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GW4 FPL Differential Focus

31 Aug. 2023

If you are the sort of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) manager who enjoys going against the grain – or takes satisfaction from finding hidden gems before the crowd – then lowly selected players (differentials) can often provide value and offer a source of points which won’t be shared by many other managers. As long as the player picks are justifiable, differentials can give you an edge over your mini-league rivals.

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In this article we look ahead to Gameweek 4 and find players from each position who are currently selected by less than 10% of managers, but could reward their owners in the upcoming Gameweeks.

DEF: Destiny Udogie

  • Cost: £4.6m
  • Selected by: 9.0%
  • Next Fixture: BUR (a)

Fixture Planner

With form and fixtures on his side, Destiny Udogie (£4.6m) won’t be a differential for much longer. Possessing both attacking threat and clean sheet potential, Udogie is an absolute steal at £4.6m and seems to have nailed down the left-back slot in a Spurs side who have shown a lot of attacking flair thus far.

Next up they face Burnley at Turf Moor. According to the Opta Stats Sandbox, the Clarets are ranked third-from-bottom in terms of xGC per game (2.47), with only Luton and Fulham having conceded more. They are also ranked second-from-bottom in terms of xG (per game) and therefore could struggle at both ends of the pitch, putting the prospect of another double-digit haul well within Udogie’s reach.

He is also a decent longer-term pick; Spurs are ranked 2nd best in terms of defensive fixture difficulty over the next six Gameweeks.

MID: Jarrod Bowen

  • Cost: £7.0m
  • Selected by: 7.6%
  • Next Fixture: LUT (a)

Any appraisal of Luton Town’s Premier League’s prospects must first be viewed through the lens of their difficult opening fixtures. Any team will have struggled with two away matches to Chelsea and Brighton, so it is hardly a surprise that they do not fare well on the defensive statistics.

That being said, they are one of the poorest promoted sides the Premier League has seen in some time and targeting them with our weekly transfers is only sensible. Despite playing one game less than any other team, they have conceded 7.13 xG, ranking them second-from-bottom in defensive terms, and have conceded more goals (7) than any other team.

Facing them in Gameweek 4 is a West Ham side which looks rejuvenated. Their talisman Jarrod Bowen (£7.0m) is already looking a bargain, having racked up an impressive 23 points – courtesy of 2 goals and an assist – despite (as with Luton Town) facing Chelsea and Brighton in a difficult start to the campaign. One note of caution is that West Ham faces both Manchester City and Liverpool in Gameweek 5 and 6, so owners must have a plan for this.

Opta Player Heatmaps

The world seems to be focused on Raheem Sterling (£7.2m) who is currently the most transferred-in player ahead of Gameweek 4 (830k according to Transfer Analytics), following his brace in Gameweek 3. But if we compare underlying data between the two players, it is Bowen who comes out on top. Particularly impressive when you consider that the bulk of Sterling’s stats come from the Luton fixture.

FWD: Odsonne Edouard

  • Cost: £5.5m
  • Selected by: 2.1%
  • Next Fixture: WOL (h)

Edouard Profile

Perhaps a bit of a left field punt, but for managers who fancy taking a real tasty chance, look no further than Crystal Palace’s Odsonne Edouard (£5.5m). Under Patrick Vieira, Edouard did a decent job when he played but was rotated often. Under Hodgson, his position seems more assured, having already bagged 250 out of a possible 270 minutes.

Beyond that, he has a great home fixture against Wolves at the weekend and has bagged 2 goals in all competitions for Palace. He is also cheap, making him the ideal replacement if you are amongst the 18.3% of managers who are stuck with João Pedro (£5.5m).

By Matt Whelan


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