814
Frisking the Fixtures

Which teams have the best and worst fixtures over Christmas?

We Fantasy managers currently find ourselves in a midweek limbo, with eight Gameweek 15 fixtures still to contest before we turn our attention to the weekend’s games.

With the matches coming thick and fast throughout December and into the New Year, we are due a “frisk” of the Premier League fixture list.

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

Our primary focus will be on a six-Gameweek lookahead here, which takes us up to the final set of games before FA Cup third round weekend – although 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

Crystal Palace

Next six: wat | BHA | new | WHU | sou | nor

Palace’s victory over Bournemouth last night was the second of eight matches that the Eagles enjoy against sides currently in the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Quite simply, there isn’t a run as good as this over the next six Gameweeks and Roy Hodgson’s side sit top of our Season Ticker over this period as a result.

The omens are particularly good from a defensive perspective: in their six games against bottom-half teams this season, they have kept five clean sheets and conceded just one goal.

All six of their next opponents are in the bottom half for goals scored, too.

The Eagles aren’t renowned for their own goalscoring exploits and have created fewer big chances than any other top-flight team this season.

Only Watford and Newcastle, their opponents in Gameweeks 16 and 18, have scored fewer goals than the Eagles.

Even against bottom-half teams, Hodgson’s side have only scored at a rate of 1.33 goals per game.

However, the Eagles’ next six opponents lie in the bottom seven for big chances conceded in 2019/20.

Tottenham Hotspur

Next six: BUR | wol | CHE | BHA | nor | sou

Son on the rise as Mourinho's Tottenham triumph over West Ham

With a new manager at the helm and goals flowing at the business end of the pitch, Tottenham Hotspur’s FPL assets are suddenly back under consideration.

We looked at how Jose Mourinho had put his stamp on Spurs’ set-up in our Gameweek 14 review, while Tom Freeman (aka avfc82) also discussed the Lilywhites in his latest Pro Pundits piece.

Spurs have scored ten goals in three competitive matches going into Wednesday’s clash with Manchester United and there are some appealing matches ahead for Mourinho’s troops, particularly in Gameweeks 19-24: Spurs enjoy four fixtures against sides currently in the relegation zone, with a double-header against Norwich City among them.

Before that, games against Burnley, Wolves and Chelsea will perhaps pose more of a test: those three clubs are in the top half for fewest big chances and shots in the box conceded.

That trio are also among the ten best clubs for big chances created at the other end of the pitch.

The good thing is that the games against Burnley and Chelsea come at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: those two clubs have kept only one clean sheet between them on the road in 2019/20.

Aston Villa

Next six: LEI | shu | SOU | WAT | nor | bur

Two tough tests against high-flying Leicester City and Sheffield United await Aston Villa in Gameweeks 16 and 17.

No club had kept as many clean sheets as Leicester (six) heading into Wednesday night’s games, with the Blades just one behind on five shut-outs.

The two sides have conceded just 22 goals between them this season, as many as Villa have shipped themselves.

Beyond that, though, there are some really appealing fixtures.

The Villans faces all three sides currently in the relegation zone from Gameweeks 18-20, with a return match against 20th-placed Watford to come in Gameweek 24.

That trio of Premier League strugglers also languish in the bottom three for goals conceded, which will be of interest to those eyeing up Jack Grealish (£5.9m) et al.

Trips to bottom-half Burnley and Brighton and Hove Albion also await Dean Smith’s troops in Gameweeks 21 and 23.

The Seagulls, Watford, Norwich and Southampton are in the bottom five for big chances conceded this season.

Sheffield United

Next six: nor | AVL | bha | WAT | mci | liv

We have slightly tweaked the rules to include Sheffield United in this piece, as their double-header against Manchester City and Liverpool in Gameweeks 20 and 21 is obviously off-putting.

Over the preceding four Gameweeks, however, Chris Wilder’s side enjoy some particularly favourable fixtures.

Two of the bottom three in Norwich and Watford await, along with two sides currently hovering just above the relegation zone: Aston Villa and Brighton.

Many of us are predominantly interested in the Blades’ defence, with John Lundstram‘s (£5.1m) FPL ownership soaring to over 46%.

Villa will pose a challenge to their defensive solidity but Norwich, Brighton and Watford are in the bottom seven for goals scored this season – even if the Canaries have perked up slightly over the last fortnight.

That trio of clubs are also in the bottom eight for big chances created.

There is hope for Lys Mousset (£5.1m) at the other end of the pitch, too, with their Gameweek 16-19 opponents all having shipped at least 21 goals in their 14 league fixtures contested so far.

