This weekend marks the beginning of the 2016/17 Premier League season. Many high profile deals have recently gone through with the likes of Paul Pogba joining United for £89m and John Stones going to the other side of Manchester for close to £50m. Although these are the eye catching deals of the window thus far, the Diferentials XI is looking at players that slip under the radar and have under 10% ownership.
Since last week, and the initial draft of the Differentials XI, it’s only slightly been adapted; making three changes. We’re happy with the line-up although I wouldn’t rule out of making a few last minute changes as the deadline approaches.
Forster (4.9%): I’m giving the Saints man the nudge over Mandanda as I have also have Palace’s Joel Ward in my squad. I think the doubling up approach in Gameweek 1 would be too much of a bold approach. A home fixture against Watford for the 6ft 7 man could see a clean sheet return.
Ward (1.1%): As stated above, Ward provides my defence coverage from Palace. West Brom have looked awful in preseason and the lack of inspiration Tony Pulis looks to provide I can see a comfortable Palace win.
Simpson (2.7%): Leicester are up against Hull on the opening day. Hull are favourites to go down for a reason. Losing their best players and not investing in rebuilding the squad. I think Leicester will show them what a hard seasons waits for them on their return to the big time.
Taylor (2.8%): One of factors that installed me with faith in Neil Taylor was his teammate, Williams. With him seemingly off to Everton for £12 million it does weaken the Swansea back line significantly. Although a trip to newly promoted Burnley shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. If The Williams deal does go through Taylor may be one that doesn’t make the final cut come Saturday morning.
Fabregas (7.7%): A bargain price for Cesc. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Conte allows Matic and Kante to play defensively and thus deploys Fabregas in a more advanced position. If he does I think we’ll see Fabregas back at the top of the assist charts.
Townsend (6%): I was wary of Andros’s gametime when I first selected him with competition coming from Bolasie and Zaha. However, with the departure of Bolasie to Everton for a staggering £30 million it leaves a spot nailed down for the 2 English wingers. At 6 million coupled with his low ownership, it was hard no to pick him.
Firmino (9.6%): He’s near the threshold of the 10% ‘differential boundary’ and I’m hoping he’ll be classed as one for a few Gameweeks. Roberto is top class but I do fear he won’t be in my team very long due to the parameters. Hopefully he provides the goods while I can still use him!
Redmond (4.2%): I’m still surprised at his low ownership. With a few star names of the last few seasons departing St Mary, someone has to step up to the mark. I reckon Redmond will be the man.
Berahino (1.5%): I’ve previously slagged off West Brom but I still don’t reckon he’ll be playing his games their this season. However, while he remains at the Baggies he’s their one bright spark and where goals will come from if they’ll score any. He might not make the first cut as if a move does present itself he might not be selected for Gameweek 1.
Benteke (3.4%): Similar to Berahino, he only interests me if he gets a move away from his current side. My personal opinion is that Palace will sell Bolaise for £30m and reinvest the lot in big Christian. Hopefully this deal goes through before the weekend, if not I could reshuffle the pack and get 2 more differential forwards in.
Costa (5.9%): Antonio Conte’s brought the feeling of hope to the boys in Blue. Yes, a challenging encounter does await Chelsea in Gameweek 1 but Costa thrives on a big atmosphere. I think we will see a return of form to him, similar to his opening Premier League campaign where he bagged 20 goals.
Mandanda (4.8%) only makes the bench, but I’ve still got Ward starting for Palace defensive coverage. Terry (4.4%) also finds a spot amongst the substitutes as I think the Monday night fixture between West Ham will see both teams scoring in an entertaining game! Another premium defender in Baines (6.5%) is also in the bench and for a similar reason. The game against Spurs will be high energy and the chances of a clean sheet low. Jordan Ibe (5.8%) is also on the bench no is mainly in the squad due to his favourable Gameweek 3 & 4 fixtures.
That’s all for Gameweek 1. As mentioned in the article, the squad is still subject to change depending on the situation which evolves with Berahino and Benteke. All the best!
Written by FPL Avids (@FPLAvids)