We all know who the key players have been during this Fantasy Premier League season, but as the campaign draws to a close it is your differentials who’ll be crucial.
Gaining a few extra points here and there on your rivals are what now stands between mini-league glory and potentially your status amongst your office or group of mates, and so we’re going to assume that you’ve already got the likes of Luis Suarez, Yaya Toure, Eden Hazard, Seamus Coleman and Daniel Sturridge to call upon ahead of Gameweek 32. Everyone else has.
It could be seen as a toss-up between Suarez and Hazard for your captain this week, with a personal preference for the former as he takes on a Tottenham defence he battered with two goals and three assists in the same match in December. For those crucial differential points though, we’re off to Wales.
Only 5.1% of Fantasy players currently possess Swansea’s Wilfried Bony (£7.1m) in their team, and as the Ivorian comes towards the end of what has been a largely successful first season in the Premier League, the Swans are looking towards him to score the goals which can ensure they stay in the division for the next campaign.
With Norwich heading for the Liberty Stadium this weekend before Swansea go to a Hull City team who’ll be a week away from an FA Cup semi-final next Saturday, Bony can fire those goals which would, with two wins, place Swansea on 36 points and within touching distance of survival with five matches left.
Bony is in good form, too.
In the past month he’s scored against Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal to take his tally to 11 league goals for the season (or 12 in the Fantasy game, where he’s still awarded a goal which was later credited to Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel), whilst the return of Michu (£8.4m) from injury ensures that he’s likely to get plenty of chances in the weeks ahead.
He can be the difference between staying up and going down in the next couple of weeks for Swansea, and your team can benefit from his good form as well.
Elsewhere on another huge weekend in the title race, Chelsea go to Crystal Palace and it isn’t just Hazard (£11.0m) you should be focusing on.
Picking a Chelsea defender should be a given due to their excellent defensive record – Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.6m) is a current favourite despite being owned by just 5.3% of teams – but further forward it’s Andre Schurrle (£6.8m) who is currently making an impact.
The wide man found the net in the 6-0 hammering of Arsenal and fired a hat-trick the last time the Blues faced an away game in London at Fulham earlier in the month. Willian (£7.5m) will return from suspension at Selhurst Park, but if you can afford to take a gamble on his German teammate then he could well be worth it.
Of the other title contenders, Manchester City go to an Arsenal team who are seemingly on the slide. Edin Dzeko (£6.8m) will be confident following his Manchester derby double and could be turned to in place of Bony if you’re not convinced about the Swansea man, and whilst everyone knows about Liverpool’s main men ahead of their home clash with Spurs, Raheem Sterling (£6.0m) remains pleasingly cheap.
Manchester United’s next attempt at getting things right under David Moyes comes at home to Aston Villa, and although Villa were awful in last weekend’s loss at home to Stoke you really can’t back any United players with confidence at the moment. They should win and Wayne Rooney (£11.4m) should star, but you just never know this season.
Meanwhile, that Stoke win at Villa was inspired by a fine display from Peter Odemwingie (£5.4m).
The Nigerian features in just 0.5% of Fantasy teams despite becoming revitalised in the Potteries, and following three goals in two games he faces up to Hull at home on Saturday eyeing one or two more.
As Fantasy Premier League introductions go, it will be hard for anyone to ever beat the one made by Eden Hazard (£9.5m).
A staggering six assists and one goal in his first three games saw the Belgian explode onto the English football scene, but it also meant that the seven goals and seven assists he registered over Chelsea’s next 27 league games were made to look a little disappointing.
The Blues face a busy end of season schedule featuring matches in both the FA Cup and Europa League, and although that means that Rafael Benitez is sure to rotate his squad across those competitions surely he can trust Hazard to deliver when he needs him too.
Four goals in his last seven appearances for club and country show that the Belgian might just be finishing his first season in England on a high note, and ahead of Chelsea’s game with Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Sunday he could be just the man to trust.
Staying with Chelsea, an injury to Ashley Cole in the FA Cup win over Manchester United also means that Ryan Bertrand (£3.9m) could be a useful cheap addition to your squad ahead of the meeting with Sunderland, who have struggled to score goals all season and are now without the injured Steven Fletcher.
Elsewhere, another full-back could be worth keeping an eye on.
Glen Johnson (£6.5m) has scored three of his last four Premier League goals against his old club West Ham, and with the Hammers making the trip to Anfield on Sunday without the ineligible Andy Carroll then the right back will be confident that he can play a part in what would be a seventh home clean sheet in the last 10 for Liverpool, as well as getting forward and looking to improve on hitting the post against Aston Villa last week.
Speaking of Villa, they go to Stoke in a huge game for their hopes of avoiding relegation, and after Christian Benteke (£7.2m) scored again last weekend then he could be the man to back there.
Gareth Bale (£10.9m) and Robin van Persie (£13.6m) have been men to back for the majority of the season, and after both became the first men to pass 200 points for the season last weekend they both have big games in which they’ll be hoping to increase their tally this time around.
Bale and Tottenham face Everton at White Hart Lane, and given that the visitors will be without Marouane Fellaini and Steven Pienaar for a second successive week then they could find goals hard to come by. There aren’t many better in the division than Spurs’ Jan Vertonghen (£6.5m) at keeping out the opposition at one end whilst providing a goal threat at the other.
For van Persie, Monday night brings a Manchester derby which has been spoiled slightly by Manchester United’s dominance at the top of the table – but should still be watchable nonetheless.
The Dutchman didn’t get credited with the goal at Sunderland last weekend after we’d given him our big build-up, but perhaps he can make up for that at Old Trafford as United seek to take yet another step towards the title.
At the other end, QPR and Reading face must-win home games in their battles against the drop, and with Southampton and Wigan both capable of capitalising on the nervousness that is likely to be all around Loftus Road and Madejski Stadium respectively, then Rickie Lambert (£7.1m) and Arouna Kone (£6.6m) could take advantage. Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez (£5.1m) has also scored in his last two games.
Santi Cazorla (£9.6m) has only scored in his last one, but he could be the man to watch ahead of Arsenal’s trip to West Brom, where the Gunners will be looking for a seventh win in nine.
What do you think? Who is in your team and who is your captain choice?? Drop a comment below or tweet us at @FantasyYIRMA