanks!

    1. Corgzzzz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      A&B

      1. wantsharptv
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 15 days ago

        Only subbing 1!

    2. iveseenitall
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      A&C

  8. andres
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    anyone for wc18 and BB19?

  9. AD2110
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    I swear I can’t remember a blank gameweek this early on in the season last season? Or was it just only a couple teams which had a blank?

  10. ⚔★Vibudh★⚔
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Play Rodrigo or Holding?

    1. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Holding

  11. Blanka
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Who's the best defender to bring in for James, nothing itb. Have no idea on my chip strategy yet wither ha. Burnley?

    1. Easy Cheesy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Targett

  12. HD7
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    After the update of fixs yesterday I was wondering If FH18 and TC19 is the best strategy for my team.
    If I do two transfers I can get up to 8 players for GW18 and I can use FH19. Having said that I wont like so much my team back in GW20.

    So FH18 and TC19 best for this team?

    Mccarthy
    TAA Holding Taylor
    Salah Son Bruno Grealish
    Wood Bamford Kane

    Button Mitchell Coufal Bissouma

  13. Corgzzzz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Chilwell, Grealish out for.......
    Maguire, El Ghazi......good idea ??

    1. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Just Chilwell > Maguire if you want United defence

  14. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Can anyone tell me where I could find Mane's & Salah's record against Soton?

    1. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 15 days ago

      I consider these records useless and strongly advise against them being used to make decisions but here - https://www.transfermarkt.com/sadio-mane/bilanz/spieler/200512/plus/1

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 15 days ago

        Cheers Flair! I know I don't pay much heat to it. Just like to see if a certain player likes scoring against one team.

  15. ZoumasBloomers
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Mad to captain Kane over Son? Leeds can’t defend balls into the box so could see Kane nodding one in

    1. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Not mad at all. I’d just rather Son as he’s more explosive

    2. Flair
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Not at all. Going Kane over Son myself

    3. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      I can see that happening also. But even more Son using spaces on their defense and scoring more than one.

    4. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Not sure if thats madness, ever considered Son over Kane for captaincy

    5. DAZZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Son will have a field day against that Leeds backline.

    6. Astronautovic
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      I am going with Kane as well. But i don’t have Son

  16. youzef
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    McCarthy
    Aurier Cancelo TAA Taylor
    Mahrez Salah Fernandes
    Watkins Vardy Wood
    Bench: Ryan Soucek JWP Mitchell

    Pick one
    1) Mahrez and Taylor out for Zaha and Alioski /Dallas (-4)
    2) Mahrez and Vardy out for Son/Rashford and Bamford (-4)
    Or keep ft and play FH18

  17. iveseenitall
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    I think im free hitting in gw19 as im set up nicely for the blank with 9 starters. I have 1FT this week then another next week, any thoughts on how I should use transfers before the freehit team for the double?

    Johnstone, 4.0
    Zouma, dias, dier, justin, kilman
    Salah, fernandes, son, neto, burke
    Kane, dcl, bamford

  18. Garfield1001
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Captain Son or Bruno?

    1. Boss Hogg
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Son

    2. JaydenLFC87
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Bruno

    3. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Bruno

  19. konrad.sygula95
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    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. Boss Hogg
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      A

    2. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      A

    3. Maeki2
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 months, 15 days ago

      I go justin to get leicster cover

  20. Boss Hogg
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Taylor to Maguire for -4?
    Yes or no?

    (Dallas and Coufal on the bench to come in if Taylor is out)

    1. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Play Coufal

  21. JollyGoodYellows
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Was all set on saving my FH and maybe only using TC in 19 but tempted to just attack the fixtures now and FH18 then BB19.

    Any thoughts on what to do with this team? 2FTs and 0.1itb

    Mccarthy (Martin)
    Zouma Dias Dallas (Konsa Neco)
    Salah KDB Bruno Son (Anguissa)
    DCL Bamford Adams

  22. Nolberto Solano
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Plan is FH18 & BB19. I have 1 FT to use.

    Areola (Johnstone)

    TAA - Justin - Taylor* (Coufal - Dallas)

    Salah - Bruno - Son* - Soucek (Raphinha)

    Kane* - Bamford - Adams

    Plan was always to remove one of Son/Kane, however worried both will explode. Do I leave them in and take a hit in GW19?

    A) Taylor -> Lowton
    B) Son -> Rashford
    C) Kane -> Vardy

    1. Easy Cheesy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 15 days ago

      I think kane to vardy feels balanced this week. I’d probs do A tho

  23. Easy Cheesy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Chance of one of these playing this week? RJames, Taylor or Balbuena. Would ideally like to focus elsewhere but not sure if I end up with just two defenders if I don’t make a move

  24. Cahill
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    hows this for DGW19 BB?
    2 hits to get there

    Martinez (DGW) Fab (DGW)
    chillwell (DGW) dallas (DGW) alioski (DGW) coufal (DGW) stones (DGW)
    salah (DGW) bruno (DGW) grealish (DGW) soucek (DGW) son* (sgw)
    vardy (DGW) watkins (DGW) bamford (DGW)

    no pool defence and no city attack worrying. try get KDB somehow?

    1. Free Hat
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Looks very good.

      Only way for kdb is son, vardy downgrade I reckon.

      But you cant have them all. Depends on who you d like to cpt that gw I think.

  25. Garfield1001
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Need to do a transfer this week as FH18 and BB19, or lose it. 0 ITB

    McCarthy Johnstone
    Robertson Justin Coufal, Lowton Dallas
    Salah Bruno Son Raphinha Soucek
    Adams Kane Bamford

    Any suggestions?

  26. JaydenLFC87
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Who are people captaining this week?

    It’s between the 2 below for me, can someone tell me which is better ?? Trailing in my ML so need a different option to most to gain points

    A) Zaha

    B) Salah (Safe)

    C) DCL

  27. Garfield1001
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Play two:

    Adams (LIV)
    Soucek (eve)
    Raphinha (tot)
    Dallas (tot)

    Opinions appreciated

    1. Little Red Lacazette
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      B,C

    2. Jason M
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 15 days ago

      Adams and Soucek

  28. bobwils
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Tierney likely to start?

  29. Nespinha
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Would you -8 to make these changes for BB19?

    Out - Taylor Grealish son martial

    In - cancelo Barnes KDB watkins

  30. tabby98
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 15 days ago

    Mccarthy
    Robbo, Justin, Stones
    Bruno, Salah, Son, Raphinha
    Bamford, Vardy, Adams

    Johnstone | Soucek, Alioski, Coufal

    Is this starting 11 right?