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. b91jh
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Start 2:

    A) Rudiger
    B) Cresswell
    C) Castagne
    D) Holding

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

      AD

    2. Don Kloppeone
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      AD

    3. Peteski29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      AD

  2. Don Kloppeone
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 10 days ago

    Last try - would appreciate your views!

    Which combo on WC:

    A) Lingard, Maddison, Wood, Dias, Coady ** No Son for DGW32 **
    B) Son, Maddison, Davis, Fofana, Holding ** No in-form Lingard **
    C) Sterling (> Son in 32), Lingard, Davis, Veltman, Amartey ** 1-week punt on Sterling **

    Cheers and GL

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

      C if you must punt. Think saving FT would be more important with funds to upgrade two defenders

      1. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        If I don't punt then which of the other options do you like?

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

          I mean C but Son directly and upgrade Veltman (terrible fixtures) and Amartey who is expected to lose his place to Soyuncu

          1. Don Kloppeone
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Ok got you so you prefer getting Son but don't trust Maddison (i.e. in option B)?

    2. b91jh
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 10 days ago

      I'm on something similar to A, no Son, benching Madders this week, then Wood next week.

      1. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Thanks mate

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

      B although Veltman does cover GW33 nicely in C

      But B you have to decide between Maddison or Lingard (with Antonio out).

      Hence my dilemma in my post) 🙂

  3. Il Capitano
      2 months, 10 days ago

      Checked the team news tab and looks like ESR could be benched at the weekend, should I start Bamford or Cresswell over him?

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

        Think he plays nr 10 as Odegaard is injured

        1. Il Capitano
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Righto, will keep him in the XI then, cheers.

      2. tabby98
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        A) Lingard + Coufal/Holding
        OR
        B) Neto + Fofana

      3. Super Jack Grealish
        • 8 Years
        2 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. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Lose Coady I think.

        2. PascalCygan
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A.

      4. Cojones of Destiny
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Captain;
        a. Kane
        b. Bruno

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

          Bruno

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

        Klopp: "To be 100% honest, we don't know yet. We played on Tuesday, flew back on Wednesday, trained yesterday. Some players still felt the game. Injured... is nobody from the game. We have to see what we make of the information they give us today."

        Jota may be protected for 2nd leg, back from long term injury and had alot of minutes

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

          Can't see it, sub app vs Arsenal and not full 90 in Madrid. I think that was his protection

        2. Qaiss
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          They’re fighting for top 4

        3. Steve The Spud
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 10 days ago

          3 full days rest between games, I think he gets 60 at least

        4. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          He'll get enough mins to have an impact imo

        5. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          And it begins

        6. Super Saints
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Salah may be protected for the 2nd leg

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

        Best 3rd striker? Have Kane and nacho:

        Lacazette
        Jesus
        Dcl
        Wood
        Ings

        1. ZAMUNDA
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Same situation and I already have DCL. I'd go for Jesus (C) if nailed. Or Ings

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

          I was on laca. But tempted by Jesus now

      7. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Start Bamford or Watkins?

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Has to B B

      8. Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 10 days ago

        With Antonio out we will see the return of lord souceck’s goal scoring run

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Soucek*

        2. MMN
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          When was Antonio ruled out?

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

        A) Salah, Iheanacho, Fofana, Holding
        B) Lingard, Vardy, Castagne, Phillips

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

          Lingard Iheanacho Fofana TAA

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

            Have TAA in both.

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

              Then A, but will try to get Lingard

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

                Can't squeeze Lingard in over Gundogan/Neto with A unfortunately.

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

                  Yeah same boat, got both Lingard Gundo and the latter will go for Son next week; back again after GW34. I would prefer Lingard over Neto, just me.

        2. Jon Snow
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A

        3. Neo-Viper
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Definitely A

      10. The Red Devil
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        GTG? Subs order correct?

        Sanchez
        Stones/Shaw/Rudiger
        Salah/Son/Fernandes/Lingard
        Kane/DCL/Vydra

        Martinez/Raphonha/Phillips/Dunk

        Cheers!

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

          I’m playing Philips over Shaw currently

          1. The Red Devil
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            what about the keeper?

      11. SomeoneKnows
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Is Masuaku nailed? Need his spot for both GW32 & GW33 so trying to decide between

        A) Martinez + Coufal
        B) Mendy + Masuaku

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

          I'm afraid he isn't, but I guess nobody knows?

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

            Given my nickname I must strongly disagree... Someone surely knows 🙂

      12. cheese XL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Digne & Raphinha ➡️ TAA & Jota worth a - 4?

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

          Yes for next few GWs (may not be paid off this week); any other option than Raphinha out?

          1. cheese XL
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Could just do Digne to TAA, or Struijk to Phillips the other move I'm considering. Cheers

        2. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Yes

        3. Thomas Magnum
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Would try keep Raph but that looks good

      13. b91jh
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Who is the better one-week punt - Raz or Auba?

