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. Gun gun
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Is barnes nailed?

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Based on form you would think so, but not sure. Prefer Soucek/Raphinha.

  2. Gooner97
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    When are you going to WildCard guys?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 21 days ago

      When I'm unhappy with my team.

      1. SuperG
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        This. IMO hold your wild child for as long as you can. There’ll almost certainly be a tough period in a couple of months where you’ll wish you had it in your back pocket.

    2. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Before next set of DGWs

    3. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      probably around GW30

    4. Karhumies
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Now.

  3. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Start

    A Martinez (mnu) or
    B Johnstone (ARS)

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      B

    2. Gooner97
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      B

    3. iveseenitall
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      B

    4. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      A

    5. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Have both and on Martinez.

    6. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Have both and going Martinez, I’ve started Johnstone 3 times Mate and he got 0,2,0!! Martinez got blank,11,3 on my bench!! Cannot risk starting him again imo

  4. Catastrophe
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 21 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

  5. Burger_and_Chips
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Who's the better captain pick?

    A. Son
    B. Kane

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Probably B for pens.

    2. iveseenitall
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Ive gone with B

    3. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      A

    4. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Have both and currently on Son

    5. Make United Great Again
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      A

  6. Ha.
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Play Stones or Dier?

    1. iveseenitall
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Dier

    2. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Dier for sure

    3. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Stones

  7. iveseenitall
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Probably free hitting in gw19 as im set up nicely for the blank with 9 starters. I have 1FT this week with another next week, any thoughts on if 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

  8. Sid07
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Have 2 ft
    1) kdb to son
    2) dcl to vardy
    3) kdb + dcl to son+ kane
    4) taylor + dcl to lowton + kane

    1. Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      4, but Holding

    2. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      FH in 18? If so you'll want to use both

      2 for me. Dont lose KDB before DGW19!

      1. Sid07
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Yes will fh 18

  9. Alisson WondHaaland
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Best DGW BB combo?

    A) Vardy Bowen Harrison
    B) Rodrigo KDB (c) Bissouma

    1. Catastrophe
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Who is the captain in A!?

      1. Alisson WondHaaland
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Salah

  10. aidmata
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    McCarthy Areola

    Dallas Lowton Coufal Balbuena Robertson

    Salah Rashford Soucek Raphinha Bruno

    Bamford Kane Adams

    0ITB but got 1FT to use as will use FH next week - considering burning it? Will likely get downgrade Kane to get KDB as part of a -4 next week.

  11. fakelund
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Team looking okay for this week? Or should I look to move Taylor and/or JWP on, and get a stronger starting 11 this week...

    Martinez
    Cancelo, Dallas, Coufal
    JWP, Grealish, Bruno, Salah, Neto
    DCL, Kane (c)

    (4.0, Konsa, Brewster, Taylor*)

  12. Squib
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Any suggestions welcome please:
    2 FT
    0 ITB
    McCarthy Nyland

    Ayling Stones Coufal CTaylor Mitchell

    Bruno Salah KDB Son Grealish

    Bamford DCL Brewster

    1. iveseenitall
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Talor to lowton, michell to struijk

      1. Squib
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Stujik getting game time?

  13. How I met your Mata
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Worth getting Johnstone for a non playing GK for the double for a -4 (on BB)

    1. Tonyawesome69 FHXX
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      If playing BB you need a playing GK. A hit is worth bringing one in

    2. Davros
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Borderline. Depends if you will want to swap back to 4.0 GK afterwards

    3. Alonso's Ball
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      If you look at any 2 consecutive games he has played so far this season, he has failed to get 4 points 3 times out 16 gameweeks. With 3 returns (running total across 2 gameweeks) above 12 points. If you don't need the money, and will definitely bench boost anyway, ai would say go for it

  14. ItOnlyTook9Years
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Lose:
    A) Mitchell
    B) Kilman
    For:
    A) Dias
    B) Stones
    C) Maguire

    1. Boss Hogg
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      BB

  15. Boss Hogg
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Any defender worth a hit for Taylor this week?

  16. Alonso's Ball
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Made a mistake not transfering Matip out yesterday so I've missed the price drop, but gives me an opportunity to decide on strategy (this is a complex one!)

