Double Gameweek 25 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 Southampton, Brighton and Hove Albion 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: 5.0%
- Price: £4.9m
- GW25-29 fixtures: CRY | wba | LEI | sou | NEW
Lewis Dunk (£4.9m) has played an integral role in helping Brighton and Hove Albion keep five clean sheets in their last six league outings.
And that defensive solidity, combined with the 29-year-olds aerial threat from set-pieces, could make him a shrewd differential pick for FPL managers on the lookout for a new defender.
In recent matches Brighton have been defending much better, which is reflected in the numbers. Over the last six Gameweeks, only Manchester City and Chelsea have conceded fewer shots in the box, with the Seagulls giving up just four big chances during that run.
However, Dunk’s appeal is further boosted by his goal threat. Since the beginning of the season, the Albion captain ranks second amongst all defenders for attempts in the box and fifth for expected goals (xG). For context, his 18 shots in the box is only three behind team-mate Leandro Trossard (£5.7m).
Brighton continued their run of impressive performances against Aston Villa last time out, when they were unlucky not to win, and now face a Crystal Palace side who have failed to score in their last two matches and will again be without the influential Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m). It’s also worth noting that they have given up more headed attempts than any other side over the last four Gameweeks, which Burnley were able to capitalise on last weekend.
Importantly, Dunk has been ever-present for Graham Potter’s side this season when available, and with his ability to contribute points at both ends of the pitch, is a tempting investment given Albion’s schedule.
- FPL ownership: 0.5%
- Price: £6.0m
- GW25-29 fixtures: CHE + lee | eve | shu | BHA | —
Attacking midfielder Takumi Minamino (£6.0m) moved to Southampton on deadline day in search of more first-team opportunities.
The 26-year-old has since started back-to-back Premier League matches, operating as a wide midfielder who drifts infield in Ralph Hasenhüttl’s 4-4-2 / 4-2-2-2 setup. Equally comfortable playing both centrally and out wide, it’s a role he looks an ideal fit for, in a system he may be better suited to than Jürgen Klopp’s 4-3-3.
The fact that he has played under Marco Rose and Jesse Marsch in Austria, and of course Klopp, is also positive, given that they all share a similar playing philosophy to Hasenhüttl.
Despite being short of match fitness, Minamino made an instant impact on his debut at Newcastle United, scoring in the first half, and though he failed to build on that performance last time out, you’d now expect him to get a run of starts as Southampton aim to get their season back on track following six successive league defeats.
Up next is a tricky home tie against Chelsea, whose defensive numbers have been superb under Thomas Tuchel so far. However, it’s worth pointing out that the schedule has been particularly kind, and that there could be gaps for Minamino to exploit with César Azpilicueta (£5.7m) sometimes joining the midfield line. The second part of the Double Gameweek sees them take on a Leeds United side who can be pressed into making mistakes, and do tend to give up chances from the zone the Japanese international primarily operates in, so there is potential to do well despite some testing matchups.
Minamino is an exciting footballer, who will be a genuine threat for Southampton once up to speed, and could be a nice pickup for those on the lookout for a real midfield differential.
- FPL ownership: 0.7%
- Price: £5.5m
- GW25-29 fixtures: SHU | cry | liv | MCI | LEE
Fulham’s Josh Maja (£5.5m) has impressed since making his first start last weekend, and quickly established himself as a key part of Scott Parker’s young team.
The 22-year-old is the exact type of player the Cottagers have been missing this season, with Fulham’s other main forward options Aleksandar Mitrović (£5.5m) and Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.3) contributing a meagre five league goals between them.
However, Fulham are creating chances regularly. This season, they rank 13th for expected goals (xG), eighth for chances created and 11th for shots in the box. The issue has been their conversation rate, with their front line regularly failing to take their chances.
The hope is now that Maja can build on his brace against Everton, offer a focal point for his team-mates and grab the goals to keep them up.
The gap between Fulham and Premier League safety is now six points ahead of a massive match against Sheffield United on Saturday evening. An away trip to Crystal Palace follows, so there is potential to do well and pile the pressure on 17th placed Newcastle United. It’s also worth noting that their home game against Tottenham Hotspur still needs to be rescheduled, which should form part of a Double Gameweek in the coming weeks.
Maja is an exciting prospect, and if his performances so far are anything to go by, he can offer FPL managers real value at just £5.5m.