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. GE
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Play Son or Holding?

    1. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Son, they trashed 6-1 united

      1. Louis Van Gaalstones
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        True, but since that point almost all top 6 opponents have been 0-0

      2. Tinkermania
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 23 days ago

        That means it will be 6-1 evrytime they clash?

      3. Zladan
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Was also v 10 men so a huge anomaly.

  2. bobbyg
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Raph to Salah (C) -4 worth it lads?

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

      Yes

    2. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Can you not do it next week for free?

      1. bobbyg
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Thanks lads

        Yeah could do Magic Zico. Just dont have a viable Captain for this week apart from maybe Kane or Jota?

  3. Tinmen
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Guys, would you start Raphinia or Watkins?

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

      Raphinha

    2. PascalCygan
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Raphinha

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Watkins

    4. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Raph

  4. tinear
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Mendy Forster
    Veltman Alonso Cancelo Digne Holding
    Salah Bruno Son Gundo Lingard
    Kane Nacho Vydra

    This draft is template yes. Thinking of hitting wc. Which of these will improve the team?

    1/ Gundo Digne to Jota Reguilon
    2/ Digne/Cancelo to Reguilon
    3/ Gundo to Jota
    4/ Keep both

  5. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

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

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

  6. Jordan.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    cancelo,raphinha,gundogan to phillips,lingard,saka +1.6 coins -4 yes/no

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Not worth it imo.

      1. Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        ok

  7. Big Al Stankovic
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Try to get TAA in for Dias. Downgrade Coufal/Coady and Vydra.

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Reply fail

  8. PP6
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Anyone tempted by Wilson!?

  9. chaser123
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Anywhere obvious to save 0.1m?

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Coady Rudiger Veltman Holding
    Salah Fernandes Jota Lingard Gundogan
    Kane Iheanacho Davis

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Veltman to kilman or mitchell

  10. ChuckN
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    A or B?

    A) Rudiger / Coady / Son / Raphina
    B) Alonso / Saiss / Jota / Neto

    If B would do Sterling to Son next GW....

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      B with Rudiger or Coady instead of saiss

    1. mynameisq
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Damn, gives Gareth another excuse

  11. Rinseboy
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Who to play from
    Watkins Regullion Maja or Dallas?

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Maja

    2. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Dallas. Decent attacking returns against big teams and City won't be full strength mid Dortmund.

  12. Atimis
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Best punt in mid for up to 9.6 this GW?

    1. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Mahrez maybe

    2. ChuckN
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Maddison or Mount imo

    3. Steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      I've been considering this since Wednesday and have concluded i'm going to stick with Son.

    4. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Pepe, Mahrez, Maddison

    5. HashAttack
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Leaning more to just keeping Son and save having to make that transfer next week

  13. Big Al Stankovic
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    On wc, final tinkering.
    Which Lei defender?

    A) Fofana
    B) Castagne
    C) Pereira

    1. GE
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      B

    2. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      A

    3. Zladan
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      A

  14. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Play Raphina, Bamford or Coufal?

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Raph. I think Leeds will score, and he will most likely be involved.

      1. Sharkytect
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Somehow it feels like if leeds score against city it'll be through a poachers finish. I.e Bamford

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          U could be right. But Bamford has been looking cold for some time now, while raph keep delivering class matches week in week out. He rarely subs off as well.

  15. Please Answer Me
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Why aren't people going for Diop instead of Coufal?

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Rather Masuaku for same price.

      1. Please Answer Me
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        is he nailed though?

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          For time being, unless they change formation. Higher ceiling.

    2. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Less chance of attacking returns.

      1. Please Answer Me
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        but Coufal has had 1 attacking return the last 10 games?

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          True, that's not a lot but some buyers tend to look at overall points or overall goals and assists tally rather than last 6 or 8 games or quality of opposition. I had him for many weeks, think FPL points don't reflect his value to West Ham, proper defender. Was also considering Cresswell. But with Rice out and watching them concede 2 against a not great Wolves team I think it's time for him to go, sadly!

          1. Please Answer Me
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            yeah true...who are your defenders then?

            1. GreennRed
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              TAA, Bartley, Rudiger, Shaw and Dallas.

              1. Please Answer Me
                • 6 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Bartley and Dallas? Their fixtures are poor though

                1. GreennRed
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 23 days ago

                  Yeah, Bartley is a last minute swap for Lascelles. Low CS chance, slight hope of attacking return. Benching Dallas and Shaw this GW. Dallas does not too badly against big teams attacking wise and can leave him out for next 3 if needed. On WC and he's the only defender I kept.

