Frisking the Fixtures

Who has the best fixtures at the start of the 2021/22 FPL season?

The fixtures for the 2021/22 Premier League season were released on Wednesday morning.

We’ll offer our initial reaction throughout the day, starting with this cursory look at the clubs with the ‘best’ schedules – on paper, at least – at the start of the campaign.

A six-Gameweek lookahead is our initial focus but we’ll cast our eyes further where necessary.

Manchester United and Liverpool stand out at first glance, with Leicester City and Everton also enjoying decent medium-term runs.

For those Fantasy managers not looking quite so far ahead, Aston Villa and West Ham United are perhaps the pick of the bunch in the opening month.

Eagle-eyed readers will have seen that our Season Ticker has also been swiftly updated.

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Subscribers to Fantasy Football Scout can use this helpful tool to pick out the best and worst runs of matches for each club, sort by rotation pairings, use their own customised difficulty ratings and more.

BEST FIXTURES

MANCHESTER UNITED

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: LEE | sou | wol | NEW | whu | AVL
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: lei (GW8)

Manchester United avoid any of the traditional ‘big six’ in the first eight Gameweeks of the campaign, although whether we should be using that elite group as a strict barometer of difficulty is another question after underwhelming 2020/21 campaigns for the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal.

Indeed, two of last season’s upstarts – Leeds United and West Ham United – await in the first five weeks.

But you’d be hard pushed to argue that the Red Devils’ opening run of games is not one of the more favourable, with three of last year’s bottom-half also-rans to come between Gameweeks 2-4.

Bruno Fernandes‘ ownership in Fantasy Premier League will likely be sizeable on the opening weekend, then, with Luke Shaw – who had the best minutes-per-chance-created average of any defender last season – also a potential target for the first two months at the least.

Gameweeks 8-14 are less appealing, with six of the teams who finished in the top eight in 2020/21 to come.

United don’t face a newly promoted club until November, with Watford the visitors in Gameweek 12.

LIVERPOOL

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: nor | BUR | CHE | lee | CRY | bre
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: MCI (GW7)

While United’s opening-day fixture against Marcelo Bielsa’s impressive troops is a potential banana skin, Liverpool’s looks altogether more enticing.

Championship winners Norwich City are first up for the Reds, a club they have an excellent record against in recent years.

The Canaries may well be more streetwise on their return to the top flight but there’ll be few of us going without one or more of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold and/or Andrew Robertson in our initial FPL drafts.

Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Norwich 4-1 in Gameweek 1 of 2019/20 and have scored three or more goals in seven of their last nine meetings with the East Anglians.

A Burnley side that were surprisingly porous in the second half of last season (four clean sheets in 20 games) then follow, with perennial mid-table finishers Crystal Palace and newcomers Brentford also to come in the first half-dozen Gameweeks.

Indeed, Liverpool face all three of the newly promoted sides in the first eight Gameweeks, with a trip to Watford on the horizon.

It’s not all plain sailing: the Chelsea/Leeds double-header in Gameweeks 3 and 4 will be a test, with the visit of champions Manchester City in Gameweek 7 off-putting.

EVERTON

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: SOU | lee | bha | BUR | avl | NOR
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: mun (GW7)

Everton are top of our Season Ticker in the first six Gameweeks.

The currently managerless Toffees don’t face any of last season’s top eight until a trip to Manchester United in Gameweek 7 and there is plenty to be encouraged by even beyond that clash at Old Trafford.

Eight of their first ten opponents either finished ninth or below in the Premier League last season or came up from the Championship.

Few clubs have better opening runs on home turf, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and co facing Southampton, Burnley, Norwich City, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their first five matches on home soil.

Carlo Ancelotti’s erstwhile troops were in awful form on Merseyside in 2020/21 but the return of supporters to Goodison Park, the regime change and the fixture calendar will give them an excellent chance of remedying that.

