A Differential XI For GW27

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My FPL 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!

*These selections were made prior to the games on Thursday 4th March 2021 so I am unable to advise how my selections scored in GW26*

This starting eleven have an average ownership of 3.9%, and an overall value of 69.2m.

Goalkeeper
Hugo LLORIS – 6.4% – 5.6M
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Lloris currently averages 3.04 saves per match, which is 1 save point per match plus the possibility of gaining some bonus points if a clean sheet is kept, on top of the clean sheet points, and while Lloris is seemingly coming in for some stick lately he has officially only made one error that has lead to a goal this season in the Premier League, the same amount as the much-loved Martinez & Areola, Goalkeepers that are well thought of such as David De Gea, Dean Henderson & Ederson, while Meslier(2) & Alisson (3) have made more errors leading to goals this season and I think it’s fair to say they arecurrently held in a higher regard than Hugo Lloris. This week Tottenham are at home to Crystal Palace, and with Zaha out I’m not sure Palace have what it takes to penetrate that Tottenham defenceso I am backing a Lloris clean-sheet here.

Defenders
Ricardo PEREIRA – 1.2% – 5.9M
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6, 6, 2, 2, 1 & 1. Pereira’s last 6 games, on a very downward curve, but with goal-shy Brighton up next and Pereira enjoying a bit of licence to get forward (he was the 4th highest average position for Leicester vs Burnley behind Tielemans, Vardy & Iheanacho) could we see defensive AND attacking returns in GW27? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Craig DAWSON – 1.0% – 4.5M
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Craig Dawson didn’t play for west Ham until GW16 when he started vs Southampton (clean sheet return) and has started every League game since as West Ham have won 7, drawn 2 and lost 2 of 11 games, with Dawson keeping 5 clean sheets in the process, scoring twice and not receiving a booking.

Dawson has played 11 games of West Hams 26 so far, but has scored more FPL points in less games than Seamus Coleman (22 less points, 4 games more played), Matt Doherty (20 less points, 1 game more played), Patrick van Aanholt (8 less points, 5games more played), Ben Davies (8 less points, 7 games more played) & Mason Holgate (1 less point, 4 games more played), if you put those 6 in a poll at the beginning of the season for most points, Craig Dawson would have been your sixth placed pick.

Dawson is also able to boast of a fantastic average PPG (4.8) that betters Oleksandr Zinchenko (4.5), Sergio Reguilón (4.2), Kyle Walker (4.1), Andrew Robertson (3.9), Luke Shaw (3.7) & Trent Alexander-Arnold (3.4), while only just being short of João Cancelo’s average PPG of 5.1. Dawson is a man on form and for £4.5m, I’m not sure there is a better defensive bargain out there right now.

JANNIK VESTERGAARD– 3.1% – 4.7M
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6’6” of ball-playing Defender, never mind get him in your FPL team, I’m wondering why he hasn’t become the latest Southampton > Liverpool transfer! Southampton have a double GW, however, I’m disregarding the Man City game with anything more than a one-pointer for Vestergaard being a positive, but it’s the Sheffield United game I’m liking the look of him for and with JWP on those set-piece deliveries Vestergaard can be valuable offensively as well as defensively.

Darnell FURLONG – 0.2% – 4.5M
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This one is, by all accounts, the least exciting of the 4 I’ve chosen in Defence, however, against Brighton Furlong’s average position was over the half-way line, showing his attacking intent to add to his clean sheet and prior to the Everton game (article written in advance of the Thursday games) West Brom have kept two clean sheets in their last two games. GW27 sees them come up against a Newcastle side missing Callum Wilson, Miguel Almirón & Allan Saint-Maximin, you wouldn’t want to bet against Allardyce & West Brom coming away with another clean sheet.

Midfielders
Jesse LINGARD – 5.5% – 6.0M
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Fair play to you if you expected Jesse Lingard to have the impact he’s currently having on this West Ham side. 5 games, 1 blank, 3 goals, 2 assists and his blank came in a 0-0. When West Ham score, Jesse Lingard seems to be involved and with a match against an attacking Leeds Lingard will surely be looking to pick up those spaces left behind and add to his 5 goal involvements thus far.For a more in-depth look into Jesse Lingard’s recent form, check out fellow Jumpers For Goalposts writer Mihir’s FPL Snapshot article on West Ham’s inform differential.

Youri TIELEMANS – 3.0% – 6.4M
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No James Maddison, no Harvey Barnes, step forward Leicester’s next most influential midfieldplayer! Tielemans got himself on the scoresheet vs Arsenal in GW26 and is currently enjoying his best Premier League goal-scoring season, and best in the League since he scored 13 times in 37 games for Anderlecht in 2016/17. While expecting 13 goals may be a stretch, having scored 6 already, I see no reason why Tielemans cannot step forward in Leicester’s hour of need and get himself to double figures in the remaining 11 games, starting with Brighton away on Saturday evening.

Bukayo SAKA – 8.8% – 5.2M
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2019/20; 26 matches (19 starts), 1 goal, 5 assists. 2020/21; 22 matches (21 starts), 5 goals, 2 assists. Those numbers aren’t great but watch Arsenal and you will see he has been, and in my opinion is, their best player this season. Arsenal travel to Burnley this weekend and Saka’s trickery could be the key to Arsenal getting the breakthrough, he won’t be around the £5m mark next season so enjoy him as a cheap option while you can!

Gareth BALE – 1.2% – 9.3M
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A very expensive selection, but how can I not put him in after his performance in GW26 vs Burnley (as this article was written prior to the Thursday evening games, watch him do nothing vs Fulham now and be benched this weekend(!)) – all season we have been waiting, as Football fans, for the Gareth Bale of old to return, and it was worth the wait, he’s looking sharp, quick, his touch is still there, his technique is as good as it was and if he stays fit, what a player Tottenham have for the end of season run-in! At 1.2% ownership, he’s surely worth spending the big bucks on! 

Forwards
Roberto FIRMINO – 4.6% – 9.2M
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I’m a Liverpool fan and while Firmino may not score week-in, week-out, he tends to pop up when least expected with a goal or two. I took a gamble on him earlier on in the season and he duly delivered with a 16 point return vs Crystal Palace before I transferred him out the next week as others brought him in for the subsequent 2, 2, 2, 2 & 1 pointers. Fulham are very good at the moment, but I think Firmino will enjoy himself in this match, giving Andersen & Tosin the run around and picking up some much-needed FPL points (because we all know THAT’S what Footballers care most about).

Richarlison – 8.1% – 7.9M
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Back in GW16, on a wildcard, I brought in Richarlison instead of DCL and it took a while to enjoy any sort of success from this choice, but recently Richarlison has been getting his rewards and DCL hasn’t scored since GW23 (don’t worry about him being injured for two of the four games, we don’t talk about that) while Richarlison has scored a goal in his last 3 outings (prior to the West Brom game). Everton travel to Chelsea this GW which may surprise some of you with my selection of Richarlison, but with Mendy and Kepa in goal any team has an opportunity to score and with Richarlison favouring that inside-left position, him vs Azpilicueta could be a battle that Richarlison comes off the pitch having won.

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