Gameweek 11 was full of promise, with plenty of differential options to choose from. Several names which qualified as surprise differential picks were obvious choices.
In that bracket I include the likes of city defender Aymeric Laporte and Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette, both of which have had excellent starts to the season. But last week it was Laporte who continued to shine, while the Gunners’ man was finally outclassed by the more popular Pierre-Emeric Aubameyang, despite the Gabon forward starting on the bench.
I examined the stats of the Bournemouth centre backs in some detail last week, pouring into the fine details to see which offered the best potential for a plumb home tie against Southampton.
After a close-run contest, my man Nathan Ake pipped Steve Cook by claiming a long-awaited bonus, this time for passing, as well as a clean sheet.
My team this week was let down by captaincy picks: Sterling, Sigurdsson and Lacazette. Despite all being strong suggestions in their own right, all had surprisingly disappointing weeks. Sterling fell victim to City rotation – but remains a likely festival of points when he does play; and the form man surely will start more than he misses.
How the XI performed
Key: G = goal, A = assist, CS = clean sheet, MOTM = man of the match, T1T/T2T = tier-one/two tackles, T2P = tier-two passing, TI/2S = shots (c) = captain YC = yellow card
Ake -9 – CS, T1P
Doherty – 1
Laporte – 10 – CS, T2P
D.Sanchez – 7 – CS
Sterling (c) – 0
Sigurdsson (c) -4
Xhaka -4 – T2P, YC
King – 2
Lacazette (c) – 4
Changing of the Gunners’ guard
Arsenal cruised to a 3-1 victory on Monday, in a match which on paper looked excellent for Alexandre Lacazette. Fantasy backers would have collectively smirked as they saw Pierre-Emeric Aubameyang benched – only for their hearts to sink as the substitute grabbed a brace as Lacazette blanked.
This week, team selection rules of not picking players above ten per cent ownership dictate it is the Frenchman who misses out in our side this week, while Aubameyang (£12.5m/9.08%) becomes eligible. In reality, both remain excellent differential options compared to far more popular strikers like Sergio Aguero and Harry Kane. They also stand out as captain options on Sunday, when they visit Crystal Palace.
Bonus point magnets
With bonus points in his last seven games, Granit Xhaka (£9.6m/2.1%) offers a differential alternative to Chelsea’s bonus-point magnet Jorginho. Xhaka is fifth in the league for passes completed and also has a goal and an assist to his name.
In a similar fashion, my midfield is bolstered this week by another reliable bonus scorer. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (£7.1m/1.6%) first came to my attention a few years ago when he was a hotly tipped wonderkid in Football Manager. Having transferred from Bayern Munich to Southampton, he perhaps hasn’t quite lived up to his apparent potential. But this season his tiny collective of owners have reaped rewards.
Hojbjerg has avoided a barren week in his last six, with a MOTM and tier-one tackle bonus last time out. A home tie against Newcastle offers a prime chance to extend his run.
For the first (and probably last) time
Manchester City star Kevin de Bruyne (£12m/8.44%) really needs no introduction. Back in contention, the Belgian’s ownership will soon shoot up – so why not jump on the bandwagon before most other managers draft him in?
Differential XI (Under 10% ownership at the time of writing, not team’s most popular player)
De Bruyne (c) (£12m/8.44%)
Aubameyang (c) (£12.5m/9.08%)
Firmino (c) (£12.2m/9.42%)
Become a member for just £1
Join in with our Sky Sports Fantasy Football discussion forum.
Free league (link): 8366876
£5 League (link): 8366879 Password: FFH5