There is always great potential for a differential pick in the final game-week of the season. Many teams are “on the beach” as it were, rotating to give opportunity to extended-squad players who will look to show their skills. We also have the luxury of plenty to play for with the title, top-4, and final relegation spot all still to be decided!
Paul: Danny Welbeck (BRI, £6.0m)
Brighton may be mid-table, but they’re still churning out some decent results. Welbeck has returned well in four consecutive league games, with two goals plus three assists, so you’d back him on form, and the Seagulls will look to finish strong, with 8th place a possibility. Welbeck is owned by 1.5% currently.
David: Emerson Royal (TOT, £4.6m)
Spurs enjoy arguably the most plum fixture of GW-38, hosting the woeful Canaries who were relegated weeks ago, leaving them with nothing tangible left to play for. A win or tie for Tottenham will seal Champions League football for next season regardless of Arsenal’s outcome. Which side do you think will be playing with more intent then?
I like Emerson because he’s nailed-on and has an excellent chance at a clean sheet: The Canaries have scored only one goal in their last five games. And since Norwich can’t defend either, attacking returns could also be in the cards for Emerson. Owned by just 2.1% of FPL managers and coming in at just £4.6m, he makes an excellent differential for the campaign’s final round of play.
Stall: Ibrahima Konaté (LIV, £5.1m)
While Liverpool can still pip Man City to be crowned league champions on Sunday, it’s not in their own hands. The bookies will give you better odds on them beating Real Madrid and winning the Champions League next weekend instead (what a horrible couple sentences to write as a United fan). With that in mind, even a fully fit Virgil van Dijk may well find himself benched for the home game against Wolves. With him carrying a calf strain, we can expect to see Konate hold his place in the starting-11.
Konate continues to look more and more assured under Klopp’s outstanding management. With a very good chance of a clean sheet as a baseline, he has registered efforts on goal in four of his last six games. We saw in the FA Cup semi final how dangerous he can be in the opposition’s half.
Owned by just 1.3% of fantasy managers, you could do worse than taking a chance on the young Frenchman in a good spell.
Guy: Harvey Barnes (LEI, £6.5m)
Despite having little to play for (shuffling mid-table positions is worth a few million I suppose), Leicester has tapped some good form late in the season, and Southampton has rather slumped late on. Barnes played only 27 minutes of the Chelsea game, when the Foxes were a bit more defensive, so he should come back into the starting 11 for the final home game. He’s at only 4% ownership so gives you a decent differential attacking option.
Chris: Harvey Barnes (LEI, £6.5m)
In GW-37 I focused on double game-week players having something left to play for (Burnley and Everton). In the GW-38 finale, there remain several highly motivated teams, so I could go after players in the relegation scrap (Burnley and Leeds), or battling for fourth (Tottenham and Arsenal) or fighting for the title (Man City and Liverpool). But with everybody in the same boat, and since Burnley/Leeds assets are so appalling, and because any appetizing option from Tottenham / Arsenal / Man City / Liverpool is over 5% FPL selection, I’m wide open to anybody. Like Guy, I’m going with Leicester winger Harvey Barnes who has been on fire lately, and is well rested as the attack-minded Foxes welcome the Saints with their back line injuries to King Power Stadium.
Olakunle: Christian Eriksen (BRE, £5.6m)
Eriksen’s January arrival spurred Brentford’s revival in form. The Bees were languishing close to relegation until Eriksen arrived to push the club closer to mid-table. The playmaker has scored or provided an assist in three of the Bee’s last five matches. They come up against Leeds with whom they have a bit of rivalry from the lower leagues. This rivalry will be on minds of Eriksen and Co Sunday as they seek to inflict defeat on their rivals, thereby condemning them to the 2nd tier next season. Erikson will once again be expected to dictate proceedings from the middle of the field while also seeking to grab a goal or an assist.
Ali: Leandro Trossard (BHA, £5.9m)
Trossard has established himself as a key influence on Brighton’s overall game-play. Since GW-31, the attacking midfielder has hauled points in five out of six starts. The Belgian international’s four goals + three assists + eight bonus points led to 54 points in total — only Kevin De Bruyne (£12.1m) and Heung-Min Son (£11.2m) gained more during this period. Despite having just 2.7% of ownership, Trossard can be an excellent point machine, and Graham Potter’s style of football is suiting his skills on the pitch. However, keep in mind that he’s facing David Moyes’ upbeat West Ham, but the Seagulls are a top-half team themselves.
Jeff: Kieran Trippier (NEW, £4.9m)
Back from injury for a 21-minute GW-37 runout, the influential winger is likely to reclaim his starting position in Newcastle’s back line in time to visit relegation-fodder Burnley. At a vanishingly low 0.3% ownership due to his long absence, Trippier’s low price and high ppg make him my must-grab for the final week.
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