Spot the Differential

Fit-again Tierney can capitalise on Arsenal long-term fixture appeal

Double Gameweek 27 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 West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United and Arsenal, 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.

Kieran Tierney

Tierney back in Arsenal line-up as Thiago misses out for Liverpool
  • FPL ownership: 4.4%
  • Price: £5.2m
  • GW27-31 fixtures: bur | TOT | whu | LIV | shu

Kieran Tierney (£5.2m) has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers this season, and now back to full fitness could be a smart differential.

The Gunners recent upturn in form has seen them beat Leicester City and Benfica in back-to-back matches, and lose just one of their last five – a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

In that loss against the league leaders, Tierney was heavily involved in the final-third with 26 touches in that zone, more than any other Arsenal player, and nine crosses. With plenty of freedom to get forward, his average position on the day was actually higher than that of team-mates Bukayo Saka (£5.2m) and Nicolas Pépé (£7.6m). 

However, he did look a little rusty at times, but has since improved and was excellent against Leicester, regularly bombing forward with plenty of overlapping runs. It is also worth noting that Tierney found the back of the net against Benfica in the Europa League last week, too.

His per 90 stats this season are also worth highlighting. Among all defenders who have played over 500 minutes, he ranks ninth for crosses and eighth for chances created. Considering he has been fielded as a left-sided centre-half on numerous occasions, those numbers are encouraging.

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Burnley who have conceded the third-highest number chances from their right-flank this season. After that, the Gunners host Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby, before a Blank Gameweek 29 matchup against West Ham.

The left side is where Arsenal are at their most dangerous, and with Tierney’s ability to earn FPL points at both ends of the pitch, could be a nice differential for those willing to move away from the template.

Craig Dawson

  • FPL ownership: 1.0%
  • Price: £4.5m
  • GW27-31 fixtures: LEE | mun | ARS | wol | LEI

Craig Dawson (£4.5m) moved to West Ham United on a season-long loan from Watford back in October.

The 30-year-old has had to be patient, but has now started the last 11 Premier League matches and established himself as an important player for David Moyes’ side.

The Hammers have been one of the best sides in the league this season, and have looked defensively sound throughout. As a team, they have conceded just 31 goals, kept nine clean sheets and rank fourth for expected goals conceded (xGC).

While the fixtures, at least on paper, aren’t exactly straightforward it is worth pointing out that West Ham beat Leeds United back in December, and it required extra time for Manchester United to see them off in the fifth round of the FA Cup. They narrowly lost 2-1 at Arsenal in September, but won convincingly against both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City earlier in the season, keeping clean sheets on both occasions. Crucially, they have a Blank Gameweek 29 fixture too, for those looking to navigate the blank without a Free Hit. 

However, Dawson’s appeal is further boosted by his aerial threat which has already seen him score three goals in all competitions this term. It could prove to be the difference maker against Leeds too, as the Whites have conceded the most goals in the Premier League from set-pieces this season, while West Ham have scored the most, with 13.

In a relatively short space of time, Dawson has proven he still has the ability to thrive in the Premier League, and could be a useful budget asset for the run-in.

Mbaye Diagne

  • FPL ownership: 0.7%
  • Price: £6.0m
  • GW27-31 fixtures: NEW | cry | – | che | SOU

Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) has enjoyed a promising start to life at West Bromwich Albion, and along with fellow January recruits Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£4.6m), Okay Yokuslu (£4.5m) and Robert Snodgrass (£5.6m), have made a real impact for Sam Allardyce’s side.

The Senegal international joined the Baggies from Galatasaray on loan until the end of the season, and has made seven Premier League appearances since, scoring one goal and providing two assists.

During that time, he ranks second amongst all forwards for expected goals (xG) which is encouraging, but he does need to add a more ruthless streak to his game. If he can do that, further goals will follow as he’s getting chances.

Albion are now nine points off safety, and face 17th place Newcastle United in a relegation six-pointer on Sunday. Given that the Magpies have a host of injuries including Callum Wilson (£6.5m), Miguel Almirón (£5.6m) and Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m), they will fancy their chances too. It’s also worth noting that Steve Bruce’s side have conceded 20 headed attempts in the last six matches, only Crystal Palace have allowed more, which is relevant with Diagne’s ability in the air.

The towering centre-forward will now be looking to add to his tally this weekend, and could be an effective differential for FPL managers on the lookout for a new forward.

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461 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Spearmint
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    My MINTY guide for this week is live!:

    My FPL Live! stream will kick off at 10pm GMT for those of you interested. (

  2. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Which option?

