The final of our form guide articles this week (and just in time!) looks at which midfielders to include this week and who is most likely to pull off the big performances. With prices rising on all the obvious choices in recent weeks, finding value in midfield is becoming difficult. Finding the differential each week therefore is becoming the key…
Christian Eriksen (TOT) – v Swansea (H) – £11.6M
If you are backing Kane to tear the Swansea team apart this week – which you should be – then it’s probably a good idea to do the same with Eriksen, the man on set pieces and likely to be his provider.
Interestingly, in spite of Tottenham’s iffy form of late, Eriksen has actually still managed to rack up his fair share of points so far this season and surprisingly is ahead of the likes of Ozil and Silva for average points per game. That’s why of all the Spurs attackers on offer this week we like Eriksen’s potential best. 27 chances created this season already and a respectable shot accuracy of 54% has helped him rack up an impressive 22.38 points average. Having scored over 30 points on 3 separate occasions already this season too we are confident Eriksen will be worth the investment this week and has shown he can produce the goods against weaker opposition.
Dele Alli (TOT) – v Swansea (H) – £10.8M
Our second pick this weekend is Eriksen’s teammate and partner in crime Dele Alli. Don’t forget, correlation is key in FanDuel, and after a full week off and some new shiny contracts to shout about we fully expect Spurs to do the business this week against the Swans. With that in mind, we have no problem trebling up on the Spurs attack and can see Alli providing great returns too.
Admittedly his form hasn’t been brilliant of late and his chance creation and average PPG (19.50) while good, are lower than Eriksen’s. But with Lamela injured and Son seemingly lost after his early season form, Alli offers the next best route into the Spurs attack and is still one of the most consistent goal threats in the team with 3 scored already this season.
Gaston Ramirez (MID) – v Hull (H) – £7.8M
With value fairly hard to come by this week, Ramirez offers an opportunity to save some much-needed funds and is in good enough form to warrant selection. Averaging 24.2 points per game over his last 3 appearances and up against a Hull side renowned for conceding chances away from home, the Argentine has propelled himself to the top of our differential list. He’s created more chances (17) than any of his team mates so far this season which is even more impressive when you consider he’s only played the full 90 minutes twice! A last minute line up check therefore very much needed but should he be in from the start, Ramirez should produce the goods this week too.
Matt Phillips (WBA) – v Watford (H) – £7.4M
A man starting to make a home for himself on our weekly recommendation lists, Phillips once again catches our eye this week as the most creative West Brom attacker in the team, facing a hugely inconsistent Watford with a defence decimated by injury this week. 2 goals, 4 assists and 18 chances created already this season has seen his stock rise quite dramatically in recent weeks as the majority of these have been in the past 3 games. While he’s nowhere near the bargain price of £5M he was a couple of week ago, at £7.4M he still offers good value.
Wilfried Zaha (CRY) – v Southampton (H) – £8.1M
Having provided attacking returns in each of his last 5 appearances including a goal and 4 assists, Zaha really is in irresistible form at the moment and cannot be ignored. With an average points per game of 29.2 across that period there really isn’t another midfielder in the league that comes close to that consistency (that is playing this week). Palace might be nose-diving their way into the relegation zone, but in spite of that, Zaha has continued to flourish and provide attacking returns.
Important to say, we fully expect Southampton to contribute further to Palace’s dismal form by winning comfortably this weekend, however that hasn’t stopped Zaha before. He’s a risk instead of a top pick this week only because chances of getting on the scoresheet are slimmer than normal, with Southampton seemingly one of the most solid and organised back lines in the league.
Emre Can (Liv) – v Bournemouth (A) – £6.9M
The cheapest midfield option in our list, Can has been moved from a defender to a midfielder in the FanDuel game this week and as a result has caught our attention. Still relatively cheap and playing in an attack minded team, Can has been brilliant since returning to the Liverpool line up. 2 goals and 11 chances created this season doesn’t put him ahead of the likes of Mane or Milner as the best attacking threats in the team available this week, however he is considerably cheaper and we think there is value in backing the German this week. Bournemouth are resilient at home but Liverpool under Klopp generally score wherever they go so attacking returns are a definite possibility.
EXTRA Risky Options
(For those looking for a serious differential)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (MUN) – v Everton (A) – £8.2M
2 assists and a man of the match performance against West Ham in mid week reminded us all just why Mourinho splashed the cash on the Armenian in the summer. Playing on the right of the front three, he was involved in everything good going forward. At £8.2M he’s the cheapest route into the Man United attacking midfield this week and with a poor average points per game so far this season is likely to have very low (if any) ownership. That makes him a perfect differential for those that like to take risks and even though Everton have continued to be solid at home and don’t tend to concede too many chances, we fancy Mkhitaryan to continue where he left off on Wednesday night. Having been involved in 49 goals for Dortmund last year his quality should soon start to show through for United too.
Riyad Mahrez (Lei) – v Sunderland (A) – £11.1M
Our last midfielder choice this week is a contentious one but one that could just make the difference to your team this week we feel. While clearly nowhere near the levels he showed last year, Mahrez has slowly started to creep back into some form of late and has 3 goals in his last 3 appearances for Leicester. He’s still by far the most creative player in the Leicester team with 17 chances created this season, he’s on penalty duty, free kicks, and up against a team that has conceded 13 goals in 5 home games. Yes he’s expensive, but we have a feeling Mahrez could prove a brilliant differential this week. With Leicester having been so poor away from home, and with such a high price and low average PPG, expect ownership to be low for the Algerian this week. Even more reason to take the risk!
As always, keep an eye on our Twitter as lineups are announced throughout the weekend, and we will bring you any last minute gems worth selecting.