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.

Our Euro 2020 Fantasy coverage

BEST PLAYERS

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Group B: Denmark | Finland | Belgium | Russia

Group C: Netherlands | Ukraine | Austria | North Macedonia

Group D: England | Croatia | Scotland | Czech Republic

Group E: Spain | Sweden | Poland | Slovakia

Group F: Hungary | Portugal | France | Germany

BY POSITION: Goalkeepers | Defenders | Midfielders | Forwards

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179 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Original - Wolves Ay We
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    Limitless Team

    Any changes?

    Kane, Lukaku, Ronaldo
    F. Torres, Sterling, Bale, Insigne, M Llorente
    Guerreiro, Chiellini, Spinazzola, Meunier, Hernandez
    Hradecky, Lloris

    Thanks?

    1. Dr. Rog
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      might want to consider a french attacker

      1. Original - Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Which one?

    2. Neves say Neves
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      llorente is a defender isn't he?

      1. Original - Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        M Llorente the midfielder

        1. Neves say Neves
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          oh my bad. Get mbappe btw at any cost

  2. Jebiga
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    Will Kdb play next game ?

    1. Neves say Neves
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      no, will be on bench apparently

  3. ZEZIMA
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 17 days ago

    Olmo or Torres?

    I did not see Spain play so I am unsure.

    Many thanks and good luck this week!

    1. Hungaryman 2021
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Olmo, solely judging on their last game

        1. ZEZIMA
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Okay thanks!

      • Michu stole my mojo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        They didn’t look great but Olmo looked much more promising for sure

        1. ZEZIMA
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Thanks for the info!

    2. The Red Devil
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Limitless
      GTG?

      Lloris Donnaruma
      Spinazzola Meunier Hernandez Zinchenko Dumfries
      Sterling Hazard Yarmolenko Insigne Wijnaldum
      Kane Lukaku Mbappe

      1. Jebiga
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Griezman over Kane

      2. nicecat
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Hazard is expected to be benched I think

    3. amplifiedAnt
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Fernandes is starting for Russia.

      Don't think he'll displace anyone from my LL defence though:

      Spinazzola, Meunier, Dumfries, Alba, Hernandez.

      1. ★Kuntheman★
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Exact same defense as me, and I’m considering Dumfries out for Fernandes

        I can’t see Finland scoring tbh

      2. Jebiga
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Dumfries maybe, because Austria is awesome

    4. Jebiga
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      We will have 2 wild cards and limitless on whole euro fpl, right ?
      Anyone can answer me, or it's something that nobody knows ? 🙂

      1. Michu stole my mojo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Yes essentially. Wildcard after group stages

    5. JamieC180
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Kindly pick ONE and solve my existential crisis.

      A) Jota
      B) F. Torres
      C) Gnabry
      D) Foden
      E) Hazard

      1. Jebiga
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Foden

      2. FDMS All Starz
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Gnabry looked good but think Foden has the highest ceiling due to Scotland

      3. Kane Lane
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        D

    6. diesel001
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Had a look at defensive rotation pairings from the clubs outside the top half (per their finish in the PL last season) that target what I consider the 'Bottom 6' clubs for goal scoring. The 'Bottom 6' being Brentford, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Norwich and Watford. I didn't care about home or away, just targeting fixtures against these clubs for defensive returns.

      Best defensive combo was Brighton and Leeds from GW1 to GW11. Brackets indicate the team the defender you are picking plays for.

      GW1: bur (BHA)
      GW2: WAT (BHA)
      GW3: bur (LEE)
      GW4: bre (BHA)
      GW5: new (LEE)
      GW6: cpl (BHA)
      GW7: WAT (LEE)
      GW8: nor (BHA)
      GW9: WOL**** (LEE) - Bad fixture
      GW10: nor (LEE)
      GW11: NEW (BHA)

      1. Dr. Rog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        LL2, WC3 ftw

      2. diesel001
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Aston Villa / Wolves is an option, but for that combo you might as well buy an Aston Villa defender from GW1 to GW3 and then switch to a Wolves defender for GW4. So less of a rotation set and more of a straight transfer.

