Frisking the Fixtures

Which teams have the best and worst upcoming fixtures?

With the international break over, we take our regular “frisk” of the Premier League fixture list ahead of Gameweek 9.

In this feature, we assess the top-flight clubs with the strongest and weakest runs of league matches over the coming weeks.

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

We’ll be using our Season Ticker to help – Members using this tool can sort by difficulty and teams that rotate well, filter home and away fixtures, and separate attack and defence.

THE STRONG

Leicester City

Next six: BUR | sou | cry | ARS | bha | EVE

Bottom of our Season Ticker for the first eight Gameweeks of 2019/20 yet still sitting fourth in the league after it, Leicester City’s fixture schedule is about to improve dramatically.

Between Gameweeks 9 and 17, the Foxes meet only one of the ‘big six’ – and that is a home fixture against an Arsenal side not renowned for their defensive aptitude.

Leicester’s defence has been one of the stand-out performers from an underlying stats perspective and in their next seven matches, they face five of the seven teams who are currently scoring at a rate of one goal per game or under.

Burnley and Palace, two of their next three opponents, are in the bottom four for big chances created, too.

Those two clubs may be tougher nuts to crack from a defensive perspective but Southampton, Arsenal and Watford, who are all to come between now and Gameweek 15, are in the bottom six for shots on target conceded.

Arsenal

Next six: shu | CRY | WOL | lei | SOU | nor

Arsenal have a similar run to Leicester from now until December.

From Gameweeks 9 to 16, Unai Emery’s side face the two newly promoted clubs, three of last season’s bottom ten and no ‘big six’ clubs.

The Gunners are the only Premier League side not to face one of last season’s top half-dozen teams in the next six Gameweeks and indeed the visit of Manchester City in mid-December is their next encounter with one of these clubs.

With Arsenal’s defence never fully convincing, Fantasy managers may well be focusing more on the Gunners’ attacking assets for this upcoming run – although their next four opponents sit in the bottom eight for attempts on target this season.

From an attacking perspective, a trip to the King Power Stadium won’t be easy, with Leicester having the third-best expected goals conceded (xGC) total of 2019/20 so far.

Sheffield United, Leicester and Crystal Palace are indeed among the five meanest defences in terms of goals conceded this season.

Gameweeks 13-16 look more enticing from an attacking point of view, with Southampton, Norwich and West Ham among the six teams who have conceded the most big chances.

No FPL forward scored more goals than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) against non-big six sides in 2018/19 (19 in 26 games).

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Next six: SOU | new | ars | AVL | bou | SHU

Wolves sit second-top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 9-18 and their recent upturn in form is coinciding nicely with the fixture swing after the international break.

Arsenal are the only ‘big six’ club that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side face between now and mid-December.

After their early-season defensive struggles, no opposition player has scored against Wolves in the last three Gameweeks.

The problem remains Europa League-led rotation, of course, with Conor Coady (£5.0m), Raul Jimenez (£7.1m) and Willy Boly (£5.0m) the only outfielders to avoid a benching so far.

Purely from a fixture perspective, Wolves face five of the seven teams who have allowed the most big chances in Gameweeks 9-15.

At the other end of the pitch, Southampton and Newcastle are two of the four worst teams for goal conversion – although trips to Arsenal and Bournemouth will be sterner tests.

Chelsea

Next six: NEW | bur | wat | CRY | mci | WHU

Chelsea avoid not only the other big six sides over the next four Gameweeks, they also dodge any other club that finished in the top half of the Premier League table last season.

A daunting trip to the Etihad in Gameweek 13 is a cloud on the horizon but there are still appealing home fixtures against West Ham, Aston Villa and Bournemouth before we get to the busy festive period.

The games at Stamford Bridge are particularly enticing as the Blues don’t meet any of last season’s top six clubs in west London until late-January.

Chelsea’s backline still have much to prove but the next four matches look attractive from a defensive perspective, with Newcastle, Burnley, Watford and Palace in the bottom eight for big chances created.

