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This week we introduce a new guest writer, Mark O’Sullivan, who stumbled upon Sorare back in November 2019.

When he’s not actively scouting for new additions to his squad, he can be found cursing at his players for not delivering the ‘100’ scores like they were supposed to. You can find him on Twitter as @MarkOSullivan94.

Remember, there are now 15 chances to win a real Sorare card every week with the free-to-play Sorare Academy – don’t miss the 11am BST Friday deadline for your latest opportunity.

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The power of a differential

Just how important is a differential pick when it comes to Sorare Academy and should you be on the lookout for one (or more) each Gameweek when picking your team?

Taking a look back at the first Gameweek of the new European season and we can find some very interesting results in the top 20. Those who finished 3rd-18th had all picked the exact same line-up, with those finishing 3rd-15th having the exact same total of 472:

We saw a similar pattern (and names) last Gameweek. These are the same names who are frequently mentioned when it comes to discussions about the best footballers in the world but if you’re going for a template team every Gameweek in Sorare Academy, take a step back and think about your competition and consider just how Many of them will be going for the same players as you.

Taking a quick glance at the line-up for the winner (LaBridouville) and the runner-up (The_Ages7) in the opening Gameweek, we can see that both managers decided to opt against Donnarumma and instead brought in Paul Bernardoni (The_Ages7) who scored 66 points, three higher than Donnarumma, and Lafont (LaBridouville), who scored an impressive 81 points.

How to pick a differential

You’ve made the decision to go for a differential, what’s next? Here are some things to consider:

Not from an elite team

Avoid the elite teams when trying to decide upon a good differential – everyone knows they typically score well. Straight away that should, at the very least, rule out Bayern Munich, PSG, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Man City.

Always look for favorite fixtures

Recently promoted teams tend to struggle against higher-level teams. If we look back at the opening Gameweek, Luca Kilian (Köln) scored 100, the highest score of all defenders. His opponent that Gameweek was Schalke, a team who only just got back into the Bundesliga.

Looking at the same game, we can see others who also had an excellent match: J. Hector (90.4), E. Skhiri (86.9), F. Kainz (83.6) and D. Ljubicic (79.1)

Criteria for identifying favorite fixtures:

  • Teams playing against recently promoted teams (Premier League is the exception to this rule)
  • Teams playing against teams who struggled last season (at the start of the season)
  • Teams who are playing against a team who just had a midweek game (European fixture/cup game)
  • Goalkeepers/defenders playing against teams who have recently struggled to score
  • Forwards/midfielders playing against teams who have recently struggled to keep clean sheets
Missed recent games

Players can often be overlooked when they have missed a few of their last five games. If you can find out ahead of time that they’re coming back from injury or have finished serving a suspension, then you might be one of the few managers to select them.

Defense is the best form of attack

Using previous Gameweeks as inspiration, we can see that the decision to go for differentials at the back can pay off massively. Given the frequency of elite teams delivering those huge scores for their players and forwards, it might be smarter to pick either a goalkeeper or defender as your differential.

Differential watchlist

Here are some players on my differential watchlist for this upcoming Gameweek:

Goalkeepers

Gregor Kobel (Dortmund): Missed two of his last five games because he was overlooked by his national side. His team, Dortmund, are playing against Werder Bremen, who are now back in the Bundesliga having been promoted last season.

David Soria (@Getafe): Getafe are playing against recently promoted Girona, who only had a single shot on target in their first game of the season. If they struggle again, it could be an easy clean sheet for Soria.

Bono (Sevilla): Sevilla are playing Real Valladolid, who got off to a tough start in La Liga, conceding three goals and scoring none against Villarreal following their promotion. It’s worth noting Valladolid have not scored in four games (although three of these are friendlies).

Defenders

Neco Williams (Nottingham Forest): Nottingham Forest are facing Everton, who have lost back-to-back games this season. Williams typically can be relied upon to hit great all-around scores and has delivered three decisive actions in the past 15 games.

Evan Ndicka (Frankfurt): Ndicka has delivered three scores above 90 in the past year and Frankfurt’s opponents Köln have a Europa Conference League midweek game against Fehervar FC, so might have some tired legs for this match.

Ibañez (Roma): Another player who can deliver those elite scores – he has had five 80+ scores in the past year. He’ll be facing the newly promoted Cremonese, who will be weakened due to the suspension of starter Gonzalo Escalante following his red card in their opening game.

Melvin Bard (Nice): He has delivered 80+ scores five times in the past year and has a favorite fixture against Clermont who narrowly avoided relegation last season from Ligue 1. Clermont were smashed 5-0 by PSG in the first game of the season and couldn’t score against Reims until Reims got a player sent off.

Good luck!

I hope this has given you food for thought and will aid you to a victorious reward in an upcoming game week on Sorare Academy! Don’t forget that Friday 11am BST deadline and good luck everyone!

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