Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 8
Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 8. Bit of a different take this week and it’s driven by what I’ve seen so far this season in terms of FPL. We usually use this article to simply lay out which 3 or 4 teams have the best fixtures over the next few weeks. And which ones don’t. Which is grand, and usually works. There’s a trend going on that I’ve noticed though and it is that the top teams are hammering everyone else! Ok, so not every single time, but probably more often than not. So do you want me to come on here and tell you which of Bournemouth or Brighton have the better fixtures over the next 3 weeks? I could, but what’s the point? At this stage all eyes (and transfers) are on that ‘big 6’ as they are also the ones bringing in big points. So here’s my take on them and their fixtures ahead. There’s a subtle switch of emphasis between them all too and so it’s definitely worth exploring. And no offence to Burnley fans by the way, I know you are currently in there but come on…
Big 6 Stats Check
I’ll begin with partly justifying why I’m placing the emphasis on these 6 –
– If you were to sort the league table simply by most goals scored so far the 6 teams below would make up the top 6 places in that too.
– If you were to sort it by least goals conceded 4 of them would make up the top 6. Unsurprisingly Arsenal and Liverpool are the 2 who don’t make that list. Liverpool would literally be in the relegation zone of that one! Just out of interest it is Burnley (5 against) and Newcastle who would replace them.
The Fixture Tracker…
Gameweek Tracker GW8-11
Here are the ‘BIG 6’ then and the priority order in which I rate them based upon their next 3 games…
1. Man City – Stoke (H), Burnley (H), West Brom (A)
City are scoring freely right now and even have Pep himself purring. The Chelsea game was necessarily functional of course, and none the less impressive for it, but prior to that they had scored 24 in 6 games (in all competitions) and had conceded just the 1 in that time. The ‘Chelsea away is a must win game’ shackles will be off again now though and they have some really enticing games coming up.
Each of the above opponents can be considered difficult on their day but then would you say they were any better than Liverpool, Feyenoord, Watford or Palace? Well ok, maybe Palace but the point is that City’s results against that lot read – 5-0, 0-4, 0-6 and 5-0. They won’t average 5 every week of course but they are capable of it. They’ve also kept 7 clean sheets in 10 competitive games so far this season so given their defensive improvements it wouldn’t be a stretch to expect another 3 in a row here really.
2. Chelsea – Crystal Palace (A), Watford (H), Bournemouth (A)
Chelsea come in 2nd on my list of priorities here, despite me currently owning none of them and not knowing which if any of them I would actually want if I was to go and buy some! Truth be told I was going to buy Morata this week but obviously that one is up in the air now. Batsywotsit is similarly a risk and seemingly dependant on the same, as of yet unknown, situation. Hazard is back now of course but he is certainly at the premium end of the midfielders pricing structure and that doesn’t really fit with the trend of going big up top. The rest of the midfield does offer some mid priced options but knowing who will actually play each week is very difficult! And the defence is a bit of a lottery too with the plethora of options they have in there. Unless you just want Alonso, but the less said the better on that one for me!
If Morata is fit then I think he is your safest bet with Chelsea. Courtois would be a serious consideration too if you were on a wildcard or simply had a transfer to burn. The next 3 games shouldn’t really cause them any issues and you’d be surprised if they didn’t walk away with 9 points from them really.
They haven’t been quite as free scoring as Man City in the league itself, with just 12 goals as opposed to 22, but over the season in all competitions they have got 25 in 10, so an average of 2.5 per game.
3. Man United – Liverpool (A), Huddersfield (A), Spurs (H)
Even with Jose himself presumably having being in charge of the fixtures schedule itself so far it was still inevitable that United would have to play some team of note at some point. And so it comes to pass and we should have a much better idea of their relative progress after GW11 as they now face Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea in 3 of their next 4. In isolation that may be making people run away from them but I’d say hold on a bit here. Their next 2 games aren’t actually that bad. Liverpool away will bring back memories of Jose parking mass buses last season. Who knows what approach he will take this time but with a more evolved side you’d have to hope that they will go there with more ambition. The Liverpool defence is there for the taking so keeping your attacking United assets may be worth it. Likewise Huddersfield is away but again you’d have to think that United can get a positive result in that one.
So whilst I would advocate holding their attackers, the defence may be a different issue here. With Liverpool and Spurs coming up (and Chelsea) would you bet against that lot scoring? Probably not.
4. Arsenal – Watford (A), Everton (H), Swansea (H)
Arsenal should probably be higher on this list. The trouble with them is consistency and whilst the 3 above them can be relied upon in the main to both get results, and do so in style, you still just don’t know with Arsenal which team will turn up each week. Or indeed which players. They could conceivably win the next two easily, or likewise lose them.
