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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Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships and monthly subscriptions are now available.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

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avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/818/history”

1,194 Comments Post a Comment
  1. A Fat Spanish Waiter
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 months, 10 days ago

    I’m torn: Raphinha or Lingard. Thoughts?

    1. FantasyHero
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Lin is most in form player atm. Also has decent fixtures until the end

    2. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      I keep both, leave Salah out

    3. Raheem S. Archer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Lingard for now

    4. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Lingard

    5. Snooze ya lose
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Lingard

  2. Dragon1983
      6 months, 10 days ago

      Not on a WC - any recommended changes to the below or G2G ?

      Mendy
      Rudiger, Stones, Digne
      Son, Mount, Bruno, Neto, Lingard
      Kane (c), DCL

      Martinez, Phillips, Shaw, Bamford

      Thanks Guys.

      1. A Fat Spanish Waiter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        I don’t love Mount in there TBF. You have no Pewl starters, What about Jota?

      2. FantasyHero
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Looks good

      3. Snooze ya lose
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Jota

      4. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Mount > Jota or Bamford > Iheanacho

        1. Dragon1983
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Thanks guys. I don't love Mount either but he keeps scoring - and have a feeling Jota might not start this weekend ? (although same could be said about Mount).
            I had penciled Jota for Son week 33 or 34.

      5. Raheem S. Archer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        A) Mendy & Coady
        B) Leno & Fofana

        Coady/Fofana would be cover for Alonso (Along with TAA, Shaw, Holding)

        1. FantasyHero
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Since you already have holding, A

        2. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          A

      6. MGD
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        1. Son + Antonio* + Williams* -> Jota + Iheanacho + _____

        A) Robertson
        B) Phillips

        or

        2. KDB + Antonio* + Williams* -> Jota + Vardy + Phillips

        1. FantasyHero
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          2

          Why get rid of won before DGW

      7. FantasyHero
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        What would you do here. 1 FT 3.9M itb

        Martinez (Forster)
        Azpi stones cresswell (konsa andersen)
        Gundo jwp Bruno lingard bale
        Rich kane (antonio)

        1. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Gundo or bale to jota

      8. Jimmy Boy
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Anyone else taking a gamble on KDB (c)?

        1. FantasyHero
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          He won't start for sure!! So 9ts a huge gamble fyi

        2. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Ballsy!

        3. Stand By Mee
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          It was my plan but getting cold feet

      9. aleksios
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Azpi or Alonso ?
        On wc.
        Thanks.

        1. FantasyHero
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Azpi for me

        2. Raheem S. Archer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Alonso has higher ceiling. Depends if your bench is strong enough to cover + if you're chasing in a ML

        3. Valkyrie
          • 7 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Azpi for sure. Captain and nailed on. Alonso may get rotated with Chilwell

        4. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Azpi

      10. Valkyrie
        • 7 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Hey guys.. will Maddison start now that he is back from injury?

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Yes, he should

        2. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Defo

      11. Whazza
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Jamaal Lascelles confirms to talkSPORT that he has suffered a stress fracture of the foot
        This could mean missing EIGHT weeks but the NUFC captain has said he will do all he can to be back in time for Sheffield United (H) and Fulham (A) at the end of the season

        1. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Maybe starting Vydra isn't the worst

      12. Jack Burton
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Hi all how bout Auba for Bale as a one week punt then Salah next week, any reason not too

        1. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Could work

          1. Jack Burton
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Cheers mate gl

      13. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Best 1 week City midfielder punt?

        A) Gundogan
        B) Mahrez
        C) Any other (not sterling or KDB)

        1. SomeoneKnows
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Same dilemma but leaning towards simply playing Son and banking next week's transfer

          1. TheDragon
            • 3 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Ye it’s a v tough choice

        2. pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Foden is the other option

          He has double digits in him and has been lightly played recently - by Pep anyway.

        3. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          All a gamble

      14. SomeoneKnows
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Anything I should change in this WC?
        Plan is to BB on GW32

        Martinez (Forster)
        TAA, Rudiger, Coady, (Fofana, Coufal)
        Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
        Kane, Ineanacho (Bamford)

        Thinking of perhaps playing Gundogan instead of Son this week

        1. bso
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          That is what I have done. Keep the cash and bring him in next week.

        2. Snooze ya lose
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Looks gd

        3. A Fat Spanish Waiter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          I wish I could even get to that team, so ya, gtg.

      15. Super Jack Grealish
        • 9 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Thoughts on wildcard draft, ended up 0.1m off it as had no rises or falls, best way to make up the money?

        Mendy, Forster
        TAA, Dias, Shaw, Rudiger, Coady
        Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
        Kane, Inheancho, Vydra

        A) Forster > Fabri
        B) Shaw > Fofana
        C) Coady > Veltman/Holding
        D) Vydra > Davis (have to play him in 33)
        E) Other

        1. Herman Toothrot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          B

      16. bso
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Will Shaw start I see he is marked injured?

