Fit-again Tierney can capitalise on Arsenal long-term fixture appeal | fpl.wiki


Double Gameweek 27 is almost upon us which gives us an opportunity to have a look at some more differential options.

This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United and Arsenal, 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.

Kieran Tierney

Tierney back in Arsenal line-up as Thiago misses out for Liverpool
  • FPL ownership: 4.4%
  • Price: £5.2m
  • GW27-31 fixtures: bur | TOT | whu | LIV | shu

Kieran Tierney (£5.2m) has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent performers this season, and now back to full fitness could be a smart differential.

The Gunners recent upturn in form has seen them beat Leicester City and Benfica in back-to-back matches, and lose just one of their last five – a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

In that loss against the league leaders, Tierney was heavily involved in the final-third with 26 touches in that zone, more than any other Arsenal player, and nine crosses. With plenty of freedom to get forward, his average position on the day was actually higher than that of team-mates Bukayo Saka (£5.2m) and Nicolas Pépé (£7.6m). 

However, he did look a little rusty at times, but has since improved and was excellent against Leicester, regularly bombing forward with plenty of overlapping runs. It is also worth noting that Tierney found the back of the net against Benfica in the Europa League last week, too.

His per 90 stats this season are also worth highlighting. Among all defenders who have played over 500 minutes, he ranks ninth for crosses and eighth for chances created. Considering he has been fielded as a left-sided centre-half on numerous occasions, those numbers are encouraging.

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Burnley who have conceded the third-highest number chances from their right-flank this season. After that, the Gunners host Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby, before a Blank Gameweek 29 matchup against West Ham.

The left side is where Arsenal are at their most dangerous, and with Tierney’s ability to earn FPL points at both ends of the pitch, could be a nice differential for those willing to move away from the template.

Craig Dawson

  • FPL ownership: 1.0%
  • Price: £4.5m
  • GW27-31 fixtures: LEE | mun | ARS | wol | LEI

Craig Dawson (£4.5m) moved to West Ham United on a season-long loan from Watford back in October.

The 30-year-old has had to be patient, but has now started the last 11 Premier League matches and established himself as an important player for David Moyes’ side.

The Hammers have been one of the best sides in the league this season, and have looked defensively sound throughout. As a team, they have conceded just 31 goals, kept nine clean sheets and rank fourth for expected goals conceded (xGC).

While the fixtures, at least on paper, aren’t exactly straightforward it is worth pointing out that West Ham beat Leeds United back in December, and it required extra time for Manchester United to see them off in the fifth round of the FA Cup. They narrowly lost 2-1 at Arsenal in September, but won convincingly against both Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City earlier in the season, keeping clean sheets on both occasions. Crucially, they have a Blank Gameweek 29 fixture too, for those looking to navigate the blank without a Free Hit. 

However, Dawson’s appeal is further boosted by his aerial threat which has already seen him score three goals in all competitions this term. It could prove to be the difference maker against Leeds too, as the Whites have conceded the most goals in the Premier League from set-pieces this season, while West Ham have scored the most, with 13.

In a relatively short space of time, Dawson has proven he still has the ability to thrive in the Premier League, and could be a useful budget asset for the run-in.

Mbaye Diagne

  • FPL ownership: 0.7%
  • Price: £6.0m
  • GW27-31 fixtures: NEW | cry | – | che | SOU

Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) has enjoyed a promising start to life at West Bromwich Albion, and along with fellow January recruits Ainsley Maitland-Niles (£4.6m), Okay Yokuslu (£4.5m) and Robert Snodgrass (£5.6m), have made a real impact for Sam Allardyce’s side.

The Senegal international joined the Baggies from Galatasaray on loan until the end of the season, and has made seven Premier League appearances since, scoring one goal and providing two assists.

During that time, he ranks second amongst all forwards for expected goals (xG) which is encouraging, but he does need to add a more ruthless streak to his game. If he can do that, further goals will follow as he’s getting chances.

Albion are now nine points off safety, and face 17th place Newcastle United in a relegation six-pointer on Sunday. Given that the Magpies have a host of injuries including Callum Wilson (£6.5m), Miguel Almirón (£5.6m) and Allan Saint-Maximin (£5.1m), they will fancy their chances too. It’s also worth noting that Steve Bruce’s side have conceded 20 headed attempts in the last six matches, only Crystal Palace have allowed more, which is relevant with Diagne’s ability in the air.

The towering centre-forward will now be looking to add to his tally this weekend, and could be an effective differential for FPL managers on the lookout for a new forward.

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