I wouldn’t wager hugely on them keeping a clean sheet in either of the next two. They could conceivably do so of course so if you have a defender then hope, play and pray. The third may be different. They will almost certainly score though. Maybe!
It should also be noted that their next two games after the above are against Man City and Spurs.
5. Spurs – Bournemouth (H), Liverpool (H), Man United (A)
I’ll be honest here, I’m struggling to justify why Spurs are as low as 5th in my list! Could it be the Wembley factor? Almost certainly. That and two games against their fellow ‘big teams’ is probably what compels me to put them so far down. Look, I’d hold Kane for sure. Heck, I’d even still buy him if somehow you haven’t done so yet. Beyond that I think I’d hold any other assets for Bournemouth at ‘home’. I just wouldn’t be in a rush to buy any after that and you could even make argument for selling some after that one if you needed cash elsewhere.
6. Liverpool – Man United (H), Spurs (A), Huddersfield (H)
They frustrate the hell out of their supporters and fantasy managers in equal measure. They’ve scored the 4th most with 13 and conceded the 3rd most with 12. They are the ultimate hot and cold side, when they’re on they’re on – Arsenal 4-0 at home, but when they’re not they’re not – they followed this by a collapse at Man City by 0-5 and then a 1-1 at home to Burnley. They followed this up by getting us all excited again with 3 goals at Leicester. And then brought us all back down to earth again by struggling to a 1-1 at Newcastle. In amongst that, when everyone else was hammering Palace, they barely beat them 1-0 at home.
For this reason they sit well below the others on my priority list right now. Sure enough they will knock 4 past someone again and look like world beaters for a day but that day probably won’t be against either Spurs or Man United in the next two. It may be against Huddersfield in the third game but who knows.
I’d hold their mids if I had any and had no other priorities. But I’d happily sell if I did. I’d slap myself in the face if I had any defenders. I’d simply quit FPL altogether if I found a forward in there.
Big 6 Stats Check
I’ll conclude the big 6 analysis with this –
– There have been 173 goals scored so far. The big 6 have contributed 53.7% of these (93 goals).
– Guess how many goals have been conceded though? (It’s really surprising).
– Just kidding. Hands up if you did actually think about it though
– Out of the 173 conceded the big 6 have let in just 20% of those (35 goals). And Arsenal and Liverpool really do skew that as without them the other 4 have conceded just 9% (15 goals) between them.
Now of course you can’t simply make up an FPL team comprised from the top 6 so here are a few others who I think may serve you well over the next 3 games and why –
Southampton – Newcastle (H), West Brom (H), Brighton (A)
Quite how the Saints aren’t top and running away with the league right now is beyond me as they were slated as having favourable fixtures beyond belief at the beginning of the season and here I am again saying that their next 3 are likewise. Probably says more about them than us though… Ok they’re not scoring, 5 to date. But they’re not really conceding at any strong rate either, 7 to date. Pretty boring all round and the next 3 fixtures, 4 in fact as it’s Burnley at home after those, all smack of same old, same old in that respect.
Just be warned though before you do go and triple up on their defence or whatever – after GW11 they then face LIV, EVE, MCI, ARS, CHE, TOT and MUN in 7 of the next 10 before the end of the calendar year.
Leicester – West Brom (H), Swansea (A), Everton (H)
A bit like the Saints, Leicester are struggling so far but they were dealt a far crueler hand having to face Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea and Liverpool in their opening 7 games. Enthusiasm was probably dampened further though as they struggled to low scoring draws with Huddersfield and Bournemouth. Their sole win being at home to Brighton back in GW2. They do however have a relatively straightforward run over the next 4 weeks (the 4th is Stoke (A) ). Let’s face it it’s Vardy we are talking about here though, really, not Leicester as an entirety. Sure enough you may have a defender and it’d be fine to keep them for now on the basis of these games. Vardy has had a hand in 5 of Leicester’s 12 goals so far (all goals, no assists) but as Guy says every week ‘it’s not my job to recommend the actual players’…
The Naughty Step
Crystal Palace – No wins in 7, no goals and 17 conceded. They have Chelsea and Spurs in 2 of their next 4…
Bournemouth – A temporary trip to the step as they face Chelsea and Spurs in 2 of the next 3 so avoid them for now. After GW10 though they have a very decent run without any of the ‘Big 6’ bothering them again until GW17.
Huddersfield – Yes Ince, I’m looking at YOU! Others may have defenders as they were fairly popular due to price. They have Swansea this week so that’s fair game but then it is Man Utd and Liverpool after that. Man City, Arsenal, Everton and Chelsea all lie in wait up until GW17 too so this is a pretty rough run for them.
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 8. This article was written by inittowinit
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