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.
FPL FIXTURE RANKING GW1 – THE FIXTURE EASE SCHEDULE
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
|FE Rank||Team||FE Rank|
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:
West Ham (H)
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
Man Utd (H)
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
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.
West Ham (A)
Crystal Palace (H)
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.
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