Fantasy Football Festive Fixture Analysis Gameweek 19
Welcome to Fantasy Football Festive Fixture Analysis Gameweek 19.
‘Tis the season to be… *rotated, Fa la la la la la la la la!
We jest, sort of. Just as most sensible and forward thinking nations (Spain & Germany spring to mind) look at logging off for a few weeks to recharge their batteries, we decide to flog our players to near exhaustion. Before sending them off to the usual abject World Cup failure in the summer. On the plus side they all get two weeks off before the tournament itself ends so that they can put their feet up and watch the inevitable Spain vs Germany final. Funny, that.
GW19 begins on Friday and then sees no less than 4 game-weeks somehow span 14 days, with at least 1 game on 11 of the said 14 days.
Some of these GW’s begin and end within a day of each other. And as such we are putting you on notice of our article plans now, don’t say that you were not warned –
GW19 begins FRI 22nd December @18:45 –
We have a full article compliment ahead of this –
B&P’s Predictions Comp
Team News & Predicted Line-ups
Live Match Chat
GW20 begins TUES 26th December @11:30
Articles ahead of this –
Live Match Chat
GW21 begins SAT 30th December @14:00
Articles ahead of this –
Live Match Chat
GW22 begins MON 1st January @14:00
Articles ahead of this –
Live Match Chat
Save the Fixture Tracker below to your phone or computer. Put the deadlines into your phones calendar. Have our Countdown Timers saved as ‘favourite’ – there are 3 of them running currently. Basically, do whatever you need to do to remind yourself to check in and do your transfers and change your captain each time.
Do this and you will have the jump on at least 1 ML rival who doesn’t.
The All Important Fixture Tracker…
Gameweek Tracker GW19-22
If that wasn’t help enough we have asked two of our older heads to have their say on which teams they think have the best and worst of the festive fixtures. Init kicks us off with some info on fixture congestion. Cookie then looks at those teams who he feels have the best festive fixtures and then Init brings up the rear with who to avoid.
Oh, and there’s a blank game-week and a double game-week thrown into the pot too, just for good measure!
I shall begin this with a bit of analysis on which teams are actually the most congested here as that may have a bearing on rotation. The easiest way to look at this is illustrated below, courtesy of SportingBet –
Clearly there is a disconnect there between the top and the bottom with some teams getting a relatively easy ride with 11/12 days to see their fixtures out and others cramming in the 4 games into 8 days.
We can’t tell you what that will actually mean in terms of rotation for each one, we’d need a crystal ball for that, but at least you are forewarned.
Over to Cookie to tell you which team’s left-backs he fancies –
Man City – Bournemouth (H), Newcastle (a), Crystal Palace (a), Watford (h)
Not for the first time this season, we make no apologies for including City in the favourable section. As if 52 points out of a possible 54 isn’t dominant enough, then all their Christmas’ came at once, if one look at the fixture list is anything to go by. I mean please… Bournemouth at home, visits to Newcastle and Palace and then Watford show up to the Etihad. That’s not only Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, but caviar and champagne to start, a bottle or two of 1945 Mouton Rothschild over dinner and a fine bottle of dessert wine to wash down the Christmas pudding.
Basically put, expect maximum points for Pep from the festive period, the bandwagon will roll on – even without Aguero and Jesus firing and David Silva absent, they swept aside Spurs with no bother. The quartet of Bournemouth, Newcastle, Palace and Watford will hold no fears for City and despite the obvious rotation, one only has to see the contributions the likes of Bernado Silva and Ilkay Gündogan produce when called upon to see the real strength in depth the team has. If only they had a left-back worth skippering
Liverpool – Arsenal (a), Swansea (h), Leicester (h), Burnley (a)
One look at Liverpool’s Christmas schedule suggests that they have a couple of easy home games sandwiched between two awkward looking road trips. However, Klopp and his men have struggled at home of late, drawing the last three vs West Brom, Everton and Chelsea, while away from Anfield they have been sweeping away the opposition comfortably – last weekend’s 4-0 romp at Bournemouth was preceded by the 5-1 win at Brighton, a 3-0 win at Stoke and a 4-1 trouncing of West Ham.
The weekend match at Arsenal should provide Liverpool with plenty of opportunities to again score freely and it may well be that defensively set-up teams such as Swansea and Burnley provide stiffer opposition as Liverpool do struggle to break down buses.
