Frisking the Fixtures

Which teams have the best and worst upcoming fixtures?

Our regular “frisk” of the Premier League fixture list returns ahead of Gameweek 5.

In this semi-regular feature, we assess the top-flight clubs with the strongest and weakest runs of league matches over the coming weeks and offer our thoughts on the stand-out Fantasy assets where appropriate.

Although our primary focus will be on a six-Gameweek lookahead, we will scrutinise the long-term fixtures beyond that point where relevant.

The Strong

Manchester City

Next six: nor | WAT | eve | WOL | cry | AVL
And then: SOU

Many Fantasy managers will consider Manchester City assets “fixture-proof” but a favourable run of matches doesn’t do any harm, either.

Pep Guardiola’s side sit top of our Season Ticker over the next half-dozen Gameweeks and are the only Premier League club to avoid a ‘big six’ club during that time.

City’s next two opponents have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and indeed Watford’s 16-match shut-out drought extends back to February, although the re-appointment of the pragmatic Quique Sanchez Flores might help solidify the Hornets at the back.

Norwich City, Watford, Everton and Aston Villa, four of City’s next six opponents, sit in the bottom six for big chances conceded this season.

From a defensive perspective, all bar Norwich of the Citizens’ next half-dozen opponents are scoring at a rate of one goal per game or worse.

No team has scored as few goals as Watford this season.

All six of the sides that Guardiola’s troops face between now and the end of October sit in the bottom half of the table for big chances created.

Burnley

Next six: bha | NOR | avl | EVE | lei | CHE
And then: shu | WHU | wat | CRY

Having been bottom of the Season Ticker in Gameweeks 1 to 4, Burnley’s schedule is about to get much more favourable.

Gameweek 5 marks the start of a ten-game sequence in which the Clarets meet only one of the ‘big six’ and even that fixture is against an unconvincing Chelsea side.

No other top-flight club has fewer meetings with last season’s top six teams between now and the end of November.

For those interested in Ashley Barnes (£6.7m), Chelsea and Norwich are two of five clubs yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this season.

Daniel Farke and Dean Smith’s newly promoted teams have are in the bottom four for shots on target conceded, meanwhile.

The Clarets pose a real threat in the air and in the Canaries and Villa, Sean Dyche’s side are facing two of the five teams who have allowed the most headed chances in 2019/20 – although Brighton, Everton and Chelsea have been less obliging from crosses.

The medium-term fixture list is perhaps not quite as kind from a defensive perspective but no club has allowed fewer big chances than Burnley this season, despite their unfavourable start.

Arsenal

Next six: wat | AVL | mun | BOU | shu | CRY
And then: WOL | lei | SOU | nor | BHA | whu

Arsenal’s favourable fixture run goes on even longer than Burnley’s and we can expect to see the north London club regularly appearing in this series of articles over the coming months.

In their next dozen Premier League matches, the Gunners face only one other ‘big six’ side: the Gameweek 7 meeting with Manchester United preceding a sea of blue on the Season Ticker until mid-December.

Unai Emery’s side face all three newly promoted clubs in this time and five of last season’s bottom ten.

Watford are first up and are without a clean sheet in 16 league matches, although the appointment of the defence-first Quique Sanchez Flores perhaps comes at an inopportune time for the Gunners.

The Hornets, Villa and Bournemouth, three of Arsenal’s next four opponents, sit in the bottom six for big chances conceded.

No FPL forward scored more goals than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) against non-big six sides last season (19 in 26 games).

Tottenham Hotspur

Next six: CRY | lei | SOU | bha | WAT | liv
And then: eve | SHU| whu | BOU

Spurs face only one of the ‘big six’ in the next ten Gameweeks, with a trip to Anfield the one obvious off-putting fixture.

Even better, the Lilywhites’ next six home matches are all against sides who finished in the bottom half of the Premier League or who were in the Championship last season.

Spurs’ upcoming half-dozen away games are perhaps not quite so appealing, with meetings against five of last year’s top ten plus a trip to a Brighton side that has performed fairly well in 2019/20 so far.

