As the busy festive period approaches, managing a successful FPL team becomes even more challenging when the flurry of matches comes so swiftly. To navigate this busy season effectively and gain an edge over competitors, seeking out productive differentials becomes even more crucial.
Let’s check out a few thinly-owned players poised to make an impact during this action-packed time in the league.
Diogo Dalot (£5.0m, Newcastle vs Man United)
In his most recent performance, Dalot notched an assist despite an expected assists (xA) of 0.05, and he kept a clean sheet against an expected goals conceded of 2.7. The cleanie was his third straight. Indeed, Dalot has been over-performing since GW-6, exceeding his expected return by a substantial 20.6 points.
Anthony Gordon (£5.9m, Newcastle vs Man United)
Anthony Gordon made a huge impact in GW-13, scoring a goal and providing an assist to return one of the highest FPL points tallies of the week. His impressive performance prompted over 200,000 managers to add him to their squads (pushing him above our TSB limit of 10% for differentials, but I’m going with hindsight). Despite his full shift in the Champions League match against PSG yesterday, Newcastle’s injury woes mean Gordon is still likely to start against United on Saturday.
Cole Palmer (£5.3m, Brighton vs Chelsea)
Palmer’s TSB of 12% means I’m cheating a little bit with this pick too, but in the past few weeks he has surpassed expectations despite his bargain-basement price. Since GW-7, he has led the league in expected goal involvements and has scored four goals plus assisted three. He’s also Chelsea’s primary penalty taker. Soon the Blues’ upcoming fixtures take a favorable turn too.
It’s hard to believe TAA can be considered a differential — There was a time when he was a staple in almost everyone’s FPL teams. Nevertheless, due to his premium price and often less-than-premium returns, he currently sits at about 9% ownership. However, considering Liverpool’s favorable upcoming fixtures and his recent goal against City, it may be time to jump back on the TAA train. Caveat: Alisson is expected to miss a couple weeks, which may alter Liverpool’s defensive tactics / performance (YMMV).
Michael Olise (£5.8, West Ham vs Crystal Palace)
OK, if I cheated a little bit on a couple of the other differential picks, I’ll make up for it with this one: Almost no one owns Michael Olise. The French youth international scored a goal on his first full shift after returning from a long injury absence, earning him a full bonus despite his team’s defeat. Eberechi Eze’s ankle issue means Olise is likely to continue to play a key role in Palace’s attack, and he won't break the bank either.
Do you have any differentials in your team? Do you plan to acquire any I’ve listed here? Are there others you have an eye on? Please log in and share your thoughts in the comments!