Spot the Differential

Phillips can offer excellent value as Liverpool prepare for fixture-swing

Gameweek 31 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 Leicester City, Liverpool 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.

Nathaniel Phillips

  • FPL ownership: 1.9%
  • Price: £4.0m
  • GW31-35 fixtures: AVL | lee | NEW | mun | SOU

Academy product Nat Phillips (£4.0m) has taken his chance at Liverpool this season and now offers Fantasy managers exceptional value.

The 24-year-old spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at VfB Stuttgart, where he helped them gain promotion to the Bundesliga. Having arrived back at Anfield ahead of the current season, he wasn’t expected to feature in many games, but has been thrust into action after injuries to key defenders Virgil van Dijk (£6.2m), Joe Gomez (£5.2m) and Joel Matip (£5.4m).

The Englishman has now made 11 Premier League appearances and alongside January loan signing Ozan Kabak (£5.0m), has kept back-to-back Premier League clean sheets. The duo have formed a decent centre-back partnership, and despite a challenging Champions League night earlier this week, it is worth remembering Real Madrid are an altogether different proposition to what they will face domestically during the run-in.

Crucially, the performances of Phillips have the added bonus of allowing Fabinho (£5.4m) to return to midfield. Jürgen Klopp’s side badly missed the Brazilian as a number six, and look a far better side with him sitting in front of the back four.

Up next for Liverpool is Aston Villa, who could be missing Jack Grealish (£7.5m) again this weekend. After that, the Reds take on Leeds and Newcastle, before closing the season with games against West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace.

Phillips costs just £4.0m, and as one of the cheapest starting defenders in the game, could be a quality enabler for the remainder of the season.

James Maddison

  • FPL ownership: 5.0%
  • Price: £7.1m
  • GW31-35 fixtures: whu | WBA | CRY | sou | NEW

James Maddison (£7.1m) returned with an appearance off the bench against Manchester City in Gameweek 30, having missed six matches through injury.

The playmaker had been in exceptional form prior to being side-lined, producing five goals, three assists and 64 FPL points between Gameweeks 17 and 25.

Unsurprisingly, the attacking midfielder has been Leicester City’s main creative outlet this term. Amongst team-mates, he leads the way for final-third touches, successful crosses and chances created, plus expected assists (xA).

However, since late last year, Maddison’s goal threat is improving too, something he touched on in an interview in January: 

“Me, the gaffer and Jack, the analyst, sat down and looked at where I can get more goals. Playing a bit deeper, I was a No.8 today, and breaking into the box and getting beyond that last line and really, kind of, almost smelling where the ball is going to drop. It’s not an easy thing to do. Frank Lampard was the best at it, arriving late and scoring goals, and that’s what I did today.” – James Maddison

Now shooting closer to goal, in more central areas, he has found the back of the net 11 times this season, eight of which have come in the Premier League.

Personal motivation could be a key factor, too. If Maddison is to force his way into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the European Championship this summer, he will need to play a starring role during the run-in. Encouragingly, the fixtures offer him an opportunity to do exactly that, as Brendan Rodgers’s side face West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle United between Gameweeks 32 and 35.

Whether fielded out wide, as a number 10 or deeper, Maddison has found a way to impact games, and could be a smart differential for those on the lookout for a new midfielder.

Rob Holding

  • FPL ownership: 3.4%
  • Price: £4.2m
  • GW31-35 fixtures: shu | FUL | EVE | new | WBA

Another budget defender you might want to consider is Rob Holding (£4.2m).

Following the news that David Luiz (£5.4m) will miss a number of weeks with a knee injury, we think the Englishman is likely to start alongside either Gabriel Magalhães (£4.9m) or Pablo Marí (£4.4m), who are both left-footed.

As the clubs only naturally right-sided centre-back, Holding is the obvious candidate to replace Luiz, and with a schedule that sees Arsenal take on Sheffield United, Fulham, Newcastle and West Brom in the next five Gameweeks, he can offer FPL managers real value.

