Having kicked off our series of rotation articles with a look at the basic principles involved, we now turn our attentions to the most favourable pairings in accordance with the 2014/15 schedule. To get thing underway, we take a look at Stoke and Swansea:

The Fixtures

The Potters and Swans offer Fantasy managers a perfect home/away rotation over the entire 2014/15 campaign. Crucially, both sides have also been handed some very kind opening home fixtures for the first few months – by alternating for every home fixture, you’d face just one of last season’s top seven in the first 14 matches (Swansea’s Liberty clash with Arsenal in Gameweek 11, when Stoke travel to Spurs) in a run that reads (AVL, BUR, WBA, LEI, SOT, NEW, NEW, SWA, LEI, WHM, ARS, BUR, CPL, QPR).

Further analysis of the season ticker shows that over the course of the upcoming campaign, there are only three occasions where both sides face two of last year’s top eight in the same Gameweek (11, 28 and 36). Essentially, then, even where your home keeper has a tough task, the away stopper will offer a decent alternative, which makes this pairing a very enticing option from start to finish.

The Defence

Stoke
In their first season under Mark Hughes, Stoke conceded just a mere 17 goals at the Britannia – the fourth best home defence in the Premier League. The Potters produced seven of nine clean sheets in front of their own fans, keeping out the likes of Arsenal and City, whilst conceding more than one goal against only two opponents – Chelsea and Liverpool.

On their travels, though, it was another matter. Stoke’s backline shipped 35 goals – a tally superior to only the three relegated teams – and conceded at least three times on no less than seven occasions. With just two shut-outs away from home (at West Ham and Hull), it’s easy to see why a rotation partner is vital here.

Between the posts, Asmir Begovic was Stoke’s top scoring player in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game last term. The keeper racked up 136 points – 28 more than any defender – thanks to an extra 25 save points but bearing in mind that Stoke ultimately suffered a drop in clean sheets in the first season of the post-Tony Pulis era, you’d expect him to come in around 5.0, with a maximum 5.5.

Elsewhere at the back, Ryan Shawcross earned bonus points for six of those clean sheets – indeed, a total of 16 bonus points was more than any Potters player. Nailed-on under Hughes, he missed just one of last term’s matches but managed just a single goal, though if Robert Huth proves his fitness, the big German’s aerial menace in the opposition box could be another option. The arrival of Phil Bardsley places question marks over the full-back positions in the meantime, though the upcoming summer friendlies should shed some light on Hughes’ intentions.

Swansea
While Stoke’s home stats afford us plenty of optimism, it remains to be seen whether Swansea will be worthy of our defensive investment under Garry Monk. Last term, the Welsh outfit served up six clean sheets in 24 matches (four at home, two on the road) under Michael Laudrup before the Dane was dismissed in early February – Monk managed just two shut-outs, both at the Liberty against relegated pair Cardiff and Norwich, in the remaining 14 league fixtures.

With 54 goals against last term, you’d expect Swansea’s main assets to remain around the 5.0-mark and Michel Vorm, with save points accrued in 14 of his 26 appearances, looks the ideal partner for Begovic. The arrival of Lukasz Fabianski from Arsenal, however, perhaps places enough question marks over the Dutchman’s security of starts – indeed, the former Gunner may well be the cheaper option and prove a better value option if he can secure the number one spot.

Chico Flores earned more bonus points than fellow-centre Ashley Williams, despite playing four less matches, and also chipped in with a couple of goals last term – the Spaniard averaged 3.2 ppg in FPL, more than any Swansea backline option. Monk’s more attack-minded approach may suit the raiding runs of Angel Rangel, who’ll be looking to improve upon his two assists last term, having notched three times in the season before. On the other side of the back-four, Ben Davies has now scored twice in each of the last two campaigns but with rumoured interest from the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool, Neil Taylor could be one to watch if Davies leaves the Liberty.

The Attack

Stoke
Last season’s top two scorers, Peter Crouch and Charlie Adam, look far from certain starters this time around. Crouch notched eight times for the Potters but his style of play seems more suited to the club’s previous tactics under Tony Pulis – the arrival of Mame Biram Diouf affords Stoke more speed and power through the centre and, bearing in mind Hughes has been on his trail since arriving at the Britannia, the former United man seems the likeliest to lead the line.

