Bogey teams. Glaring differences between home and away form. Those players who just always seem to score against certain clubs. Sometimes fixtures past can offer some insight into fixtures future. It’s not an exact science, but then nothing is when it comes to football.
That being said, looking at the recent history of the fixtures for the upcoming gameweek could provide some potentially useful insights as to what we might expect to unfold in the Premier League, and therefore in FPL, that week. Common themes, potential upsets, unexpected blanks or hauls for certain players. There are well known examples like how Jamie Vardy always scores against Arsenal. Or how Harry Kane always scores against Arsenal. Or how Kevin de Bruyne always scores against A…. you get the idea.Embed from Getty Images
So, let’s take a look at the GW10 fixtures:
Southampton v Man Utd
This has been a remarkably close fixture across the few seasons, with 3 draws from 5 including both of the last 2. Given the excellent form of the home side it’s certainly feasible that they could get some sort of result again.
No players particularly stand out from past meetings at St. Mary’s, although it’s worth noting that this fixture last season did come before the arrival of Bruno Fernandes to the Premier League. Given the excellent away form he’s displayed so far, this could be an interesting fixture for him. If Southampton play open and defend with the high line as they have done this season, it could play to United’s strengths and Bruno could be a major beneficiary of this.Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal v Wolves
There are only 2 recent fixtures to look at, and both have been 1-1 draws. Given the recent struggles in attack for both sides a repeat score certainly seem likely, if not a goalless draw given their strong defensive records. Jimenez has a goal and assist in the last 2 seasons, so if Wolves can get on the scoresheet history suggest he could be involved in some way.Embed from Getty Images
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Apart from a mad game in 2015/16 where Palace ran out 5-1 winners, this has been a low scoring game ever since with only 3 goals shared between the two teams across the last 3 seasons. A 1-1 draw in 2017/18 was Newcastle’s only point in the last 5 years, so history suggests Palace have the edge, even if we can’t necessarily expect a goal fest.
Zaha has no goal involvement since that 5-1 rout 5 seasons ago, but this could be a good game for Patrick van Aanholt who can reasonably expect clean sheet points and also scored last season. Owners would relish a repeat.Embed from Getty Images
West Brom v Sheffield Utd
There is not much to be gleaned from the 1 league meeting between the two in the last 5 seasons, which was a Championship meeting in any case. Both teams really need a win and do not feature many in-demand FPL assets. This could be an intriguing game in any case.Embed from Getty Images
Man City v Burnley
Probably the pick of this week’s fixtures if you are looking to target one for attacking potential. The past 2 fixtures have both been 5-0 thrashings at the hands of Manchester City, with a staggering aggregate score of 15-1 in just the last 4 meetings. City have hit 13 goals without reply since the 16/17 meeting at the Etihad, so it’s hard to see anything other than a substantial City win and a most likely a clean sheet to go with it. City have not been firing on all cylinders so far this season, but history suggests this could be the fixture to get them back on track.
Aguero has a great track record with attacking returns in every one of these fixtures so far. If he is able to nail down a start in this fixture he could certainly reward early backers. Something of a differential pick, Mahrez intriguingly has a strong showing in previous fixtures with 3 goals in the last 2 seasons, whilst Bernardo Silva has a goal and 2 assists in the same time. A potential foreshadowing for owners of De Bruyne, or for those thinking of bringing him in, is that he actually has 0 goal involvements in the last 2 seasons, despite City scoring 10 goals in that time. In fact De Bruyne has just a solitary assist from the 2017/18 meeting, something many (including me) will be hoping he will make up for on Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
Leicester v Fulham
Not much history to go on here, but the one game in our timeframe was comfortable Leicester win. Even without this, i think most people would expect a similar result on Monday.
Vardy hauled with 2 goals and an assist in that game and Vardy owners will be hoping he repeats the feat this season. He’s certainly an strong captaincy option for many.Embed from Getty Images
Chelsea v Spurs
This is typically a close fixture but Chelsea have the recent advantage with 3 wins and a draw in the last 5.
Son has 1 goal and an assist across the last 5 seasons, but interestingly Kane is on a 4 year drought for goal involvement, with just 1 goal to his name from the 15/16 season. Can his excellent form tide him over this time and produce returns for his huge ownership? History suggests this will be a game with few goals between the sides, so many will be hoping that the talismanic forward will be involved in any that Spurs do score. There is not much to be gleaned from the Chelsea side in terms of specific players with good history; squad turnover has been so high that most of the players who featured in previous meetings are either no longer at the club or are no longer relevant from an FPL perspective.Embed from Getty Images
West Ham v Aston Villa
There is not a lot of recent fixture history to go on here thanks to Villa’s time in the Championship, but there is a West Ham win and a draw.
Antonio and Grealish have featured as goalscorers in previous seasons, and it would not be a surprise for either of them to pop up again this season, albeit Antonio is likely to miss out due to his continued recovery from injury.Embed from Getty Images
Brighton v Liverpool
Nothing but Liverpool wins in this fixture in recent years, which will come as a surprise to no one. An aggregate of 2-9 in Liverpool’s favour suggests it won’t be particularly close either.
This game could be named ‘The Salah Show’, as the Liverpool talisman has 3 goals and 2 assists from this fixture in the last 3 seasons. If he wasn’t already enough of a captaincy option anyway, his strong history in this fixture will encourage people further. Owners will be hoping he provides at least 1 attacking return, but history suggests he could likely provide more than that.Embed from Getty Images
Everton v Leeds
There is no table for this fixture as there have been no league meetings between these sides in the last 5 years, thanks to Leeds’ 16 year spell out of the top flight. It promises to be an intriguing match up, however, with the attacking potential of both teams on display. Both teams are in the top half for goals scored in the Premier League, Everton being on 19 and Leeds on 14. Both teams also have rather suspect defences and sit within the bottom 4 teams for goals conceded so far this season, with Leeds having conceded 17 and Everton 16. As such this could really be a match for the forwards to excel, with Calvert-Lewin fresh from a brace vs Fulham and Patrick Bamford topping many of the attacking stats recently.
This promises to be an absolute scorcher then; a goal-fest with multiple attacking returns for both sides and no clean sheets. Cue a 0-0 draw.Embed from Getty Images
Hopefully this relatively brief trip through recent fixture history has at least given some food for thought. As usual it promises to be an exciting week, with no doubt some twists and turns along the way. Check in next week for a look at what we can learn from the history of the GW11 fixtures.
Past meetings in cup competitions have been excluded from the table of results, as we are only interested in league results. Not to mention cup competitions can have more erratic/unreliable results with unique atmospheres and weakened teams often played.
There are also varying amounts of fixture history in the last 5 seasons to draw upon, by virtue of 3 teams being relegated to and promoted from the Championship every year. Leeds, for example, have been absent from the Premier league for 16 years and so will often have little to no league history in the last 5 years versus certain teams. It was considered to replace those teams in these articles with ‘similar’ teams for the sake of comparison, but it was decided that this would be more unreliable, subjective and arbitrary and therefore would not represent an accurate or fair analysis.