LEICESTER CITY

The best Neto replacements and whether FPL managers should stick with Fernandes
  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: WOL | whu | nor | MCI | bha | BUR
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: MUN (GW8)

The Champions League nearly men of the last two seasons will have an excellent chance of getting their 2021/22 campaign off to a flyer.

A seven-Gameweek run that includes four bottom-half clubs, a returning Norwich and a West Ham United side that were conceding for fun at the tail-end of last season will no doubt raise interest in Kelechi Iheanacho and Jamie Vardy, although the former will be set for a considerable price rise and the latter’s goalscoring powers are perhaps on the wane.

BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION

BHACRY
  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: bur | WAT | EVE | bre | LEI | cry
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: MCI (GW9)

Brighton’s impressive defensive numbers in the second half of last season will no doubt see Robert Sanchez rise in price in 2021/22.

If he somehow does remain at £4.5m, then he’ll likely be the go-to custodian for many FPL managers in the opening two months and beyond.

All three promoted clubs face the Seagulls in the opening eight Gameweeks, with Leicester City the only top-seven side from 2020/21 that Albion meet in that time.

ALSO CONSIDER

Grealish in Aston Villa matchday squad as Guaita benched for Crystal Palace

Aston Villa (wat | NEW | BRE) assets will be in demand in the first three Gameweeks, with their opening trio of matches arguably the best in the division.

They meet two sides coming up from the Championship and a Newcastle United outfit whose only clean sheets in the final 17 Gameweeks of 2020/21 came against the three relegated clubs.

Wolverhampton Wanderers (lei | TOT | MUN | wat | BRE | sou) have the opposite problem: their first three games aren’t great but a fixture swing in Gameweek 4 will see them rise up the Season Ticker.

It’ll also give Fantasy managers a chance to assess the mob from Molineux in their first set of games without Nuno Espirito Santo.

Like Villa, West Ham United (new | LEI | CRY | sou | MUN | lee) appeal in the short term; the Hammers will sit towards the top of our Season Ticker in the first four Gameweeks before they face a brace of tricky Uniteds.

Watford (AVL | bha | tot | WOL | nor | NEW) look to have the best run of the newly promoted sides and actually sit top of our Season Ticker from Gameweeks 1-7, although many Fantasy managers will perhaps adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach before the September international break.

404 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Choose one:

    A) Depay (AUT)
    B) Lukaku (DEN)

    Choose two:

    1) Golovin (FIN)
    2) Forsberg (SVK)
    3) KDB (DEN) (will he start?)
    4) Malinovsky (MKD) (Have Yarmo)
    5) Wijnaldum (AUT)
    6) Ferran/Olmo (POL)

    On Limitless. Dont want to double up on either Belgium or Netherlands attack.

    1. Gleys11
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Lukaku

      Wijnaldum
      Malinivsky

    2. marcos11
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 2 months ago

      B and 5 & 6

  2. Bonus magnet
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    1. what`s LL

    2. worth doing braithwaite+f.torres->yilmaz+golovin? (FT)

    1. Soto Ayam
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Ladies Love

  3. FC Hakkebøf
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Weghorst, Moreno or Yaremchuk?

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Yaremchuk

  4. DMP
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Ferran Torres or Dani Olmo?

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      its a coin toss

    2. trinzoo
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Olmo looked slightly more involved. Odds for goal are in favour of Olmo too.

    3. Calum Undisputed
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Torres

  5. D.r.a.c.o
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Who is the best option for just MD2?

    1. Kane
    2. Griezmann
    3. Benzema

    1. Gaalvinism
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      2. For me

      1. D.r.a.c.o
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        He was playing fairly deep almost like a RB against Germany. Why would you pick him?

        1. Calum Undisputed
          • 1 Year
          1 year, 2 months ago

          2. Griezmann
          Towards end of game defending a one goal lead.
          France attack down left. Target Germany Right. Kimmich. Goal come from there.
          Against Hungary expect more setpiece and desperate defending.

