Thanks for joining me again for my FPL Fixture Analysis here on FPL Updates. This is a look at the potential best matches, from a fantasy perspective, of a team from each quarter of the Premier League table. It’s a view of each club’s next five, because remember that it is important to look at games from a longer term perspective rather than just transferring players in because they’ve got Burnley at home next!
Top 5 (Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham)
Whilst it was really tempting to plump for Liverpool again here, it’s difficult to overlook the upcoming games that Tottenham have. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have had a tough time of things lately, crashing out of the Champions League group stages and also losing their unbeaten league record. However, if anything is going to get their season back on track, it’s their next few games. Next up for Spurs is Swansea City at home, which is favourable despite their win last weekend against Crystal Palace. After that is a trip to Old Trafford which on paper looks tough, but Tottenham are more than capable of picking up points there. Manchester United are on a streak of four games at home without a league win for the first time in over 26 years at present, and Jose Mourinho has less points than either David Moyes or Louis Van Gaal had after the same amount of games during their tenures. United really should not be feared by Harry Kane and co. Following this is a pair of games at White Hart Lane against Hull City and then Burnley, both of which they’ll expect points, clean sheets and lots of goals. Their final fixture of their next five is away at St Mary’s three days after Christmas, and it’s a ground that Spurs have a superb record at in recent years. Since Southampton returned to the top flight, Tottenham have taken ten points from a possible 12 on the south coast.
6th – 10th (Manchester United, Everton, Watford, West Brom, Southampton)
Watford are an odd team to predict, with them seemingly unable to string a run of good results together. They’ve taken points off of Manchester United, Leicester City and West Ham, but lost what they may have viewed as winnable games against Stoke City and Burnley, whilst also drawing with Swansea City. Despite this, Walter Mazzarri’s side are my tip for the next few, as I believe their upcoming run looks quite favourable on paper – especially in comparison to the sides around them. Bare with me, because the third game of their next five is away at Manchester City, but the other four include matches in which they should take points. Next up is West Bromwich Albion, before a home clash with an out-of-sorts Everton side. After the aforementioned City game is an away tie with Sunderland, followed by Crystal Palace visiting Vicarage Road. Hopefully FPL surprise package Etienne Capoue can continue his fine season so far.
11th – 15th (Stoke, Bournemouth, Burnley, Leicester City, Middlesbrough)
From these positions in the table, I really like the look of Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough over the next five games. Impressive away draws with Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester City recently make upcoming trips to Southampton and Burnley appear winnable, particularly the Boxing Day clash with Sean Dyche’s men. Meanwhile at home, Boro face City’s Hull and Swansea, with Liverpool sandwiched in-between for good measure. Those games against Hull and Swansea represent excellent chances of points, especially if the Teessider’s have aspirations of remaining in the Premier League beyond this season. Certainly for these upcoming games, don’t be overly hesitant in placing a Boro boy in your lineup.
16th – 20th (West Ham, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Swansea, Sunderland)
I’m not going to lie, the upcoming fixtures for the bottom five is pretty bleak reading right now. Swansea – my tip last week – have probably the most favourable run, and hopefully Gylfi Sigurdsson remained a key part of people’s lineups last weekend. However, I’m going to go controversial and choose something different here – but I do have my reasons! Crystal Palace’s next five read Southampton (H), Hull City (A), Manchester United (H), Chelsea (H), Watford (A). On the face of it, they could conceivably lose all five given the way that they’re playing, however their players should be playing for their manager’s survival right now. Alan Pardew is a man under pressure at present, with continued poor results surely leading to his departure. Make no mistake, you should steer well clear of their ‘cleansheetaphobic’ defenders but Wilfried Zaha and Christian Benteke could very feasibly rack up decent attacking returns over the course of December, with all of these sides bar Chelsea conceding goals from crosses in recent weeks. Ultimately, I’m not tipping Palace to win all (or any!) of these matches, I’m just saying I’m confident that their forward players can score you nice FPL points during this stretch.
Written by Joe McPhee (@JPMc99)