Spot the Differential

Firmino has timed resurgent FPL form to be useful Gameweek 38 differential

Gameweek 38 offers FPL managers a final opportunity to identify a differential to inspire a final push up the rankings.

This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Liverpool, Arsenal and West Ham United 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.

Roberto Firmino

  • FPL ownership: 4.9%
  • Price: £9.1m
  • GW38 fixture: CRY

With three goals and an assist in his last four appearances, Roberto Firmino (£9.1m) is an intriguing final day differential.

The Brazilian has had a disappointing campaign by his standards, with his place in Jürgen Klopp’s starting XI threatened by the impact of Diogo Jota (£6.9m). However, he has finally found some form at the business end of the season.

Firmino fed Thiago (£5.5m) to seal Liverpool’s 2-0 victory against Southampton back in Gameweek 34, and has since followed that up with a brace of goals at Manchester United, a part in the equaliser at West Bromwich Albion, plus Wednesday’s opener at Burnley. During that time, he has acquired 27 FPL points, and now sits level alongside Sadio Mané (£11.8m) and Jota on nine Premier League goals, with only Mohamed Salah (£12.9m) scoring more for the Reds.

For a player who contributes so much to Liverpool’s all-round game, it does perhaps seem unfair to criticise him, but purely in FPL terms, he has struggled. In fact, prior to Gameweek 35, he had scored just one goal since Gameweek 14. Despite that, his numbers throughout the season have generally remained good, only his finishing has let him down, which is backed up by his negative 2.62 expected goals (xG) delta. However, such is the impact of confidence and goals on centre-forwards, that total has jumped to +1.77 over the last four Gameweeks.

Barring a huge Leicester City win over Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, victory at home against Crystal Palace will be enough for Liverpool to secure a top-four finish, and as a result, qualify for next seasons Champions League. With a run of seven wins and two draws in their last nine Premier League matches, it looks like they have got their act together at exactly the right moment, and with Firmino full of confidence, could be set for a big finish.

Nicolas Pépé

  • FPL ownership: 1.7%
  • Price: £7.7m
  • GW38 fixture: BHA

Nicolas Pépé (£7.7m) has been in fine form of late, and is starting to show his quality following his £72m transfer from Lille back in 2019.

It would be fair to say it has taken the 25-year-old a fair bit of time to get going, but with 13 goal involvements in all competitions in 2021, which included a brace against Crystal Palace in Gameweek 37, he is now starting to produce more consistently.

The Ivorian winger’s first on Wednesday night, a lovely cushioned volley after great link-up play between Kieran Tierney (£5.2m) and Bukayo Saka (£5.1m), set Arsenal on their way, while his second late on was a fine solo effort. He ended the match with 55 final-third touches, more than any other player, and was comfortably the best performer on the pitch.  

Those who have been paying attention will know his numbers have been good for a while, though. 

Since the turn of the year, amongst team-mates, he ranks top for penalty area touches and goal attempts in the box, second for shots on target and third for xG. In fact, amongst all midfielders who have played a substantial number of minutes, only Liverpool trio Jota, Salah and Mané, plus Mason Greenwood (£7.3m) and Kai Havertz (£8.3m), can better his 2.29 shots in the box per 90 minutes total. 

The Gunners’ square off against Brighton and Hove Albion in their last Premier League game of the season on Sunday, knowing victory, coupled with rivals Spurs’ and Everton dropping points, would see them finish seventh, and as a result secure a spot in the inaugural Europa Conference League competition.

Pepe has impressed for Arsenal in 2021, and now showing increased consistency and more end-product, could be an effective midfield differential for the final-day.

Saïd Benrahma

  • FPL ownership: 0.3%
  • Price: £5.9m
  • GW38 fixture: SOU

Saïd Benrahma (£5.9m) has been something of a bit-part player at West Ham United this season, but has now produced attacking returns in three of his last four appearances.

The unpredictable Algerian has supplied assists against Burnley and West Bromwich Albion, and also found the back of the net at Brighton with a superb curling finish from the edge of the area.

His attacking numbers during that time have caught the eye, too.

Over the last four Gameweeks, he ranks top amongst team-mates for expected assists (xA), second for chances created and joint-third for shots on target. Meanwhile, amongst all Premier League players who have featured for over 100 minutes during that period, only Gabriel Martinelli (£4.9m) can trump his 0.45 xA per 90 minutes.

However, the real appeal lies in this weekend’s opponents, Southampton. 

