Our frisk of the fixtures sees us assess the Premier League clubs and players with the strongest runs of league matches over the coming weeks – in theory, at least.
The primary focus in this article will be on a six-Gameweek lookahead but we will scrutinise the shorter and longer-term prospects where appropriate.
Our colour-coded Season Ticker is the primary source for this piece; using this tool as a Premium Member, you can sort by difficulty, rank by attacking and defensive potential or find budget rotation pairings. You can also set your own difficulty ratings, should you disagree with our own.
Next six: LEE | bur | BRE | NOR | bha | lei
Despite a disappointing start to the season, Tottenham Hotspur now have an opportunity to kick-on under new boss Antonio Conte, with a favourable schedule from Gameweek 12 right through until the New Year.
The immediate set of fixtures look particularly appealing, too, as they sit top of our Season Ticker for ease of fixture over the next six Gameweeks.
Following their goalless draw at Goodison Park on Sunday, Spurs now face Leeds United (h), Burnley (a), plus newly promoted Brentford (h) and Norwich City (h) before Gameweek 16. Notably, three of those opponents rank in the bottom five for expected goals conceded (xGC) this season, which promotes their attacking assets, including Son Heung-min (10.3m) and Harry Kane (£12.2m). Neither player has returned a goal since mid-October, but fixtures often dictate form, with their Gameweek 8 matchup at Newcastle United a prime example of that theory, when both players found the back of the net and returned nine and 12 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) points respectively.
At the back, it’s highly likely that the wing-backs will emerge as the go-to defensive options, with Sergio Reguilon’s (£5.0m) recent quotes about arriving in the box to help the strikers particularly encouraging for those looking to move early.
Next six: CRY | TOT | wol | new | WHU | WAT
While Burnley struggled during the opening weeks of the season, losing four of their first five matches, they have since lost just one in six.
That run has seen them beat Brentford and take points off Chelsea and Leicester City, which does suggest that they might be worth another look ahead of a favourable run of fixtures.
Admittedly, the in-form Crystal Palace (h), Tottenham Hotspur (h) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (a) won’t be straightforward, but appealing matches against Newcastle United (a), Watford (h) and Aston Villa (a) follow, while it’s also worth noting that five of their next seven opponents currently sit in the bottom half for non-penalty expected goals (non-pen xG).
That suggests budget defender Matthew Lowton (£4.4m) could perhaps be a useful squad player, while further forward, Maxwel Cornet (£6.0m) has already netted four goals in six appearances and notably clocked 87 minutes at Stamford Bridge last time out, having been withdrawn early in the majority of his other league outings. A lack of in-form forwards could also promote Chris Wood (£6.7m) as a differential option. The New Zealander netted just his second goal of the season against Brentford in Gameweek 10, but has hit double-figures for goals in his four previous top-flight campaigns.
Next six: bur | AVL | lee | mun | EVE | SOU
Over the next six Gameweeks, Crystal Palace rank ninth on our Season Ticker for ease of fixture. However, if we open the schedule up right through until Gameweek 20, Patrick Vieira’s side jump to third, with an excellent run of fixtures which sees them take on Watford (a) and Norwich City (h) in addition to the above before the end of the year. In fact, the Eagles take on only one side currently nestled in the top-half of the table in their next nine matches.
Despite their tricky opening to the season, Palace sit an excellent second for expected goals conceded (xGC) in 2021/22, which suggests investing in one of their defensive assets could be a shrewd move. Vicente Guaita (£4.5m) deserves a mention as a budget goalkeeper for those FPL managers perhaps looking to sell Robert Sanchez (£4.6m), while there is bonus points potential for Marc Guehi (£4.5m). However, Tyrick Mitchell (£4.5m) may be the best option of all, who we covered as a differential prospect prior to Saturday’s 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Further forward, Conor Gallagher (£5.8m) – who is top for transfers in ahead of Gameweek 12 – is both Palace’s leading shot-taker and chance creator, while Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) has five attacking returns in his last six starts. Elsewhere, Odsonne Edouard (£6.5m) is another intriguing differential, though he has been played out on the left flank in the last three Gameweeks, diminishing his goal threat somewhat.
Next six: ARS | SOU | eve | wol | AVL | NEW
Despite seeing their 25-game unbeaten run come to an end on Sunday, Liverpool have made a solid start to the current campaign, with six wins, four draws and one defeat so far.
