Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 36
Welcome to Fantasy Football 247 Fixtures Gameweek 36.
Back to a sense of normality we go, with all 20 teams playing (just) once and this article is the last one that will contain all three fixtures for each team before the season is finished. No pressure, then, especially when you look back to the fantastic articles that were written by AT, Pele and Guy in the lead up to the last gameweek!
With much to play for, from the perspective of us FPL managers and the actual teams in the league, there is also the classic form and fixtures to take into account when we are planning our next moves, too. Hopefully the following, which also includes a dip into the history books, gives such an insight!
Liverpool (HUD H, NEW A, WOL H)
First up in the trio of teams to get the Rosco brown thumb treatment (no, don’t ask) is Liverpool – one of the few squads who won’t be playing again before the gameweek has even started. On the back of a 2-0 win, thanks in part to a dubious penalty (but, hey, it got Salah owners an assist), the Reds are still hoping for a Man City slip up when they play Man United later this week.
Looking at their own affairs, they can take heart that there are winnable games on the horizon. First up is Huddersfield, a team I grimace when writing the name of, thanks to that goal scored in the dying minutes of the match against Watford which cost a good few FPL managers, myself included, a good few points. That was only the second time they had found the back of the net in the past four and it doesn’t get much better for the Terriers when you glance at their record against Klopp’s men – six straight losses, with the last win back in 1959!
Interestingly this season, the Merseysiders are second when it comes to home form, but top when they’re away. That’ll be of comfort when they travel to St James’ Park, where there has, admittedly, been quite a mixture of results in the last eight. Of those, the home side has conquered four, with two draws to boot, however, of the duo of results the away side has won, they have come out 5-1 and 6-0 victors. The final game of the campaign sees Wolves visit, who look to be losing the momentum they had gained over the season, surprising many. You also have to look back to 1984 for the last time the lads in black and gold beat Liverpool in a league fixture and so a home win, close as it will no doubt be, could be on the cards.
Man City (BUR A, LEI H, BHA A)
It makes sense the next team with favourable fixtures is the very squad hoping to clinch their fourth Premier League title – and are being pushed all the way. First up before the gameweek even begins will be the small matter of a trip to Old Trafford as Pep and co look to make it 11 wins in a row. Something even better than what a certain Midlands team that has claret and blue as its colours achieved on Monday. But, as a Villa fan, I digress. Assuming that is achieved – and, let’s face it, it does look pretty likely with how Ole’s men have been playing recently – there are then three fixtures which should work out favourably.
Firstly there’s a trip to a location that has fond memories for the Cityzens as, in all competitions, they have scored a total of 13 goals in just five matches. Fast forward to now and, whilst Sean Dyche’s men have pulled away to safety with a second half of the season more reminiscent of last year’s antics, the form and determination to win will surely power Man City through. After that, it’s the last league game at home as Leicester visit, a squad that has kept just two clean sheets so far in 2019 and, most likely, won’t in this fixture.
The last hurrah, league wise, will be an away day to Brighton who, of course, had a brilliant Gameweek 34 (ahem). They will hope to get something out of their tie against Newcastle as their chances against the Sky Blues don’t look particularly great.
Southampton (BOU H, WHU A, HUD H)
With four games to go at the time of writing, thanks to an away trip to Watford in addition to the above matches, Ralph Halsenhuttl’s men are still in danger of the drop, lying just five points above the dreaded 18th spot in the league. After a dour performance against Newcastle and an almost inevitable loss against Liverpool, the Saints will look to replicate the performances against Spurs, Wolves and Brighton and the remaining three of the campaign look favourable to do just that and rebuild in time for the next season.
The first team, Bournemouth, can be just the ticket as it does, after all, look like they have actually finished the season early and popped to the seaside to make the most of the lovely weather the UK has been enjoying over Easter. The 1-0 loss against Fulham very much portrays that theory, as the 5-0 victory just shows how bad Brighton are playing at the moment. Head to head against Southampton, Eddie Howe’s men have only won once in the last 10 years.
Whilst the mixture of recent results for both West Ham and the boys in red and white stripes are also representative of their head to head fortunes – in other words, unpredictable – the last roll of the dice as Huddersfield come to town does look more encouraging. They have not lost against the relegated side at home since 1971.
Worth a mention
Man United (CHE H, HUD A, CAR H)
As previously mentioned, the Red Devils’ fortunes haven’t been particularly inspiring recently – I’m sure there’s some phrase involving the manager being in control of a vehicle here. Ahead of the tie against Man City, fans won’t need reminding of the 4-0 loss against Everton which followed a 3-0 humbling at the Camp Nou.
