Early Season Fixture Analysis

Analysing the fixtures is one of the most important aspects of the game. It’s too hard to take a long term view as team’s form will rise and fall, and it’s not always easy to predict which teams will breakout each year and which will flop. It should however be a crucial aspect of our early planning, so I have taken a look through each teams first 2 months and judged the difficulty. Enjoy.

Arsenal

arsenal fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Whilst it’s not the hardest set of fixtures you’ll ever see, it doesn’t exactly encourage heavy investment. Three relatively easy fixtures against Palace, Leicester and Villa are balanced by a trip to Everton and visits from Spurs and City. I wouldn’t be put off too much in terms of their attacking suitors, however I only see 2 possibly 3 clean sheets here. Don’t overload.

Aston Villa

fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – I think this set of fixtures is pretty clear. If you’re planning on using your wildcard in GW3, load up. If you’re thinking longer term, think again. Great for short term investment, nothing more. Even then they are hardly reliable, personally I will be avoiding. Benteke’s fitness the only thing that could change my mind.

Burnley

burnley fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Probably the best set of fixtures for the newly promoted clubs. That being said every game will be a challenge for them, so nothing will come easy. I’ll be avoiding all the promoted teams to begin with and see who settles better.

Chelsea

chelsea fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – For a team as quality as Chelsea there are some tempting fixtures on this list. Ignoring the tough games away to Everton and City, they have 4 games which are all winnable and could realistically produce 4 clean sheets as well as goals. Who wouldn’t want to face 2 promoted teams first up! Chelsea coverage is necessary.

Crystal Palace

Palace fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Their attacking assets should probably be avoided, however it’s their defence that’s relevant. Presuming they will be used for rotation, Palace have 3 very favourable home games as well as a trip to the inconsistent Newcastle. I can see their defence getting off to a solid start.

Everton

everton fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – They are very hard to beat at home, so don’t write them off against Arsenal or Chelsea. Not the worst fixture set, however it doesn’t drive me to chase their assets either. The Merseyside derby could be anything.

Hull

hull fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – If you’re after rotation in defence, surely a Hull player is a necessity. Hopefully Bruce can get some game time if Davies moves on, if not you’ll have to fork out the 4.5. It should be worth it though with these fixtures, a very favourable first 4 games.

Leicester

leicester fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – One word. Avoid. It literally couldn’t get any tougher than this, Palace and Stoke are two of the toughest away trips in the league. Disgusting.

Liverpool

liverpool fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – To be honest this was borderline hard, but their home fixtures should produce goals. I’d avoid their defensive assets, but even without Suarez it’s tough to go without some forward coverage.

Man City

man city fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – They have an extremely tough first 7 fixtures, so bear this in mind when picking your original team. They are however a team that can score against anyone, no matter what quality of opposition. Dzeko still in the forefront of my plans.

Man United

united fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Gold. Absolute gold. I think United coverage in defence and attack is a must, these games are just too good to ignore. This is exactly what to look for when analysing the fixtures.

Newcastle

newcastle fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Who knows what to expect from this team. They could be anything this season, from top 8 to bottom 3. If you’re interested in picking up some Toon for your squad, these fixtures shouldn’t put you off.

QPR

QPR fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – If you’re using them for rotation purposes, this fixture list should be read as easy. 3 favourable home games bode well for their defence.

Swansea

swansea fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Once again, a good set of home fixtures should have them as a high priority if you’re after some rotation in your squad. Hopefully they can make a comeback this season, they were great to watch when on form.

Stoke

stoke fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Man City aside, these fixtures scream clean sheets. That’s all we want from Stoke, so this shouldn’t put you off. Cameron looks like a great pick up at this early stage. Begovic a wise choice in goals.

Sunderland

sunderland fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Not the best set of starting fixtures for the black cats, personally I will be avoiding them to begin with. Tough home fixtures are never a great sign for sides in the bottom half.

Southampton

southampton fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Southampton have a brilliant early run and should be high on your watchlist as far as investment goes. Their defence should get off to a flier, although we’re not sure what Koeman will bring to the club. More attacking football may result in a forfeit of clean sheets. Even so these home fixtures scream a clean sheet or two.

