FPL Differential XI: Gameweek 2

We’ve all seen the “template XI” and will, no doubt, have figured out which elite assets we’re going to jump on this season.

Whether you’re on the Salah train or the Haaland bus (or both), you’re going to be needing some handy differentials in your side to ensure you’re always one step ahead of your mini-league rivals and can climb up those world rankings!

In this weekly series, we explore those low ownership options that could be the hidden gems to help you to creap up that table. We kicked off our season last week with a score of 39 points… can we do better this time around? Here are the options we like the look of for GW2…

Goalkeeper: Alphonse Areola – West Ham United (£4.5m) – 1.5% TSB

Lukasz Fabianski exited the City game early through injury on the opening day, meaning back up Alphonse Areola is likely to take the gloves against Nottingham Forest. I like Areola at this price point, especially against a Forest attack that struggled to even lay a glove on Newcastle in their own GW1 defeat.

Defender: Rayan Ait-Nouri – Wolves (£4.5m) – 1.8% TSB

You’d be extremely disappointed if you’d picked Rayan Ait-Nouri as your budget defender ahead of his opening day own goal but the future should be much brighter for the youngster who showed plenty of attacking threat against Leeds.

He will be looking to bomb forward as Wolves host newly promoted Fulham in Gameweek 2 and will be hopeful of contributing to a goal at the right end this time around.

Defender: Joel Matip – Liverpool (£6.0m) – 2.6% TSB

Ibou Konate’s injury looks set to confirm Joel Matip as Virgil Van Dijk’s regular partner for the start of this season. The Reds looked all at sea at on the opening day at Fulham and will be determined to put that right in their opening game at Anfield against Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Defender: Matt Doherty – Tottenham (£5.0m) – 0.8% TSB

I’m assuming the opening day start and performance from Emerson Royal has put many off Tottenham’s Matt Doherty. Healthy competition will only serve to improve individual performances and despite the fact he didn’t start the opening day win over Southampton, I still believe Doherty is first choice.

Chelsea away may not be the fixture you want Doherty for but you can alost guarantee a price rise before the Wolves game in GW3 if the wing back starts and scores well this week.

Midfielder: James Maddison – Leicester City (£8.0m) – 4.8% TSB

Dejan Kulusevski definitely won the battle of the £8.0m midfielders in the first gameweek but James Maddison wasn’t too far behind. Leicester’s chief creator was unfortunate to come away with just the one assist in a game where he created five chances and took six shots.

Maddison is back in his rightful role of being Leicester’s best player and will undoubtedly finish as their top FPL scorer if he stays fit. You want to be jumping on board on player with a point to prove to their respective nation’s managers ahead of the World Cup and Madders is right at the top of that list!

Midfielder: Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City (£7.5m) – 1.2% TSB

With doubts continuing to linger over the future of Bernardo Silva, Ilkay Gundogan should see his second consecutive start in a City shirt this summer, this time ahead of the mouthwatering prospect of facing Bournemouth at home.

Most will look at Phil Foden and Jack Grealish this week but many of City’s attack came through the middle against West Ham with Gundogan popping up in the opposing penalty area on several occasions. He’s my top tip for this week and could be a season keeper!

Midfielder: Jack Harrison – Leeds United (£6.0m) – 1.1% TSB

No one created more than Jack Harrison’s seven chances created against Wolves on the opening day of the season. We spoke a lot about him during pre-season on FF92 following Raphinha’s departure and early signs point towards that prophecy being fulfilled instantly with Harrison involved in almost all of Leeds United’s positive moments.

Leeds have a nice start to the season with a trip to Southampton next on the cards, meaning Harrison could have plenty more opportunities to get involved in the goals to add to his opening day assist for Rodrigo.

Midfielder: Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall – Leicester City (£5.0m) – 1.4% TSB

At £5.0m, Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall was seen by many as a decent midfield enabler following a decent pre-season. It’s difficult to see what happened in that regard though as only 1.4% of us reaped the rewards from his opening day goal against Brentford.

KDH doesn’t have the high upside of the likes of Pedro Neto but will start every week for Leicester and will easily be worth his price tag if he can chip in with six or seven goals with a few assists this season.

Midfielder: Daniel Podence – Wolves (£5.5m) – 1.5% TSB

The aforementioned Neto was the £5.5m Wolves man everyone wanted but it was Daniel Podence who made the headline on the opening day with his side’s only goal in the defeat to Leeds United.

He will start again this weekend against Fulham and should enjoy more chances to get involved in the goals at home against a newly promoted side.

Forward: Callum Wilson – Newcastle United (£7.5m) – 3.8% TSB

Mo Salah seems to have officially stolen the title of “Mr Opening Day” but Callum Wilson could also lay claim to that. The Newcastle hitman struck again this season to down Nottingham Forest in GW1 and will look to keep up a hot start against Brighton this time around.

You can’t always read much into the type of goal someone scores but the confidence in which he stroked home his first strike of the season suggests there’s plenty more to come. As always, fitness will be Wilson’s only barrier!

Forward: Patrick Bamford – Leeds United (£7.5m) – 1.5% TSB

And finally…Bamford is back! Leeds were a shadow of their former selves last season without their top goalscorer and he reminded everyone what was missed with a very encouraging opening day display against Wolves.

Bamford was denied an opening day goal by a stunning save by Jose Sa but got involved in the goals when his cross was turned in by the unfortunate Ait-Nouri. There’s plenty more to come from him this season with a weak looking Southampton side the next to go up against the in-form striker. Just 1.5% rostered…surely this will shoot up over time!

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