Gameweek 24 is almost upon us which gives us an opportunity to have a look at some more differential options.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Burnley, Chelsea and Fulham, who we think have the potential to make an impact.
As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 2.2%
- Price: £4.5m
- GW24-28 fixtures: cry + FUL | WBA | tot | ARS | eve
Following the inclusion of Ben Mee (£5.0m) in last week’s column, this time it’s the turn of team-mate Matthew Lowton (£4.5m).
Owned by just over 2% of FPL managers, the full-back has impressed this year and took up his most advanced position of the season against Brighton and Hove Albion last time out. That was in part due to Graham Potter’s 3-4-1-2 shape, but the fact Lowton registered three shots and had more final-third touches than any other player on the pitch is encouraging.
They were a little unfortunate to concede too, restricting their opponents to just two shots on target and 0.52 expected goals (xG).
It’s also worth pointing out that both of Burnley’s opponents in the forthcoming double, Crystal Palace and Fulham, have often looked vulnerable when defending the left-side of the pitch in recent matches. That is something Lowton and Johann Berg Gudmundsson (£5.4m), the Clarets only natural right-sided midfielder who is now available again after injury, will surely look to take advantage of.
Meanwhile, Burnley’s clean sheet prospects look promising, as the Eagles are set to be without talisman Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m) and have failed to score without him in the starting XI this season. Fulham aren’t exactly known for their goalscoring either, and though that could change if they can up their conversation rate, I think owners can go into this double optimistic that Sean Dyche’s side can return at least one clean sheet.
Lowton has upped his performance levels in recent weeks, and now adding more consistency to his game, could be a solid differential.
- FPL ownership: 4.4%
- Price: £5.7m
- GW24-28 fixtures: NEW | sou | MUN | EVE | lee
Prior to the departure of Frank Lampard, César Azpilicueta (£5.7m) was facing an uncertain future at Chelsea.
The Spaniard had fallen below Reece James (£5.0m) in the right-back pecking order, which limited him to just eight Premier League starts up until Gameweek 20. However, Azpilicueta was restored to the starting XI in Thomas Tuchel’s first match in charge against Wolverhampton Wanderers and has stayed there since.
In fact, the captain has played every top-flight minute under the German coach, and is clearly benefitting from his manager’s decision to play a 3-4-3 formation. Now stationed on the right of a back-three, a position he thrived in under Antonio Conte in the 2016/17 title winning campaign, Azpilicueta is averaging 7.25 points per game and posting some encouraging numbers.
Over the last four Gameweeks, amongst all defenders, the 31-year-old ranks joint-fourth for created chances, sixth for penalty area touches and tenth for final-third touches. He even provided a goal in the 2-0 win over Burnley.
During that run, Chelsea have given up just five shots on target and 1.98 expected goals conceded (xGC), the lowest total in the league, which has helped them deliver clean sheets against Wolves, Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur. The quality of their opponents should of course be considered, but regardless, it’s a positive sign so early in Tuchel’s reign.
Azpilicueta is a real leader, and alongside Thiago Silva (£5.6m) and Antonio Rudiger (£4.6m), offers plenty of clean sheet potential in the coming weeks.
- FPL ownership: 0.2%
- Price: £4.4m
- GW24-28 fixtures: eve + bur | SHU | cry | liv | MCI
23-year-old Antonee Robinson (£4.4m) joined Fulham from Wigan Athletic back in August, and has been one of their best performers since.
Though he is still waiting for his first attacking return of the season, his numbers are encouraging, and if Scott Parker’s side can step up and start converting their chances he could offer value at just £4.4m.
Since making his debut back in Gameweek 4, Robinson has shown himself to be effective in the final-third.
Amongst all top-flight defenders, he ranks joint-seventh for created chances and final-third touches, eighth for crosses and second for successful take-ons. In fact, only Luke Ayling (£4.4m), João Cancelo (£6.0m), Ben White (£4.4m) and Azpilicuetahave a higher expected assist (xA) delta, which suggests he has been really unfortunate not to register a single assist.
The Cottagers goalless draw against West Ham United last time out leaves them 18th in the standings with 15 points, eight less than Burnley who are 17th. And though their Double Gameweek fixtures aren’t the easiest, their appeal is boosted by games to follow against Sheffield United and Crystal Palace. It’s also worth noting that they have a guaranteed fixture in Blank Gameweek 29, which could be useful for those who have already used the Free Hit chip.
Robinson has looked good since arriving in South London, and given the schedule, could be an effective budget differential.