After a pause to respect the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Premier League action is almost here again, and we’ve got plenty to think about. Three fixtures are postponed: Man United vs Leeds, Chelsea vs Liverpool, and Brighton vs Crystal Palace, but the other seven EPL matches will go ahead.
Hopefully your squad won’t be significantly disrupted by the blank fixtures, but many FPL managers will have to deal with this curveball by playing a chip or absorbing a hit or two to make extra transfers.
Regardless, we’ll all be looking to elbow our way up the table, and that’s where differentials can factor in. Let’s have a look at a few that could pay dividends this week.
John Stones (£5.4m, 2.0%, Wolves v Manchester City)
With Kyle Walker and Aymeric Laporte out with injury, John Stones will have a good chance to start this game against Wolves. His versatility allows Pep to use him as a right-back as he did against Dortmund, or he could also play centrally along with Ruben Dias, who was on the bench for the mid-week UCL match.
Stones has played in every match except GW-1 and offers good clean sheet potential for the 2% of FPL managers who own him. Heck he even scored against Dortmund, and what a strike it was!
Neal Maupay (£6.1m, 0.4%, Everton v West Ham)
The newly signed forward for Everton made an instant impact in the Merseyside derby, with a boatload of touches inside the box. The French international will cherish a new atmosphere perhaps. West Ham has only kept one clean sheet this term, and the home support might push Frank Lampard’s striker to produce.
Alexander Isak (£7.0m, 5.4%, Newcastle v Bournemouth)
Isak is probably the best differential player out there right now. The former Real Sociedad striker showed his quality by notching on his debut against Liverpool, and there was a case for second when he again beat Allison but the goal was called off.
Interestingly, Isak is the second most-purchased forward for GW-8, with around 65,000 transfers at the time of writing. Given Newcastle’s balanced approach under Eddie Howe and the upcoming fixtures, Isak will get enough chances to score over the weekend and later on.
James Maddison (£7.9m, 3.4%, Spurs v Leicester)
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester are having a shocker of a season so far, but their most dangerous attacking threat is James Maddison. The England international can cut defenses open and create or finish. Spurs will be a tough task, but if Maddison is in the mood then he could well get something out of this fixture.
Jarrod Bowen (£8.1m, 2.9%, Everton v West Ham)
Bowen was fantastic last season for the Hammers’ and is beginning to show glimpses of his form again despite his club’s terrible start to the campaign. Last season, the English midfielder had 206 points in FPL (12 goals, 17 assists), and David Moyes’ men will face a troubled Everton. That puts Bowen in a great spot to showcase the attacking prowess he displayed so regularly last season.
Son Heung-Min (£11.7m, 8.9%, Spurs v Leicester)
Who would have thought the former FPL favorite would have taken such precipitous dip in form this season. The South Korean international may have not scored so far, but the recent shocking 2-0 defeat to Sporting could potentially reignite Spurs and Son against a dismantled Foxes’ backline. The 8.9% of managers who own him will leapfrog the competition if he can rediscover his form.
What do you think of this week’s differential picks? Whom have I missed? What is your strategy to deal with the blank week — are you planning to use a chip or taking hits? What’s your team like? Who’s your captain? Please log in and let us know in the comments below!