Last week’s differentials piece was all about the captains. In a week presenting tricky single-game days, our main choices were aimed at maximising them. Our picks of Alexandre Lacazette, Sean Morrison, Josh King and Wilfried Zaha were a mixed bag, with just a couple of assists between them.
But the real story was hidden in our wider ‘Differentials XI’. Featuring players with surprisingly low ownership like Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy, we racked up our best score yet.
Sterling topped the pile with an impressive 19 points. He registered a goal and an assist on the way to a rightful MOTM. Lagging just behind him was Matt Doherty, the Wolves wing-back. With his second MOTM and assist of the season, he looks seriously under-appreciated at just 2.1% ownership – and he’ll be a firm fixture in our XI for now.
How the XI performed
Key:G = goal, A = assist, CS = clean sheet, MOTM = man of the match, T1/2T = tier-one/two tackles, T2P = tier-two passing, TI/2S = shots (c) = captain
Hart – 7 – MOTM
Morrison (c) – 2
Doherty – 17 – A, CS, MOTM, T1T
Coady – 7 – CS
Moutinho – 2
Zaha (c) – 10 – A
Alli – 0
Sterling – 19 – G, A, MOTM, T2P
Vardy – 7 – G
King – 2
Lacazette (c) – 10 – A
GW9 – Kicking off with another single-game day
The gameweek kicks off with a Friday-night tie between Brighton and West Ham. A tricky one to call, this, given West Ham’s improved form and Albion’s lack of clean sheets.
Despite only one clean sheet in seven, comments in the press from Shane Duffy (7.5m/1.67%) caught our eye this week. In interviews with the Brighton and Hove Independent, he claimed Albion were a better side than last season – a statement which looks fair on paper, with some solid signings arriving at the Amex. More eye-catching, though, were Duffy’s comments on scoring goals.
An obvious aerial threat, Duffy surprisingly failed to score last season. Yet this season, where clean sheets have been absent, he’s made up for it with goals. He’s netted two already and said he felt he could score in ‘every game’. See here for the full interview.
If the clean sheet doesn’t come, the Irishman could be a calculated punt to pop up with a goal. Many will look to West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic or Albion’s Glenn Murray for inspiration – few appear to be looking at Duffy.
Could goal number three – or even his third assist – come against another side who have registered a solitary shutout so far?
Sticking at the back
This week’s picks have a distinct defensive feel to them, with fixtures throwing up a couple of reliable ties.
Among them is Burnley hosting Huddersfield. The visitors to Turf Moor are struggling, sitting joint-top in the ‘most conceded’ table alongside Cardiff and Fulham, on 16. Goals scored doesn’t get any better for the Terriers, either, with three goals the lowest in the league.
Fresh from MOTM, helping our ‘Differential XI’ to its record points haul, we’re backing Joe Hart (6.4m/4.14%) for another fantastic score. While some might consider Hart a little lucky to gain MOTM last week, if he’s a player catching the eye of the Sky reporters, a clean sheet might help him to another top player gong. The keeper is Burnley’s second most popular player behind James Tarkowski (5.33%).
An attacking option could be Johan Berg Gudmundsson (8.6m/0.7%), who has a goal and two assists to his name in the last two games. Probably unlucky to miss out on MOTM last week, the form man has an ideal fixture to make it three great weeks on the trot. Currently, he looks better value at £0.1m more than Burnley’s most popular player.
Harry Kane will be among the most popular captain choices in the game this week, with his side hosting Cardiff – joint-top of the ‘most conceded’ table.
Midfield options Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen are set to miss out with injuries, so we’re looking to Erik Lamela (8.9m/0.25%) to kick on after his Champions League goal against Barcelona. In the league this season, Lamela has come off the bench to score twice – but with Spurs suffering with injuries, a starting berth seems likely.
Differentials XI (Under 10% ownership at the time of writing, not team’s most popular player)
Duffy (c) (7.5m/1.67%)
Lamela (c) (8.9m/0.25%)
Johan Berg Gudmundsson (8.6m/0.7%)
Willian (c) (9.5m/4.56%)
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