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. Please Answer Me
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    A) Philips and Vardy
    B) TAA and Lingard

    1. Van der Faart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B

    2. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B

    3. Snooze ya lose
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B

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

      B

    5. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B

      1. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        That said I'm being careful to leave a route to Salah from 35 on when the fixture swing really turns hot for just in case

    6. Hits from the Bong
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B

    7. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B

  2. Mesh
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    A or B?
    A. Mendy & Fofana
    B. Leno & Shaw

    I also have Rudiger and Holding

    1. Snooze ya lose
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      A

    2. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      A

  3. tankle
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    On WC and planning BB32, which combo would you prefer?

    A) Alonso/Moura/Jota*/Vydra
    B) Alonso/Son*/Neto/Vydra
    C) Rudiger*/Moura/Neto/Lacazette*

  4. #Swish41
    • 11 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    WC finally locked...BB next week.

    Mendy
    Rudiger Coady Phillips
    Salah(c) Son Bruno Lingz Jota
    Kane(vc) Bamford

    Forster, Nacho, Shaw, Forfana

    GTG?

    - Jota could be Maddison/Gundo
    - Forfana could be Keane/Stones

    1. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      It's quite boring but good.

      Play Nacho over Bamford this week.

      I still don't like these City-less drafts but none of your picks are bad so it's probably fine.

      1. Weasel Boy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Yes think Cty less could bite some teams.

        Going with Dias + Gundo myself on WC

      2. Baron Saturday
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Camzy, you still running with KDB captain this week?

    2. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      I'd want someone in defence who in theory could get attacking returns

    3. #Swish41
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Thanks all. Agreed Nacho over Bam this week. Will get some City in GW 34 after their blank in 33 given likely rotation this week...unless Pep gives a hint in his presser...

  5. FCSB
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    On a WC:

    1. Mendy Rudiger
    2. Mendy Fofana
    3. Schmeichel Rudiger

    ?? Thanks

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

      2

  6. Nedvěd11
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Lingard, Bruno, Salah, Jota, XXXXXX

    Best one week midfielder punt?

    ITB 10.4

    A) Mount
    B) Neto
    C) Other

    1. Hy liverpool
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Pulisic

      1. Nedvěd11
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Sure he will start?

        Punted on Havertz last GW...1 pointer..LOL

  7. Stupendous
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Mendy from City a decent punt on WC?

    Surely he starts a fair few and starting with Leeds?

    Even if it's a one week punt that I then move to a Spurs defender or someone else.

    1. Stupendous
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Mendy to Coady even

    2. Nedvěd11
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      I like it !

      1. Stupendous
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Ederson Mendy Sterling(c)

  8. Nightcrawler
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Shocked by the news of the royal death

    Surely football is cancelled this weekend? Dont think most of the player british players will be in he state of mind to compete

    1. Stupendous
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      You have to be kidding surely

      What an absurd comment.

      If I weren't to be banned I would share my true feelings of the news!!!!

      1. Nightcrawler
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        The man was a british legend. Im not even from uk and i feel sick. Can only imagine what some of the brits would be going through

        A truly sad day

        1. Stupendous
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Jesus christ what sick world do I live in

      2. Would Ed Woodward
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        You didn't get banned for spreading misinformation so I'm sure you'll be fine. Also, he's joking/trolling.

        1. Stupendous
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Spreading factual based information that doesn't align with THE MSM and govt narrative doesn't mean misinformation.

          Clear off and find consciousness

          1. Would Ed Woodward
            • 2 Years
            5 months, 21 days ago

            Yesssssss

    2. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ CMIUK
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Yes, and we should all get a free WC to cope with the grief

    3. Richard Richard (AKA: Anzhi…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      He's kidding and quite right too.

      Old privileged racist from a hereditary cult. Not for me.

      1. Stupendous
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Thats the polite statement

  9. JJeyy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Going into this Gameweek with Sterling and Raphinha instead of witching to the Jota and Lingard template will be interesting

    1. Hy liverpool
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Raphina ownership is higher than jota

      1. JJeyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        not come this week

        1. JJeyy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          EO speaking

  10. Jimjam
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Who to ditch for Jota?

    (A) Raphinha
    (B) Gundogan

  11. Bojam
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Considering a WC here. What do y'all think?

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

    Sanchez; Watkins; Coufal; Dallas
    0.7ITB

    Would you:
    a) Save team
    b) Watkins -> Iheanacho (-4)
    c) Bale -> ? (-4)
    d) WC?

    Will be using the FH in 33 so might be worth hanging on to the WC until 34.

    Cheers!

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Save. Play Watkins.

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

        Instead of Bale?

  12. kysersosa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Thoughts on WC Draft 3

    Thoughts - predominantly a 352

    Martinez
    TAA, Ruduger, Stones
    Salah, Maddison, Bruno, Mount, Gund
    Kane, Nacho

    Forster, Wood, Targett Jones

    0.3 ITB

    TIA

  13. Zlatan F.C
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Am i G2G? Plan is to get Son for Gundo next GW

    Mendy (Forster)
    Rudiger TAA Fofana Holding Coufal
    Salah Jota Gundo Lingard Bruno
    Kane Nacho Vydra

  14. Tonyawesome69
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Bruno or Vardy for the last premium spot and why

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

      I have the same dilemma, and just think Bruno will "jog" along nicely has two possible captain weeks and hold alot of money in him.

