A Differential XI for GW29

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My FPL GW29 differential pick article will provide Managers with a line-up of gems you may not be considering but may pick up valuable points to help you outscore the competition. My starting eleven of differentials will be made up of players with an ownership of less than 10%, meaning if selected by you, you could be outscoring 9 of every 10 Managers in the game!

Last week wasn’t the best, as indicated in the table at the bottom of the article, but my selection of Iheanacho proved inspired as he fired in a hat-trick.

This starting eleven was selected on Tuesday 16th March 2021 and as of this date had an average ownership of 2.3%, and an overall value of £55.9m.

Robert SANCHEZ – 3.4% – £4.5m
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For the second week in a row I have gone for Robert Sánchez and I did mention last week that I liked the look of Sánchez for his next two games. This week will only see 4 matches, and so my Goalkeeper choice was limited, however, only Emiliano Martínez has an ownership over 10%, at 41.1%, so my selection was simply who I think has the best chance of keeping a clean sheet. I have gone against Newcastle this week as I think of the 8 playing, they are least likely to score giving Robert Sánchez the best chance of keeping a clean sheet to complete a dream week for him that started with a call-up to the Spanish national team on Monday.

Joel Veltman – 1.7% – £4.3M
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My second selection, and second Brighton player but with clean sheets on the mind, added in the possibility of attacking returns, Veltman is my guy. Yes, Veltman has 1 goal and 0 assists, but he’s had 17 key passes (a pass that results in an attempt on target) and we all know Brighton’s issues with sticking the ball in the back of the net. Veltman has been very unlucky not to get himself an assist this season, but I’m backing him for a clean sheet here and to boost those attacking return numbers.

Joachim Anderson – 0.4% – £4.5M
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Andersen has been a rock at the heart of the Fulham defence this season and has 5 clean in his last 8, including an assist in the 1-1 draw with Burnley in GW24. This week Fulham host a Leeds side that are very enjoyable to watch but are suspect at defending set pieces. While I’m dubious about Fulham’s chances of a clean sheet, it is not beyond the realms of possibility having kept clean sheets vs West Ham, Everton & Liverpool recently, although GW2 did see a 4-3 thriller go Leeds way, Andersen wasn’t signed at this point. Joachim Andersen, now is your time to open your Premier League account, and maybe keep a clean sheet… (personally I am torn as I will have Raphinha, and hope to have Bamford fit, in my team, so an attacking return will do thanks Joachim).

Jamal Lascelles – 1.5% – £4.2M
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I have selected Robert Sánchez & Joël Veltman in the belief Brighton have the best chance of keeping a clean sheet, and the selection of Lascelles is simply the fact that I believe after Brighton, Newcastle have the next best chance of keeping a clean sheet. I am setting this match up now to be a 7-goal thriller, however, there would be no surprise if this match finished 0-0. Lascelles scored the 94th minute equaliser for Newcastle vs Aston Villa in GW28 so there is always a chance he can make it 2 goals in 2 games as he looks to lead Newcastle away from the dangers of relegations

Jesse LINGARD – 9.7% – £6.1M
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6 appearances, 4 goals, 1 assist. West Hams first game without Lingard, due to him not being able to face his parent club, since he broke into the side saw them have the 2nd least amount of shots and least amount of shots on target in a game since before Lingard joined the Hammers. West Ham sorely missed Lingard’s creativity and surely, he is in a shoo-in to come straight back into the starting eleven for the home game against Arsenal.

emile smith rowe – 2.1% – £4.2M
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ESR spent last season on loan at Huddersfield and didn’t look to have much of a future, if any at all, at Arsenal. Europa League appearances against Molde, Rapid Vienna & Dundalk were Smith Rowe’s only opportunity to impress, but impress he did, earning 25 minutes in the EFL Cup Quarter-Final loss to Manchester City before starting in GW15 at home to Chelsea. Smith Rowe got an assist in that match as Arsenal won 3-1 and has proceeded to start 12 of the 13 League games since his debut, picking up 4 assists, the second most in the League for Arsenal this season, with 20 key passes in addition to the 4 assists, shows ESR is very much key to Arsenal’s chance creation.