However, I feel they are worth a mention as the tests of the Cityzens and Blues then come with the reward of an away day to Huddersfield and home tie against Cardiff, the latter of which being a former club of the gaffer. With the third spot still up for grabs as Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and Man United insist on losing or drawing to leave just three points between them, there is still a great opportunity for a respectable end of the campaign and, more importantly, the opportunity for Champions League qualification. Looking at the head to head statistics, Man United have won three of the last six against Sarri’s men, six of the last seven against the Terriers and have been unbeaten against the Bluebirds since 1960 (of which 13 goals have been netted in the four matches). Defensively they have not been great, but midfielders and forwards may be the ticket.
Crystal Palace (EVE H, CAR A, BOU H)
Perhaps I’ve been sat in the sun for a bit too long, as they have two games at Selhurst Park remaining and would be 19th in the league if it was all based on home ties. They would, however, be sixth if it was down to playing away though. The reason I’ve picked Crystal Palace here is because they have the ability to look upwards to midtable comfort instead of having the worry of relegation – and not overexcitement by the fact they beat Arsenal 3-2 in the last gameweek! The win at the Emirates now makes it three wins in the last five, with the only losses against Man City and Spurs.
Their first opposition in the last trio of games in this campaign, Everton, is 12th when it comes to away form. Whilst they have made the headlines with the 4-0 triumph over Man United, 1-0 win against Arsenal and 2-0 victory in the Chelsea game – all at home – they have also made silly mistakes like the 2-0 defeat at Craven Cottage and 3-2 loss at St James’ Park, so things aren’t guaranteed to go their way. After the Toffees come to Selhurst Park, Roy and his team will be hoping for repeat of the 3-0 triumph the last time they travelled to Cardiff which is the latest instalment in a series of three consecutive games without loss against the Bluebirds. Bournemouth then complete the fixture list for Crystal Palace who, as previously mentioned, have now seemingly switched off.
Spurs (WHU H, BOU A, EVE H)
On the back of two matches at the Etihad, with the league tie admittedly containing fewer goals, Spurs now have the matters of keeping hold of third place in the table and getting past Ajax in the Champions League. The dilemma of managing both could mean an interesting end to the campaign when it comes to rotation; however the last three games are all winnable to enter the top European competition next season.
Though there is a disparity between Spurs’ home and away form, the new stadium has only seen victories – and Brighton haven’t even played there yet. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. A win against West Ham when playing on their own turf would be the first since 2016 which, itself, was the last of a run of three without defeat. Having conceded 13 in the past six, the Hammers’ defence is certainly open to shots from the likes of Son and co.
After that, it’s Bournemouth, who have not beaten the North Londoners in the last seven, with 22 conceded in that time. Everton than make the trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as they will be hoping to end a run of 12 without a win against Pochettino’s men, having picked the ball out of the back of the net a whopping 16 times in the last four. I know I won’t be selling my Spurs midfielders just yet, if history is anything to go by, as much as it looks unlikely Kane will return from injury in time.
Burnley (MCI H, EVE A, ARS H)
On the back of their 2-2 draw at Chelsea, Burnley have reached the magic 40-point mark and are pretty much safe in the Premier League for another season. It’s definitely a good thing for Sean Dyche’s men to have managed that now, as the last three games present quite the headache.
As previously mentioned, there’s the record against Man City – something that is highly unlikely to change this weekend as Pep’s men chase the title. Then, having conceded five the last time they played Everton, bringing the total to nine in the last four, the Clarets can then be reminded they have a run of nine losses across all competitions against Arsenal, too.
Leicester (ARS H, MCI A, CHE H)
Fearing an allergic reaction by keeping a clean sheet, Leicester have managed to avoid anaphylaxis in all but two games since the start of 2019 and they will be relieved to see the last three games carry with them the opportunity to concede a fair few goals as well.
Whilst the last time the Gunners came to the Kingpower Stadium finished 3-1 in the hosts’ favour, that was the only occasion the Foxes had won in 15 attempts, both home and away. Additionally, the last four trips to the Etihad have seen 10 goals conceded and you have to look back to the season the East Midlanders won the Premier League title for the last time they triumphed over Chelsea at home.
Brighton (NEW H, ARS A, MCI H)
Though it may be too early, it’s fair to assume that Brighton won’t profit from much away at Spurs in their second fixture of Gameweek 35. That makes the match against Newcastle absolutely massive, as there also isn’t much hope in the ties against Arsenal or Man City either.
I can say that with confidence, as Brighton have never beaten Arsenal away in their entire history, whilst the last victory against Man City in the league was back in 1989. Perhaps the Newcastle match will be the ‘fond’ farewell to the Seagulls’ assets you no doubt brought in just before Gameweek 34.
FPL FIXTURE TRACKER
FIXTURE TRACKER LINK
Thanks for reading Fantasy Football Fixture Analysis Gameweek 36. This article was written by Swirly.
Welcome to our Fantasy Football leagues section.
The League Codes for FF247 for the 2018/19 season are as follows –