Ok, so last week was a good one for the defenders selected in the Differentials XI. Schmeichel and Maguire combined for their expected clean sheet at home to Brighton, with the defender actually scoring his team’s first goal and picking up bonus points. There were also clean sheets from Valencia and Zanka, with both men scoring six apiece. Otamendi was the only member of the back five to concede, picking up just two points.
There was less success in midfield, despite Sane starting as I predicted. Played at left wing-back, the German looked increasingly uncomfortable, and I won’t be bothering with him this week despite him remaining a possible pick, percentage wise. Mahrez was the star man in the middle with two assists, two bonus and 11 points total. An assist from Redmond (5) was also good news.
Up front, nothing but mass disappointment from the three guys I selected. I picked Jay Rodriguez as skipper, and despite another good performance, the Baggies forward is yet to break his duck for the club. Benteke and Mounie both blanked, much like the subs, and the less said about that quartet, the better.
On to this week, and it’s wholesale changes within the Differentials ranks. Below are the players I think YOU can select to make a difference for you this weekend.
Gomes (1.8%) & Hennessey (1.7%) are my selections between the sticks this week. The Watford stopper kept a clean sheet last week and picked up bonus points, and the Hornets have a nice fixture against Brighton this weekend. Benched is Hennessey, who scored nice points last Saturday despite conceding against Liverpool, such was the volume of saves he made. He can expect to have less to do against goal-shy Swansea, and the Eagles are due a clean sheet. Their game at Selhurst Park is already looking ‘must win’ for Frank De Boer, as dramatic as it undoubtedly sounds.
Vertonghen (9.1%) is my most expensive defender this week, as I think Spurs will keep a clean sheet despite the Wembley curse and despite Burnley’s last away match ending in a 3-2 victory at the home of the champions. Alongside the Belgian, Danilo (4.6%) is worthy of a spot. The full back will surely feature, with Walker suspended and Mendy still not 100% fit. In true Tony Pulis style, West Brom are yet to concede, and they face Stoke on Sunday, who aren’t the most creative force in the league. Hegazi is proving to be the more glamorous option, but I don’t think you’ll go too far wrong if you have Dawson (6.0%) in your line-up. Prodl (0.5%) returned to the Watford side last week to help keep Bournemouth out and, like Gomes behind him, will fancy more of the same when hosting the Seagulls. The cleanie double up worked for me with Leicester last week and I’m hopeful of more of the same this time around. On the bench, Zanka (6.8%) (Mathias Jorgensen for the traditionalists among us) is kept, after the Terriers kept another cleanie last week.
After telling you just now that Stoke lack creativity, I’m going to tell you Jese (6.3%) is my first selection this week in midfield. Part of this is knee-jerk, due to his winner against Arsenal, though a bigger part is that he’s listed as a mid but played up front last week. My second pick is Tadic (4.3%) who often disappoints in FPL circles. But, having scored from the penalty spot last weekend, I’m hoping the Saints man can produce again with a ‘supposedly’ nice game away to Huddersfield this Saturday. Finally, I’m plumping for Ozil (2.5%) to complete my midfield trio. Now, there’s a problem with Ozil being a differential, and that’s his 9.5m price tag. He’s a high priced gamble, and yet I like him this week for a couple of reasons. Firstly, nobody in the league has created more chances and nobody has completed more passes in the final third than he. Yet, he’s not got an assist to his name, despite his positive numbers in other categories. And, though I think Liverpool will beat Arsenal, I’ve watched a lot of the Reds so far, and they are a very open looking outfit. The German should get chances to link up with Lacazette and the returning Sanchez, so I’m plumping for him here. As subs, I’m having McArthur (3.8%) who will surely play when Palace host Swansea. With two EFL Cup games in midweek, coupled with their pair of league losses so far, I think he plays an important part for them this week. Finally, I’ve gone for Izquierdo (0%!!) and the basis that he’s Brighton’s record signing, he’s finally received international clearance and, most important, they’ve been pretty toothlessly so far. Chris Hughton may have to take a gamble on him, so if you need a 6.0m differential, he may be worth a look.
My thinking behind selecting Jesus (9.1%) is perhaps a little skewed, with the Brazilian failing to finish either of City’s games so far. In fact, against Everton, he was hooked at half time, with Pep’s men floundering. However, Aguero hardly set the world alight after the restart. With City not looking quite as sparkling as expected with two up top, I’m just wondering if Aguero gets a rest on Saturday, with Jesus picked to lead the line on his own. Stranger things have happened, I’d say. Morata (8.2%) still has low ownership in my eyes, with his first two displays for Chelsea reasons for positivity. He should’ve scored against Spurs with a header, and later showed a turn of pace that had Gary Neville surprised on comms. That pace could be useful against Everton, with Conte surely keen to get a first home win under the team’s belts. My third forward this week is Gray (2.0%), in case you needed more evidence that I’m on that Watford at home to Brighton hype. And yeah, I did just use the word ‘hype’ legitimately.
Good luck this weekend.
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)