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. matiakez
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    lingaard or neto???

    1. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Jesse. Top form

    2. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Same question I have. Form vs fixtures but Hammers have Rice and Antonio out

      1. matiakez
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Yeah its the injuries that really concern me

        1. Stamford Bridge
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Silver lining could be that Lingard gets penalties with Rice out

  2. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    WC look good enough? 2.4m ITB.

    I’m fine with Martinez, happy to punt on Vardy. After DGW32 likely Son and a defender become Salah and a cheaper defender....

    Martinez (Forster)
    TAA Rudiger Dias (Shaw Johnson)
    Bruno Son Jota(c) Gundogan Lingard
    Kane Vardy (Vydra)

    🙂 thanks and GL

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Wouldn't captained Jota when you have Vardy there

    2. yanky
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      i like it but big risk avoiding salah imo, could haul every week from now to the end, maybe fund with nacho over vardy?

  3. Tomas_brolin
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Start Holding or Coady this week? Currently on the Wolves man as Arsenal can’t seem to keep a CS

    1. LLoris
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Rudiger ?

    2. Qaiss
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      And Wolves can?

      Holding. Sheff Utd are down. Fulham have something to play for.

  4. tabby98
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Which WC team is better??

    A)
    Mendy, Forster
    Dias, Rudiger, Coady, Coufal, Phillips
    Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
    Kane, Iheanacho, Vydra

    B)
    Mendy, Forster
    Azpi, Rudiger, Dias, Shaw, Phillips
    Salah, Son, Jota, Lingard, Smith-rowe
    Vardy, Kane, Iheanacho

    1. Hulk Smash
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      A

  5. Fit_to_drop
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Start 1: Shaw (tot) Cresswell (LEI) Coady (ful)

    currently on Cresswell

    1. Reeker
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Shaw

  6. yanky
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 22 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.

    1. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Like it. Help above?

  7. Hryszko
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    On my WC, am I G2G? Got 3.8m in the bank to do Gundo > Son next week for the double. Any changes?

    Mendy
    Rudiger - Trent - Coady
    Salah (c) - Bruno - Lingaard - Jota - Gundo
    Kane - Nacho

    Bench: Forster - Vydra - Coufal - Veltman

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Bench is one man too strong if you have BB'd already. Gundo may not start but you know that. Otherwise fine.

  8. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Captain

    A. Kane
    B. Jota
    C. TAA
    D. Lingard
    E. DCL
    F. Bruno
    G. Son

    1. Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Jota or Kane

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Ive gone Jota. He is hungry.

  9. Pat Bonner
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    What’s the verdict guys?

    A Antonio to iheanacho (bench bamford and play raphinha)
    B raphinha to jota (play bamford, sell Antonio next week)
    C both for -4 and bench bamford

    1. waltzingmatildas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      B

      1. Pat Bonner
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Thanks

  10. Reeker
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Currently on a save because it's the easier decision on a Friday deadline

    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

    1. Kabayan
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Wow, we have similar team. Currently play Raph instead of Bam.

      Decided to save FT myself.

    2. Bojam
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      I think there's definite upside in either 1 or 2. TAA more nailed to start. Jota on fire. I'd do one.

      What would you do with this team?

      Martinez
      Dias, Stones, Azpi
      Bruno, Son, Bale, Jota, Gundo
      Kane, DCL

      Sanchez; Watkins; Coufal; Dallas

      0FT; 0.7ITB

      a) Save
      b) Watkins -> Iheanacho (-4)
      c) Bale -> ? (-4)
      d) WC?

      Planning to FH in 33. Saving the WC for 34 might be useful. Probably a bit late to do it now anyway.

      1. Reeker
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Tough. Leaning towards doing nothing but I dont think Bale will start and dont think he'll do much in the DGW either.

        a or c if anything. WC a bit late for me

        1. Bojam
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Cheers!

  11. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Shaw or Coady (or other) as first sub option defender on WC

  12. kysersosa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Any other teams apart from Villa and Everton awaiting a DGW fixture?

    1. Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      No but lots of chat gw35/36 will be shuffled around to allow fans in which will create a double

    2. Kabayan
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      SOU vs CRY and potentially FA finalist.

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Yes

      Palace and Southampton

  13. jonnybhoy
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Hi guys. Which one?

    A) Lacazette, Phillps, Stones
    B) Vydra, TAA, Shaw

    1. waltzingmatildas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      B

    2. Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      B

  14. I SPEAK ENGELS AND DRINK GI…
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 22 days ago

    On WC
    A) Fofana
    B) Coady

  15. _Ninja_
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Is it worth going Konsa on a WC just for Villas DGW? or just go Coady?