    7. shakeyjake
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      On LL, pretty template I think. Considering Mount over Sterling and Wijnaldum over KDB, thoughts?

      Lukaku Kane Mbappe
      Insigne Bale Malinnovskyi Sterling KDB
      Spinazzola Meunier Alba Hernandez Dumfries
      Lloris Pickford

      Captain choices would be Bale > Lukaku > Kane > Mbappe

      1. onceuponatyne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        I think, with the being able to sub-out, may as well go KDB.
        I also reckon that with the ability to change Caps, I'm going for attacking defenders each step until Mbappe as cover. Better haul if it comes off.

    8. Attractive Nuisance
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Should I keep Grealish or take a -4 hit to bring someone else? (8.0m will be left ITB) I will play Limitless in MD3

    9. Mr_Barbs
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      On LL. Would you swap one of Sterling/Foden to Golovin/Wijnaldum/any other mid?

      Donnarumma
      Spinazzola, Meunier, Zinchenko,
      Yarmolenko, Sterling, Foden, Malinovski, Insigne
      Kane, MBappe

      Courtois, Greizmann, Hernandez, Alba

    10. Neves say Neves
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Think I'm done!

      Bushchan
      Spinazzola Alba M.Fernandes Meunier
      Sterling Insigne Yarmo Wijnaldum
      Kane Dzyuba

      Picko Mbappe Pogba L.Hernandez

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Are you convinced by Sterling?

        1. Neves say Neves
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Definitely not, swithced him to foden 2 seconds ago ffs. Who would you have instead? (doesn't have to be english)

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            I'm not really sure tbh. 😀

            Had Golovin but his ceiling is probably low, same for Forsberg. Considering Olmo as of now.

            1. Neves say Neves
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Olmo looked really dangerous vs swe. Do you know how good the polish defence is?

              1. Holmes
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Not really good based on Slovakia game.

                Were fine in Nations League, 6 goals conceded in 6 games.

        2. Michu stole my mojo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          I’m not convinced by Sterling either. Tempted to double up on Ukr and go Malinovskyi

      1. ★Kuntheman★
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Pretty big for Dumfries tbh

        1. Neves say Neves
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          ah crap i just took him out my team

        2. dark91
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          We are not keeping a cleansheet against Austria anyway. With or without Arnie 😀

    11. smash
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Can you still make transfers midweek if you are on a active LL chip?
      (say you have Sterling and he gets Covid tomorrow and you've picked him in your team, could you transfer him out for someone before England play or would you only have the option to swap him for someone on the bench)

      Guessing not tbh
      cheers.

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Nope, Russia game is deadline for any transfers

        1. smash
          • 12 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Ahh I see, glad I asked as I assumed you could make transfers throughout the week even if not on LL/WC and just playing normal transfers (as long as they'be not player prior to bringing them in)

          Thanks.

    12. Vlad Tepes
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 17 days ago

      Lloris or Courtois?

      1. Kane Lane
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        olson

        1. Vlad Tepes
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          No I am not picking a defender/goalie from Sweden, not trusting them / A Swede

      2. fricky_
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Courtois so u have space for more french attackers and hernandez

          1. Vlad Tepes
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Can take Lloris to, will only pick Fernandez and Mbappe

      3. FDMS All Starz
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Why are people picking Greizmann over benzema? Against Hungary surely benzema will have a ton of chances as he is their main striker?

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 17 days ago

          Set-piece and possibility of Giroud starting over him.