Tottenham

spurs fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Easy

Thoughts – Another soft set of fixtures, I’m sure Eriksen will be high on a lot of watchlists. Hopefully Pochettino can solidify them at the back, Davies could be a solid pick to start. Certainly worthy of early investment.

West Ham

west ham fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Hard

Thoughts – I don’t like this fixture list at all, I’d be avoiding the hammers to kick things off. With a few new signings on board I’m keen to sit back and watch for a few weeks.

West Brom

west brom fixtures

 

 

 

 

Rating – Medium

Thoughts – Finally we have West brom, who have a fixture set that doesn’t exactly inspire, nor does it scare suitors off. Wisdom aside there’s not much to pick from anyway.

So that’s a quick summary of the early fixtures. Hopefully this saves you some research to start the season! We’ll be sure to keep you up to date as we move beyond the month of September.

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28 comments on “Early Season Fixture Analysis

  1. Best/most helpful article I’ve seen all week; at least for me personally at this point in my planning. This is exactly what I needed to dial down some of the options out there. Great read! Usually at work I’m in Incognito mode but got out so I could favorite this bad boy;)

  2. theultimateandy says:

    Ah I love these sorts of articles!! Excellent stuff Matt!!

  3. vlaar would be very handy if he go’s to southhampton

  4. kingcolesy says:

    Nice work Matt!! Im looking at Wayama for the 4.5m midfield slot instead of Albrighton. Loved the Leicester disgusting comment haha. Thoughts on Wayama? Hes a defensive midfielder who got injured last season at Southampton if I recall correctly. Thoughts on him over Albrighton? Hope hes one people go to if Albrighton doesnt get time, so makes more coin. Just need to fill that 4.5m slot with the best money making player possible, if at all possible!

    • mattcraigdt says:

      Wanyama did score 10 goals in his time at Celtic (Over 61 appearances), but didn’t do a thing in his 23 appearances last season. Sure he could be worth a punt, the player who will go up is the player who scores before people use their wildcards (In the first 3 gameweeks). Albrighton did prove he has the capabilities and talent back in 2010/11 with 5 goals and 7 assists in 1800 minutes. I guess early fixtures may say that Wanyama looks the better player to punt on, I haven’t looked into them that deeply yet.

    • Liam says:

      Wayama is a massive big no. His a holding mid at best terrible distribution and his shot is horrible. I don’t see him making any money at all unless he jags a goal in the opening game and goes up 0.1 or something due to the masses picking him up. Hopefully Schneiderlin & Cork take up the holding midfield roles. I am not a fan of Wayama at all they paid well overs for him, his great at winning 50-50 balls but not very good on the ball.

  5. nburk53 says:

    Great stuff Matt! Nothing but gold for pre-season planning! Liking Man U’s opening start. Rooney vs Costa is currently my biggest headache though!

    • mattcraigdt says:

      I’ve had the same headache! Van Gaal’s idea of playing 2 strikers has him in my team at the moment, especially since Costa is an unknown quantity in the Prem

      • nburk53 says:

        Yeah my thoughts exactly. Plus Chelsea don’t really put teams to the sword so they often settle for 1-0 and 2-0 results! Van Gaal got off to the best possible start yesterday – who saw that coming! Plus Shaw named at Left Midfield…Interesting.

        • mattcraigdt says:

          It’s more of a wing back role, but could certainly reap rewards. He’s still so young so he won’t play every game. I’m still keen on Jones, especially with 3 at the back. If I was to pay 6 for a defender it would be Luis

          • nburk53 says:

            Yeah thats I thought but Valencia was on the other side. Surely they’re not going to play him as a defender, then again we cant read to much into pre-season I guess!

    • Liam says:

      Why not do both?

  6. boges11 says:

    Fantastic stuff Matt.
    Dunno how your keenness for Jones will go with this news, lol.
    http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/man-utd-announce-mats-hummels-agreement-week-4031880#.U9HP4_mSxBo

  7. Liam says:

    Saves me having to do it myself from scratch matt very helpful!

  8. N1qQ45 4R3 K1nG5 says:

    Great stuff Matt, just saved me a lot of clicking and typing 🙂

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