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. Pompel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Anyone else concerned abiut Bamford minutes? Safer to go with Nacho?

    1. BIG TONES
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Wouldn't be concerned about Bamford minutes. Are you chasing though or what?

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Protecting small lead. He ha Mane who I cant get, so need to get the 3rd striker right (other two are Kane and Antonio)

        1. BIG TONES
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Who does your rival have? If it's close, you need your captain on point first and foremost

          1. Pompel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            He has Mane as main differential, which I fear. But his 3rd strikrr is Joelinton, he cant stretch to Bamford or Nacho. I will captain Salah, dont know if he will gi Salah or

        2. Goro Majima
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          I'm a handful of points ahead of two rivals, currently one has Bamford and the other Iheanacho. I can only cover one, leaning to Bamford but far from sure!

          1. Pompel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Even trickier! Do you have other differentials?

            1. Goro Majima
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              As things stand I think Raphinha, one has no Leeds mid, guy with Nacho also has Harrison. Both still have Bruno so I'm expecting Mane in... hopefully they'll both take a hit!

              1. Pompel
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                You"ll just have to crosd your fingers and hope Raphina outscores Mane -4pts

                1. Goro Majima
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  Yep, fingers and toes crossed! Good luck!

          2. The Ilfordian
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I know everyone‘s written off Spurs defence but I think it’ll be a tricky match; surely Bamford has better odds?

            1. Pompel
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Concern is minutes - odds weighed for xG per 90

    2. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Safer yes, still think more points to be scored in Leeds game.

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Sums it up, but Leeds players share the spoils, so if he's off around 60... And I do have Raph and Dallas

  2. kysersosa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Grateful for your help:

    A) mane in for Bruno
    B) Antonio/Wood in for Benteke

    (Have Salah and Trent)

    TIA

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      A for sure

  3. Viper
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Any point taking a hit if leading? You basically need the player the score once to initially break even

    1. BIG TONES
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Depends on your rival's team. You could always block one of their big hitters with your free

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Depending on their transfers too.

      2. Viper
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        I think that's the plan. Could also block their likely big hitting transfer in for a hit too

        1. BIG TONES
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Play defensive if you are wanting ML win over OR

    2. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Who would you get then, snd which differentials do you rival have?

  4. Dark Side Of The Loon!
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Down to these choices. Which option scores the most:

    A) Pepe
    B) Harrison
    C) Mount

    1. BIG TONES
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Pepe high ceiling this GW imo

    2. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      All good choices, A for me

  5. HD7
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Can somebody please give update on Leeds?
    What is the news there?
    Why arent people sure if Bamford plays a lot, etc?

    Does it mean Raph, Dallas can also be rotated?

    I only know that they will rotate goalkeepers for sure.

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Team nees section alluding to possible early subsitution , as there are a few players he might want to give game time for final round

    2. #Swish41
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Bamford will definitely play

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        But off before 60 or 90 minutes?

  6. Aurora Borealis?
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Hi guys, 12pts behind my rival. My current team:

    Henderson
    Dallas | Coufal | Lindelof
    Salah | Son | Greenwood | Raphinha | Lingard
    Kane | Bamford

    Subs: Richarlison | Digne | Keane

    £1.8m itb

    Key players we both have: Dallas | Salah | Son | Lingard | Kane | Bamford

    Key players only he has: TAA | Rudiger | Fernandes | Antonio

    Would love to get some ideas on transfers and who to capt.

    1. The Ilfordian
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      How many FTs? Covering TAA might be good (can you afford to swap with Digne?)

      1. Aurora Borealis?
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        1 FT. Considered TAA but with a 12pt gap not sure if I need to differentiate rather than replicate. I'm thinking maybe Son and Kane to Mane and Vardy. Appreciate I then need to make up 16pts

        1. The Ilfordian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          I wouldn’t choose Vardy. Maybe Wood?

  7. The Mantis
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Impossible to pick but hows my line up, not sure if I should play Greenwood?

    Meslier (pickford)
    TAA / Digne / Dallas (Stones / Coufal)
    Salah / Mane / Bale / Raph (Greenwood)
    Wood / DCL / Antonio

    1. Gandalf
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Greenwood over Bale. Looks solid otherwise

  8. pls
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    Bruno --> Auba/Mane for a hit?

    1. frenchfries
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      I dont think fernandes will play, and would go for Mane there

  9. Calum Undisputed
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Leno
      TAA Dallas Coufal
      Salah Wilock Raphinha bruno greenwood
      Bamford Watkins
      Martinez DCL Digne AWB

      Need advise. getting bruno for mane capt. my rival have salah n jlingz n kane. chasing 9pts
      wanna take a -4. jlingz (352 watkins or dcl) or antonio (352 with greenwod or 343 with watkins or dcl) ?

    • Dirty_Harry
      • 12 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Quick vote:

      1. DCL > Wood (-4)
      2. Greenwood > Torres (-4)

      Don't really want to play either of the two, happy to swing for a differential.

      1. frenchfries
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        2

      2. Grimlock
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        1

    • clueless2
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Reposting here. Any views on which is better?
      A) Jota (Lingard would currently play instead) to Raph
      B) Guaita to Mendy

      Thanks all!