      2. Boydinho
        • 7 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        And on pens

    2. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      1

      1. D.r.a.c.o
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Can we trust England and Kane?

        1. Karan14
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 year, 2 months ago

          Im trusting the bookie odds.

    3. azz007
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Mbappe

      1. D.r.a.c.o
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Obviously own Mbappe already

  6. D.r.a.c.o
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Any exciting transfer rumours/news??

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Plymouth Argyle have signed Macaulay Gillesphey.

  7. Jimmy Boy
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    I'm actually quite set on keeping Ronaldo on limitless, he absolutely saved my gameweek as a last minute captain and think he could get returns against Germany just as easily as some of the other options in their fixtures. Anyone else thinking this?

    1. Milk, 1 Šuker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Indeed

    2. Well you know, Triffic
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      He may do tbh as Germany look vulnerable to counter attacks.

  8. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    On LL

    A) Pickford and Pogba

    B) Lloris and KDB (double France D other keeper is Donnaruma)

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      A

  9. tanser11
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Insigne or Wijnaldum for points this GW?

  10. D.r.a.c.o
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Kane's first game will be against Spurs 😀

    1. KAI SZN™
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Too bad loaned player can't play against his parent club. ☹️

  11. D.r.a.c.o
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Pogba or Foden for just MD2?

  12. Bonus magnet
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    when is it best to play limitless? I'm not used to this format.

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I've always been planning for this MD due to fixtures.

    2. Revival
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Depends entirely on your team. If your team in good shape for MD2 then just keep for one of the later rounds.

  13. fenixri
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Anyone here from Ukraine or know their team very well? I found info on the net that Zinchenko could be pushed upfront with Zubkov injury. Is that true?

    1. FC Hakkebøf
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      whoscored.com seems to think so... but they got plenty of options.. Marlos and Tsygankov are more classic wingers and probably better options

      1. fenixri
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Yes I found that info on whoscored.

  14. FC Hakkebøf
    • 5 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Pick one from each bracket:

    A) Weghorst, Moreno, Yaremchuk or Dzyuba
    B) Wijnauldum, Mount, Pogba or Yarmolenko

    Am I crazy to consider a Ukraine double up?

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Dzyuba/Yaremchuk & Yarmo

      1. FC Hakkebøf
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Thanks buddy.

  15. bitm2007
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    On FPL website (it's never opened this early had it ?)

    Getting ready for 2021/22

    We're currently carrying out essential updates to prepare for the 2021/22 Premier League season. This means that you can't login or create a new account at present. Please check back soon.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

    1. CONNERS
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I won't be going anywhere near the FPL site until July (got 5 teams to manage in Telegraph Euro FF).

    2. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I want the game to open just so can get a low i.d with less digits to remember. Not worth doing any team picking until a couple of days before the season starts. The amount people were tying themselves up in knots last year was hilarious (especially when they all did crap)

      1. bitm2007
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Yes. I did an auto-select the day FPL opened last year then didn't touch the team until the last week before kickoff.

  16. Gr3g
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Hi All,

    What's the price of membership this year and when will one be able to subscribe. Any preseason discount?

    Thanks

    1. CONNERS
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Assuming there is an auto-renewal system in place, I'd also be interested in knowing whether existing members will automatically benefit from any early offer/discount?

  17. gedda
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Play a local game - how does this team look?

    Hradecky
    Spinazolla - Wijndal - Trippier - Torres
    Yarmolenko - Modric - Locatelli
    Lukaku - Depay - Bale

    It is mainly about having teams that win, since players get points (value) so trying to cover all the bases. Trades cost 10% of the players value, so transferring out Maehle, Berenzinsky, Nego and Eriksen.

    Thoughts? Move Tripper to a midfield player instead? He looked good, and on a few set pieces...

  18. TheJoker
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Have a really interesting question for u guys, would be great if many people could answer this so I get more opinions on this one:

    A).Sterling and Griezmann
    B).Pogba and Kane

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I prefer B.