No FPL asset banked more attacking returns on the road than Harry Kane (£11.0m) in 2018/19, however.

Spurs’ next two opponents could make life hard for their attackers, as Palace and Leicester are among the five teams who have allowed the fewest big chances this season.

Roy Hodgson’s side have conceded the fewest goals in the top flight in 2019/20 (two), with Leicester having shipped only one more.

From a defensive perspective, there is encouragement: Spurs’ next five opponents all sit in the bottom half of the table for shots on target in 2019/20.

Everton

Next six: bou | SHU | MCI | bur | WHU | bha

Everton have just two meetings with ‘big six’ clubs from Gameweeks 5 to 14, with the visit of Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur the only dots of red on the Season Ticker.

Even those games against City and Spurs may not be too much of a deterrent, with Everton having kept four clean sheets in home matches against the ‘big six’ last season.

The Toffees have recorded shut-outs in ten of their last 15 league games but the fixture list is perhaps less welcoming from a defensive perspective, given that they face three of the four teams who have recorded the most big chances this season (City, West Ham and Brighton).

Away trips to Bournemouth and Burnley, with Callum Wilson (£7.8m) and Ashley Barnes (£6.7m) to deal with, will pose tricky tests, too.

Goals have started to flow at the other end of the pitch, at least, with seven being scored in the last two league and cup games – more than Everton had managed in their previous ten matches dating back to the start of pre-season.

Moise Kean (£6.9m) and Alex Iwobi (£5.9m) were both handed their first Premier League starts in an Everton shirt in Gameweek 4 and both delivered attacking returns.

In Bournemouth and West Ham, Everton are facing the two sides who have conceded the most big chances this season.

Those two clubs and Brighton have shipped a combined 22 goals this season, although 12 of those were conceded to Manchester City.

Bournemouth

Next six: EVE | sou | WHU | ars | NOR | wat

Ryan Fraser (£7.3m), Callum Wilson (£7.8m) and Josh King (£6.4m) have all lost hundreds of thousands of FPL owners over the last month and dropped in price in doing so.

Wilson has ticked over with exactly five points in each Gameweek but the better value elsewhere so far has prompted many managers to move on their Bournemouth assets.

The Cherries’ upcoming fixtures are perhaps among the best in the division, though, certainly from an attacking perspective.

Everton, West Ham, Norwich and Watford, along with Bournemouth themselves, sit in the bottom five for big chances conceded this season.

All bar the Toffees of Bournemouth’s next six opponents sit in the bottom ten for shots in the box and efforts on target conceded, meanwhile.

ALSO CONSIDER

Chelsea (wol | LIV | BHA | sou | NEW | bur) are riding high in our Season Ticker but fixtures against Wolves and Liverpool immediately after the international break slightly dent their appeal – even if Nuno Espirito Santo’s side and the Reds aren’t perhaps as watertight as they were in 2018/19.

The Blues themselves are still without a clean sheet and interest in their Fantasy assets may instead be focused on the likes of Mason Mount (£6.4m) and other forward-thinking players.

Chelsea will feature more prominently in the next article in this series: the Blues face only Manchester City of the ‘big six’ between Gameweeks 7 to 15.

Aston Villa (WHU | ars | BUR | nor | BHA | mci) have some appealing home matches ahead but their run of away fixtures between now and Gameweek 15 is the worst in the division.

Still, meetings with West Ham, Arsenal and Norwich should offer encouragement for their midfielders and forwards: these three clubs sit in the bottom five for shots in the box conceded this season.

The Weak

Leicester City

Next six: mun | TOT | NEW | liv | BUR | sou

Leicester face three of last season’s top six between now and the October international break and sit bottom of our Season Ticker as a result.

There is an appealing home fixture against Newcastle within this run, although the Magpies beat Brendan Rodgers’ side at the King Power Stadium at the back-end of last season and the Foxes have not really convinced against wing-back systems in 2019/20.

It should be noted, of course, that 31 of Jamie Vardy‘s (£8.9m) 83 Premier League goals have come against ‘big six’ teams.

The schedule eases considerably after the trip to Anfield, with the Foxes only facing one ‘big six’ club from Gameweeks 9 to 17.

