Posted by: @FplWestbrom
Whether you are looking to gain rank, get an edge on mini-league rivals, or just play the game for enjoyment and thrills then look no further than differentials. Whether it be a one-week punt, a low-owned gem, a wildcard wonder, or a maverick move (Benteke Captain) we have you covered. Let’s look firstly at some differential defenders.
Budget Defender (Sub 5.0m): Seamus Coleman (4.8m)
Club captain Seamus Coleman (4.8m) impressed last week bagging an assist and a clean sheet in his first double-digit return of the campaign. Also, Everton is a team we want to target as they are still competing for Europe, and have favourable fixtures between now and the end of the season. Those fixtures also include a double game week with Aston Villa plus one.
With many of us going Conor Coady, I suggest going for Coleman instead, as he offers more going forward and has better fixtures in the long term, and crucially he is playing for a team with lots left to play for this season.
Premium Defender (Above 5.0m): Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.3m)
Last week Trent bagged only his second double-digit haul of the season. However, in recent weeks his attacking numbers and Liverpool’s defensive numbers have improved. Trent ranks top among defenders for expected goal involvements (2.15) in the last six. While Liverpool’s defence ranks fourth in terms of expected goals conceded (6.08) in the last six. Only bettered by Chelsea, Brighton, and Man United.
Liverpool has probably the kindest run of fixtures between now and the end of the season suggesting attacking and defensive potential for Trent. Alexander-Arnold will also be looking to impress England manager Gareth Southgate to get picked for the Euros.
Overlooked Differential: Matheus Pereira (5.3m)
Many FPL managers will look at Matheus Pereira and think “It’s West Brom” and look away. However, I would like to remind you that Pereira has been involved in 52% of West Broms’s goals this year. That is 13 involvements. Matheus has found his best form this year when playing through the middle. And after his brilliant performance against Chelsea at the weekend surely Big Sam will continue to play him through the middle.
With West Brom’s win against Chelsea at the weekend they now have hope of avoiding relegation. And with Big Sam in charge who knows maybe West Brom will shock us all, and if they do I believe Pereira will be instrumental.
One-Week Punt: Ferran Torres (6.9m)
Ferran Torres has seldom seen consistent minutes this season. However with him clearly not being in Pep’s best eleven it looks likely he will be preferred in the Premier League. Which is perfect for us as FPL managers.
While Torres may not have shown his quality for Man City all too often this season, he certainly has for Spain scoring two for them in the March internationals. This proves he can score goals and why shouldn’t he against Leeds. A team with the third most expected goals conceded (46.88) this season. Torres could even be worth giving two games since Man City’s priorities lie in other competitions.
Long-Term Pick: James Maddison (7.1m)
James Maddison plays for a Leicester side with very favourable upcoming attacking fixtures. Fixtures against West Brom, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Southampton, and a West Ham side have conceded five goals in their last two games.
With Iheanacho coming into great form that only increases Maddison’s appeal. Madders will also be looking for a spot on Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2021 Squad meaning he has to impress from now until the end of the season.
Low Owned Budget Forwards:
I believe there are four good options in this category and will be ranking them in order of best buy to worst. The four players I have in mind are Iheanacho, Mitrovic, Diagne, and Wood. I will be ranking them at the end based on their stats, security of starts, and goal involvements over eaches last six games.
Actual Goal Involvements:
After comparing these four players I see Mitrovic as a blind punt with nothing except his goal against Villa to go off. However, his form for Serbia certainly was impressive and possibly worth consideration. Iheanacho looks like a great pick in great form playing for a side vying for the Champions League. His minutes could be reduced with the reintroduction of Maddison and Barnes however.
Diagne looks like a good pick with all the expected data but few returns, however against Chelsea he did manage a goal and an assist so maybe one to keep an eye on. Wood is playing for a goal-shy Burnley side with not much left to play for. He’s not for me. Anyway here is my final ranking of the four players.
Maverick Pick: Edinson Cavani (7.8m)
Cavani is only owned by a minuscule four managers inside the top 10k. While his recent playing time has been sparse, with Martial out it looks like he could be set to feature more in the team. While his recent stats may not be so impressive I expect him to do well in the coming weeks as Man United look to finish in the top four.
Picking Cavani is definitely for a brave manager but with his proven goal-scoring ability I expect him to do well in the coming weeks.