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Frisking the Fixtures

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

Little more than three weeks since the end of 2020/21, the fixtures for the upcoming Premier League season are out.

We’ve already taken a look at the top-flight teams with the best runs of opening games on paper, so now we switch attention to those sides with less favourable schedules.

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

Our Season Ticker was updated almost immediately after the fixtures were released at 9am BST on Wednesday, with the opening six Gameweeks sorted by difficulty below:

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.

You can see a tutorial on the Season Ticker below:

WORST FIXTURES

NORWICH CITY

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: LIV | mci | LEI | ars | WAT | eve
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: WAT (GW5)

Welcome back to the Premier League, Norwich City.

The champions of the English second-tier sit rock bottom of our Season Ticker in the opening month, having been handed a nightmare start.

Liverpool and Manchester City are first up, with Leicester City to follow before the September international break.

It’s difficult to know which incarnation of Arsenal will turn up when the Canaries welcome the Gunners to Carrow Road in Gameweek 4 but Mikel Arteta’s Jekyll-and-Hyde side were second in the Premier League form table in 2021, hinting at some modest improvement.

Daniel Farke’s troops have some respite from Gameweeks 4-7, at least, with fellow new boys Watford to come as well as Everton, Brighton and Hove Albion and Burnley.

Fantasy investment in Teemu Pukki may have to wait, then, although the Finn did of course bag against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City in the first few weeks of 2019/20.

CHELSEA

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: CRY | ars | liv | AVL | tot | MCI
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: SOU (GW7)

A number of Chelsea assets may well be on Scout Picks duty in Gameweek 1 but the medium-term outlook is not so rosy for the European champions.

Crystal Palace visit Stamford Bridge on the opening weekend and have provided obliging opposition recently, losing their last seven encounters with the Blues – including both fixtures last season by a combined 8-1 scoreline.

The Eagles may be a bit of an unknown quantity given the change of manager, of course, while more traditional stiffer tests then await Thomas Tuchel’s troops.

A triple-header of away games at Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur is punctuated by a clash with Aston Villa, who defeated Chelsea 2-1 in Gameweek 38.

Champions Manchester City then follow in Gameweek 6.

Write off Tuchel’s side at your peril, though: Chelsea beat City in all three of their league and cup meetings in 2021 and shut out the likes of Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Leeds United after Frank Lampard departed.

LEEDS UNITED

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: mun | EVE| bur | LIV | new | WHU
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: new (GW5)

For Leeds, read Chelsea: iffy opening fixtures but a side that showed big improvements at the back in 2021 and who proved themselves capable of going toe to toe with the traditional elite, especially on home soil.

In truth, it’s only really the clashes with Manchester United and Liverpool that should be off-putting.

Everton are an unknown quantity at this stage following the change of manager, while Burnley, Newcastle and West Ham’s defensive form deserted them in the second half of last season: only Southampton kept fewer clean sheets than that trio of clubs (four each) from Gameweek 20 onwards.

The Gameweek 5 trip to Newcastle indeed heralds a six-match run in which Leeds are catapulted to the top of our Season Ticker.

CRYSTAL PALACE

  • FIRST SIX FIXTURES: che | BRE | whu | TOT | liv | BHA
  • POSSIBLE TURNING POINT: WOL (GW11)

Whoever takes over at Crystal Palace faces a baptism of fire.

Extending the Season Ticker lookahead to Gameweek 10 sees the Eagles drop to the bottom, with seven of the teams who finished in the top eight last season awaiting Roy Hodgson’s former charges.

Home games against Brentford, rivals Brighton and Newcastle are chinks of light amidst that run but there’ll few Fantasy managers gambling on Wilfried Zaha and co until November at the earliest.

ALSO CONSIDER

No team kept fewer clean sheets than Southampton (eve | MUN | new | WHU | mci | WOL) in the second half of last season and shut-out opportunities may be thin on the ground in the first few months of 2021/22.

The opening six games aren’t a complete write-off, with an Everton side in flux, Newcastle, a defensively suspect West Ham and Wolves all to come.

But taking the Gameweek 7 and 8 clashes with Chelsea and Leeds United into consideration does push the schedule towards unfavourable territory, particularly as encounters with both Manchester clubs are to come before then.

Tottenham Hotspur (MCI | wol | WAT | cry | CHE | ars) have the trickiest test of Gameweek 1, meanwhile, with four London derbies to come between Gameweeks 3-6.

Spurs do rise to third in our Gameweek 2-8 ticker once the visit of Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions is out of the way, however.

There is not much to like about Burnley‘s (BHA | liv | LEE | eve | ARS | lei) opening set of matches, meanwhile.