Now, they are about to embark on a run of fixtures which includes four Anfield encounters in their next six, against Arsenal, Southampton, Aston Villa and Newcastle United, plus away trips to Merseyside rivals Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Defensively, the Reds have conceded just 11 goals in their 11 league games to date, which has included six clean sheets, though it’s debatable whether or not further investment is required beyond Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.7m).
However, their attacking form has been nothing short of elite, as Jurgen Klopp’s side sit top for goals scored (31), attempts (215), shots in the box (146) and efforts on target (71) this season. That suggests adding Diogo Jota (£7.5m) to Mohamed Salah (£13.0m) in our midfield set-ups could be a wise move, in light of Roberto Firmino’s (£8.8m) hamstring injury that could see him miss over four weeks.
Next six: wat | che | ARS | CRY | nor | bre
Manchester United are hardly firing on all cylinders right now, with a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in Gameweek 10 papering over the cracks which were all too evident in their recent losses to Manchester City, Liverpool and Leicester City.
However, their fixtures between now and the end of the year are about as good as it gets, with matches against Watford (a), Norwich City (a), Brentford (a), Newcastle United (a) and Burnley (h) before we enter January.
There is, of course, an argument to hold off on investing till Gameweek 15, once Chelsea (a) and an in-form Arsenal (h) are out of the way, but with a trip to Vicarage Road up next after the international break, it’s no surprise to see them rank fourth (and third defensively) on our Season Ticker over the next six matches.
In terms of personnel, it’s hard to get too excited about any of their defenders right now, but popular pre-season pick Luke Shaw has now dropped to £5.2m and been deployed as a wing-back in recent matches. Further forward, things get a little more interesting, with Marcus Rashford (£9.4m) returning to fitness, Bruno Fernandes (£11.7m) ticking over with three assists in his last five, and of course, the world class talent of Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.4m) leading the line. For those investing in Kane, a switch to the Portuguese forward in Gameweek 16 looks like a sound strategy.
Next six: BRE | ars | NOR | BUR | lei | liv
Eddie Howe’s appointment as Newcastle United head coach has coincided with an appealing set of forthcoming fixtures, as the Magpies sit second on our Season Ticker over the next four Gameweeks.
Newly-promoted Brentford and Norwich City are up next at St James’ Park, followed by Burnley, with a trip to Arsenal the only red blob in sight.
The Toon Army’s form has been nothing short of abysmal so far, as they are now the only Premier League team without a win, but those three home games detailed above do feel like a golden opportunity to kickstart the Howe era.
Given the new coaches “we love to attack, be front foot, play with speed” quotes from his opening press conference, Callum Wilson (£7.3m) could offer real value, especially given the dearth of in-form FPL forwards elsewhere. Aside from that, options look thin, though if deployed out-of-position, Matt Ritchie (£4.9m) has the potential to do well.
Sitting top of our Season Ticker over the next six Gameweeks, at least from an attacking perspective, are Premier League newcomers Brentford (new | EVE | tot | lee | WAT | MUN).
During that time, The Bees take on Newcastle United (a), Leeds United (a) and Watford (h), all of whom rank near the bottom for non-pen xGC.
However, patience is understandably wearing a little thin for FPL managers, who have seen Bryan Mbeumo (£5.6m) and Ivan Toney (£6.7m) fail to bag a single attacking return between them over the last four Gameweeks.
The question is: have the wheels completely come off, or can they get back on track in the coming weeks? Looking at their short-term numbers from Gameweeks 8 to 11, there isn’t a lot wrong in an attacking sense, as they comfortably rank in the top five for goal attempts, shots in the box and efforts on target.
Eddie Howe’s first interview, where he hinted that his Newcastle United team would play on the front-foot and attack, also suggests that Mbeumo and Toney may be worth holding onto, at least for one more week.
Finally, we should really give Manchester City (EVE | WHU | avl | wat | WOL | LEE) a mention, too, and it goes without saying that their assets are worthy of investment, with Joao Cancelo (£6.5m) posting elite all-round numbers, and the likes of Phil Foden (£8.3m) and Gabriel Jesus (£8.7m) impressing further forward.
The latter, notably, has now made nine of Pep Guardiola’s Premier League starting XI’s in 2021/22, only missing the opening day defeat at Tottenham Hotspur and Gameweek 8 visit of Burnley, having arrived back late from international duty.
READ MORE ON OUR SISTER SITE: Fixtures and form: Teams to target
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