      4. Kane Lane
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Stuck which two one Def and one mid.

        A) Stones
        B) Tripp

        1) Fernandez
        2) Hazard

        Thanks

      5. Gooner97
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 17 days ago

        Would you change anything from this lot? 2FT

        Donnarumma, Hradecky
        Kjaer Denayer Alioski Wijndal P.Torres
        F.Torres Malinovskyi Insigne Mount Nego
        Kane Griezmann Lukaku

        1. fricky_
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Would get rid of Nego and Kjaer as they have the toughest fixtures, put in Spinazzola or meuiner for kjaer and yaziki for nego maybe

            1. Gooner97
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              I have 0€ Itb...

        2. fricky_
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Yilmaz or Depay as last attacker? I feel like risking Yilmaz tbh, not sure though

            1. Neves say Neves
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              dzyubaaaa

              1. Disturbed
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                This

          • Original - Wolves Ay We
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 17 days ago

            Ronaldo or French forward?

            1. fricky_
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Mbappe or Griezmann all day

            2. LLoris
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Are we 100% sure Alba will play?
              Also Stones or Zinchenko?

              1. Neves say Neves
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                pretty sure
                m.fernandes

            3. yiidddoo
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              A) Zinchenko Pogba
              B) Varane Yarmelenko

              1. Neves say Neves
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                B

            4. Dr. Rog
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 17 days ago

              Think I can summarise most LL2 questions here:

              a) Foden or Sterling
              b) Griezmann or Kane
              c) Dumfries or Alba
              d) Olmo or Forres

              1. Neves say Neves
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                fkao

              2. Finding Timo
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  A) sterling
                  B) Kane if have Mbappé
                  C) both
                  D) neither as going for KDB

              3. Firminoooo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                Golovin on LL2 or Foden.

                1. yiidddoo
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  golooo

                2. nicecat
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  Ha. Just asked the same question below.

              4. dark91
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 17 days ago

                De Boer just confirmed that De Ligt will start tomorrow against Austria
                https://sportinnederland.com/de-ligt-gaat-spelen-tegen-oostenrijk/?amp&__twitter_impression=true

                1. fricky_
                    1 month, 17 days ago

                    Would you go De Ligt over Dumfries or Zinchenko?

                    1. dark91
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 17 days ago

                      Nope. De Ligt has aerial threat of course and should strengthen the Dutch defence but I don't believe we will keep a cleansheet against Austria.
                      I would pick Zinchenko out of these 3 if you have to

                2. nicecat
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 17 days ago

                  Foden or Golovin?

                  My MID is Insigne, Yarmo, Wijnaldum and Sterling (+ got Kane)

                  1. fricky_
                      1 month, 17 days ago

                      Would go Golovin between those 2

                    • Michu stole my mojo
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      1 month, 17 days ago

                      Golivin. 3 Eng is overkill for me

                  2. fricky_
                      1 month, 17 days ago

                      Last question; Zinchenko or dumfries?

                      1. nicecat
                        • 5 Years
                        1 month, 17 days ago

                        Had the same dilemma and went with Dumfries, Arnautovic supposedly being out added to it.

                    • King Kohli
                      • 8 Years
                      1 month, 17 days ago

                      Yarmo good captain punt this week for other games?

                      1. fricky_
                          1 month, 17 days ago

                          Yep

                      2. Weeb Kakashi
                        • 5 Years
                        1 month, 17 days ago

                        Golovin on pens?

                        1. fricky_
                            1 month, 17 days ago

                            Dzyba

                        2. Michu stole my mojo
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 10 Years
                          1 month, 17 days ago

                          Think I’m done! Need to stop looking at it at some point!

                          Donna / Lloris
                          M Fernan / Spina / Meunier / Alba / Hernandez
                          Perisic / Wiljnal / Malinov/ Yarmo / Insigne
                          Kane / Lukaku / Mbappe

                          1. Jambot
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 17 days ago

                            12/15 the same as me.

                            1. Michu stole my mojo
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 10 Years
                              1 month, 17 days ago

                              Which are different?

                            2. Sleepless in Settle FPL
                              • 9 Years
                              1 month, 17 days ago

                              that's why I call limitless chip is terrible idea, everyone will have the same team, stupid more people suggest it for FPL. The biggest thing make FPL great, is it's variablem no limit budget will make all team the same