As noted by Neale earlier this week, Benrahma has spent a lot of time on the right-flank over the last two matches, and it was from this position that he assisted against West Brom. And if stationed on that side on Sunday, he’ll be up against a Saints team who have conceded the second-highest number of chances from their left over the last six games – a period that has coincided with Ryan Bertrand’s (£5.0m) unavailability and the deployment of centre-halves Mohammed Salisu (£4.3m) and Jack Stephens (£4.6m) as make-shift left-backs.

Motivation shouldn’t be an issue for the Hammers, either, as a single point in Gameweek 38 will be enough for them to seal a place in next seasons Europa League.

Benrahma is a real difference-maker, and could be an explosive mid-price punt for those willing to move away from the midfield template.

Pro Pundits 7

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1,336 Comments Post a Comment
  1. PascalCygan
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Hey guys, how’s it going? Last day - I thought this day would never come!

    I think I’ve decided to do Bruno to Mane.

    My only other choice is whether to do:
    A) DCL to Antonio (-4)
    B) Just play DCL

    I’m 4 behind my ML rival, who has quite a few different players and a few fitness/rotation concerns, so a -4 isn’t out of the question for me.

    Part of me thinks Everton might do well at City?

    Currently 1FT 1.4ITB
    Mendy
    TAA Digne Holding
    Salah Bruno Lingard Foden Raphinha
    Kane DCL

    Forster Watkins Coady Masuaku

    Thanks!

    1. Sᴄʜᴜ̈RRʟᴇ ⓝ
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      DCL to Wood

      1. Sᴄʜᴜ̈RRʟᴇ ⓝ
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Oh wait.. -4..... hold

        1. PascalCygan
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Thanks!

    2. 12steps
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      B

      1. PascalCygan
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Cheers

    3. Croaker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      I’d play DCL

      1. PascalCygan
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Ta

  2. chelseabrad
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    11 pts ahead of my ML rival but he has bench boost

    Meslier
    TAA AWB Coufal
    Salah Son Greenwood Lingard Raph
    Kane Antonio

    (Forster Wood Holding Coleman)

    He has 2 villa def, Dallas, Gundogan, Bruno over Greenwood, Bale over Son, Bamford, DCL & Nacho all of which I don't have...

    Obviously need to take Meslier out, would you cover Dallas with Castilla or take a risk and double up on LIV def and go Alisson? Got 2.4 itb so if I go Castilla I'd be tempted to spend the extra 3m and take a hit but is that stupid when I'm just ahead?

    1. FPL Pillars
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Can he get 15 players out easily? I am 20 ahead and my rival also will play BB, nervy times!

      1. chelseabrad
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Only doubts are Pope and Aurier

    2. chelseabrad
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Tempted to do Meslier & Wood > Alisson & Bamford for -4

    3. PascalCygan
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      I could see both sides conceding. But with what’s at stake, I’d maybe favour the Alisson move as Liverpool might keep it tight. Dallas’ attacking threat makes it hard to cover him without getting him.

  3. jonnybhoy
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    GTG or any changes for a hit? Feels so weird having Bruno on the bench....

    Forster
    TAA Phillps Coufal
    Salah (C) Son Lingard Raphina
    Bamford Kane Antonio

    Meslier Bruno Holding Thomas

    1. StellaMan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Play Bruno over son, if he doesn't play son will come off bench?

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

        Thinking that just concerned bruno comes off the bench for 1 point

    2. ILOVEBAPS
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      What was tour transfer?
      I’m thinking of putting Bruno on bench too and getting Phillips in for Shaw.

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

        Currently on -4pts did Digne, DCL and Jota to TAA, Antonio and Raphina.

  4. StellaMan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Bottomed there

    Punt in augy or KDB?

    1. grumpyman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      KDB. Needs the minutes, think he’ll play 80/90.

  5. yanky
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    2 pt lead on my rival
    me- kane bamford dcl
    him- kane antonio nacho

    is dcl > antonio worth -4 ??
    yeah rest of our teams pretty similar...i worry if i did the hit and my rival got in bamford for nacho then we only have 2 players different (1 is keeper) and hed have the lead

    1. PascalCygan
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      I wouldn’t take a hit to have the same player because you’ll be down on that move whatever happens

  6. Bavarian
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Kane (C) anyone if not Salah?

    1. StellaMan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      If not Salah then yeah

    2. ILOVEBAPS
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Prefer a Leeds player or even Nacho.

    3. DF
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Trent for me

      1. Bavarian
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Good shout

  7. Jack.Armstrong96
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Son to Salah for a -4? Yay or Nay?

    1. Sᴄʜᴜ̈RRʟᴇ ⓝ
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Nay

  8. grumpyman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Bottomed. Help! Start one, bench one, sell one -

    Mahrez, Greenwood, Gundog.

