Now that we’re approaching the final stretch of the season, identifying some differential players will be a great way to boost your final rank. Gameweek 31 sees Burnley and Everton double, but their form this season has been quite shaky. They face each other, with Burnley playing Man City and Everton also facing West Ham.
|Goals||22 (19th)||29 (17th)|
|xG||22.93 (19th)||28.58 (17th)|
|Big Chances||34 (17th)||33 (18th)|
|Shots on Target||81 (20th)||99 (18th)|
|Goals Conceded||38 (8th)||47 (15th)|
|xG Conceded||38.68 (10th)||39.77 (13th)|
|Shots in Box Conceded||281 (18th)||226 (7th)|
As we can see, both teams have been quite poor in attack this season. Burnley have definitely improved defensively, so holding onto their defensive assets could be wise. However, with a tough game against City in this double, I don’t think tearing up your teams for Burnley assets would be necessary. Stll, there are some interesting options to consider if you want to take a punt or two, or if you will be wildcarding soon anyway.
Ben Mee (£4.7m) is currently out with injury, so Tarkowski (£4.9m) and Roberts (£4.4m) are the main defenders to consider. Tarkowski has 1 goal (xG = 1.87) to his name, with 17 shots and 5 on target. He does have some set-piece threat, and has bagged 2 assists (xA = 0.40). However, Roberts has been the more exciting asset. In 10 starts, he has 1 assist (xA = 0.40) and has attempted 6. He has been a slight rotation risk, but at such a low price he could be worth a punt.Embed from Getty Images
I do think Pope (£5.4m) is a good asset who could also rack up some bonus points. Despite Burnley’s defensive improvement, they still only have 7 clean sheets in 25 goals and 32 goals conceded. With City being one of their double gameweek opponents, I wouldn’t personally use a free transfer or take a hit getting in a Burnley defender, but I would hold onto them if you already have them.
Wout Weghorst (£6.4m) is by far the most transferred-in Burnley asset ahead of GW31. With popular pick Jiménez (£7.7m) suspended, I think this move makes a lot of sense, and Weghorst definitely has the potential to score. In 9 games, he has 1 goal (xG = 1.91) with 5 shots on target, and 2 assists (xA = 0.76). He has been fairly frustrating for FPL managers, but at 5.1% ownership could offer a rank boost.
Everton have definitely struggled to find their feet this season, but they do have some intriguing budget midfielders to take a one-week punt on. Anthony Gordon (£4.5m) is very promising for his price tag. He has 3 goals (xG = 4.53) and 13 shots on target. He also has 2 assists (xA = 1.82) and has attempted 21. Given Everton’s poor form, it is a risk bringing their assets in. However, if you’re wildcarding soon then it may be worth a risk. Because of his price tag, Gordon could easily sit on your bench for the trickier games. With so many great fixtures coming up, it may not be a priority right now. At around 5% ownership, Gray (£5.5m) is a familiar FPL asset who has 5 goals (xG = 3.49) and 3 assists (xA = 2.16). Earlier in the season, he was an exciting player to own before his injury issues. He’s definitely one to watch this gameweek, but Everton do face a strong West Ham side in their double.Embed from Getty Images
Up front, Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) and Richarlison (£7.5m) have had fairly quiet seasons that haven’t been helped by injury. DCL has had 3 goals (xG = 4.53) in 10 games, with 10 shots on target and 6 big chances. Richarlison, on the other hand, has 4 goals (xG = 3.68) in 18 starts and 3 assists (xA = 2.53) from 17 attempted assists. Investing in the Everton strikeforce is a risk, but, again, for a one-week punt it could really push you up the ranks.
I hope GW31 brings green arrows for everyone! I will personally be playing with Pope and Weghorst, and I am tempted to take a risk on Gordon or Gray, but without my Wildcard I think it would be best for me to prepare for bigger doubles and favourable fixture runs.