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.

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1,336 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Tinmen
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Guys, which option would you opt for ?2ft

    A) Watkins and Nacho to Bamford and Antonio

    B) Gundy and Son to Mane and Smith Rowe

    Martinez
    Trent Dallas Azpil
    Salah Mahrez Son Lingz
    Kane Nacho Watkins
    Gundy Strujik Holding

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

      Probably B.

      Selling Nacho because rival has him?

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

    Morning all. One last headache this season.

    Bench 1 :
    1) J-Lingz (SOU)
    2) Greenwood (wok)
    3) DCL (mci)

    Captain : (need to chase 17 points for top 100k)
    1) salah
    2) mane
    3) Kane
    4) raphinha/Bamford

    Cheers!

  3. Pukkipartyy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Hope that Greenwood starts or bring in Antonio for -4 and bench Greenw.

    1. lets talk about 6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      A

    2. Tcheco
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Same dilemma but decided to stick with Greenwood

  4. sp1122
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Chances of Greenwood starting?

    Better to play him over DCL?

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

      I’d play DCL. Wolves not a great fixture for United

  5. Bonus magnet
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    DCL+ Joelington+Eze->bamford+firmino+ saka (-8) or keep dcl for a -4

    57 points ahead in ML

  6. Mr Ozil
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Which is better?

    A- Lingard + DCL
    B- Antonio + Vydra
    C- Antonio + Zaha

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

      A

    2. The Ilfordian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      B

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

      C

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

    Start Pickford or Forster?

    1. lets talk about 6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Pick

    2. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      forster surely

  8. estheblessed
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Money no issue ...

    What are the best differentials this week,?

    1. lets talk about 6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Mane

    2. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Aubameyang

    3. Tcheco
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Mane(C)

      1. _Freddo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Sterling needs to play himself into that final team, do or die for him today if he starts.

  9. lets talk about 6
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Start 2 of?

    Greenwood
    Dawson
    Holding

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

    Best non-LIV, non-LEE GK for this week? Wondering if I shift out Martinez.

    1. lets talk about 6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Mendy

      1. Skloppy Kops
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Is he even starting?

        1. lets talk about 6
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Big game he’ll start

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

        Ty. That was my thought.

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

      Mendy? Don’t really fancy anyone for clean sheets today though

  11. MoSalalalalalalalalah
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Bottomed.

    Best captain? Chasing 15 points and my rival has Antonio, Kane and Dallas. Hoping he he doesn't bring in Salah, but he already has Mane

    Alisson
    TAA | Rudiger | Dallas
    Salah | Lingard | Foden | Greenwood
    Antonio | Kane | Nacho

    GK: Martinez | Zaha | Digne | Veltman

    1. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Salah if he doesn't have Salah.

    2. Bonus magnet
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      mane

  12. Jimmy Boy
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Is Pereira likely to be benched or not play? If I need to get rid of him, it's for a -4 with 0.0itb. I found these options but it's slim pickings at his price:
    A) Willock
    B) Martinelli (also unlikely to start?)
    C) Saka
    D) Diallo (same as B)

    1. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      A

      1. Jimmy Boy
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Reckon it's worth a -4? My 2FT were Bruno > Mane and Watkins > Bamford, and I've also got Foden as a rotation risk and not the greatest bench

        1. Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          4 months, 2 days ago

          Who would come in if Pereira doesn't play? Foden and then?

          1. Jimmy Boy
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 2 days ago

            My bench is Vydra - Reguilon - Burn.

            1. Sun Jihai
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              4 months, 2 days ago

              Yeah would just avoid the hit then. Could definitely be goals in the BUR game.

