The Beginning – 2013/14 Fixtures

Manchester United lift the Barclays Premier League trophy

We’re back! Whilst pre-season is not properly underway just yet, the fixtures for the new season were released last month. The transfer market has also opened for business so expect some updates on any big name signings coming through… Come on Higauin! For now I’ll analyse the key points in the fixture that we can ascertain immediately, with some news coming through of a potential early double gameweek already! Let’s take a look…

Arsenal:

First 5 – Aston Villa (H), Fulham (A), Tottenham (H), Sunderland (A), Stoke (H)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – The London derby aside, this draw looks pretty soft to me. Goals should be plentiful and with the likes of Higauin looking likely to join their strikeforce, plenty of Gunner options have to be put on the table. Probably have the easiest fixtures of any top 6 team.

Aston Villa:

First 5 – Arsenal (A), Liverpool (H), Chelsea (A), Newcastle (H), Norwich (A)

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – Need I say anymore than read their first 3 match ups. Personally I’ll be avoiding an Villa options at the start of the season, especially considering Benteke wants out.

Cardiff:

First 5 – West ham (A), Man City (H), Everton (H), Hull (A), Tottenham (H)

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – It can be very hard to judge the fixtures of a newly promoted side because for them any fixture is tough. However they often rely on home form to avoid the drop. Travels to West ham and Hull won’t be easy, however with City, Everton and Spurs to play at home I don’t like what I see early days.

Chelsea:

First 5 – Hull (H), United (A), Aston Villa (H), Everton (A), Fulham (H)

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – This is a tough one, their home and away fixtures are polar opposites. Hull, Aston Villa and Fulham at home should be a points fest for their premium options, however they face 2 of the toughest away trips in the league visiting Old Trafford and Goodison Park. The big thing to watch out for here is a possible early DGW, just like last season. Chelsea’s game against Aston Villa (which was expected to be played on the weekend of the 31 August 2013) will be postponed due to Chelsea’s participation in the UEFA Super Cup. Expect a double game week in GW2 or GW4, and also expect a lot of talk about early wild cards. It worked pretty well for me last year and get this, last year’s overall winner did the exact same thing. That’s where our team similarities ended, but we’ll ignore that point. For now strongly consider grabbing the maximum allotment of Chelsea players, but perhaps look to rotate their defenders if you select any.

Crystal Palace:

First 5 – Tottenham (H), Stoke (A), Sunderland (H), Man United (A), Swansea (H)

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – I couldn’t decide between medium and hard for Palace. There’s 2 tough fixtures in their but considering that most of their players should be bargain prices, rotation is certainly an option. All of the newly promoted teams face 2 of last seasons top 5 in the first month so when hunting for bargains, Palace might be your best bet fixture wise.

Everton:

First 5 – Norwich (A), West Brom (H), Cardiff (A), Chelsea (H), West Ham (A)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – To be honest, Chelsea at home aside, this is a pretty soft start to Everton’s draw. It is slightly concerning that Everton have now pretty much merged with Wigan and bought half their squad, we won’t know what affect Martinez has on the team and their gameplan until we witness them in action in GW1. Will they be more or less solid in defence? I’d lean towards avoiding Everton’s defenders to begin with, Wigan played a much more attacking brand of football. However those fixtures do look juicy… Ok I take that back. No I don’t. Alright I’m conflicted, more study required! However options aside, those fixtures look fantastic.

Fulham:

First 5 – Sunderland (A), Arsenal (H), Newcastle (A), West Brom (H), Chelsea (A)

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – I wouldn’t say any of those first 5 games were easy, and to be honest after watching them last year I’d be avoiding their options altogether. They don’t excite me on the pitch and Berbatov aside, I don’t see much fantasy potential. And I wouldn’t pick Berbatov. Clean sheets? It’s all a bit meh with Fulham, there will be better options going around.

Hull:

First 5 – Chelsea (A), Norwich (H), Man City (A), Cardiff (H), Newcastle (A)

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Similar to Cardiff and Crystal Palace, Hull will have to face 2 of the big boys in the Premier League straight off the bat. However their cheap players will present us with some great rotation options to choose from. More analysis of the newly promoted fresh meat will be available closer to season kick off. For now some easy games are all we can ask for, and they have been delivered! Hull’s first 4 home games are against Norwich, Cardiff, West Ham and Aston Villa.

