We are continuing our look ahead to the 2019/20 season following the release of the Premier League fixture list.
Our Season Ticker has been updated and Members can sort by difficulty and rotation as well as filter home and away fixtures as they plan for the new campaign.
Fantasy managers’ first thoughts upon the fixture release will likely have been on which clubs have the best set of opening matches.
Our first ‘frisk’ of the 2019/20 fixture list, then, starts with the teams with the most favourable runs in August and September.
A six-week lookahead is our main focus but we have also factored in appealing matches beyond this point where appropriate.
First six: cry | WAT | avl | WOL | bou | SHU
Everton’s fixtures immediately leap out, with the Toffees the only team to avoid any of the ‘big six’ in the opening half-dozen Gameweeks of the season.
The visit of Manchester City follows in Gameweek 7, with Spurs heading north to Goodison Park in Gameweek 10.
Aside from those two games, though, Everton’s ticker is a sea of blue right up until Gameweek 15, when Marco Silva’s side subsequently take on Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
No other Premier League has as few meetings with last season’s top six (two) in the first 14 Gameweeks of 2018/19, which takes us up to the end of November.
Even the visit of Manchester City and Spurs may not be too much of a deterrent, based on Everton’s record against the ‘big six’ at Goodison Park last season (a 6-2 home defeat to Spurs in December slightly skewing the goals against column):
Everton are unbeaten against these elite clubs in their last five meetings home and away.
Newly promoted Aston Villa and Sheffield United are two of Everton’s opponents in the first six Gameweeks, with Norwich travelling to Merseyside in Gameweek 14.
Everton face five of last season’s bottom ten, plus Villa and Sheffield United, in the opening ten Gameweeks.
The visit of Wolves, meanwhile, will follow immediately after Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have played the second leg of their UEFA Europa League play-off game – providing they progress that far, of course.
An opening-day trip to Crystal Palace is tough to call but only relegated Huddersfield Town scored fewer goals and gained fewer points on home soil than the Eagles in 2018/19.
Lucas Digne seems sure to be well owned in Fantasy Premier League come Gameweek 1, although Seamus Coleman outscored the Frenchman in 2019.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who enjoyed his best ever FPL campaign in the season just gone, and Richarlison may also come into Fantasy managers’ thoughts.
First six: whu | TOT | bou | BHA| nor | WAT
The champions for the last two seasons, Manchester City have been dealt a favourable hand by the fixture computer in 2019/20.
City assets would likely have been heavily backed by Fantasy managers regardless, given their record against the other ‘big six’ sides last season (Pep Guardiola’s side won eight of their ten league fixtures against these clubs), but a kind run of matches in the first three months of the new campaign only strengthens their appeal.
The visit of Spurs in Gameweek 2 is City’s only meeting with a ‘big six’ club until Guardiola’s troops head to Anfield in Gameweek 12.
City are the Premier League club with the fewest matches (one) against last season’s top six in the opening 11 Gameweeks of 2019/20.
Home games against Brighton, Watford, Aston Villa and Southampton during this spell will see the likes of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero feature prominently in many FPL bosses’ thoughts regarding captaincy.
Sterling racked up 20 attacking returns (11 goals, nine assists) against nine of City’s first 11 opponents (Norwich and Villa excluded) in meetings last season.
Aguero, by contrast, only banked five goals and four assists in the same games.
Ederson kept eight clean sheets in those 18 matches.
First six: NOR | sou | ARS | bur| NEW| che
While Liverpool’s run is perhaps not as enticing as City’s, the Reds can’t have too many complaints about their schedule in the first quarter of the season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side sit second on our Season Ticker in the opening eight Gameweeks of the campaign, facing only two of last season’s top eight (Arsenal at home and Chelsea away) in that time.
The Gameweek 1 visit of Norwich will see many Fantasy managers hand the armband to a Liverpool asset, although that match comes just three weeks after the final of the Africa Cup of Nations – so Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane‘s participation would surely be in some doubt should Egypt and/or Senegal progress to the final of that tournament.
Newly promoted Sheffield United follow in Gameweek 7.
Salah and Mane both scored six goals against Southampton, Arsenal, Burnley, Newcastle, Chelsea and Leicester (who the Reds face in Gameweeks 1 to 8) in the season just gone, though Liverpool only kept three clean sheets in 12 meetings against those sides.
Gameweeks 9 to 12 look trickier but the run of nine matches that follows sees Liverpool return to the top of the Season Ticker, as they avoid any ‘big six’ side in Gameweeks 13 to 21.