That goes doubly true for Chris Wood, given that Brighton, Liverpool, Leeds, Everton and Arsenal were all in the top seven for clean sheets in the final 12 Gameweeks of the campaign.

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179 Comments Post a Comment
  1. JONALDINHO
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Pick three for FanTeam (Price no issue)

    A) Forsberg
    B) Yarmolenko
    C) Calhanoglu
    D) Isak
    E) Yilmaz
    F) Yaremchuk

    1. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      A&B

  2. Nespinha
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    if you had the following setup, would you play LLMD2 or MD3?

    2 x Austria
    3 x Spain
    3 x Italy - should rotate in 3
    2 x Holland - should rotate in 3
    2 x Belgium - should rotate in 3
    2 x Denmark
    1 x Portugal

    1. EmreCan Hustle
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      If you get a French attacker and have 4 decent captains then you're good.
      Save the LL. I'm saving it for MD 3.

  3. Prison Mike
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Which attacking RB to pick on limitless?

    A) Dumfries (AUS)

    B) Meunier (den)

    1. dark91
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      You can pick 2 RBs.
      But if only 1 then Meunier

    2. krzys
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Meunier

  4. Bring the Cavalry
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Last choice?

    A) Kane
    B) Immobile

    1. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I’m going Kane, but he’s my only ENG player

  5. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Hazard or KDB for unlimited team in gw2?

    1. krzys
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Hazard

    2. DannyDrinkVodka
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Hazard

  6. Neves say Neves
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Any news on KDB?

  7. JamieC180
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Really struggling for that final midfielder spot.

    Currently got Yarmalenko, Insigne, Sterling, Wijnaldum and HAZARD***

    Hazard is the issue. Seen a lot to suggest he won't start, but don't see a better option..

    1. Blue&White85
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Exactly same for me but decided on Perisic.

    2. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I’m on Malinovskyi and Perisic instead of your Sterling and Hazard.

      Which, when I write it out, sounds mad!

    3. Jusagoras
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I've doubled up on Ukraine with Malinovskyi.

  8. Gazwaz80
    • 1 Year
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Can you still sub in if 2 players are playing on the same day but playing at different times or can you only sub in if they play on different days? Cheers…

    1. dark91
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      The latter. Changes have to be made before the first match of any given day

  9. Six Season Wonder
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    are majority on here using 2fts going into MD2?

    using limitless for MD3. then we get a reset going into the knockout stages... that right?

    1. antis0cial
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I'd say majority are LL MD2

      1. Six Season Wonder
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        what, so they have activated it as we speak?

        1. onceuponatyne
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          3 months, 14 days ago

          Yes.

        2. antis0cial
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 14 days ago

          Yes

    2. onceuponatyne
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Majority will be LL this week. A lot of the best options are more at rotation risk for the final game if their teams are through.

      1. Six Season Wonder
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        this is a very good point. it would be a waste to use LL when half the big hitters are rested,

        cheers

  10. krzys
    • 8 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    On limitless:

    A) Sterling + Ronaldo

    B) Ferran + Kane

    Thanks!

    1. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      B

    2. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      B

  11. Pep Roulette
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Which option alongside Mbappe & Lloris?

    A. Hernandez
    B. Pogba

    1. Blue&White85
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      A

    2. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      A

  12. Atimis
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Olmo, Torres or Pogba?

  13. Six Season Wonder
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    What to do with this lot? (i have '*' the iffy players) I have 2m itb also... should I bring in Meunier (is he gonna play) now castagne is out

    Lukaku - CR7 - Depay
    Carrasco - Soucek - Alaba - Beradi - F. Torres
    Spinny - Kjaer - P. Torres - *Denayer - *Wijndal
    Hradecky - Bachmann

  14. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    What happened to Pavard?

    1. Neves say Neves
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      got kneed in the temple, knocked out for 10-15 secs, played the rest of the game.

  15. Mr_Barbs
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Thinking one of Sterling/Foden to one of Yarmolenko, Golovin, Wijnaldum, any others?

    Also, De bruyne > Hazard?

    Donnarumma
    Spinazzola, Meunier, Zinchenko,
    De Bruyne, Sterling, Foden, Malinovski, Insigne
    Kane, MBappe

    Courtois, Greizmann, Hernandez, Alba

  16. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Will Jordi Alba play?

    1. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Yes

    2. teneighty
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      He was their best player against Sweden so would be harsch to bench him.

  17. ShackledAce
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Bottomed.

    Dont like my defensive match-ups, do i...
    A) need LL?
    B) -4 for Denayer –> Trippier

    Cakir (hradersky)
    Spinna Mæhle Alioski Porres Denayer*
    Berardi Mount Forres Zielinsk Zakaria
    Lukaku Kane Mbappe

    1. AnarChYs7
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Not sure if you need LL, but I wouldn't get Trippier.

  18. Pep Roulette
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/comment/23848412

    Okay AZ, when are you going to do that? Just an hour remaining now!