  13. cheekymonkeytoo
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Currently
    Martinez (Sanchez)
    Phillips, AA, Dallas (Shaw, Evans)
    Salah (c), Son, Willock, Greenwood (Bruno)
    Ineanacho, Wood, Calvert Lewin

    Am protecting 8pts lead in ML - main differential likely he has Kane, Antonio, Lingard, Azpilcueta (+ poss Bamford)
    Got cash, but keep changing mind. Over thinking now, Taking -4 feels ok but -8 is mad. Appreciate your views please on doing:

    A) CL + Bruno > Antonio & Raph (-4)
    B) CL + Bruno > Bamford & Raph (-4)
    C) CL + Bruno + Nacho > Antonio, Bamford & Raph (-8)
    D) CL + Bruno + Nacho > Antonio, Bamford & Kane (-8)

    1. Big Hands Barry
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      E) Dcl to bamf. No hit

      1. cheekymonkeytoo
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 2 days ago

        Mmm see your point thanks. No hit is good.
        Kind was also thinking if have Dallas and Bamford why spend more on Raph.

  14. zman575
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 2 days ago

    hey guys.

    i have a 12 point lead over my mini league rival.

    looking at either a minus 4 or a minus 8 hit. which is the better option.

    harrison and antonio (-4)
    lingard and bamford (-4)
    bamford and antonio (-8)

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

      A

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

      Don't take a hit, I lost the ML making that mistake last season.

      1. zman575
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 2 days ago

        a hit is essential man. dcl is useless and virtually guaranteed a blank. bamford in front of elland road fans. any goal from him or antonio is basically an instand 9 points compared to dcl 2 pointer. question is do i trust harrison or lingard and i really dont. neither consistent enough

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

    26 points behind rival.

    Is a differential captain a must or should I just captain Salah and hope my other differentials come through.

    1. Tinkermania
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Differential cap. But again Salah will get that golden boot by 2 or 3 clear goals.

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

      Depends on how many different players you have vs your rival.

      If more than 5, you can keep captaining Salah.

    3. zman575
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 2 days ago

      who are your differentials?

  16. AW127
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Start:
    A) Pickford
    B) Areola

    1. lets talk about 6
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      B

  17. lets talk about 6
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Start 2 of?

    Greenwood
    Dawson
    Holding.

    1. AW127
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Bench Dawson

  18. The punt of no returns
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Start DCL (3-4-3) or JWP (3-5-2)?
    OR transfer JWP to Raphinha OR DCL to Bamford for a -4 hit?

    Context: Comfortably ahead by about 40pts in my ML

  19. theroadrunner
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Bench Bruno or Lindelof? Or are both planning to get benched

  20. Bonny Scott
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Pick one...

    A) Play DCL
    B) Sell for Firmino
    C) Sell for Woods

  21. Vazza
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Pick one

    A. Alioski (WBA)
    B. Lowton (shu)

  22. caguaedson
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Bamford or Antonio?

  23. paulfantham
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Would you rather have Mount or Harrison? Already own Raphinha / Dallas and have no other Chelsea cover

  24. yanky
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    are either of these moves worth -4 pt hit?
    im leading rival by 2 pts who has antonio

    a) digne > robertson -4
    b) dcl > antonio -4
    c) no hit play digne dcl

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

      A

  25. Mane Mane Mane
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Who scores more
    A) Greenwood
    B) Mane (-4)

  26. MARJE
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    If top two ML opponents end on the same score, how does FPL work out who is displayed in ML 1st place? Thanks.

    1. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      Number of transfers - lower number wins

  27. RuudUnited89
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Guys help me out please! It's a long shot i know but I'm desperately hanging onto hope lol. I'm 51 points behind in my mini league but I have triple captain to play! Who should i pick, Salah? Also is it worth me going all out nuts and doing like a minus 12 haha I'd appreciate any help Cheers guys!

    My team is Lloris Sanchez TAA Dias Dallas Castagne Saiss Salah Greenwood Saka Zaha Foden DCL Kane Nacho

    Was thinking to do minus 4 for Antonio for Kane and Zaha for Mane? The mini league leader doesn't have Salah.

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

      Point 1. Do NOT take any hits

      Point 2. If you’re sure your rival won’t bring in Salah, then by all means triple captain him. Otherwise TAA is a decent triple candidate too.

      Let me know if any questions

  28. Vazza
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Pick one-

    A. Alioski (WBA)
    B. Lowton (shu)

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

      HELP please guys

  29. The Reptile
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 2 days ago

    Leno or Mendy?

    1. Disco Stu
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 2 days ago

      I went Leno so as not to jinx Chelsea and the extra $ left me enough to get Raphinia