Frisking the Fixtures

Who has the best and worst upcoming FPL fixtures?

We assess the Premier League clubs with the strongest and weakest runs of league matches over the coming weeks in our regular frisk of the fixture list.

Although our primary focus will be on a six-Gameweek lookahead in this article, we will scrutinise the longer-term prospects where relevant.

We’re still waiting for the top flight of English football to settle down to some extent, with only two of the traditional “big six” clubs currently to be found above 10th place.

Perhaps what we perceive to be normality won’t resume and upstarts like Everton, Leeds United and Aston Villa are here to stay at the top end of the table.

The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that our Season Ticker, which is the primary source for this piece, has already had a tweak in terms of fixture difficulty rating: the table-topping Toffees, for example, have crossed over to the scarlet end of the colour spectrum.

There have been functionality improvements to the ticker on our home page, too, with ‘drag and drop’ returning and the ability to remove a Gameweek added.

THE STRONG

CRYSTAL PALACE

Next six: wol |LEE | bur | NEW | wba | TOT

Crystal Palace remain top of our Season Ticker over the next six Gameweeks, although their favourable run is bookended by tricky tests against a defensively solid Wolverhampton Wanderers and high-flying Tottenham Hotspur.

The Gameweek 8 visit of Leeds United is no straightforward prospect either, given the ease with which Marcelo Bielsa’s side brushed aside the previously unbeaten Aston Villa last Friday.

It’s the three fixtures that fall immediately after the international break that catch the eye most as Burnley, Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion all currently lie 14th or below in the embryonic Premier League table.

Wolves’ relative struggles in front of goal are also worth considering: four of the Eagles’ five Gameweek 7-11 opponents, including Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, are in the bottom half of the table for goals scored.

The Gameweek 5 and 6 fixtures were frustrating from a defensive perspective, with 90th-minute strikes, both from outside the box, depriving the Eagles of clean sheets.

Roy Hodgson’s troops were only a slice of luck away from shut-outs in both cases and, given their defence-first reputation, par for the next five Gameweeks would surely be at least two clean sheets.

EVERTON

Next six: new | MUN | ful | LEE | bur | CHE

As is the case with Palace, Everton’s schedule take a bit of a nosedive from Gameweek 12 onwards.

Not that our traditional view of what constitutes a tricky fixture seems to hold true at present, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.7m) already delivering the goods against both Spurs and Liverpool.

If we are to consider games that are at least appealing on paper, then the Toffees’ next three away matches are among the best.

Newcastle, Fulham and Burnley have looked like three of the most anaemic attacks in the Premier League this season and rank in the bottom six for big chances created.

That trio of clubs only have two clean sheets between them, although the Clarets have begun to look more like their old mean selves since the international break and made life tough for Spurs on Monday.

ASTON VILLA

Next six: SOU | ars | BHA | whu | NEW | wol

Aston Villa’s 100% record came to a crashing end against Leeds United last Friday, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side delivering a reality check to the Villans.

Villa’s upcoming run of games, particularly at home, presents them with a decent opportunity to regain their momentum, however.

Dean Smith’s side sit top of our Season Ticker from now until Boxing Day, with Southampton, Brighton, Newcastle, Burnley and Crystal Palace up next for the Villans on their own turf and West Brom awaiting in Gameweek 15.

While some of those sides are performing well in the opening weeks of the campaign, that still constitutes a welcoming sequence of games in most people’s eyes.

Arsenal, West Ham and Wolves will be tough nuts to crack for Jack Grealish (£7.3m) and co on the road, however, with that trio of clubs among the more defensively secure sides in the division this season.

Villa’s fixtures rotate fairly well with those of both Newcastle and West Ham up until Christmas, should any FPL manager be considering a way to navigate those trickier tests for Smith’s troops.

WEST HAM UNITED

Next six: liv | FUL | shu| AVL | MUN | lee

Given that Frisking the Fixtures is a fortnightly series, West Ham United’s favourable run will have already commenced by the time we take a look over the schedule again during the international break.

The Hammers sit top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 8-20, with some particularly juicy games in east London to come against Fulham, Villa, Palace, Brighton, West Brom and Burnley over the next three months.

A trip to Anfield is the last obstacle before the November swing but the Reds are struggling for numbers at the back and this might be a decent time to face the reigning champions, who have conceded a joint-league-worst 14 goals this season.

