My differential pick article will provide FPL 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 was a great week, scoring 30 points above the FPL average! Please view the table at the bottom of the article to see my success rate week-on-week for the season.
This starting eleven was selected on Wednesday 31st March 2021 and as of this date had an average ownership of 4%, and an overall value of £67.4m.
IlLan MESLIER – 6.9% – £4.7MEmbed from Getty Images
Leeds have conceded 47 goals in 29 League games this season, but Meslier has still been able to rack up the fourth most points by a goalkeeper this season, keeping 10 clean sheets in the process. This does mean that Leeds have conceded 47 in the other 19 games, meaning when they concede, they don’t do it by halves, however, this week they face Sheffield United who are the Premier League’s lowest goalscorers with 16. Meslier kept a clean sheet in the reverse fixture and I don’t think anyone else came close when making my selections this week.
César AZPILICUETA – 6.6% – £5.8MEmbed from Getty Images
Dave, as he is affectionately known by, didn’t seem to be a favourite of Frank Lampard having played in 9 of the 19 League games before Tuchel arrived. What a turnaround in fortunes Azpilicueta has experienced with the introduction of a new Manager playing every game in all competitions bar the FA Cup game away to Barnsley. Azpilicueta has scored 97 points this season, with 66 coming in the 10 games since Tuchel was appointed, averaging 6.6 points per game. This weekend Chelsea face 19th placed West Brom and while I’m not a fan of the Chelsea goalkeepers I am a fan of their defensive organisation, and with games to come against Crystal Palace & Brighton after West Brom Dave is looking like a fantastic choice in the short-term at least.
Jannik VESTERGAARD – 3.2% – £4.7MEmbed from Getty Images
I selected Vestergaard in my GW27 differentials, and he delivered with 8 points. At the time I said “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!” and although it looks like we may be getting Konate from RB Leipzig, I wouldn’t be a disappointed Liverpool fan if we ended up signing Vestergaard instead. Vestergaard can always be a threat offensively, while being a rock in the heart of the Saints defence and with a home game against Burnley I can see the bonus points gravitating to Vestergaard as he heads ball-after-ball away. I’m surprised Vestergaard is cheaper (by £0.1m) and lesser owned (by 2.7%) than Jan Bednarek because for me it seems a straight-forward choice although I’m sure @FPL_ElStatto will let me know if, as a Saints fan, he disagrees!
Lucas DIGNE – 9.1% – £6.1MEmbed from Getty Images
Not much to say about this guy that you won’t already know. Everton face Crystal Palace & Brighton in their next two matches and I would be very surprised if that lovely left foot of his did not pick up, at least, an assist over the course of the next two GWs, not to mention the opportunity of clean sheet points for an Everton team looking to bounce back after 3 defeats in a row.
Kai HAVERTZ – 2.8% – £8.2MEmbed from Getty Images
King Kai! This selection is not stat based, this is a gut feeling that he is now Tuchel’s first choice in the middle striker role (Werner left and Mount/Ziyech/Hudson-Odoi to his right I would say?) and being a Midfielder playing up front, that’s always a good start for a decent selection in my eyes. Havertz has started Germany’s past two games (vs Iceland where he scored, and Romania, although this article was written prior to the North Macedonia match so it could be three starts in a row) as a striker. When football resumed after the first lockdown I very much enjoyed watched the Bundesliga and Havertz passed the eye test EVERY game, while he hasn’t hit those heights this season, it seems he has a Manager willing to push him further forward and look to get the best out of him, let’s hope this continues vs West Brom!
Lucas MOURA – 2.2% – £6.6MEmbed from Getty Images
Two weeks ago I wrote “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.”
This is Lucas’ third inclusion in a row for my differentials, and I have no issue selecting him week-in week-out if he stays under 10% ownership. That he is so low owned feels criminal as he is one of the first names on Mourinho’s team sheet at the moment with 5 returns from his last 8 League games. Newcastle are up next and with Spurs out of Europe I think we will see them go all-out in the quest for fourth, meaning attacking returns aplenty for their front men.
Daniel JAMES – 0.3% – £6.2MEmbed from Getty Images
Is Dan James a good footballer? No doubt about it. Is he a Manchester United quality footballer? I personally don’t think so unless he adds more end product to his game. James played in 9 of the last 10 games for his club, before being benched for the full game in their last game as they lost to Leicester in the FA Cup, Manchester United’s results in those previous 9? 5 wins, 4 draws, remaining unbeaten. During the international break James played the full match in both Wales games, including scoring the winning goal with a lovely header vs Czech Republic. Could we start to see the end product required to play at the highest level? I think James has earned his place against Brighton, and if he does start, his pace will cause no end of problems, let’s just hope he can produce where it matters and get him, and us, those attacking returns.
Diogo Jota – 4.7% – £6.7MEmbed from Getty Images
I don’t think this man will remain under 10% ownership for long! What an impact since his return from injury and boy have we needed it! He may not of returned against Fulham but just having him in the team seemed to give everyone a lift, especially the fans, before getting an assist in the Champions League vs RB Leipzig. He then scored the winner as we beat Wolves 1-0 at Molineux. During the international break Jota scored 3 goals in 2 games for Portugal and is looking like a man in form and making up for lost time. Get him in your team while still considered a differential, because I don’t think he will be for much longer.
Adama Traoré – 4.8% – £6.0MEmbed from Getty Images
Everyone enjoys watching Adama Traoré but, like Daniel James, he is lacking the required end product. Two assists and zero goals in 28 games this season isn’t good enough yet he managed to earn a call-up to the Spain national team this season, and make his debut for them, before he even registered either of his two assists. Traoré is such a threat that it has to be a matter of time before he produces and the next 6 games are the perfect opportunity. Starting with this weekend vs West Ham at home, Wolves then face Fulham (A), Sheffield United (H), Burnley (H), West Brom (A) & Brighton (H). Adama Traoré, I’m backing you over Pedro Neto (6.9% owned) here, please don’t let me down…
Aleksandar Mitrović – 3.3% – £5.5MEmbed from Getty Images
Mitro, you have done absolutely nothing for Fulham this season to deserve your selection, however, how can I ignore a man that has got 5 goal in 3 games during the international break, becoming Serbia’s all-time top scorer in the process. OriginallyI was going to select Maja, but Mitrović replaced Maja at half-time in Fulham’s last League game and I don’t think his form can be ignored. He hasn’t started for Fulham since the 3rd February and has 2 League goals in 23 games, but that international break form, I just can’t ignore it. Mitrović will be on cloud nine and I’m hoping Parker rewards him with a start away to Aston Villa this Sunday.
Carlos VINICIUS – 0.1% – £6.9MEmbed from Getty Images
6.9m is a lot of money for someone who isn’t going to be guaranteed a start this weekend, but I’m not sure how Mourinho can not start him after making the bold move to 4-4-2 against Aston Villa and having Vinicius partner Kane up top. Both strikers scored that match and it seems to allow Kane to drop deep into the 10 role, without a number 10 actually being there. I think Carlos Vinicius deserves the game time after being benched for the majority of the season and I’m more than happy to take a punt on him this week as Spurs travel away to Newcastle United.
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