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.

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

Full-year memberships, monthly subscriptions and a FREE trial are all 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.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

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

1,194 Comments Post a Comment
  1. barcaa7
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Start Coady or Holding?

    1. Bojam
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Holding I think.

    2. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Holding this week

  2. Bojam
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Start Bale or Watkins?
    Have Kane and Son.
    Thanks.

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Watkins, though I think Jose will decide it.

      1. Bojam
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Bale no show? Even after last week?

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          It sounds mad saying Bale won't start but he's either not training well enough, out of favour with Mourinho or both. Seems to be no reason why a fit Bale isn't nailed on on that team which are mostly under performing. Could start him and let the bench work if he doesn't play. I think Watkins can score v Liverpool though.

    2. Halftime
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      All of Bale's hauls have come at home this season. Doesn't mean he'll start of course but i think it's worth the risk.

      1. Bojam
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Tending towards agreeing with this. After last week I think Jose might rotate a bit. Moura or Lo Celso out, Bale in maybe (I hope).
        Watkins without Grealish isn't that great, even against Liverpools dodgy backline.

  3. dshv
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    WC, wainting for advices

    Mendy (button)
    taa diaz coady (rudiger mitchell)
    Son bruno salah jota neto
    Kane iheanacho (davis)

    * no other chips
    * 0.4 itb

    1. Jon Snow
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Not super keen on having 2 bench fodder wiht this messy season, maybe upgrade mitchell

  4. Paddy Gooner
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Bruno > Salah for rest of season???

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      No.

    2. Utopsis
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Nope

  5. The Red Devil
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    GTG? Subs order correct??

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

    Martinez/Raphonha/Phillips/Dunk

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      I’d play Raphinha over Vydra. He’s awful

      1. The Red Devil
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        its newcastle!

  6. VTown
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Is starting Mahrez over Son worth it on a WC for 1 week punt?

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      No

  7. Bleh
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Martinez to Mendy worth a -4? Will then have exact cash to do Digne, Gundo, Antonio > Phillips, Salah, Iheanacho (-8) next week.

    Sanchez
    Dias, Digne, Cresswell
    Bruno, Lingard, Son, Gundo, Jota
    Bamford, Kane
    (Martinez, Antonio, Targett, Struijk)

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      No

    2. Eastman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      No.

  8. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Repost. 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, 22 days ago

      Its getting close to a WC, when are you thinking of playing it?

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Considering WC34 and BB DGW35 now. What you think?

    2. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      C

  9. Blanka
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Any captain Aguero love on here with me?

    Don't worry if you aren't brave enough.

    1. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      I raise you Matty Pereira!

      1. Blanka
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Great shout ha. If I was on a WC I'd definitely have him in my team at least.

  10. Stupendous
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    All set with my Bruno less WC team?

    My city leagues allow no United and I don’t play for OR atm....

    Mendy
    Dias Azpi Rudiger TAA
    Salah Jota Maddison Neto Sterling(c)
    Kane

    Forster Vydra Nacho Coufal

    1. Stupendous
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Sterling to Son next week

    2. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Nice! I’d play Nacho over Dias or Rudiger

      1. Stupendous
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Cheers

  11. suddenorgan
    • 10 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Areola (Martinez)
    Azpi Shaw Rudiger (Tosin, Burn)
    Bruno Salah Son Lingard Raphinha
    Kane Watkins (Bamford)

    Bamford + Raphina -> Vydra + Jota for free??

    Not massive on Vydra but if he can fill in this week and then be benched forever more I'm fine with that

  12. XX SMICER XX
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    One week punt?
    - Pereira
    - Pepe
    - Gudmundsson
    - Saint-Maxim
    - JRod

    1. Zladan
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Whoever plays Newcastle

  13. Mesh
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Which 1 on WC.
    A. Mendy & Coady
    B. Leno & Fofana

  14. Eastman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 22 days ago

    Mount or Madison?

    1. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Flip a coin, I am thinking Maddison

    2. artvandelay316
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Mount, because he has match practice and form.

      • Utopsis
        • 1 Year
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Chelsea have CL 3 days after CRY, and the FA Cup Semi 3 days before BRI - dampens Mount's appeal for me (restricted minutes).

    3. Crunchie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Thoughts on Lingard?

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

      1. Biggsy
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Didn't sound like Moyes thought Antonino was out for the season based on the tweets from FFS

        1. Crunchie
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          He is mate. Up to 2 months out anyway

          1. Biggsy
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Based on what? The Manager or the rumour mill?

            1. Eastman
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 22 days ago

              keeping him.