    McCarthy, Steer
    Matip*, Ayling, Targett, Coufal, Mitchell
    Salah, KDB, Bruno, Soucek, Bissouma
    Kane, Bamford, Adams

    In both options it's FH gw18

    A) play triple captain in gw19, and transfer Matip to Robertson (2.9m ITB) for a strong dgw first 11 (maybe use the gw19 transfer for Kane to Vardy)

    B) BB in 19 with a -8 to make 4 transfers by gw19 (Steer, Matip, Mitchell, Bissouma -> Johnstone, Dias, Lindelof, Harrison)

    I won't fully commit to either strategy until just before the gameweek starts, but I need to know what transfer to make today to line it up

  17. Pepeye
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 21 days ago

    5 City players tested positive Tuesday New tests Wed/Thurs and today Steffen plays at Chelsea

  18. Il Capitano
      3 months, 21 days ago

      FH18 BB19. Really need to nail my starting 11 this week.

      Taylor to Lowton or Balbuena?

      Adams or Coufal in for Soucek/Raphinha/Dallas?

      Johnstone the better pick than McCarthy this week?

      1FT 0.2m ITB

      Johnstone
      Robertson Justin Dallas
      Salah Son (C) Bruno (VC) Soucek Raphinha
      Vardy Bamford

      McCarthy - Adams Coufal Taylor*

    • LLoris
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      GW 18 Options
      A) FH
      B) Play 7 players (Pope Dias ElGhazi Bruno Son Kane Watkins)

      1. Oldie99
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        They say that a quid is always worth more today than tomorrow - so by that logic using FH would be best, as you dont know if there will be a better time for it later on

      2. Alonso's Ball
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        no KDB is the biggest issue here on 7 starters as most will captain him given the fixtures. You might get away with it, but if he hauls you could see huge rank drops

    • Oldie99
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      RMWCT:

      McCarthy Johnstone
      Coufal Dallas Stones Cancelo Targett
      Salah Bruno Son Lookman Raph
      Vardy Antonio Bamford

      FH18, then 1FT for BB19 either Salah to KDB, Son to Rash or Vardy to Aguero depending on where the land lies.

    • celticman
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      play Martínez or
      McCarthy ?

      1. afcblegend
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Nice choice to have. I'd go Martinez, can see that being 0-0 seeing as I'm planning on watching it.

    • DAZZ
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Since when did Rob Holding become a popular option? Seeing a lot suggest him. Arsenal cant defend

      1. Pukkipartyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Cheap/Fixtures.

      2. AC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I’m interested in him as a swap for Lamptey and Taylor. Fixtures look ok and I’m not free hitting in 18 so it’s holding or lowton probably for me. He also has some potential from corners.

    • Tshelby
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Repost

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

      1. Pukkipartyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Why B? U want Grealish back soon.

      2. Maeki2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Or grealish to barnes

    • Hazardous1983
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      What to do with these.... watkins taylor zouma dias podence mitchell

      2.4m in bank

    • gryffsonofarthur
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Need help with this. Have 2 fts and will either do

      A) Forster Taylor to Fabianski Cancelo (KEEP BREWSTER)

      OR

      B) Forster Brewster to Fabianski Rodrigo (KEEP TAYLOR)

      Which option is better?

    • Steve Stiffler
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Benching headache this week.

      Current defence is: Chilwell, Dallas, Creswell Dier Lowton

      Bench is: Adams, Soucek, Wilson

      Do I need to swap any or is it OK the way it is? thanks so much.

    • tabby98
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Start Adams or Soucek?

    • yousunkmybattleship
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Anyone know what time Pep press conference is?

        1. yousunkmybattleship
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          Thanks!

    • Nespinha
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Would you consider a -8 if that would mean 15 DGW players and 2 being KDB and Cancelo?

    • afcblegend
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Morning all, bit of a noob question, but would I keep or lose any free transfers after having played the free hit card? Haven't played since they switched to these 3 chips, and can't see the answer on the help section.

      As in,
      GW17 - 1 FT available
      GW18 - Play free hit
      GW19 - 1 or 2 FT available?

      1. MissouriMarten
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        You only come out of playing a free hit with 1 free transfer intact.