Spot the Differential puts the spotlight on three players who all have an ownership of 5% or less in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
Two of our selections below face newly promoted opposition this weekend, while the third has one of the best fixture runs over the next six Gameweeks.
- FPL ownership: 1.1%
- Price: £5.5m
Andreas Pereira (£5.5m) is currently selected by just 1.1% of managers but could be a handy differential in the next four Gameweeks, given that Fulham sit third on our Season Ticker in that period.
The playmaker has made a decent start to the 2023/24 campaign with a goal and an assist in his first four appearances. That’s despite building up his match fitness after breaking his ankle in April.
Admittedly, the stats aren’t great (two shots, three chances created), but the fixtures Pereira has started have been tough (BRE/ars/mci) and the Cottagers have picked up two red cards in that time. Now the schedule eases, you’d expect him to be a pivotal cog in Marco Silva’s XI, establishing himself as his team’s chief creator.
After all, he was a vital player for Fulham last year, scoring four goals and assisting 10, earning 123 points.
Next up for Fulham is a plum home tie against newly-promoted Luton Town. They visit Craven Cottage without a clean sheet this season and have conceded nine goals in their opening three matches.
Then it’s Crystal Palace, Chelsea and Sheffield United, before another tough run begins in Gameweek 9. However, if you’re deploying your Wildcard in/around that time, a move for Pereira now could pay off.
Pereira scored a penalty in Aleksandar Mitrovic’s absence last season and will be hoping to take the next one Fulham are awarded. Add in free-kicks and corners and the former Manchester United man has plenty to offer, making him a nice differential for the next few weeks.
PAPE MATAR SARR
- FPL ownership: 3.3%
- Price: £4.6m
Pape Matar Sarr (£4.6m) has enjoyed an excellent start to the season under Ange Postecoglou.
The budget midfielder has started each of Spurs’ last three Premier League matches, scoring in the victory over Manchester United and registering an assist as the Lilywhites saw off Bournemouth in Gameweek 3.
In that time (Gameweek 2 onwards), Sarr has registered eight shots in the box and created four chances, numbers which stack up very well against Tottenham’s other midfielders James Maddison (£7.8m) and Son Heung-min (£9.1m).
“He’s been great from the moment I arrived. He’s got a great energy about him, but he’s got quality there too. He’s one of those midfielders who causes the opposition real problems because whether it’s him running with the ball or without the ball, he runs forward, he runs aggressively and he disrupts the opposition. He’s just got a great temperament for a young guy.” – Ange Postecoglou on Pape Matar Sarr
Three straight wins before the international break left Spurs second in the Premier League and they’ll fancy their chances against Sheffield United on Saturday, given that the Blades are still looking for their first victory in the top-flight.
And Paul Heckingbottom’s deep back five could suit Sarr, who will make late runs into the box and operate in the right half-space.
It’s also worth noting the visitors have struggled defending crosses in 2023/24 so far (they rank bottom for headed goal attempts conceded), which is another route to points for Sarr, given that he’s pretty strong in the air.
Sarr has grabbed his opportunity this season with both hands and could be an effective differential in Gameweek 5.
- FPL ownership: 2.5%
- Price: £5.0m
Fabian Schar (£5.0m) is averaging just 1.2 points per match so far this season but has played Aston Villa, Manchester City, Liverpool and Brighton and Hove Albion, in what was always going to be a tough start.
However, the Magpies now have six winnable games in a row, with standout fixtures against Sheffield United and Burnley after Gameweek 5.
As for Schar, he is an integral part of Newcastle’s first XI and has gone from strength to strength under Eddie Howe, putting in impressive performances on a consistent basis.
The 31-year-old started 36 out of 38 Premier League games last season, scoring just one goal, but he underachieved his expected goals (xG) by a whopping 3.95, underlining his attacking threat.
Just over 50% of his goal attempts were headers from set plays, which could be important at Bramall Lane next weekend, given how vulnerable the Blades’ have looked defending crosses into the box so far.
Meanwhile, despite that tricky start to the season, the Magpies’ have the sixth-best expected goals conceded (xGC) figure in the division.
The clean sheets haven’t materialised yet but their upcoming run could help change that and help kick-start Schar’s season.