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Weekly Differentials 2019/20: FPL Gameweek 26


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 26 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 (GW26)

The strange ‘Winter Break’ has finally come around for Premier League teams. We aren’t sure why the schedule has been done so randomly over a two-week period, but here we are, having to make sense of it. There will be many games spread across many days, and we return to provide some under-the-radar options for budding fantasy managers looking for some shock and awe points that could help win them a head-to-head game.

This week we have included new signings making an instant impact in the Premier League, some familiar faces, and some forgotten ones as well. The past, present, and future of the Premier League all feature in this week’s differential selections.

GW26: Differential Highlights

Harvey Barnes (Wolves vs. LEICESTER):

The man of the hour at Leicester currently isn’t Vardy, Söyüncü, Maddison, or Perez…that man is Harvey Barnes. The England youth player has a goal in each of his last three games against Burnley, West Ham (also an assist against the Hammers), and Chelsea. Hauling in 26pts in the last three Gameweeks have turned our heads and is the form player for Leicester that can provide the difference for Leicester against a stubborn Wolves side. Harvey Barnes is a perfect differential this week as neutrals don’t know a lot about the winger, and Wolves will be wary of the cunning Fox coming to the Den.

Steven Bergwijn (Aston Villa vs. SPURS):

A dream start for any player to make their debut. The Dutchman played seventy minutes, grabbed the opening goal which turned out to be the winner against the Champions, and securing himself 10pts on his first outing for Spurs. There is no way Mourinho will rotate after that debut, and next up for Spurs is a visit to an Aston Villa team who are all over the place. The highly rated youngster has started life with a bang in the Premier League, and we can see more to come against Villa. The only downside is a hefty starting price of £7.5mil which most likely means he will remain a differential for the rest of the season.

Bruno Fernandes (Chelsea vs. MAN UNITED):

Speaking of new players to the league, step forward Bruno Fernandes. Chucked into OGS’s starting eleven a few days after signing for the club the eye test for the Portuguese was very promising. Fernandes was brought to Manchester United to create and score goals, and whilst it may have not been a dream start to life at the Red Devils, he was the only player who on the pitch for United who had a point to prove.

Fernandes starts fantasy life at an eye watering £8.0mil due to the badge he wears and looks likely to be the player who is going to be entrusted to pull the strings going forward. United travel to Chelsea who have had plenty of teething problems under Lampard at Stamford Bridge this season, which could give Fernandes the chance to make his mark in the Premier League on the second time of asking.

Gameweek 26: Differentials

EVE/CRY: Theo Walcott (EVE, MID, £6.2mil, 0.4% ownership)

BHA/WAT: Troy Deeney (WAT, FWD, £6.3mil, 2.3% ownership)

SHU/BOU: Enda Stevens (SHU, DEF, £5.1mil, 2.8% ownership)

MCI/WHU: Aymeric Laporte (MCI, DEF, £6.3mil, 2.1% ownership)

WOL/LEI: Harvey Barnes (LEI, MID, £5.9mil, 1.7% ownership)

SOU/BUR: Jack Stephens (SOU, DEF, £4.4mil, 3.0% ownership)

NOR/LIV: Joe Gomez (LIV, DEF, £5.3mil, 5.0% ownership)

AVL/TOT: Steven Bergwijn (TOT, MID, £7.5mil, 1.0% ownership)

ARS/NEW: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS, FWD, £4.6mil, 3.9% ownership)

CHE/MUN: Bruno Fernandes (MUN, MID, £8.0mil, 2.1% ownership)

Key Differential: Gabriel Martinelli (ARS)

Something happened at Arsenal in their game against Burnley…they kept a clean sheet. They shouldn’t have, but they did. Mikel Arteta has started life at Arsenal still trying to find the right balance to the Gunners team. Clean sheets are a great start, and prior to this there was an electric comeback against Chelsea. Arsenal are going from game-to-game under the Spaniard, each opposition being approached differently. This makes the Gunners the biggest wildcard team in the top half of the Premier League table. You have no idea what you are going to get from them, for better or worse.

