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Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 22

Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 22

Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 22

Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 22.

Christmas is officially over and we’re back in the routine of having to wait longer than two days before the next FPL deadline. Well, I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year and that Father Christmas brought you some merry green arrows. Speaking from my own perspective, I must have been a very good boy in 2018 as I moved up from 705k in Gameweek 18 to the 285k rank I now have.

But it’s not all about me! I’ve been joined in this article by the site’s big boss, Inittowinit, who has offered thoughts on the weeks ahead for his own team, Everton, along with Newcastle, the club our long-suffering Geordie Rosco loves with every part of his body.

The FA Cup third round has seen surprisingly strong teams put out by Premier League sides, with Rotherham United and Tranmere Rovers the unfortunate recipients of 7-0 thrashings. Elsewhere, at the time of writing, there was still room for a good giant killing as Fulham bowed out to Oldham Athletic, Lecester City got taken out by Newport County, Huddersfield were defeated by Bristol City and Cardiff lost to Gillingham, as Neil Warnock then quickly turned his attention to his thoughts on Liverpool. Looking far ahead, these kind of results will start to have an effect on Gameweeks 31 and 33, which clashes with the FA Cup quarter finals and semi finals respectively. Time to load up Microsoft Excel and start thinking about when you’re using your chips and wildcard!

Back to the next few weeks, let’s take a look at the good and bad fixtures ahead for certain Premier League teams.

Good times are coming

Man City (WOL H, HUD A, NEW A)
Fantasy Football TipsWhat a turnaround of events for Man City, after their blip of losing against the likes of Crystal Palace and Leicester City over Christmas time, as Woy and Claude – something that sounds like a new crime-fighting duo – each turned around their own misfortunes. Since then, however, Southampton were put aside 3-1 and, crucially for the title race, a close match against Liverpool saw the Cityzens record a 2-1 victory. As previously mentioned, they’ve also progressed in the FA Cup at Rotherham’s expense, recording their biggest FA Cup victory in 51 years at the same time.

So, looking ahead, we have Wolves coming to the Etihad initially, a team who ground out a 1-1 draw when the two sides met back in the sunnier days of August and have managed impressive results against the top six already. But then they have also lost against the likes of Huddersfield and Crystal Palace. Pep’s men are in resurgent form now first place is only four points away and we may be looking back on this gameweek with regret as we didn’t have the likes of Sterling, Sane or Aguero. In fact, the last time the Midlanders beat them when away from home was back in 1999, a week – I’m sure you’d remember – when Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca had just got knocked off the number one spot by Ronan Keating. That same year was also the last time the Cityzens lost against their next opponent, Huddersfield, a side that is the opposite end of the Premier League table. An away day up north to Newcastle is then on the cards, as last year’s champions look to stretch the lead when it comes to the table of goals scored.

Liverpool (BHA A, CRY H, LEI H)
Whilst this was written before Liverpool faced Wolves in the FA Cup third round, Klopp and co will want to return back to winning ways after their loss at the Etihad which, you may argue, could have gone their way, had the ball been 11 millimetres further over the line in the 20th minute. That fixture ended a run of eight wins in all competitions – with 23 goals scored in the process – and so the Reds are a good distance away from any kind of panic stations.

First up is a trip down south to Brighton, a team who put aside Bournemouth 3-1 in the FA Cup after only winning one game in six attempts – against the blue side of Merseyside, Everton, funnily enough. Head to head, you have to look back to 1984 when the Seagulls were last victorious, with one draw and seven Liverpool wins since, of which the last trip to the Amex saw a 5-1 scoreline in the visitors’ favour as Firmino found the back of the net twice. Next in line, back at Anfield, is Crystal Palace, who have been quite a bogey team for the Reds across various competitions in recent years, as the last 15 meetings have seen the Eagles win six, with one draw. That said, of Liverpool’s eight triumphs in that time, half have been the last four fixtures, having scored seven in that time. No travel is required in the next game either, as Leicester come to town and hope to end a run of three straight defeats against Klopp’s men, of which Salah scored three of the seven goals in that period.