Adam, meanwhile, delivered eight goals and four assists in the season gone by but failed to start any of Stoke’s last 10 league games. Instead, Marko Arnautovic and Peter Odemwingie were key figures in a run that saw the Staffordshire outfit lose just three times in the last 15 Gameweeks. After a slow start to his debut season, the Austrian found his feet and produced three goals, five assists and eight bonus points in the final nine league games – with a share of set-pieces and, potentially, spot-kicks, he looks a real under-the-radar option this term. Odemwingie’s classification looks key to his appeal. Listed as a forward last time around, he was utilised as a right winger by Hughes but still produced five goals, two assists and nine bonus points in the last nine fixtures – if he comes in as a midfielder, that sort of form is surely worth monitoring.

Snapping up a Stoke midfielder or attacker doesn’t come without its frustrations, though, particularly on the road. Hughes’ side managed 27 goals in front of their own fans but netted only 18 times on their travels – whilst the upside is that none of their main assets will be afforded a premium price tag, Fantasy owners can anticipate a few blanks away from the Britannia. With three of their first four road trips away to Hull, QPR and Sunderland, though, Hughes’ side have the chance to rectify the form that blighted their displays on the road during his first season in charge.

Swansea
With 13 goals to his name from January 1 onwards, Wilfried Bony’s form in the final few months of his debut season was exceptional. The Ivorian bagged braces against the likes of City and Liverpool last term and with goals also plundered against Everton, Spurs, Arsenal and United, he showed he’s more than capable of delivering in the bigger fixtures – crucial, given that Swansea are away to United and Chelsea in the first four Gameweeks. Having started at 8.0 in FPL last time around, a price hike seems inevitable – a cost of 9.0 seems likely for this season but, with the suitors circling for his signature, whether Monk can persuade him to remain at the Liberty is another matter entirely.

Bony’s potential departure could bring new boy Bafetimbi Gomis onto our radars, though – the former Lyon man notched double figures in each of his last five seasons and would surely be installed as the lone striker if the Ivorian seeks pastures new. Encouragingly for Swansea, Monk’s installation improved their attacking potential over those final few months – they notched 25 goals in the final 14 league games, compared to just 29 strikes in 24 games under Laudrup. Indeed, Swansea scored two or more goals in eight of Monk’s 14 matches – a feat they managed in only nine of Laudrup’s 24 games in charge.

As rumours gather over the potential departures of Michu and Pablo Hernandez, Jonjo Shelvey could be poised to push on from a campaign that delivered six goals and seven assists for the Welsh outfit last term. An explosive Fantasy option in the centre of the park, the former Liverpool man produced double figures on four occasions in 2013/14 but will be looking to improve his consistency – Shelvey managed attacking returns in only nine of his 32 appearances and with 122 points to his name, can be expected to remain in the mid-price bracket.

About The Author

paul

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  1. When will fpl reopen for next season?

    There will be WC withdrawal, fpl website will help!

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Hopefully as soon as the final whistle goes on Sunday

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. Next week.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. How do you know?

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
        1. Because he is best friends with the owner of the site.

          Wednesday 16th 4am confirmed

          • 1 year, 1 month ago
  2. First go at a team for the last round. Currently have a 67 point lead in my McD's mini league. There's cash at stake, so I really want to play it as safe as possible. Thoughts on this lineup?

    Neuer
    Luiz / Boateng / Hummels / Garay / De Vrij / Rojo
    Di Maria / Kroos / Lahm / Mascherano
    Muller / Messi

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. It's certainly safe

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. That's what I like to hear

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. Not sure if Di Maria is starting though...

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Really? I've got 1.5 in the bank, so I can change him to anyone really. Ozil? Oscar?

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  3. I'm getting a "Football Manager style" vibe about this transfer window. Way too much business being done

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Ah, that'll be it

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  4. Also (apologies for clogging up the page)...

    I know McD's on iPhone is notoriously lethal for making accidental subs, but what's it like for transfers? I won't be able to access my laptop when the lineups are announced for tomorrow's game, but would be able to make them on my phone. Is it relatively simple? There's no points at stake so I'm guessing nothing can go wrong.

