Once again the Differntials XI managed to achieve an above average score for the current gameweek (23) and consequently received green arrows for the second consecutive week; so here is how gameweek 23 panned out:
Mignolet proved a good choice again (especially over QPR’s Green who conceded three at the Britannia) and Liverpool are now looking very structured and solid at the back after a third clean sheet in a row; the Belgium international bagging a standard 6 points. A difficult one to decide at the back this week what with Alderweireld’s injury and Rangel’s recent demotion to the bench, we were stuck with the back 3 combo of Mertesacker, Cresswell and Trippier (who scored 8 points between them). However, Rangel did take the total up to nine after swapping automatically for Barkley who failed to feature in Everton’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
A very disappointing display from our surviving midfielders: Elia, Johnson and Fer, who managed a dismal 6 points between them (receiving only 2 each). This is an area we will definitely be looking to change.
The front three including our captain Falcao, an unbelievable differential for this week, Oliver Giroud, and finally a very quiet Christian Benteke. The Colombian star managed to bag just one goal (six points and two bonuses, equalling a total of 8 – doubled to 16) while Giroud found the net and assisted team-mate Theo Walcott. On the other hand, Benteke again provided a poor display, bringing home just 2 points.
Now for this week we have changes in every department and that is simply because we have activated our January wildcard. So let’s look at the changes:
OUT: MIGNOLET – IN: PANTILLIMON. Shockingly the Sunderland number 1 is still below 5% ownership which means he acts as a great, reliable differential for our side.
OUT: GREEN – IN: OSPINA. The Colombian goalkeeper has been recently preferred to Szczesny and with a great run of fixtures for Arsenal looks a solid choice as a rotational keeper.
OUT: MERTESACKER – IN: SAKHO. With Ospina providing Arsenal coverage the BFG was no longer needed and Sakho (who has scored 23 points in 3 GWK’s) replaces Mignolet as Liverpool coverage.
OUT: ALDERWEIRELD – IN: YOSHIDA. Due to injury there was no choice but to remove Alderweireld and his teammate Yoshida acted as a fitting replacement.
OUT: CRESSWELL – IN: ZOUMA. West Ham’s upcoming fixtures are extremely tricky and it’s hard to imagine clean sheets any time soon. In the meantime, in favour Zouma takes his place.
OUT: RANGEL – IN: LESCOTT. Upon the signing of Naughton, Spanish defender Rangel has fallen to the bench and WBA’s newly instructed defensive style of play increases the need for WBA coverage.
OUT: TRIPPIER – IN: VAN AANHOLT. Despite having Pantillimon between the sticks, Sunderland’s impressive defensive form allows for the attacking full back to replace a leaky Burnley defender.
OUT: BARKLEY – IN: OZIL. An impressive display against Villa saw Ozil return to form for Arsenal and with surprisingly low ownership he acts as a class, no doubt short term, differential.
OUT: JOHNSON – IN: CAUDRADO. As it stands new Chelsea man and midfield star Jaun Cuadrado sits at just 0.1% ownership and with such a brilliant goals/assist record he is worth the risk.
OUT: FER – IN: GOUFFRAN. The Dutch midfielder has been poor of late along with his QPR side so his removal was necessary and the in-form Yoan Gouffran seemed to fit the bill.
OUT: ELIA – IN: COUTINHO. A poor showing from Elia meant that an in-form Coutinho could take his place, at just 3.8% ownership the Brazilian is a great bet having scored 43 points in 7 GWK’s.
OUT: GIROUD – IN: REMY. A high ownership meant Giroud had to be removed and Loic Remy (who currently starts as Chelsea’s number 9 due to Costa’s suspension) is a wonderful short term punt.
OUT: BENTEKE – IN: CISSE. Despite his inconsistency Papiss Cisse is a good replacement for Villa striker Benteke, who’s side have failed to score in 10 hours, and could provide short term returns.
OUT: FALCAO – IN: VAN PERSIE. Although the two share the same club and position, with money to spare RVP was preferred to the Colombian as it seems he is in better form.
So with all the changes, below is team for gameweek 24:
Starting XI: Pantilimon (4.3%), Lescott (1.6%), Yoshida (0.7%), Zouma (0.5%), Caudrado (0.1%), Gouffran (0.5%), Ozil (2.0%), Coutinho (3.8%), van Persie (3.1%), Remy (2.1%), Cisse (0.6%)
Bench: Ospina (1.2%), Sakho (1.1%), van Aanholt (2.6%), Nasri (1.8%)
As of the wildcard activation the team is looking in much better shape and we are very hopeful of a good return from the side. No doubt some players (Ozil, Coutinho and possibly Cuadrado) will rise over 5% ownership in a short space of time, but even if we hold onto them for a few gameweeks it’s a huge positive.
Before we sign off as a member of the FPLUpdates team, I (@DanRahilly) have taken responsibility of the differentials XI team and now continue to write the articles for them as opposed to the Under the Radar article. Many thanks and as always good luck.