Everton (BOU H, SOU A, HUD A)
Fantasy Football TipsWhilst one side of Merseyside is fighting for the title the other is perpetually fighting for any semblance of form or consistency, not to mention their obligatory top eight finish. In other words, 8th. Once again Everton did some decent business in the summer with their midfield recruits, notably Gomes and Bernard looking the part, but once again they forgot to buy an actual centre forward. If it wasn’t so bleeding obvious – and let’s face it, now almost comical – you could be forgiven for saying it was down right negligent. When you reach December and start scratching around for a forward so much that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is your Plan B and now suddenly your ‘go to guy’ then heaven forbid…

As for their fixtures, we have long since been told that they turn for the better in January and that we should stockpile their assets* (*Richarlison). It feels almost like peer pressure then that they should appear here in the lofty heights of ‘favourable’ fixtures. Then again we think that run of games was supposed to include Brighton away (lost 1-0), and Leicester at home (lost 0-1). It did also however include Burnley away (won 1-5, absurdly).

Their current run of form therefore suggests that no fixture is actually more favourable than another for the Toffees. The fact that it is Bournemouth at home next probably suggests that you should keep hope in their assets* (*Richarlison) as only Fulham have conceded more on the road than The Cherries, they’re averaging 2.3 goals against away from home. It’s then Southampton away and we could tell you that The Saints have conceded on average 1.7 goals per game at home but that would only tell half of the tale as the majority of those were under a manager from the dark ages. That said, despite results, and certainly the mood around the place, improving considerably since Ralph waltzed in, they have still conceded 11 in seven games in total, or seven in their last three home games, or an average of 2.33 per game. That rubbing of hands you just heard was either an Everton asset* (*Richarlison) or Mark Hughes from his ‘lair of quiet despair and angry desperation’. The trio of supposed ‘favourable’ fixtures sees a trip to a team with a home record of P10, W1, D2 and L8. Huddersfield may be stuck to the bottom of the Home Form league but they don’t get hammered there, usually, they’ve ‘only’ conceded 16 at home which is actually very middle of the road, instead they prefer to lose by the odd goal or two, consistently.

There’s trouble on the horizon

Brighton (LIV H, MUN A, FUL A)
As mentioned in my appraisal of Liverpool, Brighton haven’t exactly had the best run in the Premier League of late, having picked up five points out of a possible 21 even though only two of the seven teams they played against were in the top six. Little surprise they’re now 13th in the table, nestling nicely into the area of mid-table obscurity that is nowhere near the top but a safe enough distance from the threat of relegation – for now, at least.

It’s fair to say you don’t want to have a Brighton defender playing this gameweek, if recent history is anything to go by, as a whopping 16 goals have been conceded by the Seagulls in the last four times they have met the Reds across all competitions. After that it’s a trip to Old Trafford which, before 18 December, they may have fancied a go at, however now a certain Norwegian is in charge, it could be an entirely different story as Pogba, Rashford, Martial and even Lukaku seem to have been given a new lease of life. After those two fixtures, Chris Hughton and his men deserve a bit of a break and a trip to Fulham could very well be a good opportunity to get some points on the board as they have not lost to the Cottagers in the last six meetings.

West Ham (ARS H, BOU A, WOL A)
Fantasy Football TipsFollowing on from Brighton is the team they played in Gameweek 21, West Ham. The Hammers have had a very mixed bag of league results in recent times, with five wins, two draws and three defeats in the last 10. That concluded with a 2-0 win against Birmingham City and so it’s hard to tell which kind of team will come out in their fixtures.

The East Londoners are on a run of three straight defeats when it comes to playing their opposition this week, Arsenal. In that time they have conceded eight and the 0-0 draw with the Gunners before then also followed a 3-0 and 5-1 loss – the latter I remember well in particular as it was a Sanchez hat trick and I had decided on not giving him the armband beforehand! Old fantasy football wounds take a long time to heal! Trips to Bournemouth and Wolves then beckon – the Cherries may have a leaky defence now but Eddie Howe will no doubt turn that around and we know what Nuno Espírito Santo’s lads can manage as they continue to look up the table rather than over their shoulders.

