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 FPL preview 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.
So, let’s take a look at the GW23 fixtures:
Newcastle v Southampton
Interestingly, Southampton have not beaten Newcastle at St. James’ Park in the last 5 seasons; following up a draw in 2015/16 with 3 consecutive defeats (only 4 fixtures played in this time due to Newcastle’s relegation for the 2016/17 season). The aggregate score in this time is 10-4 to Newcastle, averaging out at Newcastle with 2.5 goals to Southampton’s 1 goal per game.
Whilst Newcastle have not been in great form, neither have Southampton who have now had 4 consecutive defeats including a second 9-0 defeat in the past two seasons. Southampton will be looking to provide a response as they did last season, but they will need to overcome their recent history at St. James’ park to do so as well as a string of injuries to key players.
This has historically been a high scoring game, so you’d expect returns from the attacking assets of both teams. Wilson owners will be hopeful of returns, especially with Saint-Maximin returning and loan signing Willock ready to make an impact. Likewise, Ings owners will be hoping he can get back amongst the goals as will any remaining Che owners. We could also see the debut of Takumi Minamino; it remains to be seen what kind of impact he will have on this Saints team. Jonjo Shelvey does have a goal and 2 assists across the last 3 meetings, and has scored and assisted in Newcastle’s last 2 games, so couples history with form. His huge 0.1% ownership will surely be expecting great things!Embed from Getty Images
Spurs v West Brom
Two 1-1 draws in the last 3 comes as a surprise, although the other was a resounding 4-0 home win. The 56.5% owned Heung-Min Son will be a favourite for the armband in GW23, so owners, and especially captainers, will be hoping for a repeat of the latter.
Having said that, Spurs are in poor form and have not been performing well since the loss of talisman Harry Kane. On paper this would be expected to be the perfect game for Spurs to get back to winning ways, but in the continued absence of Kane it is not so clear. Spurs have not scored since Kane hobbled off at half-time against Liverpool, and West Brom are fighting for their Premier League survival. Kane has 4 goals in his last 2 games against the Baggies, so his absence could be keenly felt.
As this fixture has not been played in the last couple of seasons there is no player who clearly stands out from historical results other than the injured Harry Kane.Embed from Getty Images
Fulham v West Ham
There is only 1 fixture to look at in our time period, from 2018/19, which West Ham won 2-0. West ham did also win the reverse fixture this season 1-0 with a goal from firm FPL favourite Tomas Soucek. West Ham would reasonably expect to win this game, although it is a London derby and Fulham are fighting for survival.
This looks a promising game for Soucek and Antonio owners, although it might not be a goal fest.Embed from Getty Images
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Not a huge amount of recent history to go on here. Arsenal lead the aggregate and average scores but this probably hides the current reality of this fixture. Arsenal have a string of injuries and now suspensions to key players and have drawn and lost their last 2 games. It must be said that Villa are also in a poor run of form, but they did beat Arsenal comprehensively 3-0 in the reverse fixture.
Due to the lack of recent fixture history this may be one where its best to go on form, which is relatively even. Villa probably have the slight advantage as the home team, but there could be attacking returns for both sides.Embed from Getty Images
Manchester Utd v Everton
Old Trafford is not a happy hunting ground for Everton, whose best results in the past 5 seasons have been two 1-1 draws. This is typically a game with a few goals, so expect points from attacking assets.
Martial has 3 goals across the last 5 seasons, and Utd Strikers have generally done well over the years, with Ibrahimovic and Lukaku also bringing in returns in past seasons. This could bode well for Cavani owners, who will be hoping he starts after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that “Edinson should be available”. There is perhaps not a huge amount expected from Everton looking at the recent history; they haven’t scored more than 1 goal in this fixture and have twice come away goalless in the past 5 seasons.Embed from Getty Images
Sheffield Utd v Chelsea
Another fixture with not a lot to go on, thanks to Sheffield Utd’s time in the Championship and League 1. Sheffield Utd did win this fixture by a resounding 3-0 score line last season, but it’s hard to imagine a repeat this time around.
Sheffield Utd are a completely different side to the one they were last season and were thrashed 4-1 in the reverse fixture earlier this season. They sit bottom of the Premier League and, despite improvements from earlier in the season, are still a side that FPL Managers are targeting. Chelsea meanwhile are in the middle of a new manager bounce, and are firm favourites to come away with all 3 points (cue another 3-0 Sheffield United win).Embed from Getty Images
Burnley v Brighton
There are 3 seasons of fixtures in our timeframe, but only a couple of goals each during that time. A result is hard to call with a win each and a draw, and this appears a pretty even fixture.
A low scoring fixture, this might be one to focus on defensive rather than attacking assets. Burnley keeper Nick Pope will be a popular choice and could help himself to a clean sheet as well as his almost inevitable save and bonus points.Embed from Getty Images
Liverpool v Manchester City
Man City have not won at Anfield in the past 5 seasons. Their best result was a 0-0 draw in 2018/19, but for the most part it has been resounding Liverpool wins. An aggregate score of 11-4 means Liverpool are averaging over 2 goals per game in this fixture, compared to less than 1 per game for City. The fixture history suggests this is most likely to be a Liverpool win, and most likely with a few goals involved.
Salah seems to enjoy this fixture with 2 goals and an assist across the last 3, whilst Mane also has a couple of goals. Interestingly, Firmino has 2 goals and 2 assists across the last 5 seasons, though none of these have come in the last two. Man City come into this game in more consistent form than Liverpool, but Liverpool have the history of Anfield wins. This might be a game for FPL managers to consider benching their City players, whilst Salah may be a captaincy option despite his poor form.Embed from Getty Images
Wolves v Leicester
So it’s either a bore draw or a 7 goal thriller. Feast or famine. Which one will it be this time? It’s tough to predict, and of course there are only the last couple of seasons to go on. Both teams won in GW22, but both of them lost and drew their previous two games.
This Leicester team seem to have more about them, and should be favourites to win out of the two. Although Wolves beat Arsenal, that was in no small part due to Arsenal getting two players sent off. Before then, Arsenal were by far the better team and Wolves were being comfortably beaten. Even once Arsenal were down to nine men Wolves hardly ran away with the tie, despite having the two-man advantage for half an hour.
There are only a couple of fixture so not many players stand out, but James Justin owners will be hoping for a repeat of his GW22 heroics, whilst Barnes and Maddison owners will be hoping they are once more amongst the goals.Embed from Getty Images
Leeds v Crystal Palace
There is no history in our timeframe to examine here, as will be the case with the majority of Leeds fixtures due to their 16 year Premier League absence.
Palace won the reverse fixture 4-1, which was a game where Eberechi Eze shone with a goal and an assist. In a blow for Palace, Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Zaha will miss this game. However, Zaha did not feature amongst the goals in the game at Selhurst Park, where he only managed a solitary assist. Owners of Palace assets will therefore be hoping this isn’t too much of a hinderance, and a repeat of Eze’s performance will delight his 1% ownership.
On the Leeds side, Raphinha is in excellent form and amazingly had a price fall during the week despite consecutive returns. Bamford is a captaincy shout for some, and has defied his many doubters with a goal and 3 assists in the last two gameweeks.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 GW23 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.