Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 16
Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 16. And sort of GW17 too. And sort of GW18 also! The reason we say this is because there is another midweek feast of games coming up straight after GW16. We may only just be into December but the silly season is clearly in full swing already. And to prove it here is your fun fact of the day: between GW16 beginning this Saturday and GW22 ending on the 3rd of January there are 26 calendar days. On 17 of those there is a Premier League game occuring. There are only 9 days without one. Rotation, anyone?
Just as a bit of housekeeping, before we get into the nuts and bolts of the article itself, we will have your usual full raft of articles this week prior to GW16 kicking off on Saturday – Fixtures, Champions League Captain Picks, FPL Captain Picks, Tips, Site Team, Team News & Predicted Line-Ups and of course Live Match Chat. After that GW17 begins on Tuesday so we will squeeze in an FPL Captain Picks and the Site Team prior to that. The Team News & Predicted Line-Ups will have the teams updated but probably very little commentary on it from the pressers – that will all be tweeted and also placed in the comments on the article itself. GW17 ends on Wednesday and then GW18 begins on the Saturday so again we will have a Captain Picks article, the Site Team and then a full Team News & Predicted Line-Ups on the Friday.
Guy is away this week so we have turned to the safe, if not somewhat cynical hands, of Cookie and Inittowinit to guide you safely through this fixture minefield. Cookie goes first with the ‘Favourable’ ones and then Init follows through with two feet on the ‘Who To Avoid’ bit. Moyes, Pardew and the Watford Media Machine best get their tin hats on then…
The Fixture Tracker…
Gameweek Tracker GW16-22
This includes all of the festive fixtures. Including the newly added Blank GW21 and Double GW22 for Spurs & West Ham. This will be your best friend at Christmas. Take a screenshot and save it somewhere on your phone…
Chelsea – West Ham (a), Huddersfield (a), Southampton (h)
While Man City are receiving the plaudits for their impressive start to the season, Chelsea are cruising along, relatively under the radar. The Blues reacted to successive defeats to City, and then remarkably Palace, by going on a seven match unbeaten run, winning six of those, without maybe showing the flair and panache that we have become accustomed to. The good news for Chelsea is they are in the midst of a lovely run of matches from which they will be expecting to take maximum points. As will you.
However, first up for Conte’s men is Tuesday’s home Champions League tie vs Atletico Madrid. With Chelsea already qualified we are expecting some changes to the team which should give us a clue as to the manager’s thinking for his league starting XI next weekend when the Blues take the journey across London to face West Ham. If current form is anything to go by, Moyesie’s boys will park their double decker and hope to catch out Chelsea either on the break, at a set-piece or just by boring them to sleep before pouncing. Hazard and co should of course have too much for West Ham as indeed they should have vs Huddersfield next Tuesday. It’s another away trip for the Blues and to be fair Huddersfield have made life tricky for both Manchester teams at home this season. But the Blues are on a roll, they have the squad to freshen things up where required (which Huddersfield don’t) and having put four past Stoke and West Brom on their travels already, a similar outcome would not be a surprise.
The third game in Chelsea’s trilogy of matches is a return to Stamford Bridge for the visit of Southampton. Having seemingly gone years without scoring, the Saints have scored in their last three matches and while we wouldn’t bet against them scoring vs Chelsea, the Blues should again have too much in the tank to kill off the Saints.
If you’re still not convinced to own any Chelsea cover then note that their good fixtures don’t end here – after the visit of the Saints, Chelsea then travel to Everton before hosting Stoke and Brighton.
Arsenal – Southampton (a), West Ham (a), Newcastle (h)
Oh the joys of being an Arsenal fan. Having seen their beloved Gooners win seven out of seven at home before last weekend, even the most negative fans could be excused for feeling a little confident as Man Utd strolled into town. 90mins later and the unbeaten record had gone, Wenger had again lost to Jose and the #WengerOut crowd were back in full voice. Bless.
Fortunately for Arsenal they have a Thursday night Europe engagement with BATE of Belarus to get back to winning ways and forget the disappointment of last weekend.
And then the Gooners go into a Chelsea-type run of matches and Wenger, just like Conte, will be looking for maximum returns. The trip down to St. Mary’s shouldn’t of course bring too many concerns, especially if Sanchez and Ozil continue to play like they know there is a transfer window just around the corner. Oh wait…
A trip then to West Ham should be routine enough for Arsenal. My learned friend has the pleasure of presenting West Ham to you later on in this article so it would be unfair of me to steal his thunder. But safe to say, if Joe Hart is back between the sticks then it’s looking even rosier for the Gunners.
Last up is the visit of Newcastle to the Emirates and a chance to really improve that goal difference and possibly an opportunity for Jack Wilshere to impress as he hopes to find a club that is happy to pay his medical bills going forward.
All in all, this is a great chance for the Gooners to turn the heat on their rivals for a top six spot.
