Gameweek 28 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 Chelsea, Bournemouth and Aston Villa 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: 4.8%
- Price: £7.6m
- GW28-32 fixtures: EVE | AVL + LIV | wol | BHA | mun (potential blank)
Kai Havertz (£7.6m) has starred for Chelsea recently, scoring two crucial goals in the last two games.
The German international netted the penalty that sealed the Blues’ place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, then notched again away to Leicester City in Gameweek 27.
His role in Graham Potter’s 3-4-3 formation has slightly been tweaked of late, with the deployment of Mykhailo Mudryk (£6.5m) as a false nine allowing Havertz to drop deep or even wide to receive the ball.
“I like this position, it is quite a free role and I’m allowed to come deeper. Having said that, I also like to play as a number nine so having those options is good. Whatever the manager wants me to do for the team, I’m happy. With the system we are playing at the moment, it’s very fluid. It means I can be free, especially offensively, and I can find spaces to play from.” – Kai Havertz
Havertz has scored a fairly underwhelming six goals in 25 Premier League outings in 2022/23, adding just one assist. Still, since the season resumed, his 25 goal attempts, 22 shots in the box, nine big chances and nine efforts on target are all team-leading totals. He has also been his side’s main creator, with 21 created chances.
Chelsea have turned their dismal form around after changing formation, with three consecutive victories lifting the atmosphere at the club. Now, they are among only eight sides to play three matches in the next two Gameweeks, playing at home on each occasion.
Havertz has often frustrated as an FPL asset since arriving from the Bundesliga but has both the form and fixtures to thrive in the coming weeks.
- FPL ownership: 0.1%
- Price: £5.0m
- GW28-32 fixtures: avl | FUL + BHA | lei | tot | WHU
Dango Ouattara (£5.0m) has added another dimension to Bournemouth’s attack since his January arrival from FC Lorient.
The Burkina Faso international teed up Philip Billing (£5.1m) for the winning goal against Liverpool in Gameweek 27, his third assist in seven Premier League appearances. He also had two decent opportunities to score prior to that. He missed both, but netted six goals and recorded six assists in 18 appearances for Lorient this season before embarking for the south coast, showing composure in the final third.
Now, he visits an improving Aston Villa side. However, the hosts remain vulnerable at the back and have allowed more big chances than any other side the restart, which is why we think goals could be on the cards at Villa Park. There could be space in behind for Ouattara to exploit, too, especially if the attack-minded Alex Moreno (£4.4m) continues at left-back.
Gary O’Neil’s troops follow it up with a Gameweek 29 double-header, involving home games against Fulham and Brighton and Hove Albion, before visiting leaky Leicester City.
It’s also worth noting Bournemouth have improved in attack of late. They have scored in each of their last five games, despite facing Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United. Five Opta-defined ‘big chances’ have been created in their two most recent outings, a decent figure given the opposition faced.
Ouattara has all the attributes to thrive at Bournemouth and could be a nice differential pick-up ahead of Gameweek 28.
- FPL ownership: 0.7%
- Price: £5.7m
- GW28-32 fixtures: BOU | che + lei | NFO | NEW | bre
Emiliano Buendia (£5.7m) has benefitted from Unai Emery’s arrival at Aston Villa, recently scoring in the 2-0 win at Everton.
The playmaker struggled to find his best form under Dean Smith and Steven Gerrard, but has three goals and one assist in 11 post-World Cup appearances, and is showing encouraging signs under the Spaniard.
With Leon Bailey (£4.4m) struggling to produce and Philippe Coutinho (£6.6m) out with a hamstring injury, Buendia is Villa’s main creator right now and could get some joy against Bournemouth on Saturday: since the Premier League’s resumption in Gameweek 17, the Cherries have conceded 19 goals in 11 matches, also allowing 46 chances to be created from the centre zone, more than any other club bar Fulham.
“I would like to have better numbers in terms of goals or assists but, as I always say, I’m working on it. I try to create chances for my teammates and to get in the box to score goals. I would like to have more, but I’m working in the right way to get there.
“He [Unai Emery] gave me the confidence to feel freedom in the attacking third. I always try to be in good spaces; he tells me during the week where I can perform better in the game. I always try to listen and learn and do what they say because I know it’s going to help me.” – Emiliano Buendia
After Bournemouth, Aston Villa’s Double Gameweek 29 involves away trips to Chelsea and Leicester. Under Emery, they have won 13 points from 18 on the road, scoring in each of their six Premier League away games. Then, it’s Nottingham Forest at Villa Park, who have been particularly poor away from The City Ground all season.
Buendia has upped his performance levels in 2023, and now adding more consistency to his game, could be a decent short-term punt.