Crystal Palace

Next six: tot | WOL | NOR | whu | MCI | ARS
And then: LEI | che | LIV

Fourth-place Crystal Palace may be a team in form but are another club who face three ‘big six’ sides in the next half-dozen Gameweeks.

Chelsea and Liverpool then follow in Gameweeks 12 and 13.

With eight of Palace’s next nine opponents finishing in the top half last season, the Eagles are firmly rooted to the bottom of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 5-13.

Martin Kelly (£4.1m) has been a popular budget asset this season but even if he recovers from injury and keeps his place at the heart of the defence, his owners likely won’t be using him for anything other than bench fodder between now and the end of November.

Even the “winnable” games within this run come against teams who have impressed from an attacking perspective so far this season: Norwich and West Ham, for example, sit in the top six for shots on target so far in 2019/20 (despite having both faced Manchester City).

Those two teams (and perhaps a clean sheet-less Spurs and a Europe-occupied Wolves) can be got at defensively, of course, but Palace’s attacking assets haven’t really convinced this season – only Watford have scored fewer Premier League goals.

Jordan Ayew (£5.1m) could be a decent, benchable third striker for the coming months but Palace’s medium-term role in the Fantasy world maybe more about how much they can frustrate our other FPL assets: the Eagles have conceded fewer goals than any other Premier League team this season.

Newcastle United

Next six: liv | BHA | lei | MUN | che | WOL

Fantasy managers have largely avoided Newcastle United assets this season – and not just because of their fixture run.

The Magpies are in the bottom three for big chances created and goals scored in 2019/20 so far, although the backs-to-the-wall display at Spurs may offer hope that the defensive solidity of the Rafael Benitez era hasn’t totally evaporated.

Steve Bruce’s side have already played the two north London clubs in the opening month of the campaign and now face three other ‘big six’ sides between now and Gameweek 9 – starting with a trip to Liverpool.

Third-place Leicester also host the Magpies in this period.

Newcastle sit bottom of our Season Ticker for attack over the next six Gameweeks but they, like Palace, may play a significant role in how more popular offensive assets from the likes of Liverpool, Leicester and Chelsea do over the coming Gameweeks.

Watford

Next six: ARS | mci | wol | SHU | tot | BOU
And then: CHE

Winless and bottom of the table, Watford’s fixtures don’t get much easier in the medium term.

The Hornets face five clubs who finished in the top seven in 2018/19 over the next seven Gameweeks, although home matches against Sheffield United and Bournemouth appeal more.

Watford will be hoping for some kind of new manager bounce following the appointment of Quique Sanchez Flores, whose pragmatic reputation will hopefully – from their point of view – address the obvious defensive problems at Vicarage Road.

The Hornets have not kept a league clean sheet since February, a run that stretches back 16 matches.

No side has scored fewer goals in 2019/20, meanwhile.

The next five Gameweeks at the very least could be an audition period for Watford’s assets and tell us more about Flores’ preferred system and personnel, as well as what effect he is having on their underperforming squad.

ALSO CONSIDER

Liverpool‘s mixed fixture run (NEW | che | shu | LEI | mun | TOT) has to be acknowledged but, like Manchester City, the Reds are one of a handful of teams that Fantasy managers may consider “fixture-proof”.

Their three ‘big six’ opponents in the next half-dozen Gameweeks, Chelsea, Manchester United and Spurs, have hardly fully convinced this season, either.

From a defensive perspective, matches against Newcastle and Sheffield United offer decent clean sheet opportunities: only Watford have scored fewer goals than the Magpies this season, while the Blades are ranked bottom for shots on target.

The Reds’ other four opponents during this run are all in the top half for goals scored and shots attempted, however.

At the other end, Chelsea and Spurs haven’t kept a clean sheet between them this season – although all bar the Lilywhites of Liverpool’s next six opponents sit in the top half in terms of fewest expected goals conceded.

Sheffield United (SOU | eve | LIV | wat | ARS | whu ) themselves have a mixed bag of fixtures, although John Lundstram (£4.2m) is their only outfield first-team regular who is owned by more than 1% of FPL bosses and is eminently benchable for the tough defensive tests after Gameweek 5.