Liverpool:

First 5 – Stoke (H), Aston Villa (A), Man United (H), Swansea (A), Southampton (H)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – I considered rating them medium, and I do consider their defenders to have relatively tough fixtures. However those fixtures will present their damaging strike force a great chance to get off to a flying start, keep your eye on guys like Coutinho, Sturridge (when he returns) and Suarez (if he stays).

Man City:

First 5 – Newcastle (H), Cardiff (A), Hull (H), Stoke (A), Man United (H)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Things will get tough for the blues after their first 4 fixtures. But look at their first 4 fixtures. If I’m looking for a premium defender or two I’d look no further. Pellegrini will be keen to get off to a solid start. However that’s not the part that gets me most excited. He’s coming from Malaga, who even after losing half their team stormed into the Champions League quarter finals playing some magical football. Pellegrini has quoted that he will “play a more attacking style of football than his predecessors”. We can expect City to score a heap more goals this season, so keep your eyes on Aguero and Silva, plenty to look forward to here!

Man Utd:

First 5 – Swanesa (A), Chelsea (H), Liverpool (A), Crystal Palace (H), Man City (A)

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – Avoid United’s defence at all costs to begin with! Moyes was never really known for being defensively solid, yet alone facing 3 of their biggest title contenders in the first month. Bear in mind they drew the corresponding fixture last season and have only scored 6 goals in 4 outings since Swansea’s return to the premier league. There is no doubting the tough draw, however with Moyes at the helm and an array of attacking talent we can never write them off. Keep guys like RVP, Rooney and even players like Kagawa, Nani and Young in mind with the Fergie era now over. Who knows what we’ll get from them this year, I like it!

Newcastle:

First 5 -Man City (A), West Ham (H), Fulham (H), Aston Villa (A), Hull (H)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Ignoring a tough first up fixture, the Toons next month is basically a cakewalk. The issue is this, will we get the top 6 Newcastle or the bottom 6? The 2 seasons were so dramatically different that it makes it hard to select any of their players. However options aside their early fixtures make for great reading, definitely consider squeezing some Newcastle players into your starting squad.

Norwich:

First 5 – Everton (H), Hull (A), Southampton (H), Tottenham (A), Aston Villa (H)

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Purely looking at the fixtures they have a great run, however they’re not really a fantasy relevant side. Perhaps some budget defenders are worth a look, then again most of their prices will be inflated thanks to a solid run last season.

Southampton:

First 5 – West Brom (A), Sunderland (H), Norwich (A), West ham (H), Liverpool (A)

Rating –  Easy

Thoughts – Talk about an easy first month, Southampton should get off to a flier! Of course we lack a form gauge pre-season so it’s all guess work, however Southampton should provide us some very viable budget options with those early fixtures.

Stoke:

First 5 – Liverpool (A), Crystal Palace (H), West Ham (A), Man City (H), Arsenal (A)

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – With so many new managers this season it’s hard to know what to expect. Will Stoke be solid in defence without Pulis? Palace and West Ham should be chances for clean sheets, that’s about it though. I’ll be avoiding the Stoke fantasy trap this season. To begin with anyway.

Sunderland:

First 5 – Fulham (H), Southampton (A), Crystal palace (A), Arsenal (H), West Brom (A)

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Not bad fixtures, but at the same time I won’t be rushing to select any Sunderland players this year. A few clean sheet chances sure, but Di Canio could serve up anything. Steer clear. Edit: Of course as I wrote this, Sessegnon went and scored 5 goals in the first 60 minutes in a warm up game. He will thrive with these fixtures, consider.

Swansea:

First 5 -Man Utd (H), Spurs (A), West Brom (A), Liverpool (H), Palace (A)

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – A very tough start for the Swans will see them travel to Spurs and West Brom whilst United and Liverpool will be travelling to Wales. Expect a slow start from them this year and possibly some poor fantasy returns as a result. I’ll be avoiding.