The only certainty was Aubameyang for many FPL managers, and the Gabon international still might be, but in terms of their performance they are going from stalwart defenders to heroic comeback kings, and conquerors of their legacy rivals Manchester United. Arsenal do however have one of the most exciting young players in the league at their disposal…Gabriel Martinelli. A player who screams differential.

The Brazilian is already earning points for Arsenal, and he is now being depended upon by Mikel Arteta as the new manager finds the right balance to his team. Martinelli has started the last three league fixtures and completed ninety minutes in each outing. Without Martinelli and his most recent league goals, Arteta would be under pressure as they would have lost to Chelsea and Sheffield United.

Right now, Martinelli is rotation proof and Arsenal’s cutting edge, especially with Lacazette misfiring, and Aubameyang just returning from his suspension. GW26 sees Arsenal host Newcastle, which will be relief to Arsenal supporters because historically this is a whitewash fixture, as Arsenal have dominated Newcastle in the Premier League era. Music to the ears of FPL managers is that Arsenal also have a great scoring record at home against Newcastle, with Arsenal only being bested by the Toon on two occasions in the last decade.

1. 07/11/2010: Arsenal 0-1 Newcastle (Andy Carroll goal)

2. 15/05/2018: Newcastle 2-1 Arsenal (Perez & Ritchie goals, Lacazette for Arsenal)

The fixture in 2010 was also the last time that Newcastle kept a clean sheet against Arsenal away from home. Betting people would look at this fixture and believe it is a no-brainer, and historically it is. Right now, Arsenal need this fixture as despite Newcastle picking up points under Steve Bruce, their performances have been hard to watch. Arsenal want to end their run of draws, and this could be another fixture that Martinelli is the difference maker for the Gunners.

Arsenal vs. Newcastle Noteworthy Statistics:

  • Arsenal beat Newcastle in the reverse fixture this season, with a tight 1-0 smash and grab at St. James Park. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the winner, unsurprisingly.

  • The Brazilian has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season, 3 of them have come in the Premier League, 3 in the Europa League, and 4 in the EFL Cup.

  • 2 of Martinelli’s 3 league goals have occurred in GW23 against Sheffield United, and in GW24 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in a thrilling comeback when Arsenal were down to 10 men.

  • Martinelli is the cheapest FPL player consistently starting out of all the traditional ‘Top Six’ teams of Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Man City, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

  • Arsenal have drawn the last four Premier League games.

  • Arsenal have kept 6 clean sheets in their last 10 league games against the Toon.

  • Arsenal have scored a combined 18 goals in their last ten league games against the Toon.

  • Newcastle have failed to keep a clean sheet against Arsenal in their last ten attempts. The last time Newcastle kept a clean sheet against Arsenal in the Premier League was on the 13th August 2011 when Newcastle held Arsenal in a 0-0 at St. James Park. Coincidentally, the league game that preceded this draw was the infamous 4-4 draw where Arsenal became the first team in the Premier League to give up a lead of 4 goals.

  • Newcastle have only scored 5 goals in their last 10 league games against the Gunners.

Martinelli’s price, potential, and fixture culminate in a perfect storm. There are fantasy managers who are always looking for players who not only help spread their budget and contribute to their points tally. Gabriel Martinelli is a rare case of a player, especially in a top team like Arsenal, that fulfils all the criteria. Martinelli is a player that we barely know about yet, and audiences are still getting use to the forward and all his traits.

This makes the Brazilian one of the most differential choices to route for as captain this week as there is a big question mark over his abilities as he has only started his career at Arsenal. This week we are not only trusting the fixture, but also the player.

Want to know more about The Hype Train?

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.

We pride ourselves in providing beautiful graphics, statistics, in-depth analytical reporting and free weekly insight for hopeful players attempting to climb rankings tables. We are also occasional media reviewers, with a keen interest to review games, live sport, and professional wrestling.

In 2019, Hype Train Football Club was formed, becoming the first Fantasy Football website to take to the field. HTFC is a socially active team across social and web channels, providing regular match highlights, match reports, comprehensive player statistics and unique player profiles.

The Hype Train were nominated and shortlisted for the 'Best Football Blog' in 2016 by the Football Bloggers Association at their annual Football Blogging Awards (The FBA's), and were again shortlisted as a finalist in 2019 in the 'Best Fantasy Football Blog' category.

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