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. Alex's son Chaz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Scout Picks has Areola as an alternative goalkeeper choice to Mendy but Team News reckons Rodak will play. Which to believe?

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

      Not sure Areola was the best choice anyway

      1. Alex's son Chaz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        At the moment I have him playing ahead of Martinez. Guess I’m not really going to waste my last week transfer on a goalkeeper move.

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

        This

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

    Trying to maintain a 5k rank:

    Mendy
    
TAA - Holding - Ayling

    Salah (C) - Mané - Son - Raphinha

    Kane - DCL - Bamford



    (Forster) (Bowen - Coady - Amartey) - 0 FT - 0.7 ITB



    A) Good to go
    B) DCL -> Antonio (-4)

    Cheers and good luck alll!

    1. DV8R
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      A

  3. Denis Tueart on the wing
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    How many points for Kane, considering his golden boot attempt?
    Kane the differential(C) sounds so strange!

    1. Milkman Bruno
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Must win game for Leicester. I can’t see it being easy for Kane

        1. Denis Tueart on the wing
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          I think it will be 3-3

    2. Something Clever
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      I'm 6 points ahead in my mini league and my rival is almost certainly going to go Bruno to Mane which makes me very nervous as a non owner.

      Would you do Son and Greenwood to get Mane and 6.8 for a -4 hit? The rest of our mids look almost identical.

      Cheers

      1. I am 42
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        I will

      2. Weeb Kakashi
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        No. Son is as good as a pick as Mane.

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

          Wow, this is about the first positive comment about Son in a week

      3. AC/DC AFC
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Hold your nerve but use your transfer in case of surprise benching?

      4. Something Clever
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Thanks everyone

    3. Messi man
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Bruno > Greenwood to cover rival?

      1. #Swish41
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Will he switch out G? What about to Mané?

        1. Messi man
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Just want to cover my chasing rival. Putting in Taa and Greenwood to cover the right decision?

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

      Mendy
      TAA Dallas Phillips
      Salah (c) Son lingard Raphina
      Kane Antonio Bam
      Forster Siggy Shaw Godfrey

      Gtg? got plenty in the bank but nothing looks worth a hit to me

    5. Daghe Munegu
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      G2G ? Start Pickford or Forster ?

      Pickford
      TAA Robbo Holding
      Salah Son Raphina Lingard
      Kane Antonio Bamford

      Forster Greenwood Shaw Fofana

    6. BigKeith
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Martinez or Sanchez in goal?

        also is this the right subs order: Wakins, Digne, Struijk?

      • I am 42
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        nacho or DCL out for bamford?

        1. Igz08
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Dcl

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

          DCL

        3. I am 42
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          thanks both

      • Blue Moon Rising
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Bench one from

        A) Nacho
        B) Dallas,
        C) Son (have Kane)

        1. I am 42
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          wow nice headache lol

        2. bjarnia87
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          I would play all of those, all cab easily provide double digits. Can u bench any other?

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

          None. Must be someone better to bench

        4. Blue Moon Rising
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Rudiger, Lingard, Greenwood

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

            Play Dallas ahead of Rudiger for sure.

      • Weeb Kakashi
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Any team leaks yet?

        1. AC/DC AFC
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          It's 6 hours away.

          Many managers won't have said and they'll be heading to home games in a bit.

      • bjarnia87
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Meslier
        TAA, philips ,Coufal
        Raphina, Salah (C), Lingard, Son
        DCL* , Vydra* Kane(vc)

        Gundogan, targett, Holding, Lloris

        Im leading with 10 in my ML, my rival has Bamford. Should I get Bamford (a) iin to potentially Block him, or get Antonio(b)?
        And who to get rid of, DCL(1)ot Vydra(2)?

        Thanks

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

          Vydra should start and SHU is a plum fixture so DCL. As for A or B it's a tough one. Probably A but ask me in 15 minutes and I might say B

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

            Oh is he? He’d be an interesting differential then

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

              I think Ashely Barnes got nicked for drink driving a couple of days back so should see Vydra back in the line up

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

                Naughty Ashley!

        2. The Ilfordian
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          I don’t usually like choosing players just to block a rival but last day of the season seems sensible and I think Bamford is marginally better choice. I’m not sure Vydra’s due to start so would lose him

      • The Pep Revolution
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Two final decisions, can you please pick one from each of the following:

        Wood or Antonio
        Mount or Raphinha

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

          Antonio Raph

        2. DV8R
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Antonio and Raph

      • Igz08
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Start Bale or JLingz?

