Gameweek 28 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 Brighton and Hove Albion, Chelsea and Liverpool, 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: 1.2%
- Price: £4.3m
- GW28-32 fixtures: sou | NEW | mun | EVE | che
Brighton and Hove Albion’s Joël Veltman (£4.3m) has played well since coming into the starting XI in December, but has really raised his game in recent weeks.
The Dutch international had only made eight appearances for Albion prior to Tariq Lamptey (£4.6m) picking up a hamstring injury last year, but has since started 11 of the Seagulls last 12 league games, which is impressive when you consider just how much Graham Potter likes to tinker with his line-up.
During his time on the right, he has shown his qualities at both ends of the pitch and scored his first goal for the club in their 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace last month. Owners will now be hoping he can provide further attacking returns, which looks likely given his numbers.
Over the last four Gameweeks, amongst all defenders who have played a reasonable number of minutes, Veltman ranks fourth for final-third touches and big chances created per 90, while he is joint-top with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.4m) and Marcos Alonso (£5.7m) for shots. The quality of opposition faced during that period should of course be taken into account, but regardless of that, it’s encouraging.
Throughout the season, Brighton have shown enough to suggest that they will gain the required points to maintain their Premier League status, but they need to avoid defeat in their next two fixtures against Southampton, and importantly, Newcastle United in Blank Gameweek 29.
Veltman has delivered a string of impressive displays of late, and given his schedule, could be the pick of the budget defenders for the next two rounds.
- FPL ownership: 2.5%
- Price: £8.2m
- GW28-32 fixtures: lee | – | WBA | cry | BHA
Kai Havertz (£8.2m) was the standout performer during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Everton on Monday evening, producing the game’s two decisive moments.
Pushed forward into a false nine role, he was excellent throughout, forcing Ben Godfrey (£5.0m) to score an own goal before winning the second-half penalty which Jorginho (£4.7m) converted. He also had a goal ruled out by VAR, and the early signs suggest that he could be a huge FPL differential in the coming weeks.
It was a really encouraging display from the 21-year-old, who has struggled to live up to expectations since his summer move from Bayer Leverkusen, with injuries and a bout of COVID-19 significant factors in his failure to adapt. Under Frank Lampard, he was utilised on both flanks, in central areas and deeper, but it never seemed to click until now.
Chelsea are now unbeaten in 11 games since appointing Thomas Tuchel back in January. It’s early days, but it looks to be an inspired appointment and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them finish up as the closest challengers to champions-elect Manchester City.
The German coach has consistently rotated his attack since his first match in charge, so this is a move which does come with risk, but it would seem harsh to drop Havertz after his efforts last time out. And if he does get another chance to show his worth against Leeds United on Saturday afternoon, it could be a great matchup for him against a team who will give up chances.
- FPL ownership: 3.2%
- Price: £6.6m
- GW28-32 fixtures: wol | – | ars | AVL | lee
Liverpool progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals last night after beating RB Leipzig 2-0, and looked much more like their old selves.
It was the usual suspects Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Sadio Mané (£11.8m) on the scoresheet, but there were positive signs for Diogo Jota (£6.6m) too, on just his second start since returning from injury.
Leading the line, the Portugal international was at the centre of many of the Reds’ best moments, and though he missed several opportunities, he took up some nice positions in the final-third and provided an assist for Salah’s goal.
It was a solid performance by Jürgen Klopp’s side, who registered six big chances during the match and an expected goal (xG) total of 2.92. The balance of the midfield trio looked so much better with Fabinho (£5.4m) at the base, and it’s no coincidence that Thiago (£5.6m) thrived alongside him. Now the challenge for Liverpool is to reproduce that level of performance in the Premier League.
Next up is a trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have been giving up plenty of shots in the box of late, before matches against Arsenal and Aston Villa. After that, the schedule is dominated by games against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, which will give them hope that they can make a late push for the top four.
Though Jota will be managed carefully in the coming weeks he will be one of the team’s most important players for the run-in, and given his potent form pre-injury, could be an effective differential.
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