Rangnick’s appointment could see Sancho become powerful FPL differential
Gameweek 14 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, West Ham United and Leicester City, 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: 2.1%
- Price: £8.9m
- GW14-18 fixtures: ARS | CRY | nor | bre | BHA
Jadon Sancho (£8.9m) has struggled to make much of an impact since his summer move to Manchester United, but has now scored in back-to-back matches under Michael Carrick, with goals against Villarreal and now Chelsea.
As a result, the former Borussia Dortmund winger is an intriguing differential for Fantasy managers, who under the guidance of Ralf Rangnick, has the potential to shake up the current midfield template.
Against Chelsea on Sunday, United opted for a safety-first approach involving Nemanja Matic (£4.5m), Fred (£4.9m) and Scott McTominay (£5.4m) screening the back four. That allowed a more mobile front trio of Marcus Rashford (£9.4m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) and Sancho, with the latter putting in a particularly exciting shift, showing real composure for the visitor’s opener.
Notably, Sancho has all the attributes to thrive in Rangnick’s set-up, via his pressing ability, speed, direct running and off-the-ball movement. In fact, the German tactician spoke fondly of the winger just last year, when he suggested he was a unique talent: “I don’t see any other player with his combination of pace, being dangerous in front of goal and ability to get assists. He’s one of the best talents in Europe.”
United’s forthcoming schedule offers further encouragement that he can kick on. Between Gameweeks 14 and 27, the Red Devils face just one side currently nestled in the top four, with particularly appealing matchups against Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Brentford, Brighton and Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Burnley before the end of the year.
Sancho is one of the Premier League’s brightest young stars, and with an ownership of just 2.1%, is a tempting midfield differential.
- FPL ownership: 3.1%
- Price: £6.4m
- GW14-18 fixtures: BHA | CHE | bur | ars | NOR
We’ve been big on Jarrod Bowen (£6.4m) for a while now, having included him in this column ahead of Gameweek 3. Now, after producing two goals and six assists in the 11 matches that followed, we think he’s worth talking about again.
Since his first attacking return of the season – an assist against Manchester United back in September, Bowen ranks joint-tenth amongst all players for expected goal involvement (xGI). Furthermore, his 24 goal attempts, 19 shots in the box and three big chances created are all also top 10 totals, which suggests he can offer real value in the coming weeks.
Corner-taking duties are another route to points for Bowen, which is especially relevant given that the Hammers’ are one of the deadliest sides in the division from dead-ball situations, with their total of six goals from set-plays only bettered by Liverpool across the opening 13 rounds.
As for the schedule, David Moyes’ side do have a couple of trickier-looking fixtures to navigate next, though it is worth noting that Brighton and Hove Albion have failed to win any of their last eight matches, while the schedule from Gameweek 16 right through until 27 is excellent. That includes games against Burnley, Norwich City, Southampton and Watford in December, all of which are particularly appealing for attackers.
Bowen has thrived as a winger for West Ham this term, and could be an effective differential for the festive period and beyond.
- FPL ownership: 5.0%
- Price: £6.6m
- GW14-18 fixtures: sou | avl | NEW | TOT | eve
James Maddison (£6.6m) was one of Leicester City’s standout performers during their 4-2 win over Watford on Sunday, producing the game’s decisive moments.
The playmaker was rewarded for his performance in the Foxes’ 3-1 UEFA Europa League win over Legia Warsaw – when he also scored and provided an assist – by retaining his place in the starting XI in Gameweek 13. Pushed up into a no. 10 role, he was excellent throughout, making a smart run and composed finish for the opener, before then adding two assists for Jamie Vardy (£10.6m). He went close to more attacking returns too, ending the match with four goal attempts and five created chances, which suggests he could be a huge Fantasy differential in the coming weeks.
It was a really encouraging display from Maddison, who has struggled to live up to expectations in the early part of the season, with his manager heaping further praise on him after the match:
“It was great, you can see his quality, he was a real inspiration for us. We always have a point to prove every single day. For him it was looking at his game, he knows this is a game and a level where you are always looking to prove yourself. You can never be calm with that, you always have to be intense. You are seeing the work, not just with him but the confidence returning to the team. It’s not about the one player, it’s about the team but he was excellent today.”
As a result of that win, Leicester now sit five points adrift of the top four, with an appealing trio of fixtures up next: Southampton (a), Aston Villa (a) and Newcastle United (h).
Sunday’s performance was the best game we’ve seen from Maddison for some time, and given his kind price tag of just £6.6m, could be a nice differential option for our midfield set-ups.
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