Manchester United, Southampton, Wolves, Norwich and Brighton all face two meetings with ‘big six’ clubs over the next half-dozen Gameweeks but have some more appealing fixtures around that so the picture doesn’t quite look so bleak at that quintet of clubs.


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(edited)

2,083 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Prisoner B5160-8
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Realistically, how strong a bench do we usually need throughout sticky international fixtures and Christmas congestion?

    Has anyone ever been reliant on all three (or four)?

    1. Dacra
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Im going for 3 playing bech I think, with 4 players rotating for my 11th spot.

      Also there's a Liverpool blank thrown into the Christmas pile up and most will have 3 Liverpool..

    2. In a Rush
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      I think 2 is a must with the fixtures piling up but I do like to have 3 just incase.

    3. Pep Roulette
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      You should have 2 playing at least and at most 😛

    4. Carlton_Goal
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      I had 1 GW last season where I only had 10 playing, think it was around Christmas and there were a couple of last minute injuries as well as rotation. That's the only week my 3rd sub has ever been used though. I would say having 2 good bench players is a must over Christmas though

  2. In a Rush
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Is my wild card g2go? 0itb any thoughts welcome

    Pope
    Taa Otamendi digne
    Salah(c) kdb(v) sterling Ceballos
    Pukki Maupay Haller

    McGovern lundstram Söyüncü Cantwell
    Cheers all

  3. STRANGER INGS
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Morning. Thought on this WC team?

    Pope heaton
    taa coleman mings dunk lundstram
    salah kdb james mount** cantwell
    kun pukki abraham

    not quite sold on chelsea double up. cant seem to find any better options

    1. STRANGER INGS
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      sorry... otamendi for coleman

  4. Little Red Lacazette
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Maybe this Martial guy has 2 jobs, professional footballer at Utd. and VP of operations at FPL towers. Dare you not think of dropping his price or else...

  5. Dacra
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    On WC, keep Zinchenko or switch to Otamendi?

    Ota I guess more nailed, but quite like the 0.1 buffer from Zinch increase..

    1. In a Rush
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      I would go for Otamendi because of mendy lurking

      1. Wiseman Resistant ⚽⚠
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 5 days ago

        this, but Otamenid is shete if you compare him with Zinch

  6. BigDaveSaves
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    G2G? Want KDB but will wait..

    Pope
    Zinc Digne TAA Lund
    Sterling Salah McGinn
    Aguero (c) Barnes Pukki

    Cheers.

    1. Pete Price The Lizard
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Downgrade Zinc to a £4.5 upgrade McGinn other than that G2G

  7. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Bench?

    A) AWB (LEI)
    B) Lundstarm (SOU)

    1. In a Rush
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Awb for me

    2. BigDaveSaves
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Subjective but I'd say AWB

    3. JRO093
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      B

  8. JRO093
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Best Laporte replacement? Surely Otamendi? Otherwise Tarkowski and double-up with Pope..?

    1. tankle
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Ota looks good

    2. Maximus Bonimus Pointimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Ota's not popular for no reason - could be a very shrewd signing

      Question marks over how city will fare playing over a third of the season without their undisputed best centre half though

      For my money, they concede more, and have to score more as a result

      Very interested to watch them v Norwich though as no doubt Ota (and stones, and Zinky) all look at lest 0.5 if not 1.0 underpriced if all nailed

  9. Pep Roulette
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    GTG on WC?

    Pope (Button)
    TAA Matip Soyunucu (Lundstram Rico)
    Salah KDB DSilva Ceballos (Guendouzi)
    Aguero Haller Tammy

    1. King Kun Ta
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Ceballos & Guendouzi?

  10. tankle
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Trossard & Montoya > D.Silva & TAA, worth my first -4 of the season?