    4. LLoris
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

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

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

      1. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        The Chelsea guys. Looks good

        1. LLoris
          • 2 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Thanks you sure I shouldn't go with D.Sanchez for the double then take him out?

          1. Concrete
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Has its benefits but it’s a wasted transfer for me

            Spurs too inconsistent

    5. Eh, just one more thing ...
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 22 days ago

      Maddison or Mount this weekend?

      Please also state whether you like or dislike goats cheese when providing your pick?

      1. Concrete
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        Both decent options

        Yes, with bacon

      2. artvandelay316
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Both are good. Given Mount's form and Maddison having been away I would go with Mount.
          Am unoffended by goat's cheese, but do not actively seek it out regularly.

        • Biggsy
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          It depends on form and what you are eating it on/with.

          Also Mount this weekend. Maddison long term

          1. Eastman
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            This. Goat's cheese is good but I'll eat anything

        • Eh, just one more thing ...
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Brendan Rodgers on James Maddison: “It was really good to get him back on the field. He’s a bit away from where his level would be. It’s important to have him back.”

          Not exactly encouraging from Rogers ... leaning towards holding mount now ...

      3. Hansel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 22 days ago

        A) Fofana, Madders, Bamford (8th attacker)
        B) Veltman, ASR (8th attacker), Vardy

        1. Concrete
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          A

        2. artvandelay316
            3 months, 22 days ago

            A

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

          A Mount
          B Maddison
          C Jota

        4. The 12th Man
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 22 days ago

          Anyone got the armband on Bruno?

          1. Crunchie
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Not this week. Salah

            1. The 12th Man
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 22 days ago

              No Salah here.
              One of TAA, Jota,Fernandes,Lacazette or Kane.

          2. pingissimus
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Toying with it

            Between him and Jota here. Much prefer to attack Spurs defence than United and don't trust TAA.

        5. artvandelay316
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Pope
            Stones, Rudiger, Cresswell
            Salah (C), Bruno, Gundo, Mount, Lingard
            Kane (VC), DCL

            Subs:
            GK: Forster
            1) Dallas
            2) Bamford
            3) Mitchell

            Am I good to go?

            1. Crunchie
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              3 months, 22 days ago

              How will this affect Lingard?

            2. Biggsy
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 22 days ago

              David Moyes says that he "doesn't think" Michail Antonio is going to recover for the match against Leicester City but the Hammers are otherwise not "too bad" on the injury front.

              Tweet from this very website after the presser - paints a more positive picture

          • Atimis
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Mahrez should start this GW or go with Mount?

          • tabby98
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Which WC team is better?

            A)
            Mendy, Forster
            Dias, Rudiger, Coady, Coufal, Phillips
            Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
            Kane, Iheanacho, Vydra

            B)
            Mendy, Forster
            Azpi, Rudiger, Dias, Shaw, Phillips
            Salah, Son, Jota, Lingard, Smith-rowe
            Vardy, Kane, Iheanacho

          • Miguel Sanchez
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Captain Salah or Jota?

            1. Karan14
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 22 days ago

              Salah for the pens

          • Zladan
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            WC GTG?

            Mendy
            Rüdiger Christensen Philips
            Salah Bruno Son Jota
            Aguero (c) Kane Iheanacho

            Forster Holding Amartey ESR

          • Noob
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            The Trent allure is so strong.

            Would you sell either Digne or Cresswell to Trent for a -4?

            I don't have Salah or City mids - currently (C) on Jota but would be tempted by Trent if I did the above transfer.

          • McPollolocco
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Mahrez or Rodriguez for the next gameweeks?

          • Nabs Kebabs
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Right, think I'm on settled on this WC. Thoughts?

            Martinez
            Azpi Cresswell Holding Phillips
            Salah(c) Bruno Son Jota Lingard
            Kane

            Forster Nacho Shaw Davis 1.0m

          • RedJive79
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 22 days ago

            Antonio to Nacho for -4?

            1. Halftime
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 22 days ago

              I've done it.

            2. artvandelay316
                3 months, 22 days ago

                Do you have enough cover elsewhere (e.g. put an extra midfielder or defender on and bench Antonio?). If so, probably not worth -4. Save it for next week. If you need a forward, then yes spend the -4.

                1. RedJive79
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 22 days ago

                  I can play Bamford or Veltman instead but that's it.