Frisking the Fixtures

Who has the best and worst fixtures over the Double and Blank Gameweeks?

It’s been a while since our last “frisk” of the fixtures.

A succession of back-to-back Gameweeks, last-minute postponements and a drip-feed of rearranged fixture announcements have made the winter a tricky period for Fantasy managers.

Reacting to the very next Gameweek has been a challenge, never mind planning further ahead.

But following last Friday’s beautifully timed press release from the Premier League, we now know when the bulk of the outstanding matches will take place.

Aston Villa v Everton and Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton are the only two remaining games without a new date, with the former a possibility to be added to the pre-March international break calendar.

And it’s this period in particular that we’ll be addressing in this article, given that it includes two Double Gameweeks (potentially three, if Villa v Everton gets added to Gameweek 28) and one Blank Gameweek.

We’ll also have a cursory look at the calendar beyond this point, at the foot of this piece.

NEXT FOUR GAMEWEEKS: THE BREAKDOWN – AS IT STANDS


2 x fixtures in Double Gameweek 26, 1 x fixture in Blank Gameweek 29Spurs, Fulham, Aston Villa (3)
2 x fixtures in Double Gameweek 26, 0 x fixture in Blank Gameweek 29Everton, Leicester, Liverpool, Crystal Palace, West Brom, Sheff Utd, Man Utd, Wolves, Burnley, Chelsea (10)
2 x fixtures in Double Gameweek 26, 2 x fixtures in Double Gameweek 27, 0 x fixture in Blank Gameweek 29Man City (1)
1 x fixture in Double Gameweek 26, 2 x fixtures in Double Gameweek 27, 0 x fixture in Blank Gameweek 29Southampton (1)
1 x fixture in Double Gameweek 26, 1 x fixture in Blank Gameweek 29Arsenal, Leeds, Brighton, Newcastle, West Ham (5)

Spurs, Fulham and Aston Villa are the obvious teams to target for those Fantasy managers wanting a player with two fixtures in Double Gameweek 26 and an unaffected game in Blank Gameweek 29.

Players we don’t already own from Arsenal, Leeds, Brighton, Newcastle and West Ham are low down the priority list this week but will become appealing again in the lead-up to Blank Gameweek 29.

Manchester City have back-to-back doubles starting from this weekend, while those holding onto Southampton assets have already begun a rollercoaster schedule that involves two Double Gameweeks, two single Gameweeks and a blank.

BEST AND WORST FIXTURES OF DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 26

Those who use our Season Ticker will have spotted that the new fixtures were added shortly after Friday’s announcement, with a rejig of the difficulty ratings following suit.

All of which leaves Everton (SOU | wba) at the top of our ticker if we look at Double Gameweek 26 in isolation, which those of us on a Free Hit will be doing.

The leakiest defences in the top flight await the Toffees over the next week, with Southampton and West Bromwich Albion the worst two clubs for goals conceded in 2021.

Even discounting the 9-0 thrashing at Old Trafford, Saints would still languish in the bottom three for that stat.

Those two teams, along with Everton themselves, it has to be said, have just one clean sheet apiece to their names this calendar year.

Tottenham Hotspur‘s (BUR | ful) brace of games perhaps looks better from a defensive perspective than it does attacking-wise.

Fulham and Burnley actually have the division’s joint-second-best defences over the last 15 Gameweeks, even if Nick Pope‘s (£5.6m) recent clean sheet record – four in 13 – is unremarkable.

The two sides may be capable of conceding, but they seldom get turned over.

Leicester City (ARS | bur) also face the shot-shy Clarets and an Arsenal side who have largely struggled for goals against the Champions League-chasing elite.

How Aston Villa fared without Grealish ahead of Double Gameweek 26

Aston Villa‘s (lee | shu) double-header is among the most appealing, not least because the Villans have excelled on the road this season.

An injury to Jack Grealish (£7.7m) looks like it may deprive Fantasy managers of the opportunity to field the Villa talisman against two suspect backlines, with Sheffield United’s defence injury-hit and out of form (one clean sheet all season) and Leeds’ own rearguard capable of self-combusting in any given game.

