Fixtures

FPL festive fixture schedule: When might Premier League sides rotate the most?

The first of nine Gameweeks in the space of 36 days takes place this weekend and we’re readying ourselves for the festive fixture frenzy ahead of Saturday’s Fantasy Premier League (FPL) deadline.

Visits from the extended family, a Mrs Brown’s Boys special, bin collection day mayhem: there’s lots to dread about the Christmas period and top of the naughty list for FPL managers is rotation.

This is traditionally the period when starting XI changes ramp up a gear, with the matches coming thick and fast not just in the Premier League but also in cup competitions at home and abroad.

We’ll be looking at which players stand the best chance of avoiding a benching or two in a separate piece but it’s the fixture calendar itself that we’re focusing on here.

We’ll assess the clubs with the tightest and most generous turnarounds in this article, using moderator Legomane’s rather excellent ‘Fixture Crush’ matrix.

Our thanks go to him for allowing us to use this graphic as the focal point of this feature.

FPL FIXTURE OVERVIEW

(click the above image to expand)

CLUBS WITH THE MOST MATCHES FROM GAMEWEEKS 13-21

Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United12 (nine league matches, two European ties, one EFL Cup quarter-final)
Manchester City, Manchester United11 (nine league matches, two European ties)
Arsenal, Brentford10 (nine league matches, one EFL Cup quarter-final)
Aston Villa, Brighton and Hove Albion, Burnley, Crystal Palace, Everton, Leeds United, Newcastle United, Norwich City, Southampton, Watford, Wolverhampton Wanderers9 (all league matches)

CLUBS WITH THE TIGHTEST TURNAROUNDS

In this table, we look at the clubs who have the highest number of ‘tight’ turnarounds from the Wednesday before Gameweek 13 onwards. For this, we’re taking tight to mean two recovery days or fewer (eg Saturday-Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday etc).

West Ham United7
Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur6
Burnley, Manchester United5
Brigthon and Hove Albion, Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, Watford4
Arsenal, Everton, Leeds United, Norwich City, Southampton3
Aston Villa, Brentford, Wolverhampton Wanderers2

It’s no surprise to see the clubs involved in European competition up there at the top, with West Ham United leading the way – a bit of a concern for owners of Michail Antonio (£8.2m), perhaps, although David Moyes can at least afford the luxury of resting him in the Europa League with qualification to the knockout rounds assured.

Manchester United’s non-involvement in the EFL Cup means that they have a full seven days of rest in between Gameweeks 18 and 19, which represents the longest recovery time given to any top-flight team throughout the period studied.

Tottenham Hotspur, by contrast, don’t have more than three days of rest, playing Thursday-Sunday for the next month and then having an EFL Cup clash with West Ham ahead of a three-game week between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

Aston Villa, Brentford and Wolves have been dealt the best hands if we follow the table above, with the Bees even afforded an extra day of rest between Gameweeks 19 and 20 (more of which below).

Arsenal deserve a mention, too: they might be in EFL Cup quarter-final action in between Gameweeks 18 and 19 but they have been gifted a home draw against League One side Sunderland, so there’ll surely be a few breathers handed out to some key personnel in that tie.

TIGHTEST TURNAROUNDS FROM GAMEWEEKS 19 TO 20

The tightest of all the tight turnarounds comes between Gameweeks 19 and 20, with FPL managers faced with two deadlines in the space of 48 hours.

The clubs’ recovery time in between these two Gameweeks are detailed below (hours are given between full-time and kick-off, rounded up to the nearest half-hour):

TeamHours between GW19-20
Arsenal43.5
Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Norwich City, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers46
Watford48.5
Leeds United, Leicester City51
Liverpool53.5
Brighton and Hove Albion, Newcastle United69.5
Brentford, Manchester United70.5
Chelsea72
Manchester City75.5
Everton98.5
Burnley99.5

Arsenal are the worst hit: they are in action at the traditional 3pm kick-off time on Boxing Day and then have a lunchtime match against Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 28.

Seven clubs’ fixtures kick off at the same time, two days apart, in Gameweeks 19 and 20, affording them less than 48 hours of recovery.

Burnley and Everton are on easy street by comparison, with matches on Boxing Day and December 30.

Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs also get off relatively lightly, with around three days of recuperation time in between their respective games.

CLUBS WITH SUCCESSIVE ‘RED ZONE’ TURNAROUNDS – AND WHEN THEY FALL

The below table looks at when Premier League clubs have successive ‘red zone’ turnarounds – that is, when there are only two recovery days between matches.

The game ranges in italics indicate that one of the three consecutive fixtures is a cup tie, so rotation could theoretically be more widespread outside of the league matches involved.

For example, Liverpool have three fixtures between December 1-7 – but the last one of those is a Champions League against Milan, so with qualification for the knockout rounds assured, Klopp may look to rest some key players in Italy.

Manchester United have also secured top spot in their Champions League group, so the home fixture against Young Boys in between Gameweeks 15-16 allows whoever is in charge to run wild with the starting XI alterations and focus on the four Premier League matches around it.

TeamSuccessive ‘red zone’ Gameweek turnarounds
Manchester CityGW13-15 (plus UCL after GW15)
GW19-21
Manchester UnitedGW14-17 (UCL in between GW15-16)
LiverpoolGW14-15 (plus UCL after GW15)
GW17-18 (plus EFL Cup after GW18)
ChelseaGW13-15
GW17-18 (plus EFL Cup after GW18)
Leicester CityGW13-14 (plus UEL before GW13)
GW17-18 (plus EFL Cup after GW18)
West Ham UnitedGW13-15 (plus UEL before GW13)
GW16-18 (plus UEL before GW16)
Tottenham HotspurGW17-18 (plus EFL Cup after GW18)
ArsenalGW17-18 (plus EFL Cup after GW18)
Newcastle UnitedGW19-21
Crystal PalaceGW16-18
Brighton and Hove AlbonGW16-18
BurnleyGW13-15, GW16-18
WatfordGW13-15

Manchester City, Chelsea and West Ham are three of five clubs who play Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday in Gameweeks 13-15, which may set alarm bells ringing for FPL managers who own players from any of those teams. Burnley and Watford are the other two sides with the same schedule.

The Hammers have exactly the same timetable in Gameweeks 16-18, along with Crystal Palace, Brighton and Burnley.

The spectre of Pep rotation then rears its head again from Gameweeks 19-21, when the Citizens once more have to negotiate league fixtures on the Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. Newcastle United are also on a tight turnaround from December 27 to January 2 inclusive.

Ready those FPL benches…


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1,095 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Sanchez
    TAA / Cancelo / James
    Salah / Raphinha / ESR / Mbeumo
    Vardy / Antonio / Toney

    Steele // Chilwell* / Bissouma / Livramento

    A) Mbeumo & Bissouma > Jota & Gallagher
    B) Chilwell & Bissouma > Alonso & Jota
    C) Chilwell & Bissouma > Alonso & Gallagher

    I don't need to rush on Alonso as he's price locked, I lose no values from Chilwell's first drop & we're playing United I guess?

    But then again it's a straight shootout of two of Alonso, Jota & Gallagher for this next week.

    Thoughts?

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      A is your obvious move.

      Palace have decent enough fixtures. Have you considered a move for Cornet too?

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • 6 Years
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Guess Burnley fixtures are a bit off putting. But they may beed to attack more for decent results.

        1. Hazz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 days, 6 hours ago

          Thanks. I like Cornet but he's overperforming. TOT/WOL/WHU in 3 of next 4 is trickier than the ticker may hint.

  2. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    And now is the time where I will begin to get excited for this game week!

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Man City v PSG?

      1. Steve The Spud
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        If I don’t have fantasy players in it, I don’t watch it, simple!

  3. tbos83
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Joke's on me. Transferred Chilwell in on Sunday hoping to avoid price rise (had exact money). Never again.

