Last week’s Differential picks were successful. Matt Doherty was the stand out of the five, having bagged a clean sheet, an assist and 3 bonus points. Romelu Lukaku scored, while Alexandre Lacazette and Ricardo Pereira returned assists. Jamie Vardy was the only player to not register an attacking return, though was a tad unfortunate to be substituted just before Leicester were awarded a penalty in their away loss to Bournemouth. Perhaps there’s a chance of a full house this time around!
OLIVIER GIROUD – £7.8m – TSB: 2.6% – West Ham (A)
Olivier Giroud was welcomed into Chelsea’s starting line-up for the first time this season in gameweek 5, at the expense of Alvaro Morata. Despite his stature, the Frenchman is known for his intricate link-up play, of which Eden Hazard (£10.8m) was the benefactor in Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Cardiff City. In-form Belgian midfielder Hazard has claimed Giroud is perhaps the best target man in world football, so boss Maurizio Sarri may take note of his star man’s thoughts and give Giroud the run of games he richly deserves. Hazard has scored 9 goals in 990 minutes with Giroud in the team in comparison to just 1 in 622 minutes without, so Hazard owners should be interested in the ex-Arsenal forward’s game time. Giroud’s 2 assists and all-round performance against Cardiff should see him keep his place in gameweek 6, as Chelsea take the short trip to the London stadium to face West Ham United. Giroud has scored 6 goals and assisted 3 in just 8 league appearances against the Hammers.
JAMES MADDISON – £6.6m – TSB: 5.5% – Huddersfield (H)
James Maddison of Leicester has been a very lucky source of points for those fantasy managers fortunate enough to have owned him so far. His first return came from a silly mistake by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. He followed that up with a deflected goal against Wolves, before topping it off with a penalty after first-choice spot-kick taker and last week’s differential pick Jamie Vardy (£8.9m) was substituted off. Despite his less conventional route to returning fantasy points, Maddison has a lot going for him. He has taken the most shots in the box for all midfielders over the last 2 gameweeks (9) and created the second most chances in that time (6). It’s also notable that Leicester play Huddersfield, Newcastle and Everton in their next three games, all of which are in poor form currently. Maddison’s fortunate returns do not mean he doesn’t have the potential to pick up the points in a kind-looking home fixture to a winless Huddersfield.
RAHEEM STERLING – £11.0m – TSB: 2.9% – Cardiff (A)
Raheem Sterling was taken off a little early in Manchester City’s disappointing midweek Champions League defeat at the hands of Lyon, suggesting he will start in gameweek 6. Sterling’s low ownership can partly be attributed to the money invested in the two most highly owned players in the game: his team mate Sergio Aguero (£11.4m) and Liverpool star Mohammed Salah (£13.0m). However, with Salah looking a little off the pace, a short-term swap to City’s winger could be beneficial. While very risky, it’s easy to forget that Sterling scored 18 goals and managed 17 assists in the league last season and has already managed 3 goals in 4 games this season. He ranks highest for shots inside the box in the last 2 gameweeks (7) and faces leaky Cardiff and Brighton defences in his next 2 fixtures.
AARON RAMSEY – £7.4m – TSB: 1.2% – Everton (H)
If fantasy managers have owned an Arsenal midfielder this year, it has likely been Henrikh Mkhitaryan (£7.1m). After a goal and assist against Chelsea, the Armenian has let down those who put faith in him, with 2 benchings and no returns in 3 appearances since. Arsenal’s well-owned fantasy assets have generally been disappointing over the course of the first 5 league games, and yet there is still an argument for bringing in Aaron Ramsey. The Welshman has started each of the last 3 games, and while he hasn’t yet registered a return, he has 6 goals and 2 assists against upcoming opponents Everton. Arsenal are starting to hit form now with 3 wins on the trot, while Everton look no closer to resolving their defensive issues after a 3-1 home defeat to West Ham United. It may be time to jump on Ramsey ahead of Arsenal’s kind run of fixtures until gameweek 11 as he is only second to Alexandre Lacazette (£9.4m) in the ICT rankings of all Arsenal players.
SON HEUNG-MIN – £8.3m – TSB: 1.5% – Brighton (A)
Son Heung-Min is back from guiding South Korea to the gold medal at the Asian Cup and earning an exemption from mandatory national military service. At the risk of jumping the gun a tad early, he could be a great under-the-radar pick ahead of Tottenham’s next 4 fixtures: Brighton (A), Huddersfield (A), Cardiff (H) and West Ham (A). While he didn’t have the most impressive game in Spurs’ midweek loss to Inter Milan, the decent run of fixtures might just be what Son needs to find his form and Tottenham to regain theirs after a poor run. Son directly contributed to 20 goals last year, and with star striker Harry Kane (£12.4m) looking leggy and Dele Alli (£9.0m) touch-and-go for the weekend, Mauricio Pochettino may decide to play the attacking midfielder from the off.
Good luck all!
Written by FPL Forum (@FPLForum)