Liverpool – Everton (h), West Brom (h), Bournemouth (a)
Having just spanked five past a normally tight Brighton side, the up and coming fixtures for Liverpool smack of goals, further goals, some more goals, a couple of howlers at the back, before more goals. The problem of course is that Klopp doesn’t mind a spot of rotation fun with the likes of Mane, Salah and Firmino all given time off recently.
However, it will be the A team for the derby as Liverpool look to record their usual win in the fixture and while Big Sam might have something to say about that, better defences than Everton’s have been penetrated easily enough by Liverpool’s array of attackers.
West Brom are the visitors next to Anfield and with them comes another newly appointed manager, namely Lord Pardew. Loved by some, loathed by others, we are at least guaranteed some laughs with (or at) Pards. But that is of course by-the-by – we have a game to think about here. Will the Baggies be able to stop Liverpool under the lights? Nah of course not, our hope is that Klopp hasn’t benched our Liverpool asset (time to double up maybe?)
Finally a trip to Bournemouth awaits our friends from Liverpool. This is another game which stinks of goals, at both ends. We know Bournemouth will have a go and we are all plainly aware that Liverpool only know one way to play.
The moral here is to ensure you have at the very least one Liverpool midfielder or striker – there is an argument for a double up, but that is dependant on many things unique to the balance of your own squads and budget issues.
WHO TO AVOID
West Ham – Chelsea (h), Arsenal (h), Stoke City (a)
We could have just left it there in all honesty, but where’s the fun in that. Especially when we have Doom Monger Moyes in charge of ushering them to the Championship, in the darkest manner he can muster. And it’ll be dark. Very dark. Ask Sunderland fans if you don’t believe us. Mr Motivator has a pattern. But at least it’s a consistent one. One of doom and gloom from the get-go. Anyone who follows our Team News article on a Friday will know that we love a Moyes quote so let’s see what nuggets he came up with after their latest defeat:
“We tried to have a bit of a game plan to stop them.” A bit, oh dear…
“Their pressure made that change actually, after about 20 minutes.” Yep, didn’t see that coming…
“Arguably we might have had the best chances in the first half and we defended well.” No, you didn’t…
“I thought the players did a really good job.” You lost…
“I thought City’s shots were mainly from distance. Most of their shots were from outside the box and we filled the box and made it difficult for them to score”. Both goals came from within the 6 yard box…
“I have to say that we did a really good job and might have had the better opportunities in the first half, and then what a chance we had to make it 2-2 late on.” But you didn’t score it…
“I think the effort today was top. If we can get the energy levels up like we did today then we’ve got a chance.” Yep, run Forrest, run. All the way to the Championship…
Just for the record, Dave has now won just 2 of his last 27 games in charge of a football team.
But don’t worry too much West Ham fans – he once signed John Stones from Barnsley, don’t you know. If you didn’t then he is sure to mention it in his presser on Friday!
Southampton – Arsenal (h), Leicester (h), Chelsea (a)
Speaking of teams who face Arsenal and Chelsea in the next two… Leicester are the other game and are looking fairly lively themselves so you can probably forget a clean sheet in that one too.
Mr Boring presided over the most predictable of predictable 1-1 draws against Bournemouth. How predictable? Well, over a third of participants in this weeks Barry & Paul’s Predictions Competition (take part please, it’s great) (16 out of 44) went straight in with a 1-1. 7 others went with a 0-0, which was pretty much the same vote, just with a ‘Moyes’ slant on it. Basically, we have your number Mr Pellegrino.
Many a fantasy manager may have a Saints defender in their ranks as they had such a nice run of games to pen the season with. That’s over with now. Sell them. They have the above fixtures, which are bad enough, but then they also have Spurs and Man United away in 2 of their next 3 following those.
Oh, and Mr Boring concluded his reaction to the Bournemouth game with this – “It was a nice game.” Honestly, genuine quote. #Yaaaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnnnnnssssssss…
Bournemouth – Crystal Palace (a), Man United (a), Liverpool (h)
We have no particular beef with Bournemouth – they are a nice club, they have a nice manager. You probably have a nice defender of theirs. Maybe a nice forward called Wilson. And as such this is just a heads up that their fixtures don’t look particularly nice ahead. Maybe after this week, anyway. They follow that 3rd game against Liverpool by going to Man City.
The Watford Media Machine – Init (a), Init (a), Init (h)
Yeah ok, they haven’t got tough FPL fixtures at all, in fact they look positively rosy, all the way through until GW22. But this isn’t about FPL, this is personal now…
If you have a press conference scheduled… ACKNOWLEDGE IT!
If you have a press conference happening… ACKNOWLEDGE IT!
If you have had a press conference happen… ACKNOWLEDGE IT!
Good luck to everyone this week from both of us, we love you all and appreciate every single comment and contribution you make. Keep it up please and keep the best #FFCommunity out there going strong. #dropsmic
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 16. This article was written by Cookie and Inittowinit
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