Michail Antonio (£6.3m) has already bagged goals against Leicester, Arsenal and Manchester City in 2020/21, so the calibre of opposition seems to matter little to the in-form forward – although his hamstrings might have a say in his availability.

David Moyes’ side have been excellent since a Gameweek 2 switch to a wing-back system but it remains to be seen how they fare against sides who are more content to let the Hammers play on the front foot, which might be the case in Gameweeks 8 and 9.

CHELSEA

Next six: bur |SHU | new | TOT | LEE | eve

Were we to focus solely on the next three Gameweeks, then Chelsea would top the pile on our Season Ticker.

Two winless clubs in the relegation zone and an unconvincing Newcastle side are to come before things turn sour, with Chelsea facing none of the current bottom five between Gameweeks 10-18.

The Clarets and the Blades are the two worst attacks in the Premier League so far this season, with each scoring just three goals apiece.

Steve Bruce’s side have also looked toothless going forward, with no side having had fewer shots on target.

Four clean sheets in the last five matches in all competitions has hinted at a bit of a sea change for Chelsea, with new recruits Thiago Silva (£5.5m), Ben Chilwell (£5.8m) and Edouard Mendy (£5.0m) having the desired effect on a previously troubled defence.

At the other end, the Blues are now finally at full strength after an injury-interrupted start to 2020/21 and we’ll surely see a return to a more attacking set-up at Turf Moor on Saturday after the safety-first approach at Old Trafford in Gameweek 6.

ALSO CONSIDER

West Bromwich Albion (ful | TOT | mun | SHU | CRY | new), like so many clubs featured in this piece, have a mixed bag of games, with the double-header against Spurs and Manchester United the obvious negative.

Their other four opponents in the next six Gameweeks are all in the bottom half for goals scored, however, with Fulham and Sheffield United the only two top-tier sides yet to keep a Premier League clean sheet this season.

The Baggies have looked a lot more solid (against admittedly limited attacks) in the last two Gameweeks and their fixtures rotate very well with West Ham’s up until Christmas, for those nostalgic managers finding the allure of a romantic Branislav Ivanovic (£4.5m) pick hard to resist.

Top-of-the-table Everton, an improving Southampton and a Chelsea side finally nearing full strength are next up for Newcastle United (EVE | sou | CHE | cry | avl | WBA), an awkward trio of matches that undermines their lofty position in our Season Ticker.

Look beyond that though and there are some more appealing fixtures for the Magpies’ backline, with Palace, West Brom and Fulham (who Steve Bruce’s side face in Gameweek 14) hardly setting the world alight with their attacking play so far in 2020/21.

Those three teams are, as it happens, also in the bottom three for expected goals conceded, too.

Looking ahead to our next piece over the November international break, expect to see Manchester City (shu | LIV | tot | BUR | FUL | mun) feature more prominently as we gear up for their mouth-watering fixture swing in Gameweek 10.

THE WEAK

Fulham 

Sharp rescues blunt Blades as Mitrovic suffers nightmare outing

Next six: WBA | whu | EVE | lei | mci | LIV

A Gameweek 7 clash with fellow Premier League new boys West Bromwich Albion will likely represent the last hurrah for Aleksandar Mitrovic (£5.8m) in many Fantasy teams, for those managers who didn’t sell him long ago.

Fulham’s schedule is appalling from next week onwards, with four clubs scoring at a rate of two+ goals per game to come in Gameweeks 8-12 – the one exception being Manchester City, who will surely be back to their destructive best sooner rather than later.

Frankly, little more needs to be written on the matter. Some clubs, like West Ham, have been able to ride out a tough fixture run but the Cottagers, bottom of the table, winless and without a clean sheet despite a relatively favourable opening run of games, have “avoid” written all over them in the medium term at the very least.

BURNLEY

Pieters at right-back as Burnley reveal Bardsley's self-isolation

Next six: CHE | bha | CRY | mci | EVE | ars

While Fulham won’t be giving their upcoming opponents any nightmares, a streetwise Burnley side may be a tougher prospect.

The Clarets’ forthcoming fixture run, which includes meetings with attack-minded sides such as Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, is enough to deter fresh investment in the likes of Nick Pope (£5.5m), despite a decent-looking double-header either side of the international break.

Sean Dyche’s side could still have a big say in FPL matters, however, with their defence starting to look more like their old selves since the October international break.

We indeed saw a free-scoring Spurs side struggle to break down their opponents at Turf Moor in Gameweek 6 and, over the course of the season, no Premier League side has allowed fewer big chances than Pope and co.

