Fixtures

City assets essential for opening 2018/19 fixtures

Though the World Cup will demand our attention over the next month, the release of the 2018/19 Premier League fixtures this morning gives us food for thought ahead of the start of the new domestic season in August.

Having cantered to the league title last season, Manchester City have an appealing set of fixtures to open their title defence with: after an opening-day trip to the Emirates (where City cruised past Arsenal 3-0 in March), Pep Guardiola’s side then face all six sides (HUD, wlv, NEW, FUL, cdf, BRI) who have been promoted to the Premier League in the last two seasons.

Four of these fixtures are at the Etihad and owning three City assets looks essential for at least the first two months of the season: the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne are strong captaincy material throughout August and September, too.

With the opening UEFA Champions League group matches not being contested until after Gameweek 5, Fantasy managers will harbour hopes that Guardiola will avoid any exasperating early-season rotation.

On the subject of captains, Mohamed Salah – who else – is surely the stand-out option in Gameweek 1. West Ham United, who conceded more away goals last season than any Premier League club, are the visitors to Anfield on the opening day, having been beaten there 4-1 by Liverpool just three months ago.

Jurgen Klopp’s side also have home encounters with Brighton and Southampton to come in their first six Gameweeks, though this latter fixture comes after an away trip to Tottenham Hotspur and a midweek Champions League group match. Gameweek 6 looks ripe for rotation for the Reds, as it does with City, Spurs and especially Manchester United: Jose Mourinho’s side are at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers immediately after their European endeavours.

United’s initial fixtures don’t appear to be hugely troublesome, though four of their first seven matches are away from Old Trafford and two of their home fixtures are potentially tough tests against Leicester City and Spurs.

While City, United, Liverpool and Chelsea only meet one of their fellow “Big Six” clubs in their opening half-dozen matches, the two north London sides have slightly sterner tests.

Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal gets off to a daunting start, with a visit to Stamford Bridge to follow their meeting with City. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang averaged 6.7 points per match in his 13 appearances for the Gunners at the end of 2017/18 and will be high on many Fantasy managers’ wish-lists for the coming campaign, but the wisest tactic might be to hold fire on the Gabonese forward until Gameweek 3 at the earliest (Arsenal’s subsequent fixtures until Gameweek 11 – WHU, cdf, new, EVE, WAT, ful, LEI, cry – look hugely appealing).

Spurs, meanwhile, have five away matches to contest in the first seven Gameweeks, with one of their “home” fixtures – the Gameweek 2 encounter against Fulham – to be played at Wembley before the Lilywhites finally stage a match at their newly built ground in Gameweek 5 (against Liverpool).

Whether the lack of home comforts will help or hinder Harry Kane in his bid to end his infamous August drought (Spurs’ first three fixtures will be played in this month) remains to be seen.

Gameweeks 4 and 5 could be high-scoring rounds: while City entertain Newcastle and Fulham at the Etihad, Chelsea welcome Bournemouth and Cardiff City to Stamford Bridge. At least two Blues’ assets for this pair of fixtures looks essential.

Looking beyond last season’s top six, Everton and Southampton assets could be high in demand in the first two months of the season.

Marco Silva began his tenures at Hull City and Watford in fine form and the Toffees’ first five fixtures give the Portuguese manager an excellent chance to follow suit at Everton.

Home matches against Southampton, Huddersfield and West Ham are separated by trips to newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bournemouth (who conceded 30 goals at home last season – only Watford shipped more), with the likes of Leighton Baines, Seamus Coleman, Cenk Tosun (who looked sharp and scored on three occasions in two of Turkey’s recent international friendlies) and perhaps even Theo Walcott likely to be well-backed by Fantasy managers going into 2018/19.

A trickier-looking away fixture at Arsenal in Gameweek 6 is only a temporary hurdle on the horizon, with home matches against Fulham and Crystal Palace to follow in the subsequent three Gameweeks.

The Saints, meanwhile, welcome Burnley, Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion to St. Mary’s in the first five Gameweeks: they and Everton are the only two sides who don’t face any of the “Big Six” during this period.