Leicester City

Next six: avl | NOR | mci | LIV | whu | new

Much like Sheffield United, the Foxes have a looming double-header against Liverpool and Manchester City that dents their assets’ appeal a little.

However, their seven other fixtures in Gameweeks 16-24 are all against sides currently in the bottom half of the table.

Factoring in their recent matches against Everton and Watford, Leicester will have faced all eight sides who have conceded the most amount of league goals this season in Gameweeks 14-24 – great news for owners of Jamie Vardy (£9.9m) and co.

West Ham, Norwich and Southampton, who Leicester enjoy four fixtures against between now and mid-January, are also in the bottom three for big chances conceded.

At the other end, those three clubs plus Newcastle are in the bottom half for goals scored.

Also Consider

Favourable fixtures still may not be enough for managers to invest heavily in Southampton (new | WHU | avl | che | CRY | TOT) and Newcastle United (SOU | bur | CRY | mun | EVE | LEI) assets in December but the two sides do enjoy some more appealing games in the next three Gameweeks, before things get trickier from Boxing Day onwards.

Danny Ings (£6.2m) is the most-owned Southampton asset by some distance and from his perspective, the prospects look good over the next trio of games: Newcastle, West Ham and Aston Villa are all in the bottom eight for goals conceded at the time of writing.

The Hammers have allowed more big chances than any club, while Villa are bottom for shots in the box conceded.

From a Newcastle point of view, our interests are perhaps more in their defenders.

In Southampton and Palace, the Magpies will be facing two clubs who – like themselves – are in the bottom three for shots in the box.

Chelsea (eve | BOU | tot | SOU | ars | bha) have a couple of tricky-looking games in north London in Gameweeks 18 and 20, although a trip to Goodison Park isn’t the daunting test it was towards the back-end of last season.

Home fixtures against Bournemouth and Southampton are particularly appealing at both ends of the pitch.

Manchester United‘s (mci | EVE | wat | NEW| bur | ars) six-Gameweek lookahead is also bookended by two away tests at City and Arsenal but there are some appealing games sandwiched within that, with a trip to Watford in Gameweek 18 – when several other clubs either blank or have a tough match-up – one to consider.

The Weak

Everton

Next six: CHE | mun | ARS | BUR | new | mci

Out of form, low on confidence and with a manager teetering on the brink of the sack: who would back Everton’s Fantasy assets at present?

To compound their misery, the Toffees sit bottom of our Season Ticker over the next six Gameweeks.

Clean sheets have been in short supply (just one from Gameweeks 3-14) and there don’t look to be many in the offing between now and the New Year, with all bar Newcastle of their next six opponents currently in the top half for goals scored.

The Toffees had a decent record against the ‘big six’ in 2018/19 and, with the caveat being that this is written before the Merseyside derby, weren’t disgraced in matches against City, Leicester and Spurs this season.

That said, many of their most-popular FPL assets don’t come cheap and there is no question that better options exist in the low-premium price brackets over the festive period.

Manchester City

Next six: MUN | ars | LEI | wol | SHU | EVE

Unlike Everton’s players, many of us still retain faith – misplaced or otherwise – in Manchester City assets.

Pep Guardiola’s side have almost been completely fixture-proof in the last two seasons but they haven’t quite hit full throttle in 2019/20.

They have already dropped 13 points so far this season, having lost only 16 in the whole of 2018/19.

So long as their attacking assets are scoring, however, we Fantasy managers can overlook the results themselves.

A forthcoming double-header against United and Arsenal may look tricky on paper but those two clubs are without a clean sheet since Gameweeks 5 and 8 respectively, which should provide encouragement to owners of Raheem Sterling (£11.9m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£10.3m).

It is arguably the three matches that follow that are tougher tests: Leicester, Wolves and Sheffield United are, like the two Manchester clubs, in the top six for fewest goals conceded this season and have 14 clean sheets between them at the time of writing.

Bournemouth

Next six: LIV| che | BUR | ARS | bha | whu

A Bournemouth side struggling for form and goals languish near the bottom of our Season Ticker over the next four Gameweeks before things improve drastically after Boxing Day.

Games against Liverpool and Chelsea should see plenty of benchings for Diego Rico (£4.3m).

With Eddie Howe’s injury-hit side on a run of five goals in the last eight games, there seems little incentive to invest in attacking assets, either, although the visit of a leaky Arsenal defence and the subsequent fixture swing in Gameweek 20 will perhaps increase their appeal.

Also Consider

Wolves (bha | TOT | nor | MCI | liv | wat) and Arsenal (whu | MCI | eve | bou | CHE | MUN) are in similar boats over the next six Gameweeks, with three meetings apiece against so-called ‘big six’ clubs interspersed by more ‘winnable’ games.