From an attacking perspective, Watford and West Ham are two of the three worst teams for big chances conceded.

On the flip side, Burnley and Palace are among the five best clubs for that statistic.

Manchester City’s ongoing defensive woes will at least give owners of Mason Mount (£6.8m) et al more hope of attacking returns than a visit to the Etihad would have last season.

Manchester United

Next six: LIV| nor | bou | BHA | shu | AVL

A fixture swing for Manchester United beckons after the visit of Liverpool in Gameweek 9, although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are hardly making a convincing case to us Fantasy managers at present.

The Red Devils sit top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 10-14, taking on five clubs who are currently ranked tenth or below.

The two remaining teams without a Premier League clean sheet to their names this season immediately follow Jurgen Klopp’s side, which should offer hope to the brave souls among us who are backing United’s misfiring attacking assets.

Solskjaer’s troops have been better from a defensive perspective this season and no club has a lower xGC total after eight Gameweeks of 2019/20.

In Bournemouth, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, United are taking on three teams who rank in the bottom six for shots in the box.

Bournemouth

Next six: NOR | wat | MUN | new | WOL | tot

Any fixture run that begins with Norwich and Watford automatically catches the eye, even if the Cherries’ matches beyond that are mixed.

The Canaries and the Hornets have conceded 41 goals and kept just one clean sheet between them, which bodes well for Callum Wilson (£7.9m) and co.

An out-of-sorts Manchester United are there for the taking, too, although the Red Devils are the meanest defence when it comes to expected goals conceded.

A trip to Spurs needn’t hold much fear either, with the Lilywhites having conceded more shots on target than all other clubs bar Norwich.

Everton

Next six: WHU | bha | TOT | sou | NOR | lei

Everton have been staples of this article this season but their excellent run comes to a juddering halt in Gameweek 14, with trips to Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester United interspersed with home matches against Chelsea and Arsenal.

Before that, though, the out-of-sorts Toffees enjoy home matches against the side who have allowed the most big chances (West Ham) and the two teams who allowed the most shots on target (Spurs and Norwich) in 2019/20.

Only the Canaries and Watford have shipped more goals than Southampton, meanwhile.

Also Consider

We’d be foolish to overlook Manchester City’s (cry | AVL | SOU | liv | CHE | new) next three fixtures, even if the trip to Anfield and the visit of Chelsea beyond that are not quite so appealing.

Saturday’s match against Palace is not so straightforward, either, given that the Eagles have only conceded one goal at Selhurst Park all season.

The double-header against Villa and Southampton at the Etihad is enticing, though: those two clubs are among the seven worst teams for big chances conceded this season.

West Ham (eve | SHU | NEW | bur | TOT| che) have their own appealing double-header coming up and a trip to an out-of-sorts Everton before that, three games that ought to offer clean sheet possibilities: the Toffees, Sheffield United and Newcastle are in the bottom four for goals scored this season.

Burnley’s (lei | CHE | shu | WHU | wat | CRY) four fixtures in Gameweek 11-14 are also similarly appealing from a defensive perspective, with all four opponents in the bottom half for big chances created.

We can’t ignore Tottenham Hotspur‘s (WAT | liv | eve | SHU | whu | BOU) ongoing excellent home fixtures, with the Lilywhites’ next four in north London all against teams that finished outside of the top ten last season.

A double-header on Merseyside is a little off-putting, though, along with a trip to an improving West Ham United side.

The Weak

Crystal Palace

Next six: MCI | ars | LEI | che | LIV | bur

It’s hard to imagine a tougher run than the one Crystal Palace have got coming up, with the Eagles now facing six of the top current seven in the top flight – the other team, of course, are Roy Hodgson’s troops themselves.

Palace are, unsurprisingly, rock-bottom of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 9-14.

The Eagles have been pretty strong from a defensive perspective but in Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea they will face the three Premier League clubs who have scored the most goals this season.

Only Newcastle have carved out fewer big chances than the Eagles and any little interest we have in their attacking assets is likely to be put on ice until after this run.

