Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 4
Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 4. Ahem, hi, let me just adjust this seat a bit. Not sat in it for a good while now. It’s much lower than I remember it being… Hang on, he’s replaced it with a bloody couch! Typical laid back lazy Americans. There’s fried chicken remnants down the sides, Coke bottles and empty pizza boxes all over the shop too. I hate to think what he’s been feeding you all in terms of actual content if the state of this place is anything to go by! Yep, Guy is having a well deserved break so I’m back in the hot seat for a week, back in my old job and what a pleasure it is to be here again. Now if only I could remember what it is I’m actually supposed to be doing then all will be good. Something about fixtures yeah? Good and bad? Maybe resurrect the one week punts? It’s all coming back to me now, let’s go see if any of the old magic is still there…
If only I could actually reach the keyboard from this big dent in the new sofa…
The Fixture Tracker…
Gameweek Tracker GW4-11
Oh dear! This used to be so easy… check the tracker and there would always be a few teams with a decent run of games and a few with the opposite. Checking the tracker right now there are few with a consistent run of either, none that you would absolutely hang your hat on for 3 wins or 3 losses anyway. In fact, if you take the fixture tracker as gospel (don’t, it’s subjective!) we actually have just 3 teams with a solid green rating out of the next 30 matches over a 3 week period. Guess I’ll have to actually do some work here then, dig a bit deeper and think outside of the box a bit.
Here’s the teams who I think may do you well for you over the next few weeks then, just maybe not every week…
Liverpool – Man City (A), Burnley (H), Leicester (A)
When judging a fixture as favourable or not there is a tendency to simply think ‘will they win easily, and possibly to nil?’. With Liverpool we should really throw that thinking out of the window and view it more as simply ‘could they score a load?’. The City game this week sums that up really. Will they keep them out or indeed win? Who knows. Can they score against them? Almost certainly! The reason being is that we all know well enough to avoid their defence, that’s a given. If anything you have their attackers on board and so really that’s all we need to consider for them. Traditionally, at least under Klopp, they are finding the big teams easier to play against and the ‘weaker’ ones more of a struggle. This is due to Pulis and co shutting up shop, parking 6 buses, 3 coaches and 2 Guy sized sofas behind the ball and allowing them no space to run into. City may be a big team but we also know that defending is their weak point too so there should be goals in this one.
Burnley may well try to shut up shop but they aren’t great at doing so away from home so this one could be a massacre if Liverpool turn it on. Leicester away could be awkward. Not so much in terms of scoring but more in terms of the tactics involved. Both will almost certainly approach it with counter attack in mind. The ball itself could well spend a lot of time in the centre circle untouched then until one team finally blinks and launches an attack! If they do go at it though it could well be 4-4.
There’s no reason not to expect a hat full of Liverpool goals though, over the piece.
Man United – Stoke (A), Everton (H), Southampton (A)
Would I want United fantasy assets right now? Yep. From back to front? Yep. If I had just one or two would I want more? Damn straight I would. This lot look the real deal. 10 unanswered goals has sent a strong message out. Looking at the fixtures presented to them they would have been targeting all 9 points, which they achieved, but to do it so emphatically and ruthlessly is impressive. Whilst others dithered and dathered in the transfer market, and let’s face it plain embarrassed themselves in some cases, Jose and co cut to the chase early doors, identified their needs and addressed them clinically. You could argue all day long that they slightly overpaid for both Matic and Lukaku but both are in, making a huge impact and putting points on the board for them. Which is what matters.
On paper the next 3 games could actually be challenging but I think they’ll come close to taking all 9 points from this trio too. Stoke away is never easy for anyone but this is no limp Arsenal team going there. This is a rampant United team. Stoke have only scored 2 in their 3 games so I’d happily play my United defenders and as for the attackers 10 goals so far says it all. Everton will be a tougher task and if they do drop their first points this season it will be in this one. The Lukaku / Rooney factor will be the feature here, assuming Rooney doesn’t spend the evening before weaving around the roads of Cheshire playing Robert De Niro to a damsel in no distress in a VW Beetle… Saints feel on a par with the teams from the opening 3 games and I’d expect a similar (ish) outcome from that one.