    2. gedda
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      A has bigger upside, B seems safer.

    3. CONNERS
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Think I'd go with A.

    4. Bielsa's Bucket
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      A looks like it's got a bigger ceiling for scoring

    5. Camzy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      A and it's not close.

      Pogba not a fantasy asset in this French team.

      1. Monty the Magpie
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        How so? He's positioned well enough to get in amongst it.

  19. OLA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Guys, please opinions on this one

    A) Lloris and Menier
    B) Olsen and L. Ernandes.

    The tricky thing is that I already have Alba playing the last day and no intentation to take him out of my squad.

    Four players in the last day is a risk I suppose

    1. OLA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 2 months ago

      L. Hernandez and Meunier of course.

    2. anish10
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Prefer A

      1. OLA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Luka is quite differntial. That is what i like a lot

  20. anish10
    • 11 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Which one on LL

    A) Bale
    B) KDB

    1. Kiwivillan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Honestly neither. KDB if I knew he was starting

    2. Ⓙⓐⓡⓥⓘⓢⓗ
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I've gone for Bale as a one game punt.

  21. CONNERS
    • 3 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Obviously it's very early days, however I took a major punt with one of my Telegraph Fantasy teams which paid off and currently sat just outside top 100 with 7 Italy playing today.

    Really hoping for another win to nil.

  22. JELLYFISH
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    See Sky Sports haven't even included Norwich City's fixture list in their 'your club fixture list'. That really is piss poor from them!

    https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11661/12309208/premier-league-2021-22-fixtures-and-schedule-man-city-title-defence-begins-at-tottenham-man-utd-host-leeds-liverpool-visit-norwich-on-opening-weekend

  23. Sid07
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Utd fixtures in Oct

  24. cthaeh
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Best attacking English defender?

    1. EmreCan Hustle
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Trippier

  25. amplifiedAnt
    • 8 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Would you change anything with this on Limitless?

    Donnarumma / Courtois
    Spinazzola, M Fernandes, Dumfries, Trippier / L Hernandez
    Insigne, Yarmolenko, Wijnaldum, Sterling / Pogba
    Lukaku, Kane / Mbappe

    1. LSK
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I know he plays on the last day but I’d want Alba in there regardless.

      1. amplifiedAnt
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Yeah, it's the 'last day' thing putting me off, given I already have Hernandez playing then.

        Fernandes > Meunier?

    2. EmreCan Hustle
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Alba or Meunier over Fernandes.

  26. EmreCan Hustle
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Forsberg or Olmo?

    Is Forsberg on pens?

    Thanks.

  27. Nespinha
    • 6 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Would you LL this team in MD2 or 3?

    Bachmann, Simon
    Spinazzola, Maehle, Wijndal, Denayer, Pau
    Berardi, Olmo, Alaba, Eriksen, Jota
    Immobile, Lukaku, Depay

    1. EmreCan Hustle
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      I would use the Limitless. That defense isn't great

  28. TheJoker
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Bale or Lukaku? (This matchday only)

    1. TheJoker
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Did I just say Bale?? I meant Kane or Lukaku?

      1. EmreCan Hustle
        • 10 Years
        1 year, 2 months ago

        Kane 😀

    2. EmreCan Hustle
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      Lukaku

    3. Alonso The Great Midfielder
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 2 months ago

      lukaku surely

  29. Alonso The Great Midfielder
    • 10 Years
    1 year, 2 months ago

    Which defender that catch your eyes for attacking return besides that already have one ?
    From my watching is
    1) Jordi Alba
    2) Pavard

  30. Stranger Mings
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 2 months ago

    All, was getting Donna and Simon but should I go lloris or Pickford instead of donna based on below cleansheet odds?
    ENG: 60%
    ESP: 55%
    FRA: 55%
    RUS: 52%
    ITA: 50%