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Think that is all fixed now

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. Why don't you go on your phone now and make some transfers and find out?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. ...I am not a smart man, please somebody delete my first comment from the internet

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  5. Setanta Ireland now 😎

    C'mon you Saints!!

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
  6. suarez leaving is pretty devestating for penalty gerrard

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. At least the penalties suarez won last year were genuine. Sturridge on the other hand....

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. dont forget sterling, also has a gravity allergy

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. very much so. waiting to see how many casuals jump on board with him this season

      13 goals - 10 pens, at least 1 free kick

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    3. Ashley Young is available

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    4. Good question actually, supposing Gerrard misses a few games next year, who will be on penalties?

      Agger could leave... Coutinho maybe?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Ah wait, Lambert

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
      2. Sturridge I reckon. Lambert wont be on the park

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  7. I've just heard from a pretty reliable source that FPL will re-open on Wednesday 16th August.

    Exact time unconfirmed though.

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. This should stop people asking now.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. convenient

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    3. I heard 4am BST

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. You could be right

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
    4. You mean July right?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Yeah sorry. Long day at the office. Wednesday 16th July confirmed

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
        1. Confirmed by who? You chat shit.

          • 1 year, 1 month ago
          1. How can you say that ? Unfair. And for that reason I am not disclosing my source

            • 1 year, 1 month ago
            1. 😆 point proven.

              • 1 year, 1 month ago
              1. Ok.....

                Whatever. You'll see....

                • 1 year, 1 month ago
    5. did you kill your sense of humour?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    6. Mcdonalds taking over FPL as well?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Quick, load up on those DMF's...

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
    7. It's funny cuz the season starts on Saturday 16th August.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Sorry :(

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  8. Fox game...

    David Luiz - stick or twist?

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Not a bad stick, you may have to swap others that don't start

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
  9. Fox captains?

    Thinking Huntelaar

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Robben if he starts

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
  10. Do FPL or FFS plan on bringing an App out?

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Isn't there already an app for FPL?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. There's also a decent mobile site m.fantasy.premierleague.com

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  11. Fox keeper

    Neuer or Krul ?

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Neuer

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. Neuer all day long.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      • 1 year, 1 month ago
  12. lol my theory was only thiago silva was nailed:

    "Brazil XI in training: Júlio César; Maicon, Henrique, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Ramires; Oscar, Willian & Jô"

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. He had a knock

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. @BrazilStats 1m
      Thiago Silva was spared from training and did work at the gym, but he will be a starter on Saturday, in the place of Henrique, in principal.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Demi, last page

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
        1. Nate, this page

          • 1 year, 1 month ago
  13. Nice that FPL seems to have finished maintenance, I can now drool once again over my final defs and fwds

    Vidic 1 Bardsley 1 Dann 1
    RVP 2 Suarez 2 Aguero(c) 2

    Do I really want to put myself through this again? 😆

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Well it's a given Aguero C GW1 :)

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. I can't help myself, I keep telling myself not to get him this year..

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  14. I dont know why people want i low ID number in FPL.

    I dont want a low ID number for 2 reasons:

    1 - it shows I have no social life whatsoever

    2 - it shows that I take the game far too seriously

    I want an ID number around the 2 million region, to give the impression that I wasnt even bothered about playing the game 😎

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. 1 - We don't

      2 - We do

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. I know that, hence the reason why i want the low ID number, so that other people wont know.

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. My ID was 1554599 last year. Back when I had a life.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    3. I don't care that you don't care.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    4. My ID last year: 215137 😎

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    5. I want exactly 1 million

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. How do you get that?...I will change my name in tribute to you if you manage to pull that off! 😀

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
    6. *cue RonH getting number 1

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. I really dont want it.

        2 years ago, I was 186 or around that, it meant nothing.

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
        1. RonH, why did your post about bullying and my reply get deleted?

          • 1 year, 1 month ago
    7. In all seriousness though, it's shit that Axford takes number 1 when he must know many cherish it. Tosser

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Who is this Axford?

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
        1. Head of digital operations at the Premier league

          • 1 year, 1 month ago
        2. head of ID hogging

          • 1 year, 1 month ago
    8. I'm under the impression that you gonna have the same ID because of the re-registration?