Martin ØDEGAARD – 1.0% – £5.9M
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I was thinking to myself who is the better option, Smith Rowe or Ødegaard? The answer I decided upon was to double-down and go for both. Ødegaard is probably more well known for being a Football Manager wonderkid than the impact he’s had on the real footballing world, but a coming-of-age season last season while on loan at Real Sociedad shown many he was ready to fulfil that potential he first shown in 2014. Ødegaard is now 22 and seemingly enjoying his football in North London. Two goals in his last two games and 7 starts from his last 8 show Arteta trusts him and is allowing him to flourish in that young attacking trio of Saka, Smith Rowe and himself. With Saka looking like a potential doubt for this weekend, I don’t think you can go far wrong with either Smith Rowe or Ødegaard.

ademola lookman – 2.9% – £5.1M
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Lookman has featured in my differential XI before, and duly delivered with an 11 pointer. This weekend, with a game against a Leeds side that do tend to leave gaps, Lookman could flourish and enjoy a return or two. Leeds aren’t a bad side by any means, but they do like to entertain and attack, and that makes me favour attacking players facing them. Lookman has a shooting accuracy of exactly 50% so he’s getting every other shot on target while also boasting a pass completion of 81.2% – I like the look of those stats for this coming GW, Lookman is in my team and I think he should be in yours too!.

lucas moura – 1.6% – £6.6M
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So last week I wrote: “Everyone is talking about Kane, Son & Bale, and rightly so, including me last week with my selection of Bale for a 14-pointer, but the fourth member of Spurs attacking quartet at the moment is Lucas Moura. Lucas has started 3 of Spurs past 4 Premier League games, vs West Ham (8), Burnley (8) & Crystal Palace (2), but that 2-pointer vs Crystal Palace does not tell you the story of how well Lucas played in that match. Much like Saka, with his next game a North London derby, if Lucas continues his current form, returns will be coming thick and fast, not to mention Spurs are one of the 8 with a game in GW29.”

GW28 saw Kane, Son & Bale blank while Lucas came away with an assist. Make that 3 returns in 4 games for the over-looked man in Spurs attacking quartet and with it looking like Son is unavailable this weekend (I say “looking like” as we can never forget the Mourinho mind-games before GW4 when many transferred Son out on Mourinhos word, and Son started and returned 18 points in the 6-1 win at Old Trafford) there will be more onus on Lucas to continue his good run of attacking returns.

josh maja – 1.3% – £5.5M
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Joshua Erowoli Orisunmihare Oluwaseun Maja, a man featured in a thread by fellow JFG writer Mihir last week, where Scott Parker decided to leave him on the bench for the full game. Fulham lacked A LOT of things vs Manchester City, and one of them seemed to be Josh Maja… 3 shots on goal for Fulham, and 3 shots blocked by Manchester City doesn’t make good reading, Ederson’s was not tested vs Fulham and his total involvement amounted to 38 touches, the lowest of any starting player and you would think Scott Parker will want to rectify that this weekend by going for it, and if they do, Maja could be your man!

Andi zeqiri – 0.1% – £5.0M
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Andi Zeqiri has made 4 Premier League appearances, with all 4 coming from the bench. His first Premier League appearance came in GW14, at home to Sheffield United, coming on in the 72nd minutes with Brighton trailing, the final score was 1-1. Zeqiri’s second appearance was against Wolves in GW17, again at home, Zeqiri came on at half-time as Brighton trailed 3-1 and the final score was 3-3. His third appearance was at Anfield as Brighton won 1-0, this time he came on with Brighton already leading, to see out the final 7 minutes in GW22. Zeqiri’s latest appearance was this past weekend, with Dan Burn off injured at half-time and the score 1-1, Zeqiri came on and looked very good in my opinion, in a left wing-back role, although he seemed to be very advanced quite often, pushing Kyle Walker-Peters back and being an unexpected nuisance for Southampton.

If Dan Burn isn’t fit for this week, on the back of his performance at the weekend I can’t see why Zeqiri wouldn’t be given his first Premier League start and could be a major differential wildcard!

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