        1. DV8R
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Lingard

      • DV8R
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Ranked 9.7k, aiming to stay top 10k.

        Do I risk it and take a punt on Bruno to Pepe? Or should I play it safe with Raph?

        1. Milkman Bruno
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Assuming this is for free? Why not

            1. DV8R
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              For which one?

        2. West Hammered
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Pickford
          TAA Dallas Stones
          Salah (C) Son Bale* Foden* Lingard
          Forster, Holding, Shaw, Brewster

          Need some opinions please

          Start Stones, Holding or Shaw?
          Chances Foden/Bale start? Have 1FT 0.8 ITB not sure who to take out.

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

          Hi Guys,

          Are there set to be fans at *every* Premiership game today? Same volume of fans at all, or what's the situation?

          Ta.

          1. Weeb Kakashi
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            No matter how many fans but Anfield will be buzzing.

            I think every club have a fixed number. Or maybe its percentile capacity.

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

            Just the home teams

          3. MightyGar
              2 months, 9 days ago

              25% capacity, capped at 10,000

          4. dando89
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Play Martinez or Johnston ?

          5. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 9 days ago

            do people think we get some genuinely leaked team news before the deadline at all?

            1. Weeb Kakashi
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Every year on the final day we get 3-4 of them. Dont we?

              1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                but that was when the deadline was an hour, if it is 1.5 hours before less likely? I can't remember what happened last season

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

              I would imagine we get loads of bs

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

              Getting leaks is possible. Discerning how genuine they are is always the struggle ..

          6. hjc13
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Do we think stones or Greenwood will get much game time ?

              On bench boost and hoping to get all 15 playing if possible . Cheers

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

                That's my one concern too, very tempted to take a hit to get Pepe. Rival has greenwood but who is more likely to get a return? Greenwood may get a goal/assist but very unlikely to get more than that.
                Wolves away won't be a pushover in managers last game.

            • #Swish41
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              One question, who scores more this week - 1. Mané, 2. Antonio or 3. Bruno?

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

                Ant

            • Miguel Sanchez
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Harrison a better option than Raphinha?

              1. Weeb Kakashi
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                Raph for me.

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

                Think Raphina is a better mid term pick, ticking over with assists, whilst Harrison has more double digit potential.

                So since its a one week punt, perhaps Harrison is the way to go.

            • columbo
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              People's thoughts on Pereira playing today? I'm on an ill timed bench boost and stuck with him and Jota at the moment. Heard very little news about Pereira though sadly. Cheers!

            • ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
              • 11 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              if we get news that united are playing a reserve/youth team mainly then would anyone be interested in traore?

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

                Tempted by telles if they do

                1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
                  • 11 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  i can see this being an open game for some reason. Telles would be interesting. Would be plenty of differentials

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

                  Don't get why anyone would get a Utd defender. Wolves will be up for this match, managers last game. Utd will be thinking about Wed. Telles has not impressed me yet and I'm a Utd Fan. Always seems to look to pass back instead of run at the defender. How he got so many goals/assist in Portugal is a mystery.

              2. Milkman Bruno
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  Not at all.

                  1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
                    • 11 Years
                    2 months, 9 days ago

                    he has been poor but up against a makeshift united defence I was thinking he has a chance

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

                Which option?

                A) Bruno to Mane
                B) Watkins to Antonio
                C) Targett to Dallas

                On A, but fear both Dias and Stones will be rested. Rest of def is Holding, TAA

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

                Would you take a -4 to get a playing keeper?

                Currently have Meslier and Areola, both of which look like them beer benched

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

                If they were both starting, who would be the best transfer in:

                1. Raphinha
                2. Torres

                ??

                1. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
                  • 11 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  torres

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

                Any changes to make or should I change my GK? Trying to maximise my points in my ML chase. Already done Cavani to Nacho. Still have 1 FT

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

                GK: Martinez | Zaha | Digne | Veltman

              7. YEAH PITCH!
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 9 days ago

                Worth a -4?????

                Fernandes/Greenwood/DCL
                TO
                Salah/Willick/Antonio or Bamford

                1. YEAH PITCH!
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  Willock*

                  1. Life_Ban
                      2 months, 9 days ago

                      Greenwood it going to do the business today

                      Pillock is a good shout

                2. Ady87
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 9 days ago

                  If rival has Mendy/James and TAA/Robertson and I’ve got none, who is most important to cover, TAA?

                  My GK is Pope (injured) and Johnstone (Leeds A) so was thinking Johnstone > Mendy but if TAA and Robertson go on 12 pointers which they can, I’d lose.