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
  15. I've just told a 'pretty reliable source' not to open FPL on Wednesday 16th July to prove Grim Reaper wrong.

    Exact time confirmed though, 4am.

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. :)

      4am has just been confirmed too

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
  16. Hello

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. Echo

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
          • 1 year, 1 month ago
          1. the dolphin

            • 1 year, 1 month ago
            1. megadrive.....now ypure goin back

              • 1 year, 1 month ago
            2. Great game

              • 1 year, 1 month ago
              1. It was shit, like being E Honda in Streetfighter

                • 1 year, 1 month ago
                1. I liked swimmin about

                  • 1 year, 1 month ago
                  1. Well you couldn't do much else tbf :)

                    • 1 year, 1 month ago
                    1. You could also make noises. Think that was about it.

                      • 1 year, 1 month ago
            3. The start of that game was horrific...

              • 1 year, 1 month ago
  17. Who is more essential next season?

    K.Richardson or Jack Colback?

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
  18. was just having a poo and the toilet wall said 10pm on 15th July

    • 1 year, 1 month ago
    1. Sounds legit

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    2. Great source.

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
    3. I had a poo in the shape of 4am the other day

      • 1 year, 1 month ago
      1. 😀

        • 1 year, 1 month ago
  19. New Post

Scout Picks

Gameweek 3

  • McCarthy
  • Naughton
  • Darmian
  • Kolarov
  • Depay
  • Mahrez
  • Cabaye
  • Payet
  • Sánchez
  • Aguero
  • Gomis
  • Cresswell
  • André Ayew
  • Deeney

From the Community…

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Fixture Ticker

The Watchlist

Goalkeepers

Last updated: 25 Aug, 2015 12:31pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Butland STO C, Vs
Up Mignolet LIV A, Vs
Up Hart MCI A, Vs
Up Stekelenburg SOT C, Vs
No Change Boruc BOU C, Vs
Up Myhill WBA C, Vs, Rest
Up Courtois CHE C, Vs
Down Ruddy NOR C, Vs
Up Guzan AVL B, Vs
Down Fabianski SWA B

Defenders

Last updated: 24 Aug, 2015 7:10pm
Player Club Factors
Up Kolarov MCI A, Vs, Rest
Up Skrtel LIV A, Vs
Up Francis BOU B, Vs
Up Muniesa STO C, Vs
No Change Cédric Soares SOT C, OoP
Down Darmian MUN A, VsX
Up Richards AVL C
Up Dawson WBA C, Vs
No Change Naughton SWA B
No Change Martin NOR A, Vs
Up Azpilicueta CHE B
No Change Walker TOT C
Down Mertesacker ARS B, Rest
Up Nyom WAT B

Midfielders

Last updated: 24 Aug, 2015 9:01pm
Player Club Factors
No Change Silva MCI A, Vs
No Change Mahrez LEI A, Vs
No Change Sánchez ARS C
Up Ritchie BOU C, Vs
Up Coutinho LIV B, Vs
Up Y Touré MCI A, Vs
No Change André Ayew SWA B, Vs
Up Shaqiri STO B, Vs
Down Payet WHM B, Vs
No Change Redmond NOR A
No Change Hazard CHE C
Up Chadli TOT B
Down Depay MUN C, VsX
Down Mane SOT C, VsX, Inj

Forwards

Last updated: 27 Aug, 2015 10:31am
Player Club Factors
No Change Aguero MCI B, Vs
Up Wilson BOU B, Vs, £
No Change Gomis SWA A, Vs
Up Benteke LIV C, Vs
Up Mame Biram Diouf STO B, Vs
Up Diego Costa CHE B
Down Kane TOT C
No Change Vardy LEI B
Down Pellè SOT C
Down Sakho WHM C, Vs, Inj
Down Lukaku EVE B, VsX
No Change Deeney WAT C, VsX

Selection Factors

A, B, C Current Form
Vs Favourable Fixtures
VsX Unfavourable Fixtures
Rest Rotation Risk
Inj Injured/Returning from Injury
OoP Out of Position
£ Potential Bargain
Sus Suspended/Near Suspension

“All players will blank a few times during the season. When almost all do it in the same Gameweek, it is tough to take, but that's just the dark side of probability.”

Abreu 42 Community regular