Ahead of each round of Premier League games The Hype Train analyses the best left-field player options for your Fantasy Premier League teams. Historically, weekly FPL Dream Team’s comprise of mostly differential players whose selection falls with a low selection percentage of overall players, to which there is no doubt that their influence cannot be ignored. With such an abundance of points coming from the FPL’s hidden gems The Hype Train selects one player from each Premier League match in the upcoming Gameweek to decide who could be the differential that sets your team apart. All aboard.
Fantasy Premier League: Gameweek 4 Deadline
For the 2019/20 Premier League season, the FPL deadline will be one hour before the commencement of the week's first game. Our website provides a real-world countdown timer for the the upcoming Gameweek, whilst you can read our latest Fantasy articles from the season on our 2019/20 FPL weekly hype sub-section.
Weekly Differentials (GW4)
One week before the first international break of the season leaves us in reflection of an interesting start to the season. Last week our differentials were abysmal due to our picks being inherently defensive options. This week we are reversing our thinking by only having one defensive asset, and the rest are attacking players. There are plenty of mixed fixtures this week, making it an interesting and open playing field. Only the Liverpool, Manchester City, and Chelsea games appear to be cut and dry this week. In such times we offer ten differentials that could tip the balance in your favour before the international break injures half of the England squad like it usually does.
Gameweek 4: Differentials
SOU/MUN: Daniel James (MUN, MID, £6.0mil, 3.6% ownership)
CHE/SHU: Christian Pulisic (CHE, MID, £7.5mil, 7.5% ownership)
CRY/AVL: Wesley Moraes (AVL, FWD, £6.0mil, 1.6% ownership)
LEI/BOU: Harry Wilson (BOU, MID, £6.0mil, 2.2% ownership)
MCI/BHA: David Silva (MCI, MID, £7.4mil, 4.3% ownership)
NEW/WAT: Joelinton (NEW, FWD, £5.9mil, 1.8% ownership)
WHU/NOR: Sébastien Haller (WHU, FWD, £7.4mil, 3.7% ownership)
BUR/LIV: Joel Matip (LIV, DEF, £5.4mil, 1.8% ownership)
EVE/WOL: Richarlison (EVE, MID, £7.9mil, 6.5% ownership)
ARS/TOT: Nicolas Pépé (ARS, MID, £9.4mil, 3.5% ownership)
Gameweek 4: Differential Highlights
Joelinton (NEW): Newcastle spun the back pages after beating Spurs, effectively putting instant doubt into their title credentials after a draw against City. Joelinton is only the third Brazilian to score for the Toon in the Premier League, and now that Steve Bruce’s biggest asset is up and firing it could be time to strike again whilst the iron is hot. Newcastle host Watford who are the only team not to pick up a single point so far, and Joelinton should be the man you look at in this match to rub salt in the Hornets wounds.
Nicolas Pépé (ARS): The newly signed Ivorian made his full Arsenal debut in the loss to Liverpool, and he did something that nobody had attempted in nearly seventy competitive games…dribble past Virgil van Dijk. Pépé is going to cause lots of teams trouble this year, and that could start with Spurs who are off the heels of a surprise loss at home to Newcastle. Pépé is the great question mark in this match, and if he gets the space like he did at Anfield, he could properly introduce himself to the league with a goal in the North London derby.
Daniel James (MUN): Two back-to-back starts for the summer signing, and two goals to start a lively start to life at Man United has seen the man from Swansea pretty much walk into this United team. Having not watched a lot of Championship football, it is very encouraging seeing a player grab this opportunity. Martial is a doubt for the tie against Southampton and James is going to be looked to in order to help fill that void.
Key Differential: Sébastien Haller (WEST HAM vs. Norwich)
West Ham are a great footballing myth for many reasons. The Hammers have a Premier League winning manager in charge, decent players at their disposal, and a big stadium to play in. The problem is their DNA as a football club…and their defence. West Ham are red hot one week, namely when you have fantasy assets coming up against them and they surprise you. The next week, West Ham can’t string five passes together and can get drummed by any team in the league. We have discussed it many times that the London club are the league’s most combustible and inconsistent team in the Premier League.
Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez have featured as differential captain before, to a mixed bag of success which isn’t surprising. The Hammers regularly bring on players that have a good pedigree, players from top six clubs around Europe like Wilshere from Arsenal, Hernandez formerly of Man United and Real Madrid, Zabaleta from City, Ogbonna from Juventus, and Yarmolenko from Dortmund currently in their senior squad. They also target the ‘best of the rest’ from around the Premier League, just like when they brought in Arnautovic from Stoke City, Fabianski from Swansea, Carlos Sanchez from Aston Villa and Robert Snodgrass from Hull.
Only since Manuel Pellegrini arrived in London did the club hierarchy start looking for rising talents instead of established players. Felipe Anderson was the first, and now they have signed Sébastien Haller from Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany.
The Frenchman has widely spoke to the media of his high standards and was brought to West Ham to remove the debate over their forward position. Haller scored 24 goals for Frankfurt in 60 appearances which is very good for Bundesliga standards, and was part of the DFB-Pokal winning team last season (the equivalent of the FA Cup in England). Everywhere he has been there has been outrageous scoring from the Frenchman when he was at Auxerre in France, FC Utrecht of the Netherlands, and most recently Frankfurt. Scoring 67 goals since the start of the 2015 season is good numbers, and consistency is something that the Hammers have been crying out for.
During the 2015/16 season the West Ham forward line consisted of Andy Carroll, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho and Emmanuel Emenike. Combined, these four strikers only scored 18 league goals between them, and Emenike didn’t score of those players. Haller scored 17 goals that year for FC Utrecht. Just to compare, here is a comparison between Haller’s league goals, and those of comparative Hammers strikers of the same seasons:
2015/16 – FC Utrecht: 17 goals:
2015/16 West Ham Striker Goals: 18 goals (4 players)
2016/17 – FC Utrecht: 13 goals:
2016/17 West Ham Striker Goals: 16 goals (5 players)
2017/18 – Frankfurt: 9 goals:
2017/18 West Ham Striker Goals: 27 goals (7 players)
2018/19 – Frankfurt: 15 goals:
2018/19 West Ham Striker Goals: 20 goals (3 players)
Total Haller League Goals: 54
Total West Ham Striker League Goals: 81
Marko Arnautovic of the 2017/18 season scored 11 league goals, many of which the Austrian scored from the left-midfield position, and the only time an individual striker has bested Haller in terms of out-and-out goal scoring for a league season. If Haller had scored those 54 league goals for West Ham in the last four seasons it would equate to 66.6% of West Ham’s entire striking output, and he would have done this in comparison to over a dozen players in that period.
Essentially, Haller is a huge increase in goalscoring expectations at West Ham. Arnautovic is the only forward in four years to get double-digit returns for West Ham as a forward, and with Haller having already scored two goals against Watford, he only needs eight more goals to already be better than pretty much any striker has in the last four years. Diafra Sakho was the last out-and-out striker to get ten league goals for West Ham, so to be pretty frank the goal scoring has been scattered and reliant on several people to give West Ham a sharp edge.
Haller looks like to have broken out of that mould, and it is good buying on the Hammers part to identify this weakness. It is good to see that instead of relying on hyped up Premier League misfits that they go for a legitimate prospect.
Haller is a great differential this week because of the fixture. Newly promoted Norwich have found their own goal scorer in Teemu Pukki who has quickly adapted to the Premier League with five goals in three games. Everyone will be looking at Norwich to be the favourites in this fixture to satisfy their fantasy points cravings, but as already stated West Ham are a team that you don’t know what you’re going to get from a week-to-week basis.
Surely there is an element that a newly promoted teams luck runs out. Pukki won’t score every week, to believe a striker from a promoted team will regularly score is wishful thinking in the long term. We think there is a shock on the cards with the high standards of Haller to trump the form of Pukki. West Ham must win these games against promoted teams, it is what every manager expects of an established club. Manuel Pellegrini has acquired a pedigree striker for this exact type of game.
We find it ironic that the differential in the Haller vs Pukki debate is the Frenchman and not the striker from a promoted club, but here we are.
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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
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