West Ham – Huddersfield (H), West Brom (A), Spurs (H)
This could be a tough sell, even to the most ardent Hammers fan! If they can somehow get it together though they really do have a decent run here all the way out to GW10, aside from the Spurs game as noted above, and even that one has recent happy memories for them, the run includes Huddersfield, West Brom, Swansea, Burnley, Brighton and Palace. That’s hardly a frightening set of games so if you need to go for a mid priced striker to fund your moves elsewhere then Chicarito could serve his purpose here. Maybe even Antonio comes into the conversation again as a mid priced midfielder. But hey, as Guy always says- ‘the players are someone else’s job, I’m just here to point you at the fixtures’. Looking at the results that the recent Captain Article got though I’d maybe reconsider that stance a bit there Guy! Hi James
I’m sure they can score a few given those games. I’m not entirely convinced I’d back them to not concede their fair share though. Now ok, according to Gareth Southgate they have England’s best keeper so that should all be fine then. That’s unless you’ve witnessed ANYTHING HE’S DONE ON AN ACTUAL FOOTBALL PITCH IN SAY THE LAST 3 SEASONS Sorry, got a bit irate there. Calmed down now. FFS GARETH! Ok, calm. Don’t buy their defenders, but yeah look at their attackers by all means.
Newcastle – Swansea (A), Stoke (H), Brighton (A)
Oh dear Lord, I really must be scraping the barrel here! Why did I jot them down as potentially having ‘favourable fixtures’ again?! Honestly, I’ve had to go away and check. It seems it was simply to say that in the next 8 they only play 1 of the ‘big teams’. The other 7 are all against more equal opposition, aka fellow relegation favourites. That’s not really to say go out and buy any more Toon players, more that if you somehow invested in one in the first place that you’d be ok to stick with them for a bit and tend to more pressing matters elsewhere.
The transfer window was an unprecedented disaster for Newcastle… Sorry, what I meant to say was – the transfer window was exactly what their fans and Rafa himself expected and mirrored many previous ones. The manager lost and Ashley won – by spending practically nothing. We’ve been here before. Careful what you wish for though as Rafa is about four levels above any manager they can attract to rescue them when the inevitable Newcastle circus begins again. The only thing that is keeping him there is that he has to pay them about £5m ,I believe, if he walks. I’m sure there will be plenty of clubs in need of a quality manager come Christmas who would happily sort that small bill out to bring in a top notch manager like him.
Less Favourable Fixtures
Everton – Spurs (H), Man United (A), Bournemouth (H)
I’ll be honest here – I added Everton just so as to not disappoint Guy! He’s a huge Everton fan, as am I, and he’s had them in here every week so far and almost apologised for it. But the truth is they have had a horrendous start handed to them in terms of fixtures. I can only assume the fixture guy at the PL HQ is a sadistic Liverpool fan. The nightmare run is almost done though. Just two more toughies ahead, Spurs and Man United, and then it’s Everton time for everyone! Well ok, maybe Siggy time. And perhaps Baines time. All the B’s are next – Bournemouth, Burnley and Brighton.
Bournemouth – Arsenal (A), Brighton (H), Everton (A)
The Cherries make the bad step here predominantly because ownership of their players sits mainly with their defensive players and I’m looking at their next 8 games and not seeing a whole lot of clean sheets on the horizon. 5 of their next 8 are against Arsenal, Everton, Leicester, Spurs and Chelsea. Certainly don’t go buying any and if you have some already then they may be an option to sell if you need to free up spaces anywhere.
West Ham – Huddersfield (H), West Brom (A), Spurs (H)
Look, just don’t say you weren’t warned
One Week Punt
Swansea vs Newcastle
Just to completely contradict some things said above…
Sometimes a transfer window closing with a massive positive vibe (versus a massive negative one) can actually give a club an extra spring in their step and so for this reason I’m going for Swansea this week. They’ve brought in a player they really had no right to even be linked to, never mind actually signing him, in Renato Sanches. Add in re-signing a former fan favourite in Bony and you can imagine that the atmosphere at The Liberty will be electric this weekend. I can’t actually remember whether the One Week Punt was supposed to recommend a team or a player now so let’s go both – Swansea for the win and Wilfried Bony to score well on his return. For anyone with that ‘floating’ cheap 3rd striker he’s firmly in that bracket at just £6.0m and I would take a punt on him this week for sure if you could. He boasted a record of almost 1 goal every 2 games for them in his last spell.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 4. This article was written by inittowinit
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2017/18 season are as follows: