Here’s our first FPL fixture ranking GW1 article with the GW1-4 and GW1-8 fixture ease schedule. We look at the teams with the best fixtures from GW1 to the 2 International breaks after GW4 and GW8 which are natural points for a first wildcard.   There’s also some player suggestions with their basic stats and their upcoming fixtures to get your early drafts started.


An introduction

My intention at the moment is to take the fixture difficulty ranking from the Official FPL site.  That schedule doesn’t differentiate between attack and defence and is an overall ranking.  You will see them when you look at a player in detail on the FPL site.

The schedule below uses the official rankings to rank them from easiest at the top to hardest at the bottom. The order of the teams is for GW1-4.  The figure in the right hand column is the ranking from from GW1-8

The schedule

FE RankTeamFE Rank
5Crystal Palace3
6Man City7
15Man Utd10
19West Ham19


The relevance of player suggestions depends on whether you are thinking of Wildcarding after GW4 or after GW8.  That may depend on your tactics of handling returning players from the World Cup.

I talk about that quite extensively in my article of yesterday .  I personally haven’t decided yet how to set my team up and when to wildcard.

So here are attacking and defensive player suggestions for teams that are in the top 7 of both lists above.  That is Everton, Burnley, C Palace, Bournemouth and Man City.  I am also disregarding any players in teams that got as far as the World Cup quarter finals until I see information to suggest that will lineup in GW1.  Again that’s outlined in my article of yesterday


I’m very wary of Everton defensively.  They were poor last season with Big Sam in charge and Silva is a far more attacking manager.  The 2 FBs in Coleman and Baines have good attacking potential but at £5.5m that’s a little rich for my blood.  One of Williams or Jagielka should get in the team and at £4.5m thats more in my perception of their price.

£7.0m fwd Tosun scored 5 goals in 12 starts plus 2 as sub for a points per 90 mins of 5.0.

£6.5m mid Walcott scored 3 goals and 3 assists in 13 starts plus 1 as sub for a PP90 of 4.6.  He faded as the season went on so this is about hoping the real Walcott shows up.

£7.5m Sigurdsson scored 4 goals and 4 assists in 25 starts plus 2 as sub for a poor PP90 of 3.8.  He hopefully will benefit from a more attacking manager and has the advantage of set pieces.

Whether £5.5m Mid Lookman gets into the team remains to be seen but he had an exceptional season in the Bundesliga for Leipzig.  7 starts last season plus 4 as sub  5 goals and 4 assists at an incredible goal or assist every 64 minutes.

First 8 fixtures:

Wolves (A)
Southampton (H)
Bournemouth (A)
Huddersfield (H)
West Ham (H)
Arsenal (A)
Fulham (H)
Leicester (A)


Hard to say who will start out of Pope and Heaton in goal.  Is £5.0m right for a Burnley defender?  I would want that defender to play each week and I’m not sure Burnley are in that category given they faded a little last season.  One to ponder at the moment.

In the midfield I’d like to see how the set pieces are allocated between Brady and Gudmundsson as that would be my route to either of those.

In the absence of these 2 then my only suggestion would be £6.5m forward Chris Wood who last season scored 10 goals and 1 assist at an impressive PP90 of 5.8 from 20 starts and 4 as sub

Southampton (A)
Watford (H)
Fulham (A)
Man Utd (H)
Wolves (A)
Bournemouth (H)
Cardiff (A)
Huddersfield (H)

C Palace 

With 9 clean sheets last season I personally see Palace as a £4.5m defensive team.  The GK situation is confused by new signing Guita so clarity needed there.

So for me unless you want to roll the dice on £5.5m attacking machine Van Aanholt then £4.5m CB Tomkins is the player for me here.

There is a decent amount of competition as CB especially if Dann gets fit so needs pre-season monitoring but such was his form last season I can’t see him not starting.

