HomeFPL ContentFPL 2023-24 – Gameweek 1 Differential XI

FPL 2023-24 – Gameweek 1 Differential XI


As we count down the hours to the Gameweek 1 deadline, Fantasy Premier League managers are weighing up all the potential playing options to fill out their squad. Crucial to their hopes of success, will be which differential assets they select. A ‘differential asset’ is a player with a low ownership percentage, thus ensuring maximum leaderboard gains should that player record a high number of fantasy points.

To help FPL bosses in the search for the best Gameweek 1 options, we’ve compiled an XI consisting entirely of ‘differentials’ with an ownership percentage of less than 10% at the time of writing.

GOALKEEPER – SAM JOHNSTONE (£4.5m) – Crystal Palace
Away to newly promoted Sheffield Utd, who have seen a number of key players leave in the summer transfer window already, Crystal Palace and goalkeeper Johnstone will be confident of a clean sheet to start the new campaign.

As is often the case, Robertson’s low ownership due to the presence of Trent Alexander-Arnold on the opposite flank could work in the favour of FPL managers who opt for the Liverpool left-back. With license to attack and occasional set piece duties, Robertson offers multiple avenues where he could gain significant fantasy points.

Under the command of Sean Dyche, Everton are likely to prove significantly stronger defensively this campaign. Tarkowski will be central to his plans at centre-back and also offers an offensive threat from set pieces. The Toffees are at home to Fulham in Gameweek 1 but be aware, Tarkowski is yellow-flagged with a knock.

Arsenal defenders have been in demand ahead of Gameweek 1, which sees the Gunners host Nott’m Forest. Left-back Zinchenko though, remains a tempting lesser-owned pick. Mikel Arteta’s side will be confident of recording a clean sheet on Saturday and Zinchenko should find himself pushing forward consistent down the left-hand-side.

MIDFIELDER – PHIL FODEN (£7.5m) – Man City
Burnley away represents the ideal Gameweek 1 fixture for Man City and Phil Foden is one midfield asset who could profit. Expect plenty of chances created by Pep Guardiola’s side and it would be no surprise to see the 23-year-old accrue at least one attacking return.

An FPL powerhouse in the past, attacking midfielder Son will be desperate to get back to his best under new Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou, starting in Gameweek 1. Despite having his worst Premier League season goals-wise in 2022-23, you have to go back to 2015-16 for the last time Son failed to reach double-figures in an English top flight campaign.

Another player perhaps with a point to prove in the Premier League, winger Bowen will be looking to hit the ground running for West Ham against Bournemouth. A key offensive outlet for the Hammers, Bowen is expected to gain chances to record a significant Gameweek 1 score.

MIDFIELDER – PASCAL GROSS (£6.5m) – Brighton
Whilst most FPL managers are focused on Joao Pedro and Kaoru Mitoma, Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi has underlined the importance of Gross to his side. Expected to start for an ultra-attacking offensive Seagulls team against newly promoted Luton, the lesser owned Gross could be the one who profits from an FPL point of view.

FORWARD – CALLUM WILSON (£8.0m) – Newcastle
Always a highly underrated fantasy asset, Wilson plundered 18 goals and six assists for Newcastle in the Premier League last season. The 31-year-old has also scored in each of his last three Gameweek 1 fixtures.

The selection of Alvarez offers high-risk, but potentially high-reward. The Argentinian scored twice vs Gameweek 1 opponents Burnley in last season’s FA Cup, but is not a guaranteed starter for this Man City side. But with the increasing amount of stoppage time expected to be added on this campaign, even a second-half cameo from the bench could prove lucrative.

Morris scored 20 goals last season for newly promoted Luton and will likely be a key player for them again, starting in Gameweek 1. Morris’ aerial power makes him a goal threat from corners, whilst his finishing on the ground is also of a high level.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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