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. Buck The Trent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Crazy to go with Auba instead of Pepe?

    On penalties and hauled on last day of last season

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

      Brighton are no pushovers and Arsenal is in steady decline since mid 2000's so I wouldn't 😉

    2. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I went auba

      1. Eastman
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Toss up but I’m going Auba

  2. Ohh1454
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Will ASM play do we think ?

  3. West Hammered
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Pickford
    TAA Dallas Stones
    Salah Son Bale* Foden* Lingard
    Bamford Kane
    Holding Shaw Brewster

    A) Bale & Brewster to Raphina & Antonio -4 (Bench Foden)
    B) Foden to Raphina (Play Bale)
    C) Bale to Raphina (Play Foden)
    D) Pickford to Mendy (Play Foden & Bale)

    Start
    1) Stones
    2) Holding
    3) Shaw

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

      B & 2

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

    What's the expect level of carnage around 14:00 ?
    Both ffs and fpl to go down ?

  5. cigan
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    What would your team look like if you had FH for this round?

    1. JBG
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Ederson
      Chilwell-TAA-Dallas
      Raphinha-Salah-Willock-Mane
      Kane-Antonio-Bamford

      Not sure I could afford that but.

      1. cigan
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Very similar to what I was thinking, Rudiger & Mount for Chilwell & Willock the only changes

        Playing keeper (Sanchez/Areola?), Willock and Lowton on bench just in case

  6. Nay08
      2 months, 11 days ago

      so I'm chasing 28 points. which unlikely to do but just gonna take my shot, there's no difference from 28 or 50 points behind lol.
      will C Mane instead of Salah. what transfer should I make?
      1. Keane to Tierney
      play a little bit "safe" without a hit
      or
      2. Phillips and Kane to Robbo and Wood (-4)
      Robbo to differentiate from TAA that my rival has and Wood for amazing form and fixtures. but a -4 and transfer out Kane that chasing golden boot(my rival has Kane and Salah. no Mane).

      Team: 0.3 ITB
      Leno (Foster)
      Dallas, Coufal, (Castagne/Keane/Phillip)
      Salah, Mane, Son, Lingard, Raphinha
      Kane, Bamford, (iheanancho)

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

        Play Phillips, don't take hit.
        Sell Son and get midfield differential.

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

          I wouldn't bench Ikenacho against this Spurs team.

    • nicecat
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Start
      c. Coufal
      g. Gundo?

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

        Coufal, Gundo may have more upside potential but is likely to only get a few minutes, if he plays at all. Also, it really depends on the rest of your team and if you just want the most points or are trying to win a league.

    • Lexi2014
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      2FTs

      Bruno to Pepe?

      Mesilier (McCarthy)
      Dallas / Konsa / Coufal (Aina / Mitchell)
      Salah / Son / JWP / Willock (Bruno)
      Kane / Antonio / Bamford

    • Agamenmon
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I have 2 ft

      Which 2 moves should I make

      1 Calvert lewin to Bamford
      2 Ings to Antonio
      3 Mahrez to Torres or someone else

      1. jonnybhoy
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        1 + 2

    • Garfield1001
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Play Pickford or Forster?

      1. jonnybhoy
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Forster

    • AlpoShearer
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Pope
      TAA - Castagne - Philips
      Salah - Greenwood - Raphinha - Lingard
      Kane - Antonio (C) - Nacho

      Martinez Bruno - Shaw - Veltman

      A. Bruno to Torres -4, bench Greenwood
      B. Shaw to Dallas -4 , bench Greenwood
      C. GTG
      Chasing 14 points...

    • chocolove
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Antonio or Bamford guys?

      1. Cowboy John
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Antonio.

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

        who are you other 2 strikers? I have both so tough call to pick 1.

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

        I am thinking of both but if I had to go for 1, Bamford

      4. jonnybhoy
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Bamford

    • JoBro
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Fabianski playing today??

      1. injury_prone
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        seems 50/50, moyes said would be last min call. One hope though he has missed the odd game this season but always just the 1 so hoping he plays. 2nd keeper for me with bench boost.

    • klopp2567
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 11 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?????

      1. Scrumper
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Wouldn't get rid of wood

    • jonnybhoy
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Meslier to Mendy worth -4pts or just hope forster plays?

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

        No goalkeeper is worth -4 for just one week.

        1. GOTHAM City F.C.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          In this case is -2

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

            0 is better than -2.