At the other end of our Season Ticker, Chelsea‘s (MUN | liv) defensive solidity under new boss Thomas Tuchel will be put to the test against two of the ‘big six’, while Pope may be relying heavily on save points in Burnley‘s (tot | LEI) two Double Gameweek 26 matches.

BEST AND WORST FIXTURES OF GAMEWEEKS 26-29

Those clubs with an extra fixture will naturally gravitate towards the top of our Season Ticker anyway but Aston Villa (lee + shu |WOL | new | TOT) and Spurs (BUR + ful | CRY | ars | avl) do have decent runs regardless, with ragged defences in Newcastle and Palace awaiting after Double Gameweek 26.

All of Leicester‘s next four opponents (ARS + bur | bha | SHU) are in the bottom half for goals scored in 2020/21, meanwhile.

Assets from these three clubs may well form the backbone of many Gameweek 26 sides, given that they tick multiple boxes: an appealing double-header in the coming Gameweek, attractive fixtures immediately after, and, in Spurs and Villa’s case, the bonus match in Blank Gameweek 29.

West Brom’s post-Double Gameweek schedule (BHA + EVE | new | CRY) is also positive-looking, for those considering a differential Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) pick.

The West Ham (mci | LEE | mun | ARS) love affair might be temporarily over in FPL, as they are among the six teams without two fixtures in Double Gameweek 26 and have some iffy upcoming matches in terms of difficulty.

Their next three opponents, including runaway leaders Manchester City, are all in the top five for goals scored in 2020/21.

Tomas Soucek (£5.3m) and co will be back on the menu and dusted down off benches in Gameweek 29, however.

A clash with Palace is the only real favourable fixture for Manchester United (che + cry | mci | WHU) over the coming three Gameweeks, meanwhile.

Trips to two of the division’s most in-form defences sandwich that match against the Eagles and Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) didn’t score in any of the reverse fixtures of his three games in Gameweeks 26 and 27.

Chelsea‘s (MUN + liv | EVE | lee) next four games are all against teams in the top half for goals scored in 2020/21: should they emerge from that period with a couple of clean sheets or more, then their in-form defenders will be high on the priority list for Gameweeks 30-34.

EUROPEAN SCHEDULES

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Just to further complicate matters, European football has recommenced over the last week.

Moderator Legomane has produced a matrix above which illustrates when the other, non-Premier League fixtures will take place over the coming month.

Manchester City are playing twice a week, every week, until the March international break, while Spurs, Leicester and Manchester United will follow suit if they continue to progress in the Europa League.

Expect a spot of rotation from these teams (among others), with Pep Guardiola indeed saying after Wednesday’s win over Borussia Monchengladbach:

GAMEWEEK 30 ONWARDS

It’s worth a brief look at the schedule beyond Blank Gameweek 29, as some Fantasy managers will be “dead-ending” their squads for that decimated, four-match Gameweek and activating their Wildcard straight after.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal sit towards the top of the Season Ticker from this point.

Wolves’ run from Gameweeks 31-35 (ful | SHU | BUR | wba | BHA) stands out, while Arsenal face the bottom five and Crystal Palace in the run-in.

The problems when we get to this time of the season, of course, are motivation and distractions elsewhere.

Wolves will likely be solidly mid-table and in “on the beach” territory, while Arsenal’s primary focus could well be on the Europa League, which probably now represents their best chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Liverpool‘s final seven fixtures (lee | NEW | mun | SOU | wba | bur |CRY) look pretty good, too. Given that they might still be scrapping for a top-four finish by that point, perhaps the Reds’ assets who have so underwhelmed in 2020/21 will have one final big say in what has been a turbulent FPL season.


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1,223 Comments Post a Comment
  1. A Kun & Mateta
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 17 days ago

    Gundogan and Ings to Kane and Burke for - 4? Reckon Gundo will be rested.

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

      hmm not sure he will be mate

      1. A Kun & Mateta
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Will wait for more news, Ta.

    2. FantasyClub
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Gundogan played the full 90 in Champions League so I am a lil worried but I feel like he’s essential for Pep

      • St Pauli Walnuts
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        I think he might be rested one of the DGW games too, but not worth a -4 out. Factor in another DGW week after, good chance he plays 3 out of the 4 I'd say.