However, if Mane, Coutinho, Firmino and Salah can’t break down these sides (and they invariably will), then Klopp still has alternatives such as Lallana, Sturridge, Wijnaldum etc to call upon if required. Burnley’s record vs the top sides is highlighted below and evidence suggests they will not keep the Reds out, while Swansea may have kept Chelsea to one goal, but Liverpool’s attack is seriously more threatening than Chelsea’s.
Liverpool’s firepower is really not far behind that of the leaders and should mean any serious FPL manager will be considering doubling up their attacking coverage.
Manchester United – Leicester (a), Burnley (h), Southampton (h), Everton (a)
The ‘best of the rest’ behind City! Not the title the red half of Manchester want to hold right now, but facts are facts and no-one is holding a candle to the leaders this season. Not that United are doing much wrong – aside from losing a tight derby, United have won six of the other seven matches played since losing at Chelsea in GW11.
The festive schedule for Mourinho’s men suggests their decent run should continue – Palace have shown that a trip to Leicester can be negotiated easily enough, before United face successive home matches vs Burnley and Southampton. Both will try and keep things tight, Burnley especially, but the return of Paul Pogba should provide United with enough to break down both defences before a trip to Goodison awaits. United have won four and drawn the other two of the previous six meetings between the two and while this may be the trickiest looking fixture of the four, Jose will be confident of maintaining their push for 2nd place.
FROM BLANK TO DOUBLE
Spurs and West Ham both face a DGW in GW22 after their Wembley date was rearranged from New Year’s Eve. I mean, seriously, who would ever schedule that match for New Year’s Eve in the first place?
With this being the final fixtures article of the year, it would be amiss not to mention our two DGWers as GW22 will give us all an opportunity to load up on DGW players given some planning.
West Ham – Newcastle (h), Bournemouth (a), BLANK, West Brom (h) & Spurs (a)
Moyesie can do no wrong! Clean sheets vs Arsenal, Chelsea and Stoke, with wins over the latter two has seen the Hammers rise to 15th and has perked our interest in West Ham assets. Fixtures in GW19 & GW20 vs Newcastle and Bournemouth likely mean we can hold said assets for their blank GW21 in order to maximise the potential that DGW22 brings. Whereas a trip to Spurs may not look great on paper, this new look West Ham will no doubt make it tough for Spurs at Wembley in the same way that such minnows as Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth, Palace and West Brom have already done.
It would seem prudent to invest in some good value Hammers defenders for this run and maybe for the longer term if Moyes can convince us that the corner really has been turned. Masuaku for Captain anyone?!
Spurs – Burnley (a), Southampton (h), BLANK, Swansea (a) & West Ham (h)
It should be that FPL managers should be looking to load up on Spurs assets ahead of their DGW, but the weekend’s 4-1 loss at Man City was their fifth defeat of the season and Pochettino’s men sit in 7th, way beyond City, of course, but more worryingly, 10pts off 2nd placed United and depressingly below Arsenal in the table. Oh the shame. It’s been a season of inconsistency after a couple of seasons challenging for the title.
However, a DGW that involves playing Swansea will be enough to ensure come DGW22, the likes of Eriksen, Alli et al will be being talked up by our expert Tippers.
Before that, Spurs go to Burnley and Southampton. Clearly, as already discussed above, Burnley will try and sit back and keep things tight. After winning their first four matches on the road, Poch will be worried about his team’s recent record away from Wembley as they have taken just one point from five away days. Southampton then come to Wembley and with Spurs scoring seven in their last two at ‘home’, Spurs should have enough to overcome the Saints before they await their DGW.
Burnley – Spurs (h), Man Utd (a), Huddersfield (a), Liverpool (h)
Bad news for everyone’s favourite clean sheet merchants! Burnley love a clean sheet against the ‘lower teams’ but have yet to keep one against their other ‘top 7’ mates. They’ve played 5 of them so far and conceded in each and every one. Not badly – they’ve played 5 of them and conceded just 8, 3 of which were against Man City. But they have conceded in all of them and 3 of their next 4 are against said opposition. And the other one is away from home. 6 of their 9 clean sheets have come at home.
Southampton – Huddersfield (h), Spurs (a), Man Utd (a), Crystal Palace (h)
We doubt that anyone still owns any Saints players, such had been their boring malaise as of late. They concede with regularity – no cleans sheet since GW9, and score only occasionally – just 4 goals in their last 5. You may have Austin as a punt but he’s getting rotated, understandably. Their fixtures don’t warrant that situation changing much either, so the message is simply as you were, stay away.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Festive Fixture Analysis Gameweek 19. This article was written by Cookie and Inittowinit
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