      2. artvandelay316
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Same situation as you and in reflection I decided it wasnt worth a hit, because most you can score is 3 points if keeper keeps a clean sheet, and if he doesn't you've lost 2 points. Better to just take a gamble of Forster.

      3. colin.mcdonald
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Left with a bench boost due to awful management. Do we think it is worth getting rid of Bruno and Shaw for hits? I’ve already used my 2FT to get rid of Coleman and Meslier

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

        Forster > Allison? Any other recommendations appreciated

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

        GK: Martinez | Zaha | Digne | Veltman

        1. GOTHAM City F.C.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Ya, the rest of the team looks fine

      5. Muscout
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Really need your thoughts guys, just and A or B and reason please

        Martinez
        TAA Rud Dallas
        Salah (c) Greenwood Lingard Willock
        Kane Watkins DCL

        McCarthy Zaha Shaw Dier

        2.8itb, 1 FT, 25 points ahead in ML

        A) DCL to Bamf
        B) DCL to Nacho (rival has him)
        C) anything else

        1. jonnybhoy
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          A and B but get rid of watkins too

      6. Babelcopter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Too much? Im 21pts behind in ml. Kane, DCL, Bruno, Jota out Antonio, Wood, Pepe, Mane in for -8. Mane (c).

        1. HEADSY
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Probably as you will be starting 29 points behind

        2. GOTHAM City F.C.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          You need couple of differentials including a captain. Maybe just -4 and play Kane

      7. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Harrison or Pepe is the question!

        1. injury_prone
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Pepe

        2. artvandelay316
            2 months, 11 days ago

            Pepe

        3. GOTHAM City F.C.
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          8 points ahead of rival, 2.3itb, 1FT. Only 6 players in common.

          Meslier, Forster*
          TAA*, Coleman, Holding, (Ward, Amartey)
          Salah*, Bruno*, Son, Lingard, Willock
          Kane*, Bamford*, (Benteke)

          Their team 2.4itb, 1FT
          Fabianski, Forster*
          TAA*, Dallas, Dawson, Fofana, Coady
          Salah*, Bruno*, Greenwood, Harrison, JWP
          Kane*, Bamford*, Vydra

          A. Coleman ➡ Dallas
          B. Bruno ➡ Mané
          C. Both for a hit?
          D. Coleman, Benteke ➡ Dallas, Antonio (-4)

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

          Areola benched?

        5. KAALI_DAAL
            2 months, 11 days ago

            Play Aina or DCL?

            1. Scrumper
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 11 days ago

              DCL

          • Scrumper
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 11 days ago

            Is Nacho worth a -4 to avoid Watkins as first on the bench (have Shaw in starting 11 so bench likely to be used)

          • cuppatea78
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 11 days ago

            Anyone think Bruno will be rested? If so who is a good replacement? I already have Son, Salah, Lingard

          • indy13
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 11 days ago

            Hey all. Thanks to everyone who donates their time on this site each year so that people like me can have somewhere to go for advice, guidance, rants and more!!

            Final question of the season?

            Start
            a) DCL
            b) Zaha
            c) take a -4 on one of these two and bring in Raphinha/Mount/Kane

            I have Zaha, Pepe, Salah (c), Grealish and Lingard in midfield
            I have DCL, Bamford, Antonio up front.

            1. artvandelay316
                2 months, 11 days ago

                C- Raph

            2. Tomerick
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 11 days ago

              How likely are Bruno and Shaw to play?

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

                Bruno coming on from bench, and Shaw not in match squad is what I am expecting

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

              Start:

              A) Mahrez
              Or?
              B) Greenwood

              1. artvandelay316
                  2 months, 11 days ago

                  B

              2. bjarnia87
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 11 days ago

                Play Bamford or Antonio

                1. Tomerick
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 11 days ago

                  Both. Bench someone else.

                  1. bjarnia87
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 11 days ago

                    Ok, i meant who of those to get in my squad? Have DCl kane and
                    Vydra

                    1. Tomerick
                      • 7 Years
                      2 months, 11 days ago

                      Oh well that’s a very different question. Personally I went Antonio as I have Harrison.

              3. battlecat
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                2 months, 11 days ago

                Seen a few comments relating to Antonio’s last GW record. Does that mean GW37 as it can’t be last season’s GW38?

                Cost me my ML getting him on my Free Hit last year. Booked and hooked at half time for a GW score of zero.

                Not aware of his last matches of the season before that apart from in 2012 when he scored to seal Wednesday’s promotion to the championship.

                1. Tomerick
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 11 days ago

                  I seem to recall him grabbing a hat trick at the end of one season can’t be sure though.