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
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Play Son or Holding?

    1. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Son, they trashed 6-1 united

      1. Louis Van Gaalstones
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

      2. Tinkermania
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

      3. Zladan
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Was also v 10 men so a huge anomaly.

  2. bobbyg
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

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

    1. Echoes
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Yes

      • Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Can you not do it next week for free?

        1. bobbyg
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Thanks lads

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

    2. Tinmen
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Guys, would you start Raphinia or Watkins?

      1. Echoes
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Raphinha

        • PascalCygan
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Raphinha

        • pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Watkins

        • Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Raph

      2. tinear
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 8 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

      3. LLoris
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 8 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

      4. Jordan.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Not worth it imo.

          1. Jordan.
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            ok

      5. Big Al Stankovic
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Reply fail

      6. PP6
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Anyone tempted by Wilson!?

      7. chaser123
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 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
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Veltman to kilman or mitchell

      8. ChuckN
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 8 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
          2 months, 8 days ago

          B with Rudiger or Coady instead of saiss

        1. mynameisq
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Damn, gives Gareth another excuse

      9. Rinseboy
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Who to play from
        Watkins Regullion Maja or Dallas?

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Maja

        2. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

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

      10. Atimis
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Best punt in mid for up to 9.6 this GW?

        1. Jebiga
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Mahrez maybe

        2. ChuckN
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Maddison or Mount imo

        3. Steve
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 12 Years
          2 months, 8 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
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Pepe, Mahrez, Maddison

        5. HashAttack
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

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

      11. Big Al Stankovic
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        On wc, final tinkering.
        Which Lei defender?

        A) Fofana
        B) Castagne
        C) Pereira

        1. GE
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          B

        2. Magic Zico
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          A

        3. Zladan
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          A

      12. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Play Raphina, Bamford or Coufal?

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

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

          1. Sharkytect
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 8 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
              2 months, 8 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.

      13. Please Answer Me
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

        1. Big Al Stankovic
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Rather Masuaku for same price.

          1. Please Answer Me
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            is he nailed though?

            1. Big Al Stankovic
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

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

        2. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Less chance of attacking returns.

          1. Please Answer Me
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

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

            1. GreennRed
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 8 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
                2 months, 8 days ago

                yeah true...who are your defenders then?

                1. GreennRed
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 8 days ago

                  TAA, Bartley, Rudiger, Shaw and Dallas.

                  1. Please Answer Me
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 8 days ago

                    Bartley and Dallas? Their fixtures are poor though

                    1. GreennRed
                      • 9 Years
                      2 months, 8 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.

      14. Halftime
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 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
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Possibly out for the season.

      15. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

        1. Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Not for me Rafa 🙂

      16. b91jh
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

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

        wba
        new
        CHE
        bur
        EVE
        FUL
        wba
        SOU

        1. Jon Snow
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Looks tempting but my personal rule is never rotate goalies

          1. b91jh
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            In fact Forster only plays 31 and 36.

        2. HashAttack
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

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

      17. tommo-uk-
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 8 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
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Sterling to Son next week

        2. b91jh
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

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

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

            Why not eh!

        3. Concrete
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Looks decent
          You know the risks with mendy with Zin about

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

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

      18. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        A Phillips and Mount/Maddison

        B Masuaku and Jota

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

          You got salah?

          1. Concrete
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Yes got Salah

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

              Guessing your 3rd pool player is TAA?

      19. VTown
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Bench 2:

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

          1. SharkyT
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            BC

          2. Big Al Stankovic
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            CD

        • Sharkytect
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 8 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
            2 months, 8 days ago

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

        • SharkyT
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

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

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

            B

        • Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 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

        • Manani
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          On WC,
          decent enough defender?

          TAA Rudiger Holding Coady Reguilion

          1. Crunchie
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            Yep looks good

          2. Big Al Stankovic
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

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

            1. Manani
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              yea still have BB

        • Jon Snow
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 8 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
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

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

        • RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 8 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
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

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

            1. RAFA THE GAFFA
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 8 days ago

              Considering WC34 and BB DGW35 now. What you think?

        • YoungPretender
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 8 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
            2 months, 8 days ago

            CB

          2. Big Al Stankovic
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            BA

        • Lignja
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 8 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
            2 months, 8 days ago

            ACD

          2. Big Al Stankovic
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 8 days ago

            BCD