ALSO CONSIDER

Is a sea of red on the Season Ticker enough to put managers off Leeds United (LEI | cry | ARS | eve | che | WHU)?

All of the Whites’ next six opponents are currently ranked 12th or above, with Leicester, Arsenal and West Ham among the three best sides in the division from a defensive perspective.

But then that was also true of Aston Villa before Patrick Bamford (£5.9m) butchered Dean Smith’s side in the Midlands, with Marcelo Bielsa’s boys having previously gone toe to toe with last season’s top two and taken points off Manchester City.

Sheffield United (MCI | che | WHU | wba | LEI | sou) have neither form nor fixtures on their side over the next five Gameweeks (and possibly beyond), with the exception of the trip to West Brom in November.

So defensively solid in 2019/20, the Blades have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and face tough upcoming tests: Chelsea, West Ham and Leicester have all scored two goals per match or more, while Manchester City are long overdue a big win.

Finally, a cautionary word on two teams who will feature more prominently in this piece for all the wrong reasons when we revisit the fixture list over the international break.

The short-term outlook is positive for Wolverhampton Wanderers (CRY | lei | SOU | ars | liv | AVL) and Tottenham Hotspur (BHA | wba | MCI | che | ARS | cry), with the former enjoying a winnable next two matches at Molineux and the latter having perhaps the best pair of Gameweek 7/8 fixtures.

Beyond that, though, are more daunting schedules, with both sides facing six of last season’s top eight from Gameweeks 9-16 – that truly will be a test of form versus fixtures for the likes of Harry Kane (£10.9m) and Son Heung-min (£9.5m).


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811 Comments Post a Comment
  1. BigBillyBass
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    That’s Bruno off pens then

    1. Stram Dunk
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Rash welcome to my team

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

    What an absolute gent Rashford is

    1. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      One of the good guys - destined for something meaningful after football.

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

        Destined for something meaningful during football

        1. sully29
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Destined for something meaningful before football.

        2. Old Man
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Indeed

    2. Would Ed Woodward
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Wonder if his PR team told him to give that pen to Martial.

      1. Old Man
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        If so then they know what they're doing ....bit cynical suggestion though.

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 1 day ago

          It was a joke about something that someone else said on here.

  3. xHaTr
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Thoughts for 2FT?

    Trossard and Jimenez to Rashford and Bamford

  4. sully29
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford giving Martial the penalty despite being on a hat-trick. The guy is non-stop.

    1. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Rashford turned the hat trick on a plate like Boris did with the kids.

      Ooh satire.

  5. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Cavani goal disallowed

  6. Tony Martial
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    😉

  7. Zim0
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Cavani Goal but well offside
    Would have been Bruno assist

  8. sully29
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Leipzig have fallen to bits.

    1. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Yeah who would've predicted this. A complete demolition from MUN.

      1. Zim0
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        I guess the start problems for the manchester clubs was down to fitness. Could be the case for chelsea too

    2. Giggs Boson
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      This is what happened against Newcastle.

      When you're chasing a game against United, they'll kill you on the counter.

  9. BENOIT
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Utd starting line up for the next few weeks will be interesting?

    How will they line up in attack?

    1. Tinkermania
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Looking better without Bruno!

      1. Zim0
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        He's on the pitch

      2. Fozzyb34r
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        They’ve scored 3 since he came on 20 minutes ago

      3. Tinkermania
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 1 day ago

        It was already game over, is the point I am trying to put across.

        1. Would Ed Woodward
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 1 day ago

          He wouldn't have come on if it was game over.

          1. Tinkermania
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 1 day ago

            A run out!

    2. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Why is Sancho coming back from injury for them?

    3. sully29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Bruno and Rashford nailed on first choice (though rotation can happen). The rest is trickier.

    4. Feed tha Sheep
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I would go
      Rashford Bruno Pogba
      Martial

  10. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford hatty

  11. Noah’s Ark
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford scores 3!!

  12. Zim0
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford hattrick
    Martial assist

  13. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 1 day ago

    United starting to find their stride ?

    1. Bushwhacker
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Thanks to dodgy VAR.

  14. Tony Martial
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Oh what a pass what a goal

  15. Miguel Sanchez
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Christ I just celebrated a Man U goal - that is what Rashford has done to me

  16. Zim0
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    I need rashford in my team

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

      Same

      1. Zim0
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        But who to not have? 🙁 I'll have Kdb Bruno Son Rodriguez Grealish

        1. Camzy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Bruno probably. Rash is better value.

          1. Zim0
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 1 day ago

            I don't really need the extra cash tho. Who do u think will end up with more points between them?