    3. Buck The Trent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      New article

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        It’s not very good tho

        1. Arctic monkeys
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Do we read them, ever ?

          1. The Suspended One
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Sometimes, but you are right, good ones are few and far between these days

    4. tibollom
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 17 days ago

      a.Ings + Son + Button to Kane + Barnes + Areola for -8pts and BB?
      b. Ings + Button to DCL + Areola for -4pts and BB

      LLoris Button
      AWB Dias Cancello Mee Struik
      Raph Son Bruno salah gundo
      bam watkins ings

      1. The Suspended One
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        A sideways , b from those options

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

          thanks for your feedback mate, sideways with regards to Kane/Son?

          1. The Suspended One
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Yup

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

      Rmt please for wd gw26

      Ederson, sanchez
      Shaw, dias, signed, white, targett
      Bruno, barnes, gundo, son, saka
      Dcl, vardy, kane

      Thanks

      1. lilmessipran
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        Signed what exactly?

      2. A Kun & Mateta
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        I'd get Salah in, Feel he'll explode.

        1. FantasyClub
            2 months, 17 days ago

            That’s what’s been said for a while now. Still disappointing

      3. Warby84
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 17 days ago

        I’m looking at a -8, is anyone else doing anything bigger? I’m possibly looking at a -12 but not sure..

        1. Sulley
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Did a -12 in the end. Thought would attack next few GWs and then WC in 31 to tee up rest of the season

          1. king cole
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Same, -12 to go all out for the BB. Dont see a bigger chance than this. Good luck.

        2. Sulley
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          2 months, 17 days ago

          Also wanted to BB and get it done

        3. PompeyUpNorth!
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 17 days ago

          I’ve done a -8 for a decent BB

      4. FantasyClub
          2 months, 17 days ago

          What’s the general opinion here in regards to Gundogan getting benched since he played the full 90 in Champions League?

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

            I’m sure he will be managed the next two games

          2. St Pauli Walnuts
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Probably, but 4 league games in next two GWs. I reckon he starts 3 out of 4.

          3. king cole
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            I see majority of city players, excluding ederson, dias and rodri, having rotation and at best 3 of 4 games.

            But 3 city games is equivalent to 4 of almost any others scoring potential.

            1. FantasyClub
                2 months, 17 days ago

                Agree. And the fact it’s 2 DGW’s all at home I think deserves 1 punt

          4. Leeds-Utd
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 17 days ago

            Captain or Treble Captain who?
            1)Son
            2)Bruno
            3)Vardy
            4)Salah
            5)Gundo

            1. FantasyClub
                2 months, 17 days ago

                Out of those Bruno

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

              1. Ferguson Ings >> Konsa Kane [10DGWs] (play either Bamford or Raphinha)

              2. Robertson Ings >> Digne Kane [9DGWs] (play both Bamford and Raphinha)

              3. Soucek Coufal Ferguson >> Barnes Targett Shaw (-4) (play BB) [Pope Bamford Raphinha Targett] (but no Kane)

              4. Ferguson Coufal Ings >> Aina Konsa Kane (-4) (play BB) [Pope Bamford Raphinha Soucek]

              Thanks guys

              1. Maeki2
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                2 months, 17 days ago

                2

            3. FantasyClub
                2 months, 17 days ago

                I’m going KDB somebody stop me

                1. Maeki2
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Is he fully fit yet?

                  1. FantasyClub
                      2 months, 17 days ago

                      He played 60 vs Arsenal and was completely rested in Champions League

                      1. St Pauli Walnuts
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 2 Years
                        2 months, 17 days ago

                        Could pay off but expect minutes to be fairly heavily managed. Not sure it's worth it.

                2. tommo-uk-
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Is a -4 hit worth it to bring in Digne for Shaw?

                  Gets me an extra player for BGW and stronger Everton DGW fixtures.

                  1. king cole
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    How is that an extra for bgw29?

                3. white heart pain
                  • 10 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  G2g BB squad?

                  Martinez McCarthy*
                  Cancelo Stones Shaw Aina Rudgier
                  Salah Bruni Gundogun Son Raph*
                  Kane Watkins Bamford*

                  12 DGW players
                  Got a bit burned by no Southhampton double.

                  1. white heart pain
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    Any extra trades would be hits.

