Gameweek 21 is almost upon us, which gives us another opportunity to look at some differential options.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Chelsea, Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion who we think have the potential to make an impact.
As always, to qualify, the player must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 1.0%
- Price: £5.6m
- GW21-25 fixtures: FUL | shu | tot | MUN | bur
A recent return to West Bromwich Albion’s starting XI has seen Matheus Pereira (£5.6m) impress.
He has now started Albion’s last four matches, producing three goals, which included a brace of penalties at local rivals Wolves, in a performance which was his best of the season so far.
The statistics suggest there might be more to come, too.
Since being restored to the side in Gameweek 17, Pereira leads the way amongst team-mates for shots, chances created, final-third touches and take-ons. He’s also been taking a few corners, which gives him further assist potential with the likes of Kyle Bartley (£4.4m) and in particular Semi Ajayi (£4.8m) so effective in the air from crosses.
Last season, Pereira lit up the Championship and finished the campaign with a total of eight goals and 16 assists. As the standout player in Albion’s attack, he mostly operated as a no. 10 in a 4-2-3-1, something which has continued under Sam Allardyce. From that position, he tends to drift to the right, which is relevant with Fulham up next, as no team in the entire division has given up more chances from their left than Scott Parker’s side over the last four Gameweeks.
Timing is key for Pereira, but now back up to speed he could prove the difference maker ahead of a crucial run of games.
- FPL ownership: 0.8%
- Price: £4.5m
- GW21-25 fixtures: BUR | tot | shu | NEW | sou
German defender Antonio Rüdiger (£4.5m) could be set for a new lease of life at Chelsea under Thomas Tuchel.
The 27-year-old started the season well down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, which limited him to just one league start up until Gameweek 16. However, somewhat surprisingly, Rüdiger was restored to the starting XI towards the end of Frank Lampard’s reign, and then played 90 minutes in Tuchel’s first match in charge against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Wednesday night.
Interestingly, that match saw Chelsea line-up with a three-man defence, which helped restrict their opponents Wolves to just two shots in the box. As a result, they kept their eighth Premier League clean sheet of the season, and with an appealing set of fixtures ahead which includes games against Burnley, Sheffield United and Newcastle United in the next four, there is potential to do well.
We should point out that change is inevitable under a new manager, especially with Tuchel’s reputation for tactical flexibility, but having kept a clean sheet in midweek, you’d expect him to retain the same personnel at the back against Burnley on Sunday. It’s also encouraging that the German is aware of his defender’s talents, having coveted him while at Paris Saint-Germain.
Rüdiger has had an up-and-down career at Chelsea to date, but there is hope Tuchel can coax the best out of him, and if he does, FPL managers will be handed a budget route into the Blues backline.
- FPL ownership: 2.6%
- Price: £6.4m
- GW21-25 fixtures: LEE | ful | wol | LIV | avl
Belgium international Youri Tielemans (£6.4m) has developed into one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League this season.
From an FPL perspective, that hasn’t always translated into points, but having been directly involved in six goals in his last six appearances in all competitions, we think he might be worth considering as an alternative to the more popular James Maddison (£7.2m) and Harvey Barnes (£6.8m).
Key to Tielemans’ appeal is that he took Leicester City’s most recent penalty against Brentford in the cup, with Jamie Vardy (£10.0m) absent. That is especially relevant considering the Foxes have already won 10 spot kicks in the league this season, at least four more than any other side.
At this stage, it’s worth noting that the 23-year-old’s attacking numbers are some way behind both Maddison and Barnes, but having scored at Everton on Wednesday night, this is a player in a really good moment playing at the top of his game. His all-round ability lends itself to bonus points too, with only seven midfielders in the entire division collecting more than his 11 this term.
While Tielemans has sometimes been deployed in a deeper role this season, he did push higher up against Chelsea in Gameweek 19 to try and take advantage of the Blues attacking tendencies, which is something we might see more of against Leeds this weekend.
Tielemans has been superb of late, and could be a smart differential for those on the lookout for a new midfielder.
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