Newcastle (CHE A, CAR H, MCY H)
Fantasy Football TipsNot that anyone was actually considering buying a Newcastle player… perhaps Rondon crossed a few cash strapped and desperate minds. It’s not that Newcastle are wretched, far from it, they just don’t win many, one in the last nine, or score many – five scored in the last nine – or keep teams out, having conceded 14 in the last nine. They’re just very consistently on the wrong side of average. If Cardiff at home in GW23 looks tempting, then we would urge you to resist the temptation, as that is sandwiched between Chelsea and Man City and it’s a trip to Spurs beyond those. Perhaps the best thing we can say about Newcastle right now is that it’s not often they get past the first weekend in January and still find themselves in the FA Cup. Technically.

It’s worth one week

Arsenal (WHU A)
I’m not being unreasonable when I say Arsenal’s defence, in the league anyway, hasn’t exactly been watertight. Having conceded 11 in their last five, the Gunners have at least done well going forward, having also scored 11 in the same time. However, they face West Ham this week which, as I alluded to in the Hammers’ write up, has ended up in the North London team’s favour with 15 wins, four draws and one defeat in the last 20 times they have met in the league, netting 50 in that time. Whilst it’s not worth playing a defender against Arnautovic and co, Aubameyang, in the form he is in, could well be among the points.

Whilst there is a match against Cardiff at home at the end of January, crunch matches against Chelsea at the Emirates and Man City at the Etihad make up two of the next three Premier League games for the Gunners and so life does get a bit difficult after this trip to The London Stadium.

The all important FPL FIXTURE TRACKER itself…

Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 22. This article was written by Swirly

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  1. 31
    hammerfan_lm says:

    ITB: 0.2m
    Was thinking Kane->Aguero and maybe Ings to Arnie for a 4ph, or stay as I am and just bench Ings.
    Am hoping Camarasa is back.
    I know I need to sort out Son next week, but thinking I need City cover this week.
    Salah captain?
    Thoughts please.

    Click on image to enlarge:

  2. 32
    Frenchie says:

    Hi everyone.
    1FT, 3.1 itb. I was hoping to save the transfer this week but it looks like I will have to deal with Lovren. Would do you prefer between TAA, Robertson and Van Dijk? Knowing that I will probably try to double up at some point, but more importantly first I’ll try to bring back Salah next week replacing Son (which will probably involve selling Auba for a mid price striker)

    Click on image to enlarge:

  3. 33
    Eagle says:

    Hi everyone. Guess who’s back? This is my first post of the season. Sorry been caught up all this while with work but I finally have some time for fpl. This season hasn’t been good to me so far. I’ve been at the half million mark for some time but back to back green arrows have seen move up to 384k. I’m miles off of last season’s performance. Anyways fellas what can I do to improve this team 2FT £1.2 ITB. I have a few moves in mind but I would like to hear your opinions.

    Click on image to enlarge:

    • 33.1
      Rosco says:

      Hey Eagle welcome back!

      A lot of us are having bad seasons so you’re in good company!

      Obviously a Son replacement will be a priority next week so I think you need to decide who you want that to be and work back from that. Obvious replacements being Pogba or a City Mid and then downgrade elsewhere if need be. I also think you need to consider a keeper change at some point and a defender upgrade possibly!

    • 33.2
      inittowinit says:

      Hey Eagle, good to hear from you, how’s things?

  4. 34
    GoalMachine says:

    Lovren (out this month), VVD (has a knock against City, but guess will be ok) – who is the CB now? Milner / Fabinho?

  5. 35
    GoalMachine says:

    Your initial thoughts: How will you handle Gw31, 33 (BGW), 32, 35 (DGW)? DGW sandwiched between 2 BGWs do not look good. Nothing is confirmed yet – but what if it happens.

