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. Milkman Bruno
      2 months, 12 days ago

      Benching Bruno seems so strange

      Mendy
      Taa, Dallas, Coufal
      Salah, Torres, Raphina, Lingard
      Kane, Antonio, Wood

      Martinez, Bruno, Struijk, Mitchell 0ft .4itb

      1. Milkman Bruno
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Manè for a hit only causes more issues with who to bench. Chasing 10 points currently in ML

          1. dark91
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            If you decide to bring in Mane then bench Lingard

      2. SomeoneKnows
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        Given Klopp's latest quote on Jota, who you start him ahead of Greenwood?

        Afterall Liverpool have more to play for, and even if Greenwood does start, he'll be surrounded by second team players

        1. Gandalf
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Greenwood scored last time he was surrounded by second teamers, and Jota would probs just be a cameo at best

      3. Inter Me Gran
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 12 days ago

        Keep Bale or Son??

        1. Ady87
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Son probably.

      4. Calum Undisputed
          2 months, 12 days ago

          re:
          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) ?

          1. Bedok
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            My advice is be clearer. If it's hard to understand what you are asking, you will get few if any responses.

        • MoSalalalalalalalalah
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Bottomed.

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

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

          GK: Martinez | Zaha | Digne | Veltman

        • frenchfries
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

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

        • Phlajo
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Play Vydra or Ziggy?

          1. bjarnia87
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Siggi

          2. Biggsy
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Vydra, if you mean Siggy

        • Ibralicious
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Lads, who would you have first on bench?

          A) Bowen (rotation risk)
          B) Coady (vs MUN)

          Cheers!

          1. In a Rush
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Bowen for me

        • RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          If we got the news that Bruno is starting, would you still go Bruno to Mane?

          Or get Dallas?

          1. ZAMUNDA
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            I'd still keep bruno if he's starting

          2. Ibralicious
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Keep Bruno in that case for sure, but I doubt we’d get an early inclination. Think he sits this one out no need to get hurt 72 hours before the penultimate game

        • bjarnia87
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Play Gundogen or Lindgard?

          1. Ibralicious
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Tough one I’d go lingard just because Gundo might be rested or come off the bench depending on how pep rotates

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

            Gundo had a little knock at the end of the last game. Coupled with the fact they have UCL (where he'll start) & Everton aren't bad away, I'd much rather play Lingard vs. a leaky Southampton side.

            1. bjarnia87
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 12 days ago

              Good point! U cleared it for me

        • In a Rush
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Who to play please?

          A . Watkins
          B. Greenwood

          Cheers all good luck

          1. Mikel Arteta
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Watkins

        • RedWolf
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Leno (-4)
          Or risk no keeper - Meslier and Areola

          1. Mikel Arteta
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Play Areola

        • De Gea is GOAT
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          Which is the best option guys?

          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)

          1. Mikel Arteta
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            A

            1. De Gea is GOAT
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 12 days ago

              Thank you. Leaning towards that myself. Just not sure about double WHU. And does GW start?

        • Mikel Arteta
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 12 days ago

          I have Trent, Dallas, Salah and Bamford.
          Best combo for last gameweek?
          A) Robertson and Raphinha
          B) Alioski and Mane

          1. Wicked Weapon
              2 months, 12 days ago

              B seems to be the popular move around here

          2. Fantasydreamer
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 12 days ago

            Can I catch 22 points in ML with these differences or shall I just captain salah for my best ever rank?

            Me. Bam(c), salah, Dias, Antonio, areola

            Him. Bam, salah(c), shaw, DCL, Martinez

          3. Wicked Weapon
              2 months, 12 days ago

              If Pereira is most likely out, should I do

              A) Pereira > Willock ?

              OR

              B) Any other popular move like Bruno > Mane etc.

              1. ZAMUNDA
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 12 days ago

                Willock

            • Daghe Munegu
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 12 days ago

              Play Forster or Pickford ?

              1. Gandalf
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                2 months, 12 days ago

                I'm leaning towards Pickford, has a good track record away to top teams and save points likely

              2. Tomsk
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  (Have same choice) Also leaning towards Pickford.

              3. ZAMUNDA
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 12 days ago

                OR 11, 498 - chasing top 10k.

                Bruno replacement?

                I've got Salah, Mahrez, Raphinha, Lingard and 10.9 to spend. (1 FT)

                1) Pépé
                2) Mount
                3) Harrison

                1. Wicked Weapon
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    I would look at Mount

                    1. ZAMUNDA
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 12 days ago

                      Cheers mate

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

                  Reckon I've made a silly -4 for Coufal when I could have just played Holding, but let's hope Arsenal do the Arsenal thing 😛

                  1. ZAMUNDA
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    So I shouldn't bring their assets today (Pépé for example instead of Bruno?)

                3. Oooo Matron
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  A or B?

                  Mane & Digne
                  Son & Robertson

                  1. ZAMUNDA
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    Son and Robertson

                4. MoSalalalalalalalalah
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Best Gk to bring in?

                  1. cigan
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    Allison/Ederson, followed by Mendy

                5. battlecat
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  I know taking hits for defenders in GW38 will rarely pay off, but what if your defence was:

                  Shaw, Holding, Phillips (Casagne, Digne)

                  Wanted to do Bruno > Mane or DCL > Bamford but that defence is very concerning.

                  Shaw has to go, right?

                  1. PogBruno
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    Castagne can get something vs Spurs

                    1. battlecat
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      2 months, 12 days ago

                      You reckon? He’s been one of my worst buys this year, amongst sooo many bad buys.

                      Rudiger to Castagne a few weeks back. Oh deary me.

                6. Danno - Emre Canada
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Watkins or DCL (the one left will probably be benched) out for Bamford

                  1. Gandalf
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    DCL

                    1. Danno - Emre Canada
                      • 6 Years
                      2 months, 12 days ago

                      Ta

                7. chocolove
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Antonio or Bamford?

                8. klopp2567
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  thanks to getting willock in ML. This is last chance to reduce the gap and come on top and i am hopeful of that.
                  With my team as below
                  Martinez
                  Digne Taa AWB Dallas Konsa
                  Bruno Son Willock Lingard Green wood
                  wood DCl Bamford

                  and opponents team being
                  Martinez
                  Coufal Taa Dallas Lowton Veltman
                  Bruno Son Salah Raphina Harrison
                  Nacho Ings watkins

                  I am thinking of -4 and getting Salah and Antonio or Salah and robertson in place of Bruno and wood or Bruno and Awb.
                  Any tips plz need huge help here???

                9. DF
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Bout time one of JWPs free kicks went in. I'm right to play him ahead of Greenwood yeah?

                10. bjarnia87
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Play Vydra or DCL?

                  1. beetlejuice
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    Vydra

                11. PogBruno
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Any defender upto 5.5 worth to get for a hit??

                  TAA Rudiger Shaw (Konsa Maguire)

                  Shaw no show would get konsa from the bench, so wondering if it's worth to get another defender for a hit.

                  1. matiakez
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    Dallas is the best option but Tierney is capable of a haul

                12. beetlejuice
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  With Barnes and Rodriguez back into the team, how many minutes would you expect Vydra will play?

                13. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 12 days ago

                  Chelsea fans, and everyone else who might know, what do you think the Chelsea like up will be?

                  1. cigan
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 12 days ago

                    Mendy
                    Christensen Silva Rudiger
                    James Kovacic Jorginho Chilwell
                    Mount Werner Pulisic

                    possibly Azpi/Havertz for James/Pulisic

                    1. ZAMUNDA
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 12 days ago

                      Should I get Mount then?