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Rudiger Shaw Holding Konsa
    Salah Bruno Son Jota Lingard
    Kane Iheanacho Bamford

    1. Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Konsa for double looks good, not sure on wolves defence

      1. _Ninja_
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Cheers

    2. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Going Konsa atm. Went Coady over Shaw

      1. _Ninja_
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Cheers

  16. Tinfoil Deathstar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Bench one of Raphinha, Cresswell, or Reguillon?

    1. waltzingmatildas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Reg

  17. waltzingmatildas
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Neto or raphinha?

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Neto for next 3-4. Raphinha thereafter

    2. Pat Bonner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Neto

  18. PP6
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Any suggestions would be great. 1FT

    Martinez Areola
    Dias Stones Azpi Rudiger Burn
    Auba Salah Son Gundo Raphinha
    Kane Bamford *Antonio

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Save a FT might not be the worst thing moving forward

  19. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 22 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

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Not a fan of Sanchez. Seems good to go but do you have funds to upgrade Iheanacho if required?

      1. LLoris
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Nope I have 0 left. But after the Sanchez Dgw Ill lower him if needed. Also is Rudiger 100% nailed or do I just stick to my Sanchez punt?

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          I would think he's nailed. At least for this week since Silva is suspended

          1. LLoris
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            I dont know if I really want to take that risk. Also do you think I should go Sanchez to Coufal or Dallas due to their late fixtures now and save a transfer or Keep Sanchez for the dgw then do the transfer?

  20. I Member
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Is Fofana nailed when Soyuncu is back? Couldn't they switch to a back 4 with Evans and Soy?

    1. Flynny
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Haha I just asked this!

      I think as they play 3 at the back he is safe - but I'm no expert!!

    2. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      I would think they could go 3 at the back. He can also play on the left side

  21. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Who is better wildcard pick?

    A....fofana

    B...coady

    Is fofana secure when soy is back?

    Thanks

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Fofana is first team for sure. Would prefer Coady for the short temr

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Cheers.....don't trust wolves, not sure why

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          I mean they are tight defensively tho. 8 clean sheets already before this run of fixtures

  22. DandyDon
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Must be lots considering this?

    a)Jota and TAA or
    b)Salah(or Mane) and Phillips.

    1st option is 2.2mil cheaper. Salah option leaves me with 0.0 in the bank.

  23. Echoes
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Apologies for the repost, but this remains the only pressing concern for me before deadline.

    Start one:

    A: Raphinha
    B: Lookman

    1. Shteve
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Take a chance on lookman

      1. Echoes
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 22 days ago

        That was my initial thought as well. Thanks.

  24. winchester
      3 months, 22 days ago

      go with 'a' or Wildcard?

      pope (martinez)
      dias cresswell dallas (targett veltman)
      bruno lingard raphinha son (gundo)
      dcl kane bamford

      a) raphinha -> jota
      b) hit the WC chip

      1. Horlicks esq.
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Wildcarding with 4 hours to go is intense. I would risk Gundo and put Raph first sub and roll the FT.

        1. winchester
            3 months, 22 days ago

            would go pretty much template if wildcard.. just considering if i should use it now or later..

      2. Horlicks esq.
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Gamble on Jesus or Werner for Watkins

        or

        Go dullard and do Sruijk to Natty Phillips?

      3. Sz21
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Who would you bring in from-
        1. Fofana (Great fixture run coming).
        2. Rudiger (No other Chelsea defence).

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Rudiger.

      4. Paddy Gooner
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Should I play

        A: Son (3 4 3)

        B: Lingard (3 4 3) or

        C: Holding (4 3 3)

        ???

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Lingard

        2. zon
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          B

        3. Paddy Gooner
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          thanks guys

      5. HammersXI
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Thoughts on this WC and BB32 team?

        Mendy (Forster)
        TAA Coady Rudiger (Holding Konsa)
        Salah Bruno Lingard Jota Son
        Vydra Kane (Nacho)

      6. Plagued by indecision
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Bit frustrated not to have any City cover for Leeds, but I have no confidence about who will play. What do the rest of you think?

        1. HammersXI
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          I'm on WC and steering clear atm

        2. Horlicks esq.
          • 12 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          I'm relying on KDB (C)

        3. Paddy Gooner
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          I'm staying away from City till after their blank. Can't trust Pep roulette.

        4. Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Deciding whether to keep Dias or not on my WC. Leeds are poor at set pieces

      7. jimbobmij
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Pulisic or Podence for my draft team? I'm at bottom place so replacing a gamble isn't a problem if it doesn't work out.