This season, the 25-year-old has started 21 Premier League matches, and kept eight clean sheets during that time. He has arguably been Mikel Arteta’s best defender, and as a result, was rewarded with a new contract back in January.

Despite a poor showing against Liverpool last weekend, Arsenal do appear to be heading in the right direction. Since Boxing Day, when they beat Chelsea 3-1, they have played 16 Premier League games, winning eight, drawing four and losing four, so their form has generally been good. The arrival of Martin Ødegaard (£6.0m) has added another creative option, and their forthcoming schedule offers encouragement that they can kick on and finish the season strongly.

Holding is likely to keep his place at centre-back in the coming weeks, and at £4.2m, could be a good bargain option for your squad.

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1,194 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Totalfootball
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Man city back 4 for tom prediction ?

      1. DannyDrinkVodka
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Interesting....Stones far more likely to start than Dias according to the fans

      2. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I'll keep Stones, selling Dias

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

      A lot have cancelo in there

    2. Totalfootball
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Wow thanks all
      Really helpful !

  2. Gizzachance
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    thoughts guys
    A dias & phillips
    B taa & coady
    thanks

  3. YEAH PITCH!
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    WC

    Stones > Fofana ?

  4. Henning
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Best Chelsea defender?

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

      Azpil seems most nailed on.

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

        Thanx

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

    Mendy Foster
    Coady Phillips Coufal Shaw Holding
    Salah Sterling Fernandes Lingard Jota
    Kane Iheanacho Vydra

    1.0 still in the bank
    Sterling > Son next week

    Thoughts?

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

      Also planning on BB next week, so good to go?

  6. Connor's Calling
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Does anyone see Bale starting this weekend? Or for either of the doubles for that matter?

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

    Do I need WC lads? And when should I use it to combine it with BB, cheers!

    Martinez,Button
    Dias,Cancelo,Azpi,Coufal,KWP
    Gundo,Raphinha,Bale,Bruno,Trossard
    Kane,DCL,Bamford

  8. Rhodes your boat
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Gtg? 1.1itb

    Areola
    Taa stones shaw
    Salah(c) Bruno son gundo raph
    Kane bamford

    Martinez targett veltman davis

  9. yanky
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    thinking of taking a hit after wc but i think its a decent plan— thoughts?

    Mendy
    TAA Rudiger Holding (Coady Veltman)
    Salah Jota Bruno Sterling(c) Saka
    Kane Iheanacho (Davis)

    plan is to do Sterling Saka > Son Maddison for -4 pt hit in dgw32
    Veltman not a strong option but is my gw33 cover since kane son davis will be benched

  10. DavidHopkin
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 21 days ago

    Which option:

    A. Shaw and Davis
    B. Coady and Vydra

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

    On WC. best 1 week punt for a £9.7m mid or below? Looking to bring in son instead of him for GW32. Already got salah,lingard,Mahrez & Jota.

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

      Maddison or Mount maybe

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

    Is Son essential for gw 32?

    1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      not with mourinho as manager

      1. Bojam
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Mourinho has been manager all season. Yep, even when Son was delivering consistent hauls.

    2. Biggsy
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      No - i'm going for Lucas Moura. WC team is so much better balanced without Son

      1. Eh, just one more thing ...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        I’ve set my team up to give me the option but I really think I might pass ... just can’t stand them under Mou ... so might just stick with Kane solo ..

    3. matiakez
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      I dont think so, the returns just aren't there of late.

      Im tempted to just go kane and Lloris but will probably bottle it and end up with Son.

  13. artvandelay316
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Anyone able to give their opinion on my squad and if the subs are right? Fourth repost. Cheers.

      Pope
      Stones, Rudiger, Cresswell
      Salah (C), Bruno, Gundo, Mount, Lingard
      Kane (VC), DCL

      Subs:
      GK: Forster
      1) Dallas
      2) Bamford
      3) Mitchell

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

      Is this a decent wildcard squad? 1.8 itb.