    1. Ibralicious
      • 7 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Happens to the best of us, I’ve made it a point to not check any fpl related stuff until after the midweek fixtures this year. Missed out on a lot of early risers, but on the other hand no transfer errors anymore.

    2. Athletico Underachieving
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Same situation. Happens at least once every season!

  4. Ibralicious
    • 7 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Just before I lock it in:

    A) Chilwell + Raphinha -> Reguilón + Jota
    B) Chilwell + Gray -> Reguilón + Gallagher (tentatively leaving 0.6 itb for Rüdiger -> James next week)

    Cheers!

    1. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      b

  5. Finding Timo
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Foden & Jesus owner here - should I be worried?

    1. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Don't think Jesus will sit out three in a row.

      1. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Strange how now a sub but agree surely plays at weekend

      2. Hy liverpool
        • 7 Years
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Yeah aguero is a legend but PP doesn't suit your liverpool personality on here.

        1. Rainer
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 days, 7 hours ago

          I don't support Liverpool... 😮

          1. Ze_Austin
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 days, 7 hours ago

            Wait. What? 😀

  6. NateDog
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Very helpful guides, I don't know if this makes me feel better or worse about thinking of having a third City player (albeit it would be at the end of their first "red zone"). Should probably be worse with rotation expected but having more cover isn't the worst thing. Will be curious to see how Pep manages during this period, he's been settled by his standards so I wonder if he'll revert to his normal number of changes per game or if he'll try to keep things as much the same as he can

  7. Zilla
    • 4 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Chillwell and Foden owner, who is the higher priority to transfer out here?

    1. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Chilwell

    2. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      The one who could be out for the season.

      1. Big_Andy_GAWA
        • 10 Years
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Is that a possibility?! Wow.

        1. Ze_Austin
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 days, 7 hours ago

          Yup. Looked like ACL. Reports saying it's ACL

          And Foden is a new knock from the Everton game, but apparently minor. We'll get more from the Friday presser

          1. Big_Andy_GAWA
            • 10 Years
            2 days, 7 hours ago

            Just saw the news on Instagram. Terrible. 🙁

  8. putana
    • 3 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    anyone tempted to sell foden?

    even if he plays on the weekened, there's a good chance he is benched for midweek game

    1. Flynny
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Depends what pep says in Friday

    2. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Foden to son tempting

    3. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Nah, he's been very good recently even if not getting returns, they will come

    4. Buck The Trent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Tempted but will wait for Friday presser

  9. balint84
    • 5 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Spurs cs chances? Dier is a good option now, isn't it?

    1. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Can see Burnley scoring 1

  10. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
    • 11 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Mahrez looking dangerous

  11. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    James is probably rising today. I need to move Chillwell today to have exact money.

    Would you do it?

    1. Buck The Trent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Yeah

  12. BobbyDoesNotLook
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Btw wtf Salah and Mane in XI???

    1. BobbyDoesNotLook
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      What is wrong with Klopp.

      1. Rainer
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Money for winning the game is ~€2.5m.

        FSG...

  13. dbeck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Thoughts on this -4?

    Out: Chilwell, Mbeumo, Jansson
    In: Alonso, James, Gilmor

    Gilmor will be third bench behind hwang and livra. Hwang will be Watford striker after his two good games

    1. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Looks excellent honestly. Wait for pressers of course firstly but if all good go for it

  14. T.Henry14
    • 8 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Chilwell to:

    A) Alonso
    B) James

    😀

    1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Definitely James mate!!

    2. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      I am slightly worried MU score v Chelsea

  15. gooberman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Klopp does it again. Starts Salah in a dead rubber Champions league game just when fixtures start to get congested. He did the same thing a few years ago. Just why? Totally perplexing.

  16. balint84
    • 5 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Recommended keeper this week? (Not mendy, ramsy)

    1. F4L
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Sa/Everton's attack is decimated as well

  17. Finding Timo
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    2 FTs who should be my priority to ditch a) chilwell b) Antonio c) Jesus d) foden e) Omo?