  16. Halftime
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    How likely is Antonio to start? Could it be worth a -4 to ship him for INacho?

    1. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Possibly out for the season.

  17. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    No one taking a punt on C.Wilson on WC?

    1. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Not for me Rafa 🙂

  18. b91jh
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Considering Fab over Mendy on WC.. Fab+Forster provides

    wba
    new
    CHE
    bur
    EVE
    FUL
    wba
    SOU

    1. Jon Snow
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Looks tempting but my personal rule is never rotate goalies

      1. b91jh
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        In fact Forster only plays 31 and 36.

    2. HashAttack
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      I've gone Schmeichel and Forster - wba, WBA, CRY, sou, NEW, FUL
      Hopefully gw37 is a double for Soton, (LEE and CRY)

  19. tommo-uk-
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Right I’m locked in. Wildcard Team.

    Mendy

    Mendy - Phillips - Holding
    Salah - Sterling (c) - Jota - Maddison - Lingard
    Kane - Wood

    Bench: Forster - Rudiger - Ihenacho - Shaw

    Taking a punt on Mendy (City) hopefully either starts and does well or zero minutes and replaced with Rudiger.

    Sacrificed TAA to improve mid & att.

    1. tommo-uk-
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Sterling to Son next week

    2. b91jh
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      May get Mendy (Leicester) as well so you get triple points from Mendy.

      1. tommo-uk-
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Why not eh!

    3. Concrete
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Looks decent
      You know the risks with mendy with Zin about

      1. tommo-uk-
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Chances are he plays 70 plus or 0 minutes, and I have decent bench cover. That’s my thinking anyway ha

  20. Concrete
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    A Phillips and Mount/Maddison

    B Masuaku and Jota

    1. tommo-uk-
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      You got salah?

      1. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Yes got Salah

        1. tommo-uk-
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          Guessing your 3rd pool player is TAA?

  21. VTown
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Bench 2:

    A - Rudiger
    B - Coady
    C- Holding
    D - Nacho

    1. SharkyT
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      BC

    2. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      CD

  22. Sharkytect
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Woah woah what what is that luke Shaw flag? I've already had to waste a transfer on Tierney, not another one please

    1. Louis Van Gaalstones
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Went off at half time last night, no indication why yet I think

  23. SharkyT
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    A) Neto + Wood
    B) Mount/Madd + Vydra

    1. tommo-uk-
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      B

  24. Crunchie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    OK, Bit late I suppose

    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

  25. Manani
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    On WC,
    decent enough defender?

    TAA Rudiger Holding Coady Reguilion

    1. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Yep looks good

    2. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Unless u still have bb, it’s a bit heavy in defence.

      1. Manani
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        yea still have BB

  26. Jon Snow
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Need some help with my WC

    Mendy, Forster
    Shaw, Rudiger, Holding, X, Y
    Bruno, Lingard, Jota, Sterling (1 wk punt), Z
    Kane, Nacho, fodder

    A) TAA, 3.9 def, Son
    B) TAA, Dias, Maddison
    C) Phillips, Dias, Son

    1. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      I would forget about Sterling. You could have a great WC

  27. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    What you think guys? Still got WC & BB.

    A. Digne >> TAA (-4)
    B. Play WC
    C. G2G?

    Martinez
    Dias. Alonso. Digne
    Bruno. Son. Lingard. Jota. Raphinha
    Kane(C). DCL
    (McCarthy. Bamford. Coufal. Dallas)

    1. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      When are you thinking of playing it. Its getting close too

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Considering WC34 and BB DGW35 now. What you think?

  28. YoungPretender
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Captain one;
    A) Jota (AVL)
    B) TAA (AVL)
    C) Kane (MUN)
    D) Gundogan (LEE)

    Start one;
    A) Dunk (EVE)
    B) Watkins (liv)

    1. Lignja
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      CB

    2. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      BA

  29. Lignja
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Pick 3 defenders to play this week, Mendy is gk.

    A. Holding
    B. Philips
    C. Coady
    D. Rudiger
    E. Shaw

    Atm on ABC

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      ACD

    2. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      BCD