Back from a break (GW12 review)

Apologies for an unexpected break from my differential picks last week – unfortunately a son turning one and building various items, including a teepee and a play kitchen with more features than my own kitchen hindered progress somewhat!

In my absence, GW12 saw the XI return a reasonable total, with a bonus-point/clean-sheet haul in goal from Mat Ryan leading the way.

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-one/two passing, TI/2S = tier-one/two shots, TI/2SA = tier-one/two saves  (c) = captain YC = yellow card

Ryan (£6.5m/1.89%) – 12 – CS, T2SA

Doherty (£6.5m/3.8%) – 2

Laporte (£8.8m/6.44%) – 11 – CS, MOTM, YC

Bellerin (£8.9m/2.16%) – 2

Lovren (£8.7m/1.87%) – 5 – T2P

De Bruyne (c) (£12m/8.44%) – 2

Xhaka (£9.6m/1.8m) – 8 – G

Hojberg (£7.1m/1.55%) – 0

Seri (£7.2m/8.52%) – 4 – T1P

Aubameyang (c) (£12.5m/9.08%) – 14 – G

Firmino (c) (£12.2m/9.42%) – 4


Hammering home the chance for a differential

This weekend lends itself nicely to a differential – and perhaps even a differential captain. Saturday sees just one top-four team take to the field in Spurs, with sixth-placed Bournemouth the next-highest ranked side.

Rules of our differential XI dictate our main side cannot feature players with ownership in excess of ten per cent, or the most popular players from their respective clubs.

This instantly rules out viable options Marko Arnautovic (10.1%/7.13%), though he remains a fantastic Saturday differential captain for a visit to Huddersfield in the wider context of the game.

With Arnautovic out of the picture, a close second given last week’s 20-point return must be the Austrian’s teammate, Felipe Anderson (£8.7m/2.01%). Against Burnley, Anderson netted twice, grabbed a shots bonus and MOTM – and interestingly was just three successful passes short of a tier-one bonus. His attempted and completed pass figures topped the tree for the Hammers.

West Ham’s record signing has been a bit of a mixed bag, with plenty of blanks among some more promising tallies. The blanks do represent risk when considering him as a captain but form and fixture align nicely to give him a starting berth.

In it for the long haul?

Brighton came unstuck against an attacking Everton side last week, with the Seagulls run of clean sheets coming to an abrupt end.

But in Cardiff they face a weaker side, and the league newcomers have managed just one home shutout so far, against Newcastle.

Enter Glenn Murray (£9.6m/1.9%), who is sitting on six goals and a MOTM for the season. Away goals versus Manchester United and Southampton show that Murray can score on the road, so a reactionary performance from his side following their disappointing defeat could be spearheaded by the English striker.

For those thinking ahead, Murray’s side will also face Leicester, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace and Burnley in the next few weeks, so providing he continues to meet our selection criteria, Murray could well be a regular fixture in our XI.


Cherry picking the best

When we tipped Nathan Ake (£8.1m/3.2%) for a goal or bonus in GW11, the Dutchman delivered, with a passing bonus and clean sheet to his name. His nine points that week was followed by another nine in GW12 and six more in GW13 against Manchester United. At Newcastle, we’re backing him to continue his fine run.

Recent form also merits a mention for David Brooks (£6.3m/3.9%). He has three goals in his last five, giving him four more points in that period than early-season star Ryan Fraser. Can he keep up his form when he visits St James’s Park?

Differential XI (Under 10% ownership at the time of writing, not team’s most popular player)

Ryan (£6.5m/2.05%)


Nathan Ake (£8.1m/3.2%)

Antonio Rudiger (£9.5m/2.8%)

Aymeric Laporte (£8.8m/9.47%)


David Brooks (£6.3m/3.9%)

Felipe Anderson (£8.7m/2.01%)

Granit Xhaka (£9.6m/2.16%)

James Milner (£8.8m/7.17%)


Alexandre Lacazette (c) (£11.4m/8.85%)

Glenn Murray (£9.6m/1.9%)

Jamie Vardy (c) (£11.5m/2.18%)


TOT: £98.8m


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