The problem for Arsenal is that their three more favourable fixtures, against West Ham, Everton and Bournemouth, all come away from home, where the Gunners have struggled this season and last.

Freddie Ljungberg’s side have won just once on the road in 2019/20 and are only scoring at a rate of one goal per game on their travels.

Wolves’ fixture run might not be enough for owners of Raul Jimenez (£7.7m) to offload, as Nuno Espirito Santo’s troops – and the Mexican striker himself – excelled against the big six sides in 2018/19.

Jimenez registered four goals and five assists against these ‘elite’ teams last season.

Barring a brief dalliance with their defenders under the pragmatic Quique Sanchez Flores, Fantasy managers have largely given Watford (CRY | liv | MUN | shu | AVL | WOL) a wide berth this season.

The uncertainty over their next managerial appointment and their fixture run from Gameweeks 17-19 especially will likely see that trend continue for the time being.

The Blank Gameweekers

A special mention to two sides we haven’t discussed yet: Liverpool (bou | WAT | – | lei | WOL | SHU) and West Ham United (ARS | sou | – | cry | LEI | BOU).

There won’t be many Fantasy managers who aren’t aware that these two sides blank in Gameweek 18. with Liverpool’s Club World Cup commitments forcing a postponement of their scheduled league clash with the Hammers to an as-yet-unconfirmed later date.

Interest in West Ham’s players will be in short supply but many of us still own Liverpool assets and will be loath to ditch before the blank given that a double-header against out-of-form Bournemouth and bottom-of-the-table Watford precedes Gameweek 18.

Many Fantasy managers will perhaps bench their Liverpool assets for one Gameweek only but a tricky trip to Leicester in Gameweek 19, followed by the far-from-straightforward visits of Wolves and Sheffield United, may have some of us pondering whether to ditch a player or two from Jurgen Klopp’s side in the short-term.

As we mentioned in our Manchester City entry, those three clubs are in the top six for fewest goals conceded this season.


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814 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Amey
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tammy starts ...
    That was quick 😮

    1. Taking the Mkhitaryan
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      It was a bruise.
      Hardly life threatening

      1. Amey
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Easy to say that now tbh 🙂
        I expected him him to sit this one out

    2. DA Minnion
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Hadn't broken ribs after all.

      1. Taking the Mkhitaryan
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Especially as nobody has ribs on their hip

        1. zdrojo187
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          This

        2. Wild Rover
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          😀

        3. Amey
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Lol

        4. La Roja
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          lol

    3. bench boost for every gamew…
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      From Lamps you could get the impression that he would play him
      More surprised to see Jimenez, Ings, Aurier starting among some others, Wolves going for the same line up 4 times in 10 days. Ings play two games from start in 3 days.

      Reece James could be a much better way into Chelsea defense. Hm. But i really have no room for him.
      There´ going to be some autosubs this week, so Rico owners were lucky once again, hauled off ten minutes before they conceded.. uhh

  2. jtreble
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Deep benches win.

  3. tisza
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    About time Greenwood got a start. Least he'll get in the 6 yard box.

    1. Stef rocks
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      I am considering to bet that he will score actually

      1. tisza
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        See if you can get a double with James providing the assist.
        James hits the line then has to wait 5 minutes for Rashford or martial to get there

    2. Gimli son of Gloin
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Actually sticks his nose in and around the goal.. shocking how little Rashford and Martial make those movements.

  4. Brooksy86
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    If Tomori warms the bench all night I get Rico points... Should I be afraid?

    1. Firmino
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      No

      1. Brooksy86
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Just realised I have Tammy 3rd bench... Sakes.

    2. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Rico also waiting 1st on bench here.

  5. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    People kept Tammy only to bench him at home to Villa?

    Oh dear.

    1. Taking the Mkhitaryan
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Embarrassing

      1. Team Cruel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Harsh on Rainer

    2. DA Minnion
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Yeah didn't want a cameo.

    3. in sane in de bruyne
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Kept him to play him

    4. pumpkinhead
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      My thought exactly

    5. Amey
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 17 days ago

      You're pushing wrong nerves 😀

  6. Zico Senna
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tammy starts!!! And there he is on my bench ffs

    1. pumpkinhead
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Why tho

  7. tucaoneo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tammy to block Cantwell score on the bench 🙂

  8. KGFC
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    What happened to Chilwell?? Was he expected to not play today???