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

          Auba

        2. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A

        3. Thomas Magnum
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Auba cause he didn't play midweek

      14. Manani
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        which 2 to bench:
        A. Rudiger
        B. Holding
        C. Coady
        D. Reguilion

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          ab

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

          CD

          1. Neo-Viper
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            This

      15. PattBrofield
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        I’m stuck here boys... 1FT and a lot of fires

        Areola

        Shaw, Cancelo, Azpi

        Bruno, Gundo, Lingard, Raphina, Bale

        DCL, Kane

        McCarthy, Targett, Dunk, Bamford

        Bale to Salah?? (Makes it hard to get son next week without going Salah to Son)

        Send help

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Who would you rather ultimately have Salah or Son?

          1. PattBrofield
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Ultimately Salah long term. But son on the double with decent fixtures seems a good move ..

            1. Thomas Magnum
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 10 days ago

              It's tough, Salah may well outscore Son in the double. Going without Son myself on WC as I have Kane and Salah and could have Lucas Moura.
              It's a tough one though would try get Bale out though for sure

              1. PattBrofield
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                Thanks mate good luck for the GW

      16. Rhodes your boat
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Would you rather have

        A) jota (could get Philips for pool defence next week)
        B) Taa

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Taa without a doubt

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

          B

      17. Stupendous
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Lingard or Madd on WC?

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Madders for that Euro spot

        2. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Lingard for the Euro spot

        3. Manani
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Money no issue,

          A. Laca
          B. Iheanacho

          1. Manani
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            sorry reply fail.

            I went for Lingard from the 2

      18. JONALDINHO
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        How long is Antonio out for ?

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Until the end of the season is the rumour

      19. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        How’s this looking?

        Mendy
        Rudiger, Phillips, ***
        Salah, Jota, Fernandes, Lingard, ***
        Kane, Iheanacho
        Forster, Vydra, Shaw, Coady

        Who for the last 2 spots?

        Def: Dias, Castagne, Azpi
        Mid: Gundo, Mahrez, Foden, Son (will define Son next week anyway)

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          7/10 g2g

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

            What don’t you like? Other than no TAA which I’ve made peace with

      20. RECKLESS
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Who to pick from these 2 in 3-5-2?
        1) Perreira(WBA played well vs Chelsea and look the team with purpose in relegation battle)
        or
        2) Lingard( Was on 2 but no Antonio has made me two minds about it)

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A

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

          A

      21. Fernandito
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        A Mendy Castagne Saka
        B Schmeichel Coady Lingard

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A

        2. RECKLESS
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          A of those. Can advice me above mate?

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

        If we exclude TAA which are current attacking defenders right now, mates?

        On WC

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Shaw, Regulliondon, Target, Digne

        2. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Shaw
          Alonso

          It’s a slim list

      23. LLoris
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

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

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

        1. beetlejuice
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Rudiger over Coady/Saiss

      24. beetlejuice
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        What would you change in this WC team? I wanted to set up a tea with high ceiling hence ended up with some risky players but with playing backups.
        Thanks!

        Leno | Forster
        TAA | Alonso | Shaw | James | Holding
        Son | Salah | Jota | Fernandes | Neto
        Kane | Nacho | Vydra

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          For which week WC?

          1. beetlejuice
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            Current

        2. RECKLESS
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          Neto stats have been poor apart from.last game plus they have nothing to fight for...I am between Lingard and Perreira for.last spot as both have something to fight for

          1. beetlejuice
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            I'd go Saka if not Neto. Lingard is out of reach.

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

          I would go Rudiger for Alonso and get Lingard that way

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

        Latest WC Draft

        Mendy Forster
        TAA, Shaw, Rudiger, DIAS, Holding
        Salah, LINGARD, Bruno, Son, Jota
        Kane, Ihenacho, Davis

        LINGARD. I have for now
        1. Is it best to stick with form or will Antonio being out probably end of the season be too much (But do have Newcastle away on GW32)
        2. Go to Maddison early (or swap in GW33)
        3. Go with Mount

        Dias could become anyone really but may hold or go punty with Regulion

        Any thoughts really appreciated

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          For which week WC? 2

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

            Sorry I meant swap Lingard to Maddison in GW33 and keep Lingard.

            I am just afraid of Lingard's output without Antonio

        2. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          I personally like chances of Maddison doing well although this week less so..... planning in a Lingard to Maddison switch seems silly though!

      26. Tabbara
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Thoughts on this WC draft :

        Mendy Forster
        TAA Rudiger Coady Shaw Masuaku
        Maddison/Son Salah Jota Lingard Fernandes
        Davis Kane Iheanacho

        Thx

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

          Very nice. I like it. Is Maddison can be Son today? If so I would swap in GW33

          1. Tabbara
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 10 days ago

            yes will keep maddison, and bring son in GW33

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

              32?

              1. Tabbara
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 10 days ago

                yes sorry, meant GW32

      27. Original - Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        Is a Lacazette a good replacement for Antonio. The others strikers being Macho and Kane.

        1. DRIZ ✅
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 10 days ago

          State of Lacazette last night, would avoid.

      28. Totti
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 10 days ago

        RMW plz

        Lloris patricio
        Maguire laporte holding rudiger phillips
        Sterling jota bruno lingard neto
        Kane ings iheanacho