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Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 33

Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 33

Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 33

Welcome to Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 33. It’s his ankle again, they said. It’s worse than before, they said. Six to eight weeks, they said. Harry Kane, Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs’ medical staff and Ben Dinnery have collectively ruined those hastily-activated GW32 wildcard teams as Spurs’ talisman ran onto the pitch for the final quarter of an hour against Chelsea, not missing a single Premier League game in the process. Well played to all involved! This cunning plan might just have saved my mini-league hopes (although I am the admin of it so I tend to just kick out those who are ahead of me in the closing stages). Most amusing of all is that it was Heung-Min Son who made way for the striker, with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli scoring all three of Tottenham’s goals between them. I am contentedly picturing the panic that is about to ensue, Wildcard in hand.

The infectious selfish gene drove down the M6, onto the M1 and into the Arsenal dressing room this weekend as Alexander Lacazette went ‘full Kevin Mirallas’ to deny Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the chance to score his first hat-trick for the club by snatching a penalty off him in the dying embers. To be fair, I would hate to be benched for Danny Welbeck too.

Having decided not to use my Wildcard this week, I am in a similar position to that which GP found himself in last week when writing his superb Gameweek 32 Tips article. Unfortunately for you, I am not as philanthropic as him, so don’t expect a perfect Wildcard XI handed to you on a plate here.

Having said that, it would be pointless to do so. GP’s article still serves as an excellent tool for those of you who have pushed the Wildcard button for this coming gameweek, and my days of stepping on the contributors’ toes and posting my take on the week ahead regardless are long – although embarrassingly not that long – gone.

Rosco’s Fixtures article is also worth another read if you are on your Wildcard. It should be emphasised that Burnley is the only side with two fixtures in Gameweek 34 and a fixture in Gameweek 35, although do read on before bringing in Burnley players. Like a department store puts its tills at the back of the shop, I have put the Burnley piece at the end so that you have to read through the whole article. Also like a department store, you could just sprint through the aisles to get to the till, reassuring yourself that you will not be tempted by a ‘MEGA VALUE’ label, or that tennis racket you have never needed but, for some irrational reason, always wanted. You always end up stopping. I cannot promise that this article has any ‘MEGA VALUE’ moments in it, but Sports Direct doesn’t either, they just say it. In the hope that the editor is able to attract your attention with some flashy fonts, as you rush down to the bottom to see why your new Burnley players from last week’s wildcard are not worth the hype, let’s begin.

Now that I have reduced my workload for the week (thanks for the inspiration, Rosco), I suppose I better look at what I have left myself with! Given that Rosco and GP have the wildcarders well-covered, this article is really aimed at helping those planning on using their Free Hit in Gameweek 34, and wildcarding in Gameweek 36, such that the two fixtures of focus here are Gameweek 33 and 35. As I go I will note the sides I would be bringing players in from if I needed to cover GW’s34, 35 and 37 (assuming the unassigned fixtures go into the latter) without any chips left.

The All Important Fixture Tracker…

Gameweek Tracker GW33-38

Favourable Fixtures
Fantasy Football TipsArsenal – Southampton (H), Newcastle (A), West Ham (H)

Like a hypnotised Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Arsenal’s side really do think there is ‘no place like home’. Could they have done it on a cold, rainy night in Stoke last gameweek? Probably not. Their measly three wins away from home all season (against Everton, Burnley and Crystal Palace) lies in sharp contrast to their 12 wins in 16 at the Emirates. Their only hiccups at home have been draws against Liverpool and Chelsea and losses to the two Manchester clubs. Fortunately, their Gameweek 33 and 35 fixtures are both at home. Southampton have won twice away from home all season, conceding 2+ seven times in the process, and West ham have conceded more goals than any other away from home (37), conceding 2+ in 11.

If your ears are not already pricked, Arsenal have scored 2+ at home 13 times, only faltering against Manchester City (0), Manchester United (1) and Newcastle (1). Their attackers are certainly worth investing in.
As for their defenders, I am not so sure. West Ham have scored in each of their last eight away games and have Marko Arnautovic fit and firing again, and Southampton have only blanked six times on the road, and have Charlie Austin back in the side. Then again, like how Horse is bad at obscuring an attempt to compromise a close competitor’s overall rank (‘you should totally wildcard in GW34, Init; no one is doing that so it would be interesting to see how it pans out’), Charlie Austin struggled to hide his lack of faith in his side’s chances of fending off the drop during his interview following their 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham last gameweek. Can you blame him?

Arsenal have managed to keep eight home clean sheets, but I would still be prioritising their attackers with your preciously few free transfers.

Sandwiched in between is a single-fixture GW34 against Newcastle, away. Arsenal have scored 2+ on the road twice all season, and Newcastle have only conceded 2+ on three occasions at St James’ Sports Direct Arena. Apparently Cashley is going to sell up once Newcastle have secured their place in the Premier League for next season. He makes it sound like he is doing it for the club, trying to minimise disruption in their relegation battle. We all know it is about the money, Mike.

If you are up sh*t creek without a paddle and have burned all your chips, I think the rough is probably worth taking with the smooth here – Arsenal’s two home fixtures are just too good an opportunity to pass up, and they have a double gameweek in 37 too. Perfect.