Cedric Soares, who provided three assists in Southampton’s final seven fixtures of 2017/18, and a fit-again Charlie Austin could offer Fantasy managers low-to-mid-priced options for the first two months of the season.

Bournemouth and Crystal Palace interchange beautifully for the first ten Gameweeks: a rotation pair featuring an asset from each club would give a run of CDF, whu, EVE, SOU, LEI, NEW, CRY, WLV, SOU, ful.

Wilfried Zaha may be a permanent fixture in many Fantasy managers’ sides given that Palace face only one of last season’s top six in their first nine fixtures, but a Junior Stanislas/Ruben Loftus-Cheek rotation in the fourth midfield spot could free up funds to spend elsewhere.

Though neither the Cherries nor Palace were particularly watertight in defence last season, the attacking potential of Charlie Daniels and Patrick van Aanholt would surely attract plenty of suitors given their respective clubs’ starts.

Newly promoted Fulham (CRY, tot, BUR, bri, mci, WAT) and Wolves (EVE, lei, MCI, whu, BUR, mun) face mixed starts to life in the Premier League, but how the two sides perform in their attractive-looking opening-day fixtures should give Fantasy managers some clue as to whether they intend to persist with the attacking mentalities they exhibited in the Championship.

Cardiff look to be must-avoids from Gameweek 4 onwards: after a reasonable opening three fixtures (bou, NEW, hud), Neil Warnock’s side then face six of last season’s top seven clubs in their subsequent seven matches.

Newcastle United and Brighton provided Fantasy managers with budget options across the park last season, but Pascal Gross, Jamaal Lascelles et al are perhaps best shirked in the first two months of the season.

The Magpies’ nightmarish opening five fixtures include encounters with Spurs, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, while Chris Hughton’s side play all of last season’s top four in the first seven Gameweeks.

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903 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Doosra - ☭A Noble Grape…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 11 days ago

    Is Dalsgaard nailed?

    1. GoonerByron
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 11 days ago

      Looks like it.

  2. tsintisin
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 11 days ago

    two spot left in this team

    Pickford
    Kimmich Meunier Trippier Pavard
    Ziyech Mueller X
    Cavani Jesus X

    Uzoho JRod C.Sanchez Sabaly

    Which one?

    A) Griezmann and Meza
    B) Mbappe and Carrasco

    1. Pete Campbell
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 11 days ago

      A maybe?

    2. FAR EAST
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 11 days ago

      B by a mile.

    3. deyell
        4 months, 11 days ago

        B

      • WE GO FOR IT
        • 2 Years
        4 months, 11 days ago

        B

    4. Pete Campbell
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 11 days ago

      Dilemma has come down to:

      A) Hegazi & Samedov

      or

      B) Kimmich & Meza

      Would love some advice!

      1. tsintisin
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 11 days ago

        B easily

        1. FAR EAST
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          B

      2. GoonerByron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 11 days ago

        B by miles

    5. Tmel
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 11 days ago

      Meza, Belhanda or Nandez?

      1. BigRomelu66
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Currently have Meza but would love to hear people's thoughts

        • GoonerByron
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          All could be good for their price, all gambles.

        • Shaw Manc Redemption
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          I've gone Bel and Nand - but punts

      2. johnnybeefcake
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 11 days ago

        Best 4.5 Def that isn't Varela. I'm not sold on Pavard.

        1. GoonerByron
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Hakim of Morocco.

          I also like Dalsgaard, Peru + Australia 1st group games..

          1. johnnybeefcake
            • 1 Year
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Thank you, really looking at Dalsgaard closely

            1. FPLGraham
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              4 months, 11 days ago

              Had him but switched to Pavard.... think Peru can score against the Danes tbh.

              1. Niɇmi
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                4 months, 11 days ago

                Peru is a much better team than most on here think. Look at their results the last two years. 11th in the FIFA rankings.