    1. Taking the Mkhitaryan
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Midweek rotation
      Rodgers said he would rotate

    2. Rotation's Alter Ego
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Groin issue. Only just heard myself so don't think it was pre-known

      1. KGFC
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Oh gosh... Don't want a forced change for the weekend... Hope he is alright

        1. Rotation's Alter Ego
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          No idea on the severity, but bad timing with this fixture pileup.

  9. Stef rocks
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Wow Greenwood finally get a deserved start !

  10. Here Comes The Son ★
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    ha... Cresswell first on my bench last week, all 11 of my players start. Cresswell first on my bench this week, 2 players dropped. Love it.

    1. Jurgen Flopp
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Ditto

  11. Bury94
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Rico on for Chilwell, nice. Just hope it's not injury related

  12. F4L
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Is Chilwell injured?

  13. Jurgen Flopp
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tammy will rip me a new one. Don't have a sofa big enough.

    1. Brooksy86
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Praying it's Mason's night tonight!

    2. Amey
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Relax

  14. zdrojo187
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tomori out...so Kelly in from the bench 🙂

    1. ljuta zena
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Only if he doesnt get in for 1 pts

  15. KnightSlayer
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Greenwood brace

  16. ChelseaBlues223
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Told you Tammy starts

  17. Rainer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Who’s hauls are Martial, Chilwell & Tomori starters getting off the bench?

    1. CRO KLOPP
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Christiansen to get injury on 31. Min?

      1. CRO KLOPP
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Kelly btw

        1. Daniel S.
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Rico Kelly and some random dude with 10pts

    2. Iceball
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Rico 9 pointer if Tomori noshow

    3. Wild Rover
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Mount and Lunstram for my two. Happy

    4. F4L
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      an Ings hattie hopefully

    5. Vlad Tepes
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Rico and maybe Dendocker

    6. Pipermaru
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Don't think Christensen will last full 90'.

  18. grooveymatt65
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tomori owner here.. do we think he stays on the bench?

    1. Brooksy86
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Praying...

      1. Daniel S.
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Rico for Mark so no. Sorry bro

    2. Maddamotha
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Depends on how the game evolves obviously

    3. Legendary!
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Christensen is made of glass. I’m fully expecting Tomori to come on.

    4. Jindaljain
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Kelly 1st sub & Rico 2nd sub

  19. Steirish
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Any reason tomori was benched or just rest ?

    1. Daniel S.
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Rico bench pts for Mark. That's why

      1. circusmonkey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Do you remember the guy that genuinely thought Mark had a line to Keoman and was telling him who to play.

        1. Daniel S.
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Yeah that was hilarious

    2. zdrojo187
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Rest

    3. Gimli son of Gloin
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Rotation. With Rudiger on the way back he'll be a choppy selection from now on.

  20. jason_ni
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tammy injured at weekend, I get William's zero off the bench.. tammy returns to 11 tonight, blocks my rico 9 as 1st sub.. ffs

    1. Daniel S.
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Ffs

  21. moment
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    damn everyone's going to get my Rico points aren't they

    1. CRO KLOPP
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Just Kelly

  22. LewanGOALski
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tomori in my Starting XI with Tammy 1st sub 😀

    don’t you even dare, Frank... 😀

    1. HurriKane
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Tammy Hatty and Tomori 1 pointer incoming 😉

      1. LewanGOALski
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        I’ll delete my team, seriously...

  23. KGFC
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Hope Mount can get some attacking returns today and repay the faith of his keepers!

    1. zdrojo187
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Bingo

    2. circusmonkey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      He goes for me if he blanks.

  24. Ady87
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Martial in starting XI.

    Tomori first sub.
    Cantwell second sub (SHU).

    Cantwell blank after benching his two goals, nailed on.

    1. Team Cruel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Martial isn't in squad. Mods ban this guy

    2. jtreble
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Look again.

  25. King Henrik
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Is it true.... Does Tammy start ??

    1. zotter
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Yes

  26. Aftermath
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    I have a question.
    If one of your player doesn't play and your first sub also doesn't play, then does your second sub come in or do you get your first sub itself with 0 points?

    1. Ragabolly
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      2nd sub

    2. Mo Salah No Mane
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Are you for real?

    3. Pipermaru
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      If sub doesn't play he won't come in.

  27. Vlad Tepes
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    I am getting my Rico points because Martial is out but I rather see him play. Now I will get Dendocker instead of Tomori, if he stays on the bench..

  28. F4L
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    fack Chilwell injured

  29. Silecro
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Tammy, Mount, Willian, Pulisic, this is the goals-galore Chelsea we know this season, cant wait for the game and points

    1. HurriKane
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      Cue 1-0 Kante Winner assisted by Kova

      1. Silecro
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        As a Chelsea fan and Croatian, im more than fine with that 😀