With a swift turnaround, Gameweek 20 is almost upon us, which gives us an opportunity to look at some differential options.
This time, we’ve selected low-owned picks at Everton, Manchester United and Aston Villa who we think have the potential to make an impact.
As always, to qualify, the players must have an ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 5.0%
- Price: £6.0m
- GW20-24 fixtures: LEI | NEW | lee | mun | FUL
Lucas Digne (£6.0m) has made a real impact since arriving from Barcelona in the summer of 2018, contributing four goals and 11 assists across his first two league campaigns.
This season, he has been one of the most creative defenders in the Premier League too, with five assists in just nine starts, and now back in the side following a rapid recovery from an ankle injury, looks set to kick on.
With Digne and James Rodríguez (£7.7m) out of action, Everton have found ways to win, but have opted for a more conservative approach which has dented the appeal of their attacking players. To highlight this, Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m), who thrives on good service from wide areas, has scored just once since Gameweek 10. However, with key players back, I expect we’ll see an upturn in their attacking numbers in the coming weeks.
Digne returned to the starting XI in the FA Cup earlier this month, around six weeks after undergoing surgery, and has since featured at Wolves where he assisted Alex Iwobi’s (£5.9m) opener. He missed the fourth-round cup tie against Sheffield Wednesday, but according to Carlo Ancelotti, will return against Leicester City on Wednesday.
The Toffees have certainly missed Digne’s creativity but still sit sixth in the table, and if he is to help unlock his team’s attacking potential like we expect him to, he could be a nice differential pickup for those on the lookout for a new defender.
- FPL ownership: 2.1%
- Price: £4.8m
- GW 20-24 fixtures: SHU | ars | SOU | EVE | wba
Luke Shaw (£4.8m) has faced a number of challenges during his time at Manchester United, but has been one of their best performers in recent weeks.
Now playing with real confidence, he was the Red Devils’ best player at Anfield last weekend when he comfortably nullified the threat of Mohamed Salah (£12.5m). Those who have been paying attention will know his numbers have been really good for a while, though.
Over the last six Gameweeks, Shaw ranks joint-top among teammates for chances created, level with Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m). In fact, no defender in the entire division has created more chances than the left-back, while he also sits fourth for final-third touches, third for crosses and joint-fifth for penalty area touches. Crucially, he’s also been taking a lot of corners too.
League leaders United now take on rock-bottom Sheffield United at Old Trafford in one of the standout fixtures of Gameweek 20, which precedes a trip to a resurgent Arsenal side in Gameweek 21. That will be far from straightforward, but it’s worth noting that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team have not lost away in the league for a year, and we should also point out that forthcoming opponents the Blades, plus Southampton, have given up a lot of chances from their right side this season.
Shaw is now starting to produce consistently good performances in the face of new competition from Alex Telles (£5.5m), and could be a major influence in the second half of the season as the cheapest route into United’s defence.
- FPL ownership: 0.6%
- Price: £5.9m
- GW20-24 fixtures: bur | sou | WHU | ARS | bri
Bertrand Traoré (£5.9m) has been in fine form of late, and is starting to show his quality following his summer move from Lyon.
It’s fair to say it took the former Chelsea man a bit of time to get going in Birmingham, but with four goals in his last six matches, including the pick of the bunch against Newcastle last night, we think he could offer real value in the coming weeks.
Zoning in on the last four Gameweeks, Traoré’s attacking numbers have caught the eye.
The Burkina Faso international leads the way among teammates for shots, while only Jack Grealish (£7.7m) has delivered more crosses.
It also makes sense to look at the last two games in isolation, which has coincided with the return of Ross Barkley (£5.9m). During this time, Traoré again ranks joint-top for shots and also crosses, while only Ollie Watkins (£6.1m) has taken more touches in the opposition’s box.
All of Villa’s wingers, Grealish aside, tend to be a bit inconsistent, and I wouldn’t feel totally confident saying Traoré’s place in the starting XI is nailed, especially with Anwar El Ghazi (£5.8m) and Trézéguet (£5.2m) lurking. However, having taken his chance emphatically, it does feel like it’s Traoré’s spot to lose now, and you get the feeling there is more to come too, which is encouraging.
Grealish remains the stand-out pick in Villa’s midfield, but if funds are tighter, Traoré could be an intriguing differential for Gameweek 20 and beyond.
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