All bar Arsenal of their next six opponents are among the half-dozen clubs with the meanest defences, based on expected goals conceded.

Budget assets such as Martin Kelly (£4.1m) and Jordan Ayew (£5.1m) look likely to be spending a lot of time on our benches in October and November, then.

Aston Villa

Next six: BHA | mci | LIV | wol | NEW | mun

Villa have two appealing home fixtures against Brighton and Newcastle in the next six Gameweeks but aside from that, there are stiff tests for Dean Smith’s outfit.

Trips to City, an in-form Wolves and Manchester United look tough for Villa’s attacking assets, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s misfiring side nevertheless still fairly solid at the back.

Liverpool, who have conceded the fewest goals this season, visit Villa Park in Gameweek 11.

Villa will at least take solace from the fact they have scored against both north London clubs already this season.

Southampton

Next six:  wol | LEI | mci | EVE | ars | WAT

Southampton’s forthcoming fixture run is perhaps not quite as bad as Palace’s but they face teams that finished in the top half last season in each of the next five Gameweeks.

Away matches at Manchester City and Arsenal look particularly unappealing and their defence is surely a no-go zone until the fixture swing in Gameweek 14.

A fixture against Wolves might have looked appealing a few weeks ago but Nuno Espirito’s Santo have shown an upturn in form and have conceded just one goal in the last three Gameweeks – an own-goal, at that.

Only Liverpool have conceded fewer goals than Leicester, meanwhile.

Even without the fixtures, the Saints’ patchy form and porous defence (only Watford and Norwich have shipped more) are off-putting factors at present.

Sheffield United

Next six: ARS | whu | BUR| tot | MUN | wol

John Lundstram (£4.5m) may find himself on bench duty quite a bit over the coming weeks, with Sheffield United’s fixtures a mixed bag at best.

The Blades will be hoping that Spurs and Manchester United are still in a slump by the time we reach mid-November, while keeping their fingers crossed that Wolves and Burnley’s decent form has taken a turn for the worse.

Owners of Lundstram may consider the fixtures against Burnley, Spurs and Manchester United at a push, all of whom are in the bottom eight for big chances created.

Also Consider

Once again we have to highlight the fact that Liverpool‘s fixture run (mun | TOT | avl | MCI | cry | bha) is far from ideal for those of us with assets from Jurgen Klopp’s side.

While the schedule from Gameweeks 9-12 (and even Palace away in Gameweek 13) may be enough for us to swerve a triple-up, there will be many FPL bosses willing to stick with the likes of Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.2m) through the choppy waters ahead.

Klopp’s troops are, let’s remember, on a 17-match winning run in the Premier League.

The Reds face three big six clubs between now and the November international break but it could be argued that this is the best time to play United, Spurs and City, with all three sides having issues either going forward or at the back.

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1,723 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Baganuva Hatty
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Bench 1 def & 1 mid.
    a. Van dijk -man u(a)
    b. Rico - NOR(H)
    c. Maddison - BUR(H)
    d. McGinn -BRI(H)

    1. Karhumies
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Bench B, play both C & D

      1. Baganuva Hatty
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Thanks, I'm leaning towards that on hearing Son returned late from IB. Can't bring myself to bench VVD

    2. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      I'd sooner cap Maddison then bench.

      Who else is in your midfield and attack that you have to bench McGinn?

      1. Baganuva Hatty
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Team.
        Pope
        TAA-Ota-(VVD/Rico)
        Son-KDB-Mount-(McGinn/Maddy)
        Auba-Wilson-Abraham

      2. Baganuva Hatty
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 4 days ago

        I know, horrible dilema

      3. Sam (Team Sam)
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        You'd captain him then bench him?

    3. zøphar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Rico easily between the defenders.
      The midfielders is a tough choice, probably McGinn between the two

      1. Baganuva Hatty
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Thanks...Liverpool double up or spread the clean sheet assist potential

  2. Ynwalfc
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Anyone else thinking Mane captain? De Gea out and Utd look like they’re going to attack which can only mean trouble at the other end.