Fantasy Football TipsManchester City – Manchester United (H), Tottenham (A), Swansea (H)
Another side with two home matches straddling the double gameweek is champions-elect Manchester City. I went without any of Pep’s attackers last gameweek, put off by the two fixtures that followed and the Champions’ League matches against Liverpool either side of the Manchester derby. I have come to the conclusion that City are quite good, and that the opposition is not really a factor that should be taken into account any more. Rest assured though, these fixtures are ‘favourable’ too.

City have scored 2+ in all their home games this season bar Everton (1), which was back in August, and Chelsea (1). As for United’s prospects of keeping them out, Mourinho has clearly been unable to broker a deal with Stagecoach to travel to away games because they have only managed to keep five clean sheets away from home all season, conceding 2+ on six occasions. Swansea might be on the mend at home, but their away form of a win and three draws in their last six flatters to deceive, having involved ties against Watford (W), Newcastle (D), Brighton (L) and Huddersfield (D). They shipped five on the road against Liverpool, a similarly pacey, skilful, attacking outfit to Manchester City.

There is one giant caveat though: rotation. As for the derby, the Champions’ League fixtures are far more important than beating Manchester United, given the shape of the league. It might be a ‘derby’, but any victory for Manchester United would be tarnished by the fact that they will inevitably lose the league to their rivals by 15-20 points! And, if City manage to beat Liverpool over two legs in the quarters, the Swansea game, which will most likely be a dead rubber by that point, would come just days before the first leg of the semis. Actually picking a player who starts for City will be the real struggle here. Phil Foden bandwagon incoming.

Spurs have been solid at ‘home’ this season, conceding just nine and beating United and Liverpool 2-0 and 4-1, respectively. City may have only lost once away from home all season, but this single-gameweek fixture when others have two does not look very appealing, especially given that the second leg of the quarters will have been played just days before.

Fantasy Football TipsLiverpool – Everton (A), Bournemouth (H), West Brom (A)
By contrast, Liverpool have two away games. Everton have pretty respectably only conceded 21 goals in 16 home matches this season, and three came against City last gameweek. Only Liverpool have been able to match City’s scoring record (37) away from home though, and have scored 2+ in 11 of those games. Managers without the Liverpool attacking trio will have to go to a sofa shop for their trip to the Hawthorns; West Brom have conceded 11 in their last four home games, during which Southampton and Huddersfield collectively put five past them (two sides with a combined average of 0.74 goals per away game).

The game in the middle is an added bonus if you do not have the luxury of the Free Chip for Gameweek 34 to pick the best eleven. Liverpool have amassed 24 goals in their last seven home games, scoring 2+ in each of them. Bournemouth have conceded 2+ away from home in 7/16. Makes you question whether it is worth building a squad of double gameweekers, doesn’t it?

Unfavourable Fixtures
West Ham Chelsea (A), Stoke (H), Arsenal (A)

Unfortunately for West Ham fans (but rather amusingly for the rest of us), last week’s jubilation will probably be short lived. As the team that has conceded the most goals away from home (37), travelling to Chelsea and Arsenal in their next three matches does not bode well, those two having scored the sixth (27) and second (42) most, respectively, at home.

Let us be honest though, no one has West Ham defenders. Or none they are looking to play at least! Arnautovic’s brace last gameweek might see some managers bringing him in for the Chelsea tie. There is no question that he is a superb talent and that West Ham are relying on him to keep them up, but Chelsea have kept nine clean sheets at home, conceding just 11, and Arsenal have kept seven, conceding just 17. West Ham have scored just five goals in five against the league’s sides currently occupying the 4-11 spots. Probably best to ride this one out.

Burnley – Watford (A), {Leicester (H), Chelsea (H)}, Stoke (A)
As the only side with a double in Gameweek 34 and a match in Gameweek 35, I should stress that this is not a typo. Whilst I do not think their fixtures are bad, I thought I would drop them in here to flag up a few things. Sitting in seventh in the table, with Chris Wood back alongside Ashley Barnes, Burnley really are sitting pretty. However, I would put good money on them not getting a clean sheet in any of their next three matches though: they have five clean sheets away from home, but Watford have scored at home in each of their last 11 home matches; and they have six home clean sheets, but Leicester and Chelsea have only blanked three times on the road each. Stoke seem to blank every home game (seriously, check it out), and they are ‘due’ one next time round. It is a shame that their next home fixture is Spurs and Burnley is the following one!

On the goal-scoring front, they have scored 2+ on just two occasions at home all season (Everton (2) and Swansea (2)). Chelsea might only have five away clean sheets, but they have only conceded 2+ four times (which includes Arsenal and Manchester United). The Leicester fixture might hopefully provide some rest-bite for those of you who are screaming at me for sitting on this information last week whilst you were wildcarding (I only just stumbled across all this, I promise); with the Foxes having conceded 2+ in half of their away games, your Burnley attackers might just get their chance in this one.

As for their away trips, Stoke had conceded just three in five before their most recent visits from Manchester City (2) and Everton (2). Watford have also only conceded eight in their last seven home matches. Burnley’s last two away matches have seen them rack up five goals, which equals the amount they managed over the preceding eight! Chris Wood’s return undoubtedly adds some much needed firepower though, so the stats do not tell the whole story, and they are on a run of three straight wins following his return (after a poor string of results).

Best of luck for the next few gameweeks.

Rosco created 2 charts laying out the confirmed and expected double game-weeks:

Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 33. This article was written by AT.

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  1. 25
    Snookie Bear says:

    RMT! Any suggestions? Have 1.0 ITB for Auba to Luka for DGW

    Click on image to enlarge:

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