    A. Lingard
    B. Auba

    Cancelo Stones Targett
    Salah Son Gundogan(C)

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Cancelo Stones Targett
      Salah Son Gundogan(C) Raphinha XX
      Bamford Watkins

      Areola DCL Maguire Tarkowski

  3. MikeNash404
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Start 2, bench 1..

    A) Saka
    B) Raphinha
    C) Watkins

  4. MikeNash404
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Start 3, bench 1..

    A) Saka
    B) Raphinha
    C) Watkins
    D) Bruno

  5. Anshuman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 7 days ago

    Hi everyone these are excerpts from our weekly newsletter ahead of GW 27. If you enjoy it, you can find us @RealACScouts on Twitter.

    Here’s Your Famous GSE

    With only four fixtures slated to go ahead in Blank Gameweek 29, many FPL managers already have or are still looking to bring in players who have attackable fixtures leading upto and in the blank gameweek.

    West Ham are bang in form, rank second-best in terms of fixture difficulty from now till the end of the season and fortunately for us are chock full of viable FPL assets.

    Michail Antonio is a stats monster. He has lead the non penalty expected goals plus expected assists per 90 chart since Project Restart last season. To put it into context his underlying expected metrics are better than Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane… IN THEIR PRIMES. Obviously, he’s not as good a finisher as the other two. But he offers West Ham a real focal point to their attacks and in return his teammates make finding him their priority. Add to this his assist potential and there are the makings of a very complete centre forward. He had the two biggest chances of the game against Manchester City and is someone you can expect steady returns from even in games against the traditional Big Six teams. West Ham play United and then Arsenal in GWs 28 & 29 respectively.

    His next game against Leeds has echoes of his four goal game against Norwich last season. Can lightning strike twice?

    Jesse Lingard has made West Ham a far more fluid attacking outfit straight away after his introduction. He has returned in 4 of the 5 games he has played in for the Hammers. It’s important to note J.Lingz doesn’t feature prominently in the expected goal involvement metrics over the last 5 and has significantly over performed on them. But he looks amazing on the eye test, has a point to prove and has always been someone who can finish from range i.e. low xG chances. The only caveat here is that he is ineligible to face parent club Man United in GW 28.

    Aaron Creswell is the leading points scorer amongst defenders in the game with 9 clean sheets, 9 assists and 17 bonus points so far this season. And he has done that from playing left centre back for most of the season! His shot creating actions from dead ball situations per 90 has jumped up from 0.2 (last season) to 1.08 this season. Which goes some way to explaining his success. In English, West Ham are a David Moyes team. Which means they will look to keep it tight at the back and make the most of any set piece situations. And who’s their set piece taker extraordinaire? The combination of the two smells like a recipe for FPL success.

    O Captain! My Captain!

    Manchester City have a double gameweek. Every game is a good game for them both offensively and defensively.

    Defensively, Ederson and Dias are likely to play both games. United have drawn six of their seven meetings with the Big SIx 0-0 after the 1-6 mauling by Spurs at Old Trafford in GW 3. That result seems to have scared Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from trying to open up in the big games. So, United are likely to try and keep this cagey and hit City on the counter. But City have improved tremendously in this regard this season. If it ends up 0-0, City defenders are likely to be in the bonus because of their high pass completion rates. Joao Cancelo and John Stones could be decent options but there’s no guarantee of them starting both games.

    Offensively, the Southampton game looks particularly enticing. There’s potentially big gains to be had if you can predict who will start the the second game and do well. The upside play would be to own and captain that player. Any one of Gundogan, KDB, Foden or Mahrez could be this player.

    Single Gameweek Players

    Harry Kane/ Son Heung Min/ Gareth Bale: Despite holding Man United to a 0-0 draw Palace are there for the taking. Traditionally, this looks like a Harry Kane fixture against the parked bus of Crystal Palace. If you don’t own him Son Heung Min is a perfectly viable option. He has turned into more of a creator since Gareth Bale’s introduction but could easily notch a goal or two in this fixture as well. Over the season, Crystal Palace are the second worst team in the league for chances conceded down their left flank. With Tyrick Mitchell out with a muscle injury and the more adventurous Van Aanholt restored to the XI, Gareth Bale could well have a good showing again this week.

    Michail Antonio for the aforementioned reasons.

  6. Finding Timo
      1 month, 1 day ago

      All, just for next 3 games.. a)pope to Martinez B) mee to Konsa or mings Or even c) pope to Areola