    1. ZAMUNDA
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Start: Mahrez
      Bench: Greenwood
      Sell: Gundo

  9. BigAsGiroud_
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Bench one:
    A) Holding
    B) ESR
    C) Watkins

    1. StellaMan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      B

  10. ZAMUNDA
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Pulisic or Mount to start?

    1. BremerHB
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Mount is more nailed on I reckon.

  11. De Gea is GOAT
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Which is the best option guys? TIA

    A) Struijk/DCL/Adams > Holding/Antonio/Bamford (also play Lingard or GW)

    B) Struijk/GW/Adams > Tierney/Harrison/Antonio (Play DCL but not Lingard)

    C) Struijk/GW/DCL > Tierney/Harrison/Nacho (Play Lingard)

  12. Pickle juice
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Who to captain ...rival has salah and bamford and I'm trying to make up 14 points

    A. Bamford
    B. Antonio
    C.mane
    D. Salah

    Cheers

    1. Traction Engine Foot
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      C

    2. ILOVEBAPS
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      B

  13. Arteta
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    If I need to gain almost 7k places to break into top 10k today, I should probably captain someone else instead of Salah, right?

    1. subhojit123
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      yep

    2. Il Capitano
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Yes

      • how now brown cow
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Depends how differential the rest of your team is, but if you are more worried about climbing than you are holding your position, then probably.

      • El Presidente
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 9 days ago

        But remember that if it goes wrong you can easily be out of top 20k as well... I just think it's it's terrible idea to go against Salah this GW... find another way.

    3. subhojit123
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Guys who do u think starts for Chelsea today -
      1. Chilwell
      2. Alonso

      1. theroadrunner
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        chilwell for sure

    4. langov
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Chasing 3 pkt in mini-league.

      Top 31k.

      A ) Jota + Digne -> Auba + Coufal (for a hit)
      B) Jota + Digne -> Mane + Mee (for a hit)
      C) Digne - Coufal and play Jota.
      D) - other?

      Problem is I have Bruno, Gundo, Jota in squad and wery weak bench so kinda hit can save my 11 players playing ( I count it as - 2 pts)

    5. how now brown cow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Any significant United rumours so far today?

      1. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        No

    6. Muscout
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Nacho or Bamford and why?

      1. Sᴄʜᴜ̈RRʟᴇ ⓝ
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Bamford becuase you do well at the game if you play players who will score more points.

    7. Maarrrr17
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Hello all,
      Hope everyone has a great last day of football!

      Im trying to protect my rank but I have 0 leeds.
      Should I do
      a) digne > dallas
      b) DCL > Bamford

      and isthe other worth a hit ?

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

        A and no

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

        A and marginal but I wouldn’t

    8. tommo-uk-
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Who do I captain:

      A) Salah
      B) Raphina
      C) Bamford

      1. tommo-uk-
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        12 points behind ML leader

        1. langov
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          if chasing than Bamford/Raph

          1. tommo-uk-
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Currently got it on Raph

    9. FPL Virgin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Who is the best captain differential for those chasing on the last day of the season?

      Auba?
      KDB?
      Mane?
      Someone else?

      1. tommo-uk-
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Leeds player could be an option

      2. Dichio24
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Antonio or Mane

      3. how now brown cow
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        I think one of the Leeds guys. Trouble is it could be any one of 3 or 4.

        I actually think Spurs might crumble though, so maybe Vardy / Iheanacho could be interesting.

        1. FPL Virgin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          FPL flapjack made a good case for Vardy on FPL surgery this week. 7 double digit hauls this season but just 1 goal since Nacho started playing regularly.

      4. DF
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        I reckon trent is a shout for those chasing.

      5. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Bam

      6. KAPTAIN KANE
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Aguero

        1. FPL Virgin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Everton's defence has been watertight and City could play a rotated side with fringe players.

    10. RedWolf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Up against a rival from work and likely H2H battle:

      Areola
      Coufal
      Foden
      Mane
      Antonio
      Wood

      Vs

      Sanchez
      Lowton
      Raphinha
      JWP
      Bamford
      Nacho

      Who wins?