£7.0m reclassified fwd Zaha is the interesting one here and things may depend on positioning and signings but the facts are that in 18 starts as a CF last season he scored 9 goals and 3 assists which is pretty impressive

Fulham (A)
Liverpool (H)
Watford (A)
Southampton (H)
Huddersfield (A)
Newcastle (H)
Bournemouth (A)
Wolves (H)


Bournemouth were a defensive disaster last season with 6 clean sheets.  No team got less.  I can’t imagine any improvement as the manager seems unable to solve the issue.  £4.5m Charlie Daniels gets up the pitch but for all that last season he played 3000 minutes for 3 assists.

The manager also has a penchant for attacking rotation and positional change so it’s difficult to recommend any attacking players at the moment.

Cardiff (H)
West Ham (A)
Everton (H)
Chelsea (A)
Leicester (H)
Burnley (A)
Crystal Palace (H)
Watford (A)

Man City

With Walker, Stones, Kompany and Mendy still at the World Cup and Ederson there until the quarters the only certain defensive long term starter is Otamendi at £6.5m.  Ultimately Walker should play RB and Mendy LB and Kompany CB although Kompany managed carefully.  I can’t help but feel that Laporte should get initial game time until Mendy and Kompany/Stones are ready to play but whether that will be to GW4 which is a natural wildcard for the international break remains to be seen

In attack De Bruyne, Sterling  and Jesus have to be doubtful returners.

To me that leaves David Silva, Sane and Aguero as reasonably safe except for natural Pep rotation. There’s also Mahrez who looks certain to come into the side.

Here’s some basic stats:

£8.5m Mid David Silva started 28 games plus 1 as sub for 9 goals and 11 assists at a PP90 of 6.2.

£9.5m Mid Sane started 27 games plus 5 as sub for 10 goals plus 15 as sub for a PP90 of 6.7

£11.0m Fwd Aguero started 22 games plus 3 as sub for 21 goals and 6 assists for a PP90 of 7.8.  He should have pens.

£9.0m Mid Mahrez, assuming he joins, started 34 games for Leicester plus 2 as sub for 12 goals and 13 assists at a PP90 of 5.9.

Also how Pep decides to set up and how consistently he applies it will dictate selection and rotation. A 3-5-2 to play 2 strikers will mean alot of midfielders being left out.  A 4-1-4-1 will mean a benching of Jesus or Aguero most likely.  Anything is possible with Pep.

Arsenal (A)
Huddersfield (H)
Wolves (A)
Newcastle (H)
Fulham (H)
Cardiff (A)
Brighton (H)
Liverpool (A)

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  1. Think for Everton, Coleman might be a great option early, underpriced when you consider what he has produced prior to last season (long term injury & a defensive set up), I would be surprised if an attacking LB doesn’t come in, and if so you would expect that they look to create through the fullbacks.

    Williams won’t be near the first team, Jagielka hopefully the same (wonderful servant).

  2. I want to believe Everton will be improved under Silva. Watford played some good, early football last year, getting to 4th in the overall table. How he works Everton at both ends of the pitch will be interesting to see. I think he’s got some quality players in Tosun, Sigurdsson, Walcott, in attack and Coleman, Baines, Keane on defense with England international, Pickford in goal.

    The defense was less than spectacular last year, Big Sam had a short, productive run, but they have the personnel to bang in the first 8 weeks, It would be a punt, but doubling up defensively or going Tosun/Sigurdsson or Tosun/Walcott could pay off.

  3. Thanks, great stuff as always!

    What are your thoughts on Milivojevic? Too expensive after the price hike? Worth a shot? Better options elsewhere?

    If you consider Walcott doesn’t he at least deserve a mention?

    Keep up the excellent work

  4. JUST A GUY.

    I think the issue with Milivojevic is he’s very dependent on penalties. If Palace don’t get many then in terms of returns you could be in trouble with him. 70% of his goals were penalties last season.

  5. More expensive than last season? Yes, but Zaha is back and healthy, still have Benteke. Feel the ability for these players have the ability to draw the fouls in the back with their movement, Zaha more so than Benteke. Can’t brush off 10 goals as a fluke, but he is dependent on the PK.

    Give the choice, I would take Milivojevic over Walcott and Richarlison at 6.5. Jota is a punt, as Wolves are new to the Prem, but seen many talking this player up. Lamela, might be a short 4 week punt with Spurs players returning from the World Cup too.

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