    • 35.1
      Rosco says:

      Probably a bit soon to speculate but it will depend on what teams are in the BGW. Logically it will probably be a bit of prep for the small BGW and FH in the big one and then WC prior to one of the DGW and chuck the TC and BB at them. Once details become clearer there’ll be a lot of chatter on here on how best to play them as always. I’ll be honest I’m not even looking at them, all I know is Liverpool def play in one of the BGWs ( can’t remember which one!) whats your thoughts?

      • GoalMachine says:

        Yes, last season we played like that – but DGW was not sandwiched. Also GW27 will be a BGW for CHE/SPURS and CITY (assuming BURTON to lose).
        CHE schedule: Feb 24(Gw27 vs BRIghton home), 24(Cup Final), 28(Gw28)
        SPURS schedule: Feb 23(Gw27 vs Everton away), 24(Cup Final), 27(Gw28)
        City schedule: Feb 23(Gw27 vs BURnley home), 24(Cup Final), 28(Gw27)

        • Rosco says:

          I think the important thing to remember is everyone will be in the same situation and as we’ve seen in previous BGW often its just having a few key players as opposed to a full team. I always do a visual planner for the site which in turn prompts me into actually coming up with a strategy so I’m not too worried at the moment!

        • GoalMachine says:

          Its probably easy to pass through Mini BGW27 – but still we have 6 transfers from now on which require a bit careful handling (in between there are 2 UCL, 2 EFL, 2 FA cup rounds – which are pockets of injuries leading to unplanned transfers). Then hopefully there will be a mini DGW to use TC.

      • Red Robbo says:

        +1 on what Rosco advises. I played a BGW with 6 players last season and got my highest gameweek score of the season. The only way to plan this early I find is to bring in bench players from the teams definitely playing.

        This spreadsheet from @benCrellin on twitter will help

    • 35.2
      Rosco says:

      Ok you’ve forced me to think about it now!

      This is purely hypothetical and will no doubt change as more information becomes available.

      GW27 – I doubt I’ll have more than 3-4 Spurs / Chelsea / City and will make sure I have the bench coverage to cover who I do own
      GW31 (BGW) – We have 10 GWs to prepare so I’ll use transfers to bring in any ‘must haves’ for the BGW but I’ll not fill my team just for the sake of it
      GW32 (DGW) – TC Salah vs Fulham (the only confirmed match at present)
      GW33 (BGW) – Play Free hit
      GW34 – Play Wildcard
      GW35 (DGW) play Bench Boost

        • Rosco says:

          Your barbs cut me deep man! Makes sense though, I’m sure you’ll come up with a crazy assed plan when the time comes!

      • GoalMachine says:

        @Roscoe Your plan looks sound except that I prefer Gw31 (Free-Hit) and Gw33 (normal sail-through as it will be a relatively Mini-BGW compared to Gw31). This year schedule looks bit tight – not like last couple of years where we used to get 34 and 37 as DGWs and 1-3 BGWs spread apart between 27-36.
        We are likely to have 3 BGWs (27 Mini, 31 Big, 33 Medium). We have only 3 GWs (25, 32 and 35) where mid-week games are possible. So there is an outside chance of Gw25 be a DGW for CHE/SPURS and/or CITY – otherwise it will be too congested between 31-35. These 3 teams are there in all tournaments (EFL, FA, UCL/EL) and if they draw berth in all 3, they need to have 3 DGWs especially CHE. Lets see what EPL committee decides about Gw25.

    • 35.3
      Kralin says:

      Haven’t given it much thought yet. Liverpool not being in the cup means that Salah, as happened last year, will probably be everyone’s captain in the BGW (and take the stress out of fielding a full XI). That’s if Liverpool have a game, of course.

      As someone else has posted, Ben Crellin’s excellent work goes a long way and is extremely helpful.

  6. 36
    Red Robbo says:

    Many thanks for the look ahead Swirly – much appreciated as always.

    1FT, 0.2m ITB. Let it roll and reshuffle the pack a bit next week, or is there anything (other than the lack of Salah!) which jumps out?

    Click on image to enlarge:

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