As we approach the business end of the FPL season it is the opportune time for Managers to pull away from the chasing pack or start a late surge up the rankings. With this in mind here are some budget friendly picks that could be the ideal differential for your team.
Eberechi Eze £5.8m (0.9% ownership)Embed from Getty Images
It’s no secret that Palace have an enticing run of fixtures coming up and the early murmurings from Twitter seem to suggest a Zaha bandwagon is imminent. However at less than 6m Eze provides an interesting alternative to Palace’s main man and with the signing of Mateta it is yet to be seen whether Zaha will remain up front or move back out wide.
Eze has shown his value scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Wolves last time out and has displayed glimpses of talent on a few occasions in his first top flight campaign, particularly with a solo goal against Sheffield United where he single handily dismantled the Blades defence.
Of course Wilf is the Palace talisman this season but Eze (65) sits third in the Eagles points leader board only behind Wilf (101) and goalkeeper Guaita (72).
Antonio Rudiger £4.5m (1.2% ownership)Embed from Getty Images
Thomas Tuchel may just reinvigorate the career of Antonio Rudiger who had become a forgotten man under Lampard until he came back into the side for for DGW19 where he kept a clean sheet against Fulham and featured in the 2-0 loss to Leicester. It was widely reported that Tuchel wanted the fellow German to join him at PSG so it came as no surprise to see the centre back keep his spot in Tuchel’s new look defence.
Chelsea have looked much more organised in their first two games under Tuchel and have kept clean sheets in games against Burnley and Wolves. With Reece James, Kurt Zouma and Ben Chilwell all looking much more rotation prone Rudiger could be an ideal swap for those looking to keep a Chelsea defender in their side.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles £4.6m (0.7% ownership)Embed from Getty Images
Hear me out, I know a lot of you will be saying Foxy has lost the plot suggesting a West Brom defender could be a good pick but there is method to the madness.
AMN was linked with a loan move throughout the January window with top half clubs such as Leicester and Southampton showing keen interest, Ainsley seemed keen on joining the Foxes but Arsenal didn’t want to let him join a team they see themselves in direct competition. The reason he did not join the Saints however is much more interesting, it is reported that Maitland-Niles did not want to join Southampton due to his desire to get more minutes in Midfield as opposed to right back where Hasenhuttl wold have liked to utilise him.
At 4.6m and with a very favourable run after GW24 we could have an out of position defender playing in a Big Sam team that are starting to show signs of life. Add in to this that West Brom are highly likely to play in the potential blank game week due to them being out of the cup and you can begin to build a case for AMN as a 5th midfielder even if it is an audacious one.
Dwight McNeil £5.7m (0.3% ownership)Embed from Getty Images
Now this pick is not for the faint hearted and I’d only advise taking a punt on the Burnley man if you are prepared to take a short term punt between GW23-GW25.
It’s no secret than Burnley struggle for goals but are a highly efficient and organised defensive unit so I’m not expecting McNeil to be putting away 2 or 3 goals a week. I do however believe he is a player of genuine quality and a standout creative option for Dyche’s side, his goal against Villa and performance against Liverpool were both of a very high calibre.
After they play Man City in midweek Burnley have a short run of games against teams they will be looking to take points from (BHA,CRY,WBA). McNeil could take advantage of this and is ranked Burnley’s second most in form player on the Jumpers for Goalposts database behind the one and only Nick Pope.
Ozan Kabak £5m (New addition)Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool added some much needed defensive cover to their ranks on deadline day with the signings of Preston centre back Ben Davies and Schalke’s Ozan Kabak, it is with Matip, VVD and Matip all out the Turkish defender should come into the side fairly quickly.
Although Ozan is not going to be chipping in with too many attacking returns compared to Trent and Robbo he could prove to be a shrewd buy at 5m in a Liverpool team that looks to have come out of a rough patch. Liverpool should have much better clean sheet potential with natural centre backs in the side allowing Henderson and Fabinho (when fit) to return to midfield.
It is always safer to play by the template if you are happy with your rank and rely on a few low-mid ownership picks and good captaincy choices but if you are looking to play aggressive these picks might just help you gain an advantage on the masses. Eze would be my main pick with Rudiger and Kabak providing steady long term points, Maitalnd-Niles and McNeil are more of a longshot pick for the maverick FPL player.