      17. FPLMACKEM
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        6 months, 10 days ago

        How's this WC looking?

        Mendy, Forster
        Coady, Holding, Rudiger, TAA, Amartey
        Salah, Jota, Bruno, Neto, lingard
        Vydra, Kane, Iheanacho

        0.2 itb

        Next week to transfer lingard > son

      18. Lignja
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Gtg? Final wc...corect bench or swap something, have hard time picking first 11 this week

        Mendy
        Philips, Coady, Holding
        Salah, Son, Bruno, Jota, Gundogan
        Ihenacho, Kane

        Forster, Dcl, Rudiger, Shaw

      19. Atimis
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Mendy/Forster
        TAA/Shaw/Fofana/Rudiger/Holding

        Good enough on a WC or some City def or Chelsea wingback needed?

        1. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Well you can’t spend any more money than that on defence!

        2. I Member
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Good enough.

      20. Stand By Mee
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Is Shaw injury one to worry about?

        He is in my WC but I was not planning to play him this GW anyway

        1. claretparrot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          I'm in the same boat (benching this week) and holding based on Ole's comments

          1. Lignja
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Same 3th on my bench anyway

      21. Sean
        • 11 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Repost

        Can someone pick holes in this WC for me please?

        Martinez Leno
        Shaw Regulion Rudiger Holding Phillips
        Salah Son Mount Madison Jota
        Kane Bamford Vardy

        1. Sean
          • 11 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          For me there's probably too many rotation risks in def

          1. Crunchie
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Nacho for Bamford. TAA for Phillips and maybe downgrade Regulion unless double is essential

        2. cravencottage
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Looks fine- Regulion is good for the double but then get him out

      22. HD7
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        How about this WC draft, mates?
        I call it the attacking one

        Mendy, Forster
        Fofana, Rudiger, Philips , Holding, Diop,
        Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Neto
        Kane, Vardy, Davis

        1. HD7
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          (+) Has most of the big attacking players. Dont need to worry about Nacho and if he is nailed in the next GWs. TAA was the obvious sacrifice. I just don rate Liverpoool defence to get a lot of cleanies, even with those nice fixs. He may grab a goal or an assist but I dont think he will get a lot of cleanies.

          (-) Obviously defence suffers, but there are enough players to get in, if someone doesnt start (I hope).

        2. cravencottage
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Good team. Nothing wrong with it. Personally I would want a bit more attacking potential of defense

          1. HD7
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            Actually, If we exclude TAA which a re current attacking defenders right now?

      23. internal error
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Palace vs Chelsea score predictions?

        1. Holmes
          • 8 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          1-2

      24. seewhyaxe
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Trying to fit in Maddison in the WC midfield. For those whom have him, who did you drop in favour?

        1. b91jh
          • 4 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Dropped Son from the template five, plus Kane, Nacho and Wood upfront. Benching Madders this week and Wood next week.

          1. seewhyaxe
            • 4 Years
            6 months, 10 days ago

            so you're definitely not gonna bring Son back for the doubles?

      25. Whazza
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Klopp on team news:

        No new injuries, 'we have to see with the information today, if we have to change something we will see tomorrow.'

      26. Dybala10
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Worth doubling up with Mendy and Rudiger or go for a safer starter in defence like Fofana/Dawson?

        1. cravencottage
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Double on Chelsea

        2. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          I would double with two of Fofana/Dawson/Coady in there

      27. Ruinenlust
        • 3 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Salah or Jota???

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Salah

      28. cravencottage
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Team is :

        Bruno, Raphina, Son , Jota, ______
        Kane, Nacho _____

        A) Wood and Sterling /KDB
        B) Vardy and Mount

        1. Sotamendi84
          • 5 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          B

        2. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          B

        3. Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          B

      29. Sotamendi84
        • 5 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Start one:
        1) holding
        2) coady
        3) castagne

        A) iheanacho
        B) vydra

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          1 B

      30. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Anyone going with West Ham defense on WC? If so who, tossing up between Coufal Dawson and Masuaku

        1. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          Dawson here. Like his goal threat, hopefully he aims for the right goal for the rest of the season. Can't work out if Masuaku is nailed so no go for me

      31. Nightf0x
        • 6 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Rate my WC team

        Mendy forster
        Holding philips rudiger sais dias
        Mount jota son bruno lingz
        Laca vardy kane

        1. Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          6 months, 10 days ago

          7/10

      32. LLoris
        • 2 Years
        6 months, 10 days ago

        Would you make any changes for my WC?
        Rudiger or Saiss or Sanchez for the dgw?

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