            1. No Professionals
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 1 day ago

              Can I have it?

              1. Zim0
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 1 day ago

                Sure bud 🙂

          2. Zim0
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 1 day ago

            I aim to replace Kane with KDB in GW10. I could possibly do Kane to Rashford in GW9 instead and then to KDB in GW10. But thats still only 1 game for rashford in my team 😛

          3. baps hunter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 1 day ago

            If and when Martial comes back, Bruno may play less advanced. And somebody said in the "meet the manager" that if in doubt, pick the cheaper one.

          4. No Professionals
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 1 day ago

            Bruno was a get in now and keep for the long run 2hrs ago?

            1. Zim0
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 1 day ago

              He still is. But rashford is cheaper and scored a hattrick. I wanttttttt

              1. Zim0
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 1 day ago

                But also i wanna keep Bruno 🙁

    2. melvinmbabazi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 hours ago

      same

  17. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford stunning

  18. Paul Psychic Octopus
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    How damn frustrating is this Man U display? Trossard > Rashford was always my planned transfer for this week, just making sure he avoided injury tonight. Now everyone will pile in.

  19. Fred54
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford looked hungry tonight.

    1. sully29
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Leipzig served him those goals on a plate.

  20. JIMMY764
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford inbound GW9.

  21. Giggs Boson
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Champion's League top scorer.

    1. Fred54
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Icing on the angel cake.

  22. Camzy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Martial is someone we've completely forgotten about. Now 8.8m. Back next week for eve WBA sou whu.

    Now that's a differential!

    1. Giggs Boson
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I'd rather the mids.

      Cavani adds doubt.

    2. Tony Martial
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Shusshhhhhhh shush

  23. Hansel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    A) TAA, Mitro -> Coufal, Kane
    B) TAA, Podence -> Chilwell, Rashford
    C) Podence -> Grealish

    1. Werner Bros
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      I like B

  24. Werner Bros
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Was set on A rather but playing around with options saving a FT gives me next week, which would you go with here?

    Want a way to get Rashford in and can't afford both.

    A: Davies > Chilwell
    B: Save FT & do Jimi Podence > Rashford Watkins/6.0 in GW9

    McCarthy / Nyland
    TAA Justin Mitchell / Taylor Davies
    Salah Son Zaha Podence / Bissouma
    DCL Werner Jimi

    1FT 1.7ITB

    1. Hansel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 1 day ago

      B

      1. Werner Bros
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        I like it to. Only concern is price rises. I have 0.2 leftover for those transfers. Will all 4 players avoid a rise/drop, I'm not sure.

        Could there be another route to Rashford though, I can't see one?

        Could do your move above for a -4?

        1. Werner Bros
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 1 day ago

          Or next week for free if I save and I'm priced out of the other move. Would involve keeping Davies, Jiminez and Podence though which I'm not keen on

  25. Tony Martial
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    We are Acc so fcking good

  26. manu4life99
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    A) Maupay > Bamford
    B) Maupay,Jrod > Brewster,Rashford (start Soucek, bench Brewster)

    Martinez
    Robbo Saiss Chilwell
    Salah Son Grealish Jrod
    Kane DCL Maupay

    steer soucek lamptey mitchell

    1. melvinmbabazi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 hours ago

      b

  27. Stram Dunk
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rash in my team next week

  28. Fred54
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Rashford will make alot of the Man Utd social media wnkers eat humble pie about Ole as a manager. Got them playing good stuff pre lock down and are clicking into gear again.

    1. Bushwhacker
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      With the benefit of VAR.

      1. Bushwhacker
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Dodgy VAR.

      2. sully29
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Every VAR decision was correct. Poor United, all the on-field refs and linesmen out to do them in.

    2. Tinkermania
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Let's not get carried away. 15th in PL. Not gonna win CL. That won't be a good thing.

  29. Iceball
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 1 day ago

    Son to Rashford as before? Nahh another 4 goals from Son coming up...

  30. Jdpz
      1 month, 1 day ago

      Why didn't Bruno Fernandes score a penalty today?

      1. Tinkermania
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 1 day ago

        Rashford is tired of putting in on a plate for him. No pun intended.