Their participation in the Club World Cup in December will very possibly lead to a Blank Gameweek and Double Gameweek for the Reds before the end of 2019.
Brighton and Hove Albion
First six: wat | WHU | SOU| mci| BUR | new
There’ll be plenty of Fantasy managers who will say “never again” after the Brighton burn of Double Gameweek 34 but there’s a new, more attack-minded manager in the Amex hot seat next season.
Given the paucity of points offered up by various Brighton assets in 2018/19, there will surely be some price drops for the likes of Pascal Gross too.
The good news for the Seagulls is that their opening run looks one of the more favourable.
A visit to Manchester City is the one black spot in the short term but only Everton have fewer meetings with ‘big six’ sides in the opening half-dozen Gameweeks.
West Ham, Southampton and Burnley – Brighton’s first three opponents on the south coast – ranked in the bottom ten for goals scored and shots in the box away from home in 2018/19.
The Saints and Sean Dyche’s side shipped 71 away goals between them last season and were among the bottom six sides for goals conceded on the road.
A double-header against Chelsea and Spurs in Gameweeks 7 and 8 sees the favourable run come to an abrupt halt, although meetings with newly promoted Aston Villa and Norwich follow in Gameweeks 9 and 11.
First six: SHU | avl | MCI | lei| EVE | sou
Like Everton, Bournemouth face Sheffield United and Aston Villa early on.
The Cherries actually face these newly promoted teams in Gameweeks 1 and 2, meaning Eddie Howe’s side sit top of our Season Ticker for the opening two rounds of fixtures in 2019/20.
Gameweeks 3 to 5 are more daunting, with a visit of champions Manchester City preceding fixtures against Leicester and Everton – two of the form clubs at the back-end of 2018/19.
Bournemouth are included in this ‘frisk’ as much for their run beyond that, with Arsenal the only other ‘big six’ team they face in Gameweeks 1 to 10.
Home matches against West Ham and Norwich in Gameweeks 7 and 9 also appeal.
Southampton (bur | LIV | bha| MUN | shu | BOU) rank sixth on our Season Ticker for the first half-dozen fixtures but early home encounters with Liverpool and Manchester United may deter Fantasy investment.
The run of matches from Gameweeks 7 to 13 (four of the ‘big six’ plus Everton, Leicester and Wolves) also looks hideous but the Saints rank first on our Season Ticker for away matches in the opening six Gameweeks.
Trips to Burnley, Brighton and Sheffield United look promising from a defensive perspective, with the Clarets and Graham Potter’s side among the bottom eight Premier League clubs for goals scored, shots in the box and efforts on target on home soil last season.
Burnley and Brighton conceded 60 home goals between them in 2018/19, while the Blades are an unknown quantity in the top flight despite their impressive defensive record at the back-end of last season.
Sheffield United themselves have perhaps been given the best opening run of half-dozen fixtures (bou | CRY | LEI | che | SOU | eve) of the three newly promoted clubs, meeting only one ‘big six’ side in the first six Gameweeks.
Aston Villa (tot | BOU | EVE | cry | WHU | ars) will contest that although they face away matches at the two north London clubs either side of a more appealing sequence in Gameweeks 2 to 5 – the visits of Bournemouth and West Ham, in particular.
The Villans indeed sit second in our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 1 to 9.
There’ll no doubt be a “wait and see” approach adopted by many Fantasy managers with the newly promoted clubs to see how they adjust to life in the top flight and patience may also be advised with Manchester United, who had a rollercoaster half-season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Red Devils’ opening games (CHE| wol | CRY | sou | LEI | whu) are a mixed bag and meetings with Chelsea and Wolves in Gameweeks 1 and 2 may be enough to put many FPL bosses off.
Finally, Tottenham Hotspur (AVL | mci | NEW |ars | CRY | lei) have a real Jekyll-and-Hyde run at the start of 2019/20.
Spurs sit bottom of our Season Ticker for away matches during the opening six Gameweeks but fare well for home matches.
Indeed, Mauricio Pochettino’s side face just one of last season’s top ten (Chelsea) in the first ten fixtures on their own turf, which takes us to the end of 2019.
READ MORE FIXTURES ANALYSIS
- Our initial reaction to Fixture Release
- Who has the best fixtures in the first six Gameweeks of 2019/20?
- Who has the worst fixtures in the first six Gameweeks of 2019/20?
Become a Member and access our data
Memberships for the 2019/20 campaign are now available for the price of £17.50.
Join now to get the following:
- Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
- Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
- Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
- Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
- Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
- Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
- Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
- View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
- Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.