Double Gameweek 31 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) 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 Manchester United, Liverpool and Everton, who we think have the potential to make an impact.
As always, to qualify, the player must have a ownership of 5% or less at the time of writing.
- FPL ownership: 2.8%
- Price: £8.9m
- GW31-35 fixtures: LEI | eve | NOR + liv | ars | BR
Jadon Sancho (£8.9m) endured a slow start to his career at Manchester United following his summer move from Borussia Dortmund but has improved since the turn of the year.
In his last six matches, the winger has netted two goals and supplied three assists, blanking in just one of his five starts in that period. Notably, no player has racked up more attacking returns, while he also leads the way amongst teammates for points, bonus points and points per start. His shot volume in that time isn’t significant (just nine have arrived in the box), but the quality of those attempts have been good, with three deemed ‘big chances’ by Opta.
Now, out of all cup competitions at home and abroad, United are one of three top-seven sides who are free to concentrate on league matches between now and the end of the season. They face struggling Everton and Norwich City soon, along with two clubs who have packed schedules over the coming two months, Leicester City and Liverpool.
Despite recent improvements, Gameweek 31 opponents Leicester have only managed one clean sheet on the road all season, while the advanced positioning of James Justin (£4.9m) Timothy Castagne (£5.3m) last time out suggests Sancho could get some joy in behind.
As for United, at times they are still disjointed, but it’s worth noting that only Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have recorded more big chances across their last six matches.
Sancho – who is fully rested after being omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the recent friendlies with Switzerland and Ivory Coast – is recreating the type of form he showed in the Bundesliga of late, and could be an effective midfield differential to capitalise on this kind run of fixtures.
- FPL ownership: 4.3%
- Price: £5.0m
- GW31-35 fixtures: WAT | mci | MUN | EVE | new
Joel Matip (£5.0m) has been a real surprise package in Fantasy Premier League (FPL) since the turn of the year, averaging an impressive 7.3 points per start.
In his last six outings, the defender has racked up eight returns (one goal, two assists and five clean sheets) and 50 FPL points, more than any other team-mate bar Andrew Robertson (£7.3m), with who he is level with.
In an attacking sense, his threat is limited compared to others, but his marauding runs forward have become a regular occurrence this season and become a trademark of his playing style. It’s also worth noting that among colleagues, only Mohamed Salah (£13.3m), Sadio Mane (£11.7m) Diogo Jota (£8.3m) have attempted more shots in the box than Matip in 2021/22.
The former Cameroon international is clearly in the form of his life and, as a result, has now completed 90 minutes in eight of Liverpool’s last nine Premier League encounters, a period which has seen the Reds keep seven clean sheets. Ibrahima Konate (£5.1m) could, of course, impact his minutes going forward, but the feeling is that Matip is first-choice, and with the title still up for grabs, he is surely in pole position to start most matches.
After back-to-back shut-outs against Brighton and Hove Albion and Arsenal in Double Gameweek 29, Liverpool are currently at their defensive best as they continue to challenge for the Premier League title. They have kept 17 sheets in 29 Premier League matches this season, and boast the division’s third-best backline, with their 20 goals conceded only marginally more than Manchester City and Chelsea.
This weekend’s opponents – Watford – are also in poor attacking form, scoring just three goals in six road trips under new boss Roy Hodgson.
Loading up on Liverpool assets is a no-brainer, but if your budget won’t stretch to the premium defenders, FPL bosses could do a lot worse than look at Matip.
- FPL ownership: 3.4%
- Price: £7.7m
- GW31-35 fixtures: whu + bur | MUN | LEI | liv | CHE
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) has been struggling for form in recent weeks, but given that Everton are one of only two sides who ‘double’ in Gameweek 31, he might just be worth considering.
The 25-year-old showed glimpses of his quality in Gameweek 29, as he produced an excellent assist for Alex Iwobi‘s (£5.8m) late winner against Newcastle United.
Now, the Blues’ number nine will be determined to show last season’s 21 goals in all competitions wasn’t just a flash in the pan, and will almost certainly have benefitted from some rigorous training sessions over the international break, something Frank Lampard touched on in Friday’s press conference.
“The break has been positive for Dominic (Calvert-Lewin). He was playing short of fitness. We’ve worked well with him over the last couple of weeks. Without putting undue pressure on him… he’s in a good place.” — Frank Lampard on Dominic Calvert-Lewin
However, there are broader issues that make this a risky punt: the Toffees have won fewer points than any other side in the Premier League this season, while just one goal in their last six matches against Premier League opposition is also a concern.
On a more positive note, they do have two further fixtures still to be arranged, which should result in two further ‘doubles’ during the run-in.
Calvert-Lewin is quite simply the biggest scoring threat for Frank Lampard, and if they are to get back on track, there is a decent chance he will be central to it.
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