                  2. king cole
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    I would take the hit to change mcarthy, i dont think his double in 27 is worth holding for.

                4. y2pach
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  a. lowton+bamford to vardy+digne -4
                  b. lowton+bamford+james to kane+digne+aina -8

                  1. king cole
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    A

                5. SFC Fan 123
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Martinez Pope
                  Stones Dias Lowton Maguire Dallas
                  Gundogan Salah Bruno Son Raphinha
                  Watkins Antonio Bamford

                  Have used BB already, so plan would be to bench the 3 Leeds players.

                  Want to do Antonio to Kane (and potentially TC), and to do that I have to do one of:
                  Son to Barnes (don't want to do this because Son has a GW29 fixture but I worry about Leicester!)
                  Pope to Forster (gives me plenty of cash)
                  Maguire to Konsa (more prep for GW29 and doubling up on an iffy Villa defence).

                  Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

                6. Al-Chemy
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Would anyone be able to shine some light on how Villa looked at the weekend without Grealish?
                  Thinking of bringing Watkins in for a hit for Antonio, but wondering if they're going to struggle going forward without Grealish.

                  Thanks in advance!

                7. BusbySwede
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Which def to sell and who to bring in?
                  A) Mee
                  B) Rudiger
                  C) Dallas

                  1) Targett
                  2) Dier
                  3) Other

                  Or keep def and make Bamford -> Watkins instead?

                  1. king cole
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    A1

                8. akhilrajau
                  • 2 Years
                  2 months, 17 days ago

                  Who make TC
                  A. KANE
                  B..SALAH
                  C. BRUNO

                  1. ASOUSA12
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    B

                9. Danny Ingzs Chocolate Homon…
                    2 months, 17 days ago

                    I'm 80 points off the top of my mini League

                    Is it too early to go for broke and take out Fernandes for De Bryune and Triple C?

                    1. PompeyUpNorth!
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 8 Years
                      2 months, 17 days ago

                      Just TC Someone they haven’t got that’s decent yes

                  • Danny Ingzs Chocolate Homon…
                      2 months, 17 days ago

                      Should say everyone has Fernandes no one will have de Bruyne

                    • jimmy.floyd
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 17 days ago

                      A Sterling Raphinha Bamford to Gundogan Barnes Kane (-8)

                      B Sterling Wickham AWB to Gundogan Kane Targett (-8)

                      1. king cole
                        • 10 Years
                        2 months, 17 days ago

                        B, raph and bam and better to hold longer term.

                    • CasaBanter
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 6 Years
                      2 months, 16 days ago

                      Who do you reckon is the most nailed Spurs defender for the next few weeks?

                    • Leeds-Utd
                      • 10 Years
                      2 months, 16 days ago

                      Best Triple Captain Options

                      Son
                      Vardy
                      Bruno
                      Gundo
                      Watkins
                      Salah
                      Or leave the triple Capt this week?

                      1. SIGGYMETIMBER
                        • 5 Years
                        2 months, 16 days ago

                        All depends on your rank in my opinion. Think Salah be a good differential TC option

                    • SIGGYMETIMBER
                      • 5 Years
                      2 months, 16 days ago

                      Lookman or Neto?

                      1. Party time
                        • 2 Years
                        2 months, 16 days ago

                        Lookman

                    • MagicPanos
                        2 months, 16 days ago

                        Current Team
                        Pope/Verrips
                        Bissaka/Lowton/Chillwell/Cancelo/Dias
                        Son/Gundogan/Bruno/Raphinia/Saka
                        Kane/Bambford/Watkins

                        Going for a -8 hit and do
                        Verrips to Martinez
                        Chilwell to Reguilon or Targett or Dier (thoughts???)
                        Raphinia to Barnes, no budget to do Saka to Barnes so will transfer Raphinia back for 29

                        Starting 11
                        Martinez
                        Cancelo/Dias/Bissaka/Reguilon or Targett or Dier
                        Son/Gundo/Bruno/Barnes
                        Watkins/Kane (3ple captain Kane)

                      • Mile Plankton
                        • 8 Years
                        2 months, 16 days ago

                        Would you rather have Sterling or KDB this week?