Tottenham:

First 5 -Palace (A), Swansea (H), Arsenal (A), Norwich (H), Cardiff (A)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – A fairly soft start for Spurs, obviously their main fantasy threat in Bale scores when he wants, fixtures aside. I do see some chances for their defence to get off to a flyer, so keep guys like Assou-Ekotto and Dawson in mind.

West Brom:

First 5 -So’ton (H), Everton (A), Swansea (H), Fulham (A), Sunderland (H)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – If only Lukaku could go back to the Baggies on loan, they could get off to a flyer. After a breakout season last year Steve Clark will be looking to consolidate. Clean sheets and goals could be on the agenda early on.

West Ham:

First 5 -Cardiff (H), Newcastle (A), Stoke (H), So’ton (A), Everton (H)

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Talk about flyers! West Ham won’t face any real tough opposition until October, so expect another good start to their season this year. Carroll is a must have on your watchlists, as are their cheap defenders.

International Breaks:

Just like every season there will be 3 international breaks at the start of September, October and November, followed by an incredibly busy Christmas period. Of course 2014 is not just any year, it’s a World Cup year! At the moment it looks like I will be heading to Brazil and I hope to see some of you there! That is probably just a distant dream for now though, however it may have some effects on our fpl season. International managers will be looking to play full strength squads throughout the year in the build up, so perhaps we may see some players rest more than usual. Nevermind the start of the 2014/15 season, that will be a nightmare! Shouldn’t be too much of a worry though this season, play on.

Big Games:

Last year we had to wait a while for some of the big ticket clashes. Not this season! In the first 5 gameweeks we will see Mourinho v Moyes (in the second week!), the typically feisty Man United Liverpool clash, the big London Derby (Spurs Arsenal), then the biggest derby of them all in Manchester! So much to look forward to this season, so much has changed. I can’t wait!

Summary:

  • Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal and Newcastle will face the easiest start to the season of the bigger clubs, while West Ham, West Brom and Southampton should all get of to fliers.
  • Each of the newly promoted teams will face at least 2 of last years top 5 clubs.
  • Chelsea should have an early double gameweek. Early wildcard? After GW3 when they are expected to miss out, they have some very easy fixtures. Things could get tough if we get a DGW 2.
  • Manchester United will have a great set of fixtures after the Manchester Derby in GW5, so look to jump on board around that time. It will also give us time to assess Moyes impact on each player and the club.
  • Everton have a great set of fixtures as far as clean sheets are concerned, so that would be a good place to start looking for backline options.
  • Man City should get of to an attacking start, so look to load up on their attacking force.
  • Spurs should also be a great place to look for defenders, facing newly promoted clubs Palace and Cardiff away, plus Swansea and Norwich at home in the first 5.
  • Finally, no Villa players until after GW3!

Well, a lot to digest. Fixtures – Tick! Hopefully this summary can stay relevant right through up until first kick-off on August 14. Let the countdown begin! Transfers are up next, keep an eye out for any big transfer news on our twitter @FPLaddicts and I’ll be writing up some articles on them in the weeks to come. Other than that I hope you all enjoyed, bring on the prices! Hopefully we can see the new fpl website open for business in the next week, fingers crossed! Cheers.

@MattCraigDT

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13 comments on “The Beginning – 2013/14 Fixtures

  1. benchwarmers17 says:

    Great article just one mistake fixtures have been over a month haha

  2. Bayswater Toffee's gaffer says:

    Wooooooooooo bring it on!!! I honestly can’t wait. Its going to feel like a new competition, not just from an Everton perspective but with Jose back, Moyes off to United, City having a new manager for the season not to mention the new signings across the whole division! Always get tired of the redshite telling everyone this one is “their season” but it makes the end of the year more enjoyable…. Brilliant. Pre, pre-season tip… Ricky van Wolfswinkel.

  3. MattyZee says:

    Welcome back! Loving that you’re into it so early!

  4. Louie.K says:

    Looking forward to another ripper year. Some interesting signings over the pre-season already.

  5. Shaun Curnow says:

    WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO so over AFL Fantasy games, bring back FPL! Any idea when it opens lads?

  6. Louie.K says:

    It’s back. Pick your teams now!

  7. Shaun Curnow says:

    ITS OPEN!!!! WOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  8. kingcolesy says:

    Great first article, thoroughly entertained whole way through!

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