    1. HVT
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      What’s his away form like?

    2. Ynwalfc
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      25 points in 4 games. 3rd highest scoring player against utd who have been awful

    3. CostaCoffee
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      I’m still expecting United to concede 1/2 at most

      1. Ynwalfc
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        That’s what happened against Leicester and he got a goal and assist

        1. CostaCoffee
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Yeah but he’s not going to be involved in every goal in every game

    4. Freddiebell
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      I have him bit haven't thought about captaining him though. I just don't think there will be many goals in the Man Utd Liverpool game imo.

      1. Freddiebell
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        But# sorry this phone is so small and my fingers are like sausages.

      2. Ynwalfc
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        I gonna go with my gut. From what I’ve read Ole is gonna attack

  3. Lets all klopp together
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Gtg
    Pope
    Taa, dunk, Pereira
    Kdb, cantwell, salah, sterling(vc)
    Abraham(c), haller, jimenez
    Bench, mcgovern, lundstram, simpson, hayden

    1. Karhumies
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Simpson & Hayden are fodder and could be upgraded if/when you have extra transfers and leftover money. Starting XI gtg. Love the Pereira, I think I might have to get him as well soon-ish.

  4. Brosstan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Reposting....

    Kun + Barnes' + James -> Vardy + Wilson + CHO (-4). Already did the transfers. Feels good to get rid of all 3. Aguero stressful to own and feels like he can't be capped because of rotation. Barnes and James just horrible picks. Thoughts? Also got money ITB now to get in Robbo in defense.

    1. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Aguero (AVL, SOT) would have been a great captaincy choice.

      1. Brosstan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Benched in one of those.

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 4 days ago

          Ok - nice moves nonetheless. Think people will be moving on Hudson Odoi very soon. Good luck.

          1. Brosstan
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 4 days ago

            Cheers. Yes feels like an ahead of the curve move to get CHO in

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

    Which 2 to bench?
    Tomori (NEW H)
    Söyüncü (BUR H)
    Rico (NOR H)
    Ota (CRY A)
    Digne (WHU H)
    Pukki (BOU A)

    1. Ynwalfc
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Bottom 2

    2. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Rico and Soy

      1. skilldave
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 4 days ago

        Agree with Miguel

  6. Taegugk Warrior
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 4 days ago

    chose 1 to play :
    A. Rico
    B. Guilbert

    1. jb1985
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 4 days ago

      Rico

  7. Slitherene
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Heaton (Pope)
    Soy Tomori Digne (Lascelles) (Diop)
    Mount Son KdB Salah (Stephens)
    C.Wilson Pukki Ayew*

    1 FT, 4.3 ITB

    Ayew -> Vardy (LEI attacking cover) or Tammy (CHE triple up)?

  8. New article
  9. Zulle
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Any comments?
    or GTG

    Pope (Mcgovern)

    Tomori - Otamendi - TAA (Lundy, Soyuncu)

    Maddison - Sterling - Mount - KDB (Saka)

    Vardy - Abraham - C. Wilson

    Want to play Soyuncu, but dont know how.

    1. Baganuva Hatty
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 4 days ago

      It comes down to one of Soy Ota or Tom... I'd bench Soy

  10. Ciro Di Marzio
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Is KDB going to start this week or will he be eased back in?

    Wondering if I should do Mahrez to KDB now or wait a week?

    1. Gudjohnsen
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 4 days ago

      I'm gonna wait a week.

  11. _werre_
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    Assistance please on a WC. Option A or B:

    A
    Patrício (Ryan)
    TAA Rico Dunk (Söyüncü, Lundstram)
    Mount KDB Mane Maddison (Traorê)
    Wilson(C) Jiménez Abraham

    B
    Ryan (Pope)
    Söyüncü Rico Dunk (Lundstram, Kelly)
    Mane KDB Sterling Hudson-Odoi (Cantwell)
    Vardy Abraham Wilson(C)

  12. finnish92
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 4 days ago

    2FT: Pukki, Wood -> Vardy, Connolly?
    Abraham is my first striker