      Mendy Forster
      TAA Alonso Reguilon Saiss Phillips
      Fernandes Son Jota Maddison Lingard
      Kane Antonio Iheanacho

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

        Antonio injured?

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

      GTG? Rolling a transfer this week with £2.6 and Free Hit still avail...

      Forster

      Rudiger - AWB - Veltman

      KDB (C) - Salah (v) - Gundo - Jota - Raphina

      Kane - DCL

      (Martinez - Bamford - Coufal - Dallas)

    • Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      A Mount
      B Maddison.
      C Jota

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

        Same question I have. Been on Jota all week and now seriously considering Mount. Thinking Salah and TAA is enough liverpool cover given they are still not in great form.

    • Reeker
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Areola
      Dias - Rudiger - AWB
      Gundogan - Lingard - Salah - Son
      DCL - Kane - Bamford
      (Martinez) (Raphinha, Veltman, Dallas)

      1 FT - ITB 4.7

      1. Dallas to Trent (bench Bamford)
      2. Raphinha to Jota (bench Bamford)
      3. Save FT

    • wulfrunian
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Do you think that Lingard will play up front?

      1. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Him & Bowen

    • Fergiesarmy
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Phillips and Salah
      Or B)
      Taa and Jota?
      If A I will captain salah

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

        B

      2. PattBrofield
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        A

        Salah ftw

    • Sid07
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Will you wc this lot, have 2 fts this week

      Martinez meslier
      Azpi dias cancello Dallas coufal
      Salah gundo lingard fernandz son
      Bamford kane Brewster

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

      Which option:

      A) Gundogan (LEE) - Konsa (liv) bench of Gun no show

      B) Jota (AVL) -4

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

        A

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

      Mendy Foster
      Coady Phillips Coufal Shaw Holding
      Salah Sterling Fernandes Lingard Jota
      Kane Iheanacho Vydra

      1.0 still in the bank
      Sterling > Son next week

      Thoughts? BB next week

      1. Shteve
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Looks good but not sure about the BB with vydra and Foster next week..

      2. HashAttack
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Not keen on the Sterling over Son - it means using a transfer next week and you end up with 3m ITB .. which seems to be just wasted money which could be used on your WC instead

    • fplking14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      With Soy back next week, does Fofana keep his place?

      1. Jimbo-Jones
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Think it's Amartey who probably loses out...?

        1. fplking14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 21 days ago

          What if they switch to a back 4?

    • Henning
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      1. Coufal or Coady?
      2. Is Mendy and Martinez to much invested in goalkeepers?

      1. Jimbo-Jones
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        1. Coady for me.
        2. Yes. Pick one and play them every week.

    • Jimbo-Jones
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Any glaring issues? 0.1itb

      Ederson
      TAA Dias Coady
      Salah Bruno Lingard Jota Gundo
      Kane Iheanacho

      Sanchez, Shaw, Rudiger, Vydra

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

      On wc
      Mendy
      Alonso stones coady
      Salah ster(c) mount lingard neto
      Kane jesus

      Subs steer cresswell shaw vydra

      Gtg?

      1. Shteve
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Three man city is asking for trouble

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

          Asking for what trouble? Lol sterling and jesus surely start. Stones maybe nt but cant be forever not playing right.

          1. Shteve
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 21 days ago

            Go for it so. I wouldn't touch city on a wild card. The players you have selected will play at most every second game. You need to look past this GW when on a wildcard.

    • chaser123
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      On wildcard, keep Gundogan this week and transfer to Son next week? Or go with Son in the WC?

      1. Reeker
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 21 days ago

        Son on WC

    • Qaiss
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      If you already had Mendy and Rudiger, would you rather own Alonso or Reguilon/Aurier?

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

      Anyone concerned with Iheanacho playing time now Maddison back?

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

        Yes

    • LLoris
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 21 days ago

      Would you make any changes for my WC? Or G2g??

      Mendy Forester
      TAA D.Sanchez Coady Holding Fofana
      Salah Jota Fernandes Son Esm
      Kane Iheanacho Vydra