    1. King Kun Ta
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Most def!

  11. Pickle juice
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    What to do ....scared going without salah

    (A)Mane and aguero

    Or

    (B)Kane and salah (for -4 hit)

    And who to captain ....i have kdb and sterling too

    Thanks

    (2)

    1. valurth
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      A

  12. Lingard’s Shin Guards
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Gtg?

    Pope
    TAA Pieters Montoya Lundstrum
    Sterling Mane KDB Mount
    Aguero (c) Pukki

    Button Cantwell Soyuncu Wickham (0ft 0m itb)

  13. King Kun Ta
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Ready to rumble i guess....but who will be the captain (*) of this ship?

    Pope
    Lundstram VVD Zinchenko
    Sterling* Salah* Mount Ceballos
    Barnes Aguero* Pukki

    Krul Mings Kelly Cantwell

    1 FT & 0.1 ITB

    Ta & GL lads!

  14. n05
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    bottomed

    draft league

    cantwell or tielemans?

    1. King Kun Ta
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 5 days ago

      Latter

  15. Dacra
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    A (Set 11 - 2 playing subs)
    Pope (4.0)
    TAA - Digne - Zinchenko - Matip (Lund)
    Salah - Sterling - KDB - Mount (Cantwell)
    Pukki - Haller (Greenwood)
    0.0itb

    OR

    B (4 playing rotation subs)
    Pope (4.0)
    TAA - Digne - Zinchenko - (Soyuncu, Lund)
    Salah - Sterling - KDB - Mount (Cantwell)
    Pukki - Haller (Ayew)
    0.4itb

    Basically, Matip + Greenwood v Soyuncu + Ayew, but the rest of the team is important for how the 4 player rotation v Matip would work..

  16. SOTHPAW
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Awaiting on AWB news but any changes to be made here?

    Adrian

    Digne, Wan-Bissaka*, Lundstram, Mings

    Sterling(V), KDB, Mane, Mount

    Aguero(C), Pukki

    Stekelenberg, Cantwell, Greenwood, Kelly

  17. Pro Evo Steevo
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    quick question
    Firmino or Auba ?

    Arsenal fixtures look to good to miss

  18. Clarity
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Pope
    VVD Digne Dunk KWP
    Mcginn KDB Sterling Mane
    Kane Pukki
    Bench: Mcgovern, Lundstram, Cantwell, Wickham

    Is KWP > Mings VVD > Trent worth it? Really stuck what to do

    Any suggestions much appreciated 🙂

  19. Raging wildcard
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Really struggling with these choices, I guess one is a bit more template than the other:

    A) Son, Guendouzi, Auba
    B) Mane, Iwobi, Haller

    Thanks!

  20. rohaansunil
    1 month, 5 days ago

    I have martial awb and jota and looks like martial and awb are out.... Shd I keep jota for one more week?

  21. SOTHPAW
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    A, TAA, Robinson, Mane

    Or

    B, Pieters, Mount, Salah

  22. Matjes_taet
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    First 100+ GW incoming...

    Does not matter who scores more, because i have them both. (Mane & Salah)

    Meanwhile Kun (C) finish the large amount of KDB-Assists.

  23. Clarity
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 5 days ago

    Pope
    VVD Digne Dunk KWP
    Mcginn KDB Sterling Mane
    Kane Pukki
    Bench: Mcgovern, Lundstram, Cantwell, Wickham

    2FT 0.2ITB no idea what to do!

    Any suggestions please? 🙂

  24. Lestat
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 5 days ago

    A - Dunk, Cantwell, Mount, Greenwood

    or

    B - Hanley, Hayden, James, Barnes

    ??

  25. Powerplay
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Using the WC...appreciate any thoughts

    A TEAM
    Pope
    TAA Digne, Robbo, Pieters
    Salah, Sterling, DeB, Guendouzi
    Tammy, Pukki

    Button Lundstram, Cantwell, Greenwood

    OR

    B TEAM
    Pope
    TAA, Digne, Pieters, Lundstram
    Salah, Sterling, DeB, Guendouzi
    Aguerro, Ayew

    Button Cantwell, Greenwood,Kelly

  26. MemberMax
    1 month, 4 days ago

    What you guys think.. to free up cash for Daniel James..

    Digne OUT Pieters IN
    Dendonker OUT James IN