Back To The FPL Future: GW24

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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.

Looking at the recent history of the fixtures for the upcoming Gameweek can provide some potentially useful insights as to what we might expect to unfold in the Premier League, and therefore in FPL, that week. This is reinforced by a study of 25,000 games of football, which demonstrated a direct correlation between previous fixture results and the next fixture results.

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 GW24 fixtures:

Leicester v Liverpool

This has been a high scoring fixture in recent seasons, with an aggregate score of 8-10 and Leicester averaging 1.6 goals to Liverpool’s 2 per game. Expect goals in the early kick-off on Saturday. Leicester had the edge in their title winning season and the one immediately following that, but in the 3 seasons since it has been all Liverpool victories.

Liverpool have been in shaky form this season and still nurse injuries to key players, so Leicester fans will be hoping this season is the one to once again turn this fixture in their favour. Having said that, Leicester have just confirmed a significant injury themselves, with the exceptional James Justin set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering an ACL injury against Brighton in the week.

Roberto Firmino has 3 goals in the last 2 meetings at the King Power, whilst Mane has a goal and assist in the same time. It must be said that Salah doesn’t have the best history in this fixture, with just a solitary goal in 2017/18 and no returns since. Jamie Vardy will be eager to re-discover his golden touch in this fixture; scoring 5 goals in 3 seasons between 2015/16 ad 2017/18, but missing out through injury the following season and blanking in 2019/20.

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Crystal Palace v Burnley

With 2 wins each by identical scorelines, this fixture is remarkably even. Burnley defenders will be popular for the double gameweek, and Ben Mee scored in the last meeting. A repeat of these heroics from a Burnley defender will be welcomed by many an FPL manager.

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Burnley v Fulham

There are only a couple of league meetings at Turf Moor between these sides in the last 5 seasons, and the 2015/16 clash was a Championship fixture. There is perhaps not a great to be learned from this limited history, other than than that Burnley will probably be expected to get the result, especially as the home side.

So that’s two consecutive fixtures for Burnley where they have a decent record, and where their defensive assets have a decent chance of returns. I don’t think this author is minded to captain one, however.

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West Ham v Sheffield Utd

Not a lot to go on here; just the 1 season due to Sheffield Utd’s spells in the Championship and League One. That result was a low scoring draw, however, Sheffield United are a different team to the one they were last season, and West Ham will be firmly expected to take all 3 points. West Ham did win the reverse fixture 1-0 earlier in the season, and they have been boosted in attack by Jesse Lingard who enjoyed an impressive 2-goal debut.

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West Brom v Man Utd

No fixtures in the last couple of seasons for this one. The Red Devils will be firmly expected to win, and they have won 2 of their last 3 visits to The Hawthorns.

Bruno Fernandes is being tipped for the Captaincy by some managers, despite only having a single gameweek compared to the likes of Man City assets, but it must be said that this fixture has not provided particularly high scoring games in the recent past. Unless Man Utd can improve their goal tally from their recent trips to the Baggies, this is a relatively low ceiling for Fernandes to attempt to outscore his double gameweek rivals.

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Southampton v Wolves

A high scoring fixture over the last couple of seasons, both sides have averaged 2+ goals per game.

This will provide hope to those FPL managers holding the likes of Danny Ings, who did look sharp despite their defeat to Newcastle last weekend. Having said that, Ings only has a solitary assist over the last 2 seasons, despite Southampton scoring 5 goals in that time. It will be interesting to see if Redmond can build on his brace from a couple of seasons ago.

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Chelsea v Newcastle

A tale of diminishing returns for Chelsea, who have won by 5, then 3, then 2, and then finally by a single goal last season. Does this mean we are on for our first draw? Perhaps not. You’d imagine Chelsea will simply have too much for Newcastle, who haven’t scored more than 1 goal at Stamford bridge in the last 5 seasons and will now be without Callum Wilson, although Dwight Gayle does have prior at Chelsea with a brace in 2017/18.

Alonso scored in this fixture last season, so if he can keep his starting place he may be an outside bet for a haul this weekend.

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Man City v Spurs

Manchester City assets will be amongst the most popular captaincy choices in GW24, and they average 2 goals a game at home to Spurs across the last 5 seasons. Spurs do have a recent history of frustrating Man City at the Etihad, with a couple of 2-2 draws and a 2-1 win in 2015/16. But Spurs are in poor form, despite their late win over an even poorer West Brom side last Sunday, and will be expected to sit back and defend under Mourinho. Not always the wisest strategy away at Pep Guardiola’s side.

De Bruyne’s continued absence might be missed; he has 2 goals and 2 assists from his last 4 matches against Spurs. However, it must be said that Sterling has an even more impressive record with 3 goals and an assist in the same time. 13.8% owned, Sterling would remarkably be something of a differential double gameweek captain with a strong history of returns in this fixture.

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Everton v Man City

Part 2 of Manchester City’s double gameweek concludes at Goodison Park where they have an equally impressive record of 2 goals per game, and have won 4 of their last 5 visits by a 2 goal margin.

Sterling reinforces his captaincy credentials with a relatively decent record at the Toffees, with 2 goals and an assist. Gabriel Jesus, remarkably, has scored every time he has visited Goodison park; good news for his 4.5% ownership.

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Everton v Fulham

Just the 1 fixture in our timeframe, from the 2018/19 season where Everton ran out 3-0 winners. It is not a lot to go on, but Everton will be fully expecting to once again take the 3 points in this game. In fact, somewhat remarkably, Fulham have never won a point at Goodison Park in the Premier League era!

This may be of some comfort to those with Everton assets who might not be expecting much from the Manchester City game. Unfortunately if that Everton asset is Dominic Calvert-Lewin the Manchester City game may be the only game he plays, with Carlo Ancelotti offering an injury update by saying “He can play on Wednesday”. The re-vitalised Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a brace in that 3-0 win in 2018/19, whilst the likes of Lucas Digne could emerge with points in the form of a clean sheet, attacking return or both.

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Brighton v Aston Villa

Brighton have had some fantastic results, underpinned by strong performances of late. Most notably was their home win over Spurs and their win at Anfield. Those investing in Villa assets may do well not to expect the highest of ceilings here, especially as both prior meetings on the South coast between these teams in recent times have finished 1-1.

The highly owned Grealish helped ensure Villa shared the spoils last season, and he may be called on again here for Villa to come away with anything. Martinez will no doubt continue to do Martinez things and earn points by hook or by crook; you’d imagine save and bonus points to be on offer here.

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Arsenal v Leeds

As with most Leeds fixtures, there is no history to show here due to the club’s 16 year absence from the Premier League. The reverse fixture played out to a 0-0 draw at Elland Road, but Arsenal will be keen to return to winning ways after something of a dip in recent weeks. Leeds always have the potential to dazzle and capitulate in equal measure, so it will be interesting to see how this game plays out.

Raphinha is in excellent form, whilst the self-FPL-captaining Bamford is usually involved in some way when Leeds score.

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Footnotes:

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.

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