  19. hullcityfan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    4.0 keeper starting for Russia

    1. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Wow

  20. Disturbed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Better option?

    A. Immobile golovin
    B. Dzyuba insigne

  21. Jebiga
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    We will have one wc after group stages + 1 wc more as a chip + limitless, right?

    If this is true, limitless is the best to pick for this gw...

  22. Dr. Rog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Donna
    Spin Fern Dumf Meun
    Insig Yarm Wijn Foden Forres
    Lukaku
    Cout Hern Griez M-bap

    1. Neves say Neves
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Did I turn you off Zinchenko 😉

      1. Dr. Rog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 12 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        you see this is the problem with the group think...

        1. Neves say Neves
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 14 days ago

          Totally get it. I'm about to switch Dumfries for Fernandes. Don't care how many touches in the box he had last game, bad boy arnie is ruining that cleanie

          1. Dr. Rog
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 12 Years
            3 months, 14 days ago

            I dont mind some of my players failing with that bench!

    2. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Limitless ?

    3. Nespinha
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      this is also a limitless post, you can add any letter/name without a penalty

      1. NoName
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        But that would mean he wouldn't look so chill with his laziness.

  23. fenixri
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    A) Sterling + Lukaku
    B) Hazard + Dzyuba

    Have Kane

    1. AnarChYs7
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      A

  24. ★Kuntheman★
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    I’m on this, would love some thoughts!

    Donnarumma (Lloris)

    Spina Meunier Dumfries (Alba, Hernandez)

    Sterling Insigne Wijnaldum Yarmo Perisic

    Kane Lukaku (Mbappe)

    Considering Zinchenko instead of Dumfries, Pogba/KDB/Gnabry instead of Perisic/Wijnaldum, Yaremchuk/Ronaldo instead of Kane. Thoughts?

    1. LLoris
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Im not high on Dumfries. Maybe Stones or Zinchenko?

      1. ★Kuntheman★
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        I’m between Fernandes and Zinchenko for the replacement yeah

        He was really attacking but idk if they’ll keep a CS

    2. Richarlidad
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I was doubting myself over Perisic so glad somebody else is going with him. I think your team is decent as it is.

      1. LLoris
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        I am also doubting Perisic. Perisic or Berrardi?

        1. Richarlidad
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 14 days ago

          I'm sticking with Perisic mate. I'll probably get stick for this but England made Croatia look average. Mount, Phillips and Rice nullified their midfield for most of the game. Fully expecting Croatia to beat the Czech's fairly comfortably and I think there's a good chance Perisic will be involved.

      2. ★Kuntheman★
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        I’m still doubting him haha I think he’s my only differential this week

    3. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Mines exactly the same except currently on Malinovskyi over Sterling. I know Scotland need points but I can’t see Eng running riot against them

      1. ★Kuntheman★
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        Yeah I’m pretty set on Sterling but I’m going back and forth between Kane and Ronaldo

        1. Michu stole my mojo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          3 months, 14 days ago

          I’ve actually just been convinced and brought Sterling in. Not sure I can watch Eng and not want him to do well! It’s now Wijnaldum that I’m unsure about but he did look so attacking last time out.

  25. dark91
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    For those watching England closely, is Kane expected to keep dropping deep and play like a CDM against Scotland?

  26. KaKa37
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Pick two from these?
    A. Dumfries
    B. Alba
    C. Zinchenko

    1. AnarChYs7
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      I'll do yours if you do mine too 😉

      BC for me. Dumfries unlikely to keep the CS.

      1. KaKa37
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 14 days ago

        Thank you

  27. AnarChYs7
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    For MD2, pick 2 out of:

    1. Sterling
    2. Mount
    3. Forsberg
    4. Foden
    5. Yarmolenko
    6. Malinovskyi
    7. Ferran Torres

    1. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      1&5

  28. Dr. Rog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Safonov; Dzhikiya, Barinov, Diveyev, Fernandes; Zobnin, Ozdoyev, Kuzyayev, Golovin; Miranchuk, Dzyuba

    Hradecky; Toivio, Arajuuri, O'Shaughnessy; Raitala, Lod, Schuller, Kamara, Uronen; Pohjanpalo, Pukki

  29. Disturbed
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Dzyuba or golovin?

    1. Michu stole my mojo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 14 days ago

      Dzyuba

  30. AD2110
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 14 days ago

    Keep Denayer or Wijnald?