    1. F4L
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Chilwell, and then wait on Foden news

      1. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Yeh sounds sensible thanks

  18. F4L
    • 6 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    That would've been beautiful, shame

    1. DavidBadWillie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      You breaking up with me?

      1. F4L
        • 6 Years
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        Blame Hakimi

  19. tabby98
    • 6 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    What to do here guys?

    Guaita, Foster
    TAA, Rudiger, Cancelo, Veltman, Tsimikas
    Salah, Havertz, Gallagher, Raphinha, Sissoko
    Kane, Antonio, Toney

    1FT
    £0.1m ITB

    A) Havertz —> Jota/ESR
    B) Havertz + Veltman —> ESR + James (-4)
    C) Hold

    1. F4L
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      tough, I'd rather James to Jota but the hit is annoying. I guess B and hope ESR outscores Antonio/Raph by at least 2/3 this GW

  20. Wirbelwind
    • 4 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Alonso or Rudiger? Already have James

    1. F4L
      • 6 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      Rudi if in a back 3

  21. Big Weng
    • 3 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Chilwell > Alonso for a hit? Can't afford James..sad times

    Back line is

    White | Cancelo | Livra | TAA | Chilwell

    1. Finding Timo
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      No as could you just play white

      1. Big Weng
        • 3 Years
        2 days, 7 hours ago

        What about price rise for James and Chilwell dropping, will never be able to afford James

        1. Finding Timo
          • 1 Year
          2 days, 6 hours ago

          If take hit have to be 100% sure Alonso so risk

          1. Big Weng
            • 3 Years
            2 days, 6 hours ago

            Yeah true, I still have WC so will be able to fit him in some how in the next few weeks

            1. Finding Timo
              • 1 Year
              2 days, 6 hours ago

              I am torn between Alonso and James but no hit required which makes easier

  22. Wolfman180
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    What have I missed with Chilwell? Is his injury that bad? Why is everyone rushing to sell?

    1. Wirbelwind
      • 4 Years
      2 days, 7 hours ago

      The latest is that it's at least off for the year, and around new year's determine if it's off for the season. ACL

      1. Wolfman180
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 days, 6 hours ago

        Ah yeah, now I see why. Was planning on rolling transfer this week but may have to sell him if that's the case :/

  23. Finding Timo
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 7 hours ago

    Just read that Saul could come in for chilwell ?!

    1. Rainer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      Yep, played LWB at times for Atleti.

      1. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        2 days, 6 hours ago

        Blimey another spanner in the works! Swinging back to James

  24. No end product
    • 5 Years
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    Not a Sheff U fan but I for one just wanted to wish John Fleck a speedy recovery.

  25. Ze_Austin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    City is toying with PSG

    My goodness

    1. mynameisq
      • 8 Years
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      Can't have 3 players that don't really work for the team

      Look how awful utd are with just 1 of those

  26. Finding Timo
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    If I get James and Chelsea concede v MU then he gets rested v Watford I will cry!

  27. No end product
    • 5 Years
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    Foden + White > James + Gallagher -4?

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      Yes, would consider

  28. NateDog
    • 1 Year
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    Oof great chance for Gundogan off the post, should be scoring it

  29. Ze_Austin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    Some came to watch Messi, Neymar, Mbappe

    We're now watching Mahrez vs Navas

  30. F4L
    • 6 Years
    2 days, 6 hours ago

    As good as PSG's front 3 is, they just don't bother doing any defensive work do they

    1. Ze_Austin
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      They need a Bielsa type who'll bench them for not pressing enough 😀

      1. F4L
        • 6 Years
        2 days, 6 hours ago

        😀 Bielsa wouldn't last 5 minutes!

    2. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      2 days, 6 hours ago

      You could see on that only chance to get forward in the last 5 mins a pass goes astray and Messi and Mbappe are close to Cancelo and they're barely even walking towards the ball