2019/20 Premier League – Worst Opening Fixtures

Here are 5 teams who haven’t had luck on their sides when the 2019/2020 Premier League fixtures were decided. This doesn’t mean you should completely avoid all of these teams in your initial team but there are better options out there if you like to pick your players based on their opponents.

Norwich (liv/NEW/CHE/whu/MCI)

Norwich no doubt have the toughest opening start to the season. They’re one of two sides who face 3 sides from the ‘big six’ in their opening 5 games.

Their first game back in the Premier League is at Anfield on Friday night football. We know how strong Liverpool are at both ends of the park. They get a bit of respite with a home game against Newcastle the following week and when they travel to the London Stadium in Gameweek 4. Although neither of those fixtures give me too much optimism.

The Canaries entertain Chelsea and Man City in their other two games. While a home tie is always preferred I can’t see them getting much out of these games from an FPL point of view.

Norwich conceded 57 goals during their 46 matches, keeping just 13 clean sheets in their title winning campaign. The luck wasn’t on their side when it came to their opening fixture run. The hopes of their striker Pukki becoming a budget 3rd striker option from the get go has suffered a blow with this run of games. At least we’ll be able to see how they get on before jumping on some potential value assets when their fixtures improve in Gameweek 6.

Newcastle (ARS/nor/tot/WAT/liv)

Rafa Benitez’ men start off the season with some tough games. It’s the second season in a row where Newcastle haven’t been dealt the kindest of hands when it comes to fixtures. Like Norwich they face 3 side from the ‘big six’ in their first 5 games. Their opening 5 also includes 3 away games.

The Magpies host Arsenal on the opening day which could see some goals considering Arsenal’s dire defensive record. Norwich away in Gameweek 2 and Watford at home in Gameweek 4 are Newcastle’s best chance of getting some returns. Their away games against Spurs and Liverpool won’t be easy and will take a Rafa Benitez tactical masterclass to get something from them.

While the fixtures look rather bleak, Newcastle kept the most clean sheets on the road outside of the top 6 with 6. However, they only managed to score 18 times away from home. Purely based on fixtures, Newcastle assets look like ones to avoid in your initial drafts.

Wolves (lei/MUN/BUR/eve/CHE)

After a successful first season back in the Premier League Wolves will be looking to maintain their top half finish and qualify for Europe again. However, their successes last season may actually hamper them this season.

While none of Wolves’ away trips are against the top six sides, they are against tricky opposition in Everton and Leicester who finished directly below them. Both teams will feel the importance of these games which could lead to a cagey affair.

Burnley is the easiest of their home games on paper in gameweek 3. However, Wolves performed exceptionally well against the top 6 last season beating both Manchester United and Chelsea at home.

Last season Wolves provided FPL managers with a plethora of budget options, but coming into their second season they won’t be as budget friendly. Due to their price, it was easy to hold them when their fixtures were tough, but will managers be willing to do it this season? Their strong results against the top sides and the odd shock against teams you’d have expected them to beat means it’s extremely difficult to judge Wolves on fixtures.

Wolves’ season starts on July 25 as they start their Europa League campaign in the first leg of the second qualifying round. This will play a role and could lead to early fatigue and potential rotation depending on how far they progress.

Burnley (SOU/ars/wol/LIV/bha)

Burnley will be glad to see the back of last season. A poor start to the season which saw some nervy times for Sean Dyche’s men was saved by a much improved end to the season. 15th place was underwhelming considering they finished 7th in 2017/2018.

Gameweek 1 gives Burnley a good chance to get points on the board at Turf Moor against Southampton who finished a place below them. Things stiffen up after that with 3 difficult away trips and a tough home game. Arsenal scored 3 goals in both affairs last season and it’s hard to see them get much other than a consolation goal. Their other 2 away games against Wolves and Burnley in Gameweek 3 and 5 aren’t as tough on paper, but a potential new manager boost for Brighton and Wolves strong side don’t give me much hope.

FPL wise I don’t think it will be worth picking Burnley players in your side apart from a fodder bench player. The only player that would tempt me is Ashley Barnes. He bagged 5 goals against top 6 sides last season, but it’s unlikely we’ll see his budget friendly price this time out.

Leicester (WOL/che/shu/BOU/mun)

Leicester finished their season in good form after replacing Claude Puel with Brendan Rodgers. A 9th place finish equalled their 2017/2018 campaign and they’ll be looking to improve on that under Rodgers.

The Foxes first 5 games are a mixed bag. While a couple look like there’s potential to get some FPL returns from both ends of the pitch, there’s also a few tricky games that could cause a stumbling block. 3 of the first five are away from home for Leicester. Last season they kept just 4 clean sheets on the road, but scored more goals on their travels with 27 compared to 24 at home.

Wolves in matchday 1 will be an important game for both sides if this season’s anything like last season in the battle for 7th. 3 of their next 4 are on the road and games against Chelsea and Man Utd aren’t great on paper, but both clubs potentially have managers entering their first full season in the Premier League. We know from previous campaigns Jamie Vardy loves playing against the ‘big six’ so these fixtures wouldn’t put me off him.

Gameweek 3 and 4 is Leicester’s best patch of games facing Sheffield Utd and Bournemouth. These would be the games in the first 5 where you would most expect points to come from. I wouldn’t be investing much in Leicester but picking the likes of Vardy who enjoys the ‘tougher’ games or a potential differential in Tielemans if he remains at the club could be a bold move that could pay off.

Written by FPL Junior (@FPL_Junior)

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