When writing this column, the phrase “I love to say I told you so” isn’t one I’ve been able to use too often this season. But last week? Well, I absolutely smashed it, and I cannot hide my delight at that. As the weekend progressed, I couldn’t believe the amount of goals the Differentials were notching.
It started well, with Sanchez notching in the North London Derby. Zaha and Martial then followed suit, before Choupo-Moting made it a goalscoring clean sweep from midfield with ten points Monday night. At the back, my double picks of Pope and Tarkowski (or Begovic and Daniels, if you fancied that more) brought multiple clean sheet points, while my selection of Christensen was also an astute one.
Up front, only Murray and Benteke let me down. But I couldn’t be angry, because my shout of Callum Wilson was absolutely on the money. I said last week that I felt he was a better forward than Josh King and simply a younger and hungrier option than Jermaine Defoe and on Saturday, he scored more than both combined against Huddersfield.
85 points in all – just ignore those I selected for the bench.
After a week like that, I don’t really want to change it up really. But rules is rules and all that, so here’s hopefully the best of this week’s options.
Apologies, because I’ve gone a bit elite with the keepers this week. Lloris (9.5%) and Ederson (4.9%) are hardly unknowns, are they? Frankly, I don’t much like the fixtures this week, and West Brom at home and Huddersfield away seem favourable – if you’ve got a spare five-and-a-half mil.
Reckon I’m backing a Spurs cleanie here? With Pulis removed and Tottenham already bounced back from the NLD with their Dortmund win, I expect a thumping against West Brom here, so Sanchez (0.6%) and Rose (0.3%) have got the nod. The former’s low ownership astounds me, while Rose was so good in Germany I think he’ll be back in over Ben Davies. If he plays, he’s a cracking differential compared to such a widely owned player. Mangala (0.1%) is a player I never thought I’d select for the side, but with Stones injured and Kompany rusty, I think he’s a decent cheaper pick from a top team. Despite Smalling (2.8%) having his place slightly under threat from Lindelof and the returning Rojo, I think Jose chooses him again here at home to Brighton. On the bench, I’ve gone with Mustafi (1.8%) away to Burnley. Arsenal are 5/6 for clean sheets this season when the German starts, and his goal last week was a mere bonus. Sean Dyche’s side are good, but the Gunners will be keen to kick on.
And with that in mind, Alexis Sanchez (2.7%) is back for another week and despite his goal last week, he’s actually gone down by 0.1%. This game is huge for Arsenal after beating Spurs, so they’ll need the Chilean on top form. Also back for another week is my regular favourite Zaha (5.3%). He scored last week, Palace are at home, and both they and Stoke seem to indulge in 2-2 draws. You’ll never believe me, but I looked at Hughes (0.3%), who went and picked up a goal and assist against West Ham. This week, he’s at Newcastle, and he’s finally starting to look Premier League level. Fellaini (1.3%) might be a silly shout, though I watched him on Wednesday against Basel and he was United’s primary threat – unlucky not to score on at least two occasions. On the bench is Gray (1.1%), who has started all three of Claude Puel’s games in charge so far. West Ham look hapless, even after the managerial change, so Gray could be a beneficiary during FNF.
I just cannot ignore Wilson (1.9%) after last week. This Saturday, the Cherries go to Swansea, who are in the midst of a torrid run. With confidence high, you wouldn’t back against the forward being Eddie Howe’s match winner again. Partnering him is Gayle (0.6%) who looked sharp and impressive as he scored the opening goal at Old Trafford last weekend. Certainly, he’s more mobile and more threatening than Joselu for Rafa Benitez. Finally I’m putting Gabbiadini (2.6%) back in because Southampton just need him to get amongst the goals. I know that’s odd reasoning, but the situation is getting desperate, as they could soon find themselves in trouble. The Italian is making intelligent runs – somebody just needs to find him!
Oh by the way, Ibrahimovic (0.3%) is a little expensive at £10m, but United are at home to Brighton and Rom played 90 in midweek. I wouldn’t be stunned to see Jose rest the Belgian here and Dare To Zlatan a little bit.
Good luck this weekend
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)