        2. yakirh
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Mojica

      3. Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 11 days ago

        RMT

        Cavani, Neymar, Lukaku
        Eriksne, Ziyach, J Rodriguez, Inui
        Pavard, Danilo, Dalsgaard
        Uzoho

        Subs: El Kajoui, Varela, Muenier, Meza

      4. GoonerByron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 11 days ago

        Hoping for an Akinfeev (c) big double pointer today... Will then have the headache of whether to swap captains or not! 😀

        1. The Big Cheese
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Shouldn't be a problem I think.

      5. deyell
          4 months, 11 days ago

          A: Muslera, Uzoho, Meza
          B: Pickford, Gallese, Nandez

          Thoughts? I lean towards B because Pickford has CS potential in the first two games while Gallese has that in the third game.

        • johnnybeefcake
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 11 days ago

          About 10000 Drafts in this is what I have come up with,
          is it GTG?

          Muslera Uzoho

          Kimmich Meunier Danilo Varela Pavard

          Eriksen JRod Cueva Belhanda Meza

          Cavani Jesus Lukaku

          0.0 ITB

        • Wakanda
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 11 days ago

          RMT please :
          W.Caballero
          D.godin , d sidibe, rodriguez
          C.sanchez, isco, paulinho, t.kroos
          A.griezmann, surazez, lewandoski
          mad rush now trying to form a team, any guidance ?
          subs are below par

          1. FPLGraham
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Sidibe's injured so I'd switch him out for probably Danilo as a money swap, or to Pavard if you want a French DF.

            1. Wakanda
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              4 months, 11 days ago

              how about mendy?

              1. Niɇmi
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                4 months, 11 days ago

                Apparently Hernandez is going to start at LB against Australia.

        • Wakanda
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 11 days ago

          did i miss something , meza popularity ?

          1. BBC_TF
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Dont get it either

            Not a sure starter at all

          2. GoonerByron
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            5.5 midfielder starting for Argentina..

          3. The Big Cheese
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            He is selected by 1% of all people playing the game.

        • fenixri
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Last dillema

          A) Pickford - Sabaly - Meza

          B) Olsen - Trippier - 4.5 (Ndiaye/Unui)

          Help pls

        • johnnybeefcake
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Last one

          A) Cueva and Pavard
          or
          B) Ljajic and Sabaly

        • Shaw Manc Redemption
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          A. Countinho
          B. Eriksen
          C. Paulinho
          D. Muller

          Still can't decide. B in the seat at the moment

          1. WE GO FOR IT
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Muller surely. WC record speaks for itself.

          2. Shaw Manc Redemption
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Not getting too long in the tooth? Was thinking Couts as gets a lot of assists

        • WE GO FOR IT
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Any Golovin owners here? Should I captain him tonight? Any chances of him getting a red?

          1. The Big Cheese
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            There is always a chance of a player getting a red.

        • fenixri
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Nailed 4.5 mid?

          1. The Big Cheese
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            You are probably better trying to find someone with potential.

        • Magumbo
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          which one is best

          pogba v australia
          modric v nigeria
          muller v mexico
          coutinho v switzerland
          de bruyne v panama
          alli v tunisia

          1. The Big Cheese
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Who know? It is a lottery to some degree

            1. Magumbo
              • 7 Years
              4 months, 11 days ago

              thinking of going muller at the moment, de bruyne v panama looks good but will already have lukaku and hazard

              1. The Big Cheese
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                4 months, 11 days ago

                Just make sure you have a good captain option for each day (I don't include today in this screw this fixture imo)

        • pickyUK
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Had a couple of last minute changes of heart. Any thoughts on this please?:

          Neuer – Uzoho
          Kimmich – Danilo – Meunier – Godin - Hegazy
          Carrasco – Isco – Miranchuk – Bentancur - Milinkovic-Savic
          Cavani – Lukaku - Jesus

        • fenixri
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Will Emil Halfredsson start for Iceland?

        • Union_Jacks
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 11 days ago

          KSA vs Rusia: Al-Maiouf; Alburayk, Os.Hawsawi, Om.Hawsawi, Al-Shahrani; Otayf, Al-Dawsari, Al-Faraj, Al-Jassam; Al-Shehri, Al-Sahlawi

          1. Cookie Kid
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            4 months, 11 days ago

            Thanks for this, couldn't find who was in GK anywhere! £4m keeper starting

        • BallyMac
          • 8 Years
          4 months, 11 days ago

          Mojica or Pavard?