      I don't think I will ever captain Vardy and wont get Bruno back very easily

  15. El_Gigante
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    2FT

    GW31 Watkins > Brewster; GW32 Digne > Coady, Raphinha > Son

    or

    GW31 Watkins > Vydra; GW32 Digne > Holding, Raphinha > Son

  16. The Colonel
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Mitrovic or Vydra on WC? Have FH for GW33. Feel like Mitrovic also good option for GW35 when i plan on using my BB?

  17. Mahjongking
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

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

    Subs steer cresswell shaw vydra

    Gtg?

    Initial team

    Shaw rudiger stones
    Kdb jota lingard foden bruno
    Kane dcl

    Subs steer cresswell bam dallas

  18. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    On a WC and trying to pick a blooming City player midfielder who will be replaced with Son...
    Money not an issue, edging towards Mahrez or Sterling

    a) KDB
    b) Mahrez
    c) Foden
    d) Gundo
    e) Torres
    f) Sterling

    1. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      I'd go Sterling

  19. Al-Chemy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    All sorted with my WC team?

    Mendy Martinez
    Dias Shaw Phillips Holding Veltman
    Salah Son Bruno Jota Lingard
    Kane Nacho Bamford

    Other move I'm thinking is trying to get a Leicester defender in there, potentially for Dias after this week.

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Is both Mendy and Matrinez required? Downgrade one to upgrade defense slightly
      Nice mid
      I am going Raphinha over Bamford personally. You are probably doing the right move 🙂

      1. Al-Chemy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        You're probably right, I could drop Martinez, as won't play him for a few weeks anyway.
        Yeah I was torn between the two, I'd prefer Raphinha but I guess there's a lot of decent midfield options atm!
        Good luck mate

        1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          cheers you too

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

      I would drop Dias and Phillips and Martinez to Forster, TAA, and possibly Rudiger

  20. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Would you make any changes for my WC?

    Mendy Forester
    TAA Saiss Coady Holding Fofana
    Salah Jota Fernandes Son Esm
    Kane Iheanacho Vydra

    1. Hits from the Bong
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      I’d lose a wolves defender

      1. LLoris
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        For??

        1. 12steps
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Rudiger?

  21. Hits from the Bong
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Captain:
    A. Salah
    B. Lindgard

    1. Al-Chemy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      A

    2. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      A

    3. Hits from the Bong
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 19 days ago

      Dammit

  22. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    A) keep KDB and captain him (VC Kane)

    B) KDB Tierney ➡ Salah(c) Rudiger -4

    C) KDB Antonio ➡ Salah(c) Antonio -4

    1. Nedvěd11
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Antonio in and out...I would save him 😛

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Lol

        Should nacho in 😀

        1. Nedvěd11
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          5 months, 21 days ago

          Would not take minus 4 on any of the options if Antonio is back in 1 week. But are there any news on him?

          You prob. can manage without Rüdiger / Iheanacho for -4 in GW31...

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

            Rumours are he is out for the season

            1. Nedvěd11
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              5 months, 21 days ago

              If true than C...

  23. Bullet Eder
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Please could I have some help with my final two wildcard dilemmas:

    A. Son and Nacho
    B. Vardy and Neto

    C. Start Shaw
    D. Start Vydra

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      A
      C

    2. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      AD

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

      A C

  24. Yozzer
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Who to lose for Jota chaps ?
    A Lingard
    B Raph
    C Gundo

    1. A-L
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      B for now (fixtures), can always get back later

      1. Yozzer
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Thank you . Good point

  25. winchester
    5 months, 21 days ago

    hey there lads! have 1,7m itb and 1ft / WC and TC available - What to do with 1ft?

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

    a) son -> jota?
    b) raphinha -> jota?
    c) anything else?

    1. A-L
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Keep Son for DGW32, would go B (see above)

      1. winchester
        5 months, 21 days ago

        Cheers! not sure how I could not see that.. Would you care to share some other tips? perhaps bring in a defender or ? cheers!

    2. A-L
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      If I had that team I would Wildcard personally. I've posted my WC team, so you can see the structure I'm thinking of. If just using free transfers, I'd probably get on Chelsea defence as defence is probably your problem area, and your midfield / forwards aren't bad

  26. Nedvěd11
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Who more likely to play full 90 min and CS?

    Holding vs SHU (A), FUL (H)
    Rüdiger vs CRY (A), BHA (H)

  27. half_time_oranges
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Been playing with an all English squad all season, currently at 327k. Here's my current wildcard, think Southgate would be interested?

    Johnson (Button)
    TAA Stones Shaw (Holding Phillips)
    Sterling Lingard Maddison Rashford Mount
    Kane DCL (Watkins)

    1. Whazza
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Love this, nice rank with that in mind!

  28. Slitherene
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Bench which 1?

    A) Lingard (LEI)
    B) Jota (AVL)
    C) Iheanacho (whu)

    Best 1 week punt?

    1) Jota
    2) Mount
    3) Pepe

  29. Big Ronnie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    Last decision on WC, which do you prefer?
    Which £5m defender do you rate the best? Coady, James or Fofana.

    Mendy, Forster
    TAA, Shaw, Rudiger, xxx, xxx
    Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
    Kane, Nacho, xxx

    A) Coady, Masuaku, Vydra
    B) James, Holding, Vydra
    C) Fofana, Holding, Vydra
    D) Coady, James, Davis
    E) Coady, Fofana, Davis

    1. b91jh
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      C or E

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 21 days ago

      Fofana perhaps

      Would say James but he gets irritating cameos fairly frequently

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

      C

  30. b91jh
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 21 days ago

    On WC, thoughts on Auba(c) then change to Salah next week?

    Also start one:
    A) Holding
    B) Cresswell
    C) Castagne