      1. BOATIES FC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        I would Play Lingard definitely.

    • frenchfries
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Fernandes + Shaw —>
      A) Mane + Alioski
      B) Torres + Robertson

    • Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Which one would you have in your team this gw if you could only pick one?

      Antonio
      Raphinha
      Dallas

      1. The Ilfordian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        I’d go Antonio but Raph also good

    • timawflowers
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      which one please
      a - bring antonio in for free perrera as mid b- 4pt hit for mane and play watkins?

    • Mcgugan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      What are the chances of Greenwood or Fernandes starting?

      If not - who to bring in? Can’t be Liverpool.

      1. The Ilfordian
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Can’t vouch for accuracy but practically every prediction I’ve seen has Greenwood starting (and Bruno not)

      2. The Big Fella
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Roulette on Chelsea or City

        1. Mcgugan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Like it - just who...?

          1. The Big Fella
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Well, in the CL Pep's been playing KDB as a false 9 but playing a striker in the league so I'd gamble on Aguero or Torres.

      3. Super Saints
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        G 50
        F 10

      4. Grimlock
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Greenwood more than Bruno.... Bruno to a Leeds or pepe. Don't worry about the £

    • The Big Fella
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Play 3:
      Dallas; Lowton; Shaw; Rudiger; Philips

      All have pros & cons for this week & I'm stuck (could also play 4 & bench Saint Maxim but that doesn't seem ideal....)

      1. BremerHB
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Dallas, Phillips, Rudiger.

        1. The Big Fella
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Same 3 with Mendy in net? i.e. double Chelsea defence

      2. Nay08
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Dallas, Lowton, and Phillips for me

          1. The Big Fella
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Yeah Sheffield just can't score but I wonder if Burnley will be on holiday already? I'm so stuck.......

      3. Hazz
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        Play:
        A) Martinez (home with fans vs. CHE)
        B) Sanchez (away at Emirates vs. ARS)

        Was originally looking at Brighton, but they're often worse away.

        Of course I also want Chelsea to win 😆

        1. BrazilianGooner
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          A

        2. Hy liverpool
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          A for saves points

      4. minkeygirl
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        A. Robbo and Raph
        B. Dallas and Mane?

        1. BrazilianGooner
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          A

      5. Nay08
          2 months, 14 days ago

          thought on selling Kane?

          1. KAALI_DAAL
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Nop

            • BremerHB
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Nah. Who for? Must be other moves you could be making.

          2. HD7
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Pick 2 from Torres Pepe Raph Harrison ESR please

          3. Grimlock
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Greenwood more than Bruno.... Bruno to a Leeds or pepe. Don't worry about£

            1. BremerHB
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Raph. Arteta likes rotating, not entirely certain Pepe will start.

          4. KAALI_DAAL
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Have only 1FT. Which transfer is more important?

              Bruno to Mane
              Or
              DCL to Bamford

              1. BrazilianGooner
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Bam Bamfy!

              2. Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Both for -4

              3. Hazz
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Providing I'm not sure Bruno starts, feel like the Mané move has a better chance of gaining you more points.

                Would at least think DCL starts and therefore is more likely to maybe get something.

            • Zinedine Kilbane
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Narrowed down to 2- Ive 2 FT so getting rid of Jota, Rashford and DCL

              A) Mane, Raphina, Wood
              B) Pepe, Torres, Firmino

            • YEAH PITCH!
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              A) Salah and Willock
              B) Mane and Raph/Harrison

              1. The Ilfordian
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                I’d go A. Willock could easily maintain his form and Salah ahead of Mane

              2. BremerHB
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                A

            • Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              A Bruno/DCL to Mane/Bamford -4
              B Bruno/DCL to Pepe/Firmino-4
              C Coleman/DCL to Dallas/Bamford -4
              D Coleman/Bruno to Dallas/Pepe -4

              1. BrazilianGooner
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Tough one. Probably C.

            • Vovhund
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Should we expect leaked lineups before deadline?

              1. #Swish41
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Worth keeping an eye on

                1. Vovhund
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  Who's the best, most reliant sources?

            • Nay08
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Thought on doing Phillips to TAA and Kane to Wood for -4? chasing 28 points

              • Little Red Lacazette
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Play Watkins or Greenwood?

                1. Grimlock
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  Watkins more reliable.gets assita and goals in unlikely games all the time
                  Greenwood higher ceiling.
                  I'd go Greenwood

                2. Pompel
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  Tricky one , think I'd play Watkins to avoid possible Greenwood cameo

              • #Swish41
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                What are Bruno owners doing?

                Feels odd to sell for Mané,but that seems the popular move.

                Other option is to bench and play Antonio…

                1. Viper
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  Definitely play Antonio in either case

                  1. #Swish41
                    • 11 Years
                    2 months, 14 days ago

                    Thanks - I thought Mané over Antonio would be more popular

              • Viper
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                A. Son -> Mané (-4). Start Greenwood with Vydra first sub

                B. Vydra -> Bamford (-4). Bench Greenwood. Start Son

                C. Start Son & Greenwood (No hit)

                Sitting at 8k and looking to stay there

                1. #Swish41
                  • 11 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  I like B, but depends if leading, chasing or just looking at OR.