      1. tommo-uk-
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Top team

    11. Gerhardinho
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Please help

      1. Milkman Bruno
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Are you ok?

          1. Gerhardinho
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Yes! But not my phone

            1. Gerhardinho
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Tierney, cresswell or Chilwell for Shaw?
              And
              -4 for Bruno->Mané?

      2. Milkman Bruno
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Just for this season to sign off with some level of consistency, double digit hauls incoming for:

          Bruno
          DCL
          Watkins
          Shaw/Greenwood

          Who else is everyone selling 😆

          1. Croaker
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Sounds right but you forgot to mention the Mane red card incoming

        • Il Capitano
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Thanks everyone for the replies over the past few days, the general consensus has been to take the hit. One last show of hands before I press confirm.

            1FT 1.4m ITB

            Martinez
            TAA Digne Shaw
            Son Lingard Salah Raphinha
            DCL Bamford Kane

            Fabri - ESR Targett Mitchell

            A) Targett/Shaw > Dallas (play Digne)
            B) Digne > Robertson (Targett autosub for Shaw)
            C) Shaw + Digne > Robertson + Dallas (-4)

            1. Tinkermania
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 9 days ago

              C very likely for cleanies and also attacking returns.

              1. Il Capitano
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  Thank you, think I'll bite the bullet then. More fun than Targett and Digne at least!

            2. frenchfries
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Fernandes + Shaw to
              A) Mane + Alioski/Lowton
              B) Torres + Robertson

              1. Sᴄʜᴜ̈RRʟᴇ ⓝ
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                A (A)

              2. Vazza
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 9 days ago

                Definitely A but I’m not sure between Alioski or Lowton. Let’s discuss

                1. frenchfries
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  I feel alioski would be for the attacking returns, more likely for CS vs Sheffield for Lowton

                  1. Vazza
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 9 days ago

                    So who scores more points overall?

                    I have the same dilemma..

                    1. frenchfries
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 9 days ago

                      If i only knew. Lowton i believe has more or less 6 pts locked in. But Alioski higher ceiling. Im on 50/50.
                      Who do you think?

            3. TAT
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              I’m really struggling with what to do about my team for GW 38. I got 3.7 in the bank, and one FT. Moves I’m considering are Pickford to another GK, Davis to Bamford (benching Lingard), and Son to Many. Thoughts?

              Pickford
              TAA - Shaw - Dallas
              Lingard - Salah - Raphinha - Greenwood - Son
              Antonio - Kane
              (Button - Dias - Holgate - Davis)

              1. Croaker
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                Shaw Dias both big risks so I’d look at moving one: Shaw to Robbo maybe?

                1. TAT
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  Yes, that's something that worries me. Shaw to Robbo might be a move to consider. I'm also considering taking a hit, but as this is the very last GW, I don't know if that's a good idea.

              2. RedWolf
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                Of those moves, Bamford has most potential for difference, but I'd maybe consider benching Greenwood?

                1. TAT
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  You don't think Greenwood will play?

            4. SAS
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Raphinha or greenwood?

              I know the scout pick is raphinha but greenwood is out and out striker today, and probably on pens too

              1. frenchfries
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                I would go Raphinha

                1. SAS
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  thank you

              2. Mr. O'Connell
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                Is greenwood even starting?

                1. SAS
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  the predicted team says so, i can see him getting two goals easy, but i do trust the scout picks, so im torn

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

                I prefer Greenwood if confirmed in the lineup

              4. Scots Gooner
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                I think Greenwood gets plenty game time today. He's certainly the more explosive of the two too.

            5. BobbyDoesNotLook
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Last one

              A) Holding > Alioski (or any 6.0def no Dallas, Pool)
              B) Iheanacho > Bam/Antonio

              Gl everyone!

              1. Croaker
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                A: Nacho could easily haul today

                1. BobbyDoesNotLook
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  That is why I think too but fwd is more fancy transfer and "doing nothing bias" is strong here when chasing just below 10p.

            6. langov
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Chasing 3 pkt in mini-league.

              Top 31k.

              A ) Jota + Digne -> Auba + Coufal (for a hit)
              B) Jota + Digne -> Mane + Mee (for a hit)
              C) Digne - Coufal and play Jota.
              D) - other?

            7. BERGKOP
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              TAA or Robbo for a hit? If I get Robbo, it covers my rival who is 18pts behind.

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

                Get robbo then