As we approach the gameweek 2 deadline, we are all looking to make an inspired transfer decision. As always a good understanding of the upcoming fixture schedules will help. With that in mind, we provide you with our views on which clubs we feel have either a tough or an easy run of upcoming fixtures.
Michael Laudrup got off to a dream start in his first Premier League game in charge of Swansea with a 5-0 drubbing of QPR. Last season Swansea were one of the Premier League’s surprise packages, but many questioned what impact the summer departure of manager Brendan Rodgers, and key players like Sigurdsson and Allen, would have on the Swans. If Gameweek 1 is anything to go by, then the answer is not a lot! Looking ahead, Michael Laudrup will be eyeing the upcoming fixture schedule with a fair degree of optimism. Of their next 7 league fixtures, Swansea have just one tricky fixture which is against Everton, with their remaining opponents being West Ham, Sunderland, Villa, Stoke, Reading and Wigan. The likes of Vorm, Williams, Michu and Graham will surely feature on the radar of fantasy managers over the next few weeks.
The departure of Harry Redknapp during the summer break was a major loss in the eyes of many Spurs fans, and given their gameweek 1 performance under new manager Andre Villas Boas, those feelings are unlikely to have been alleviated just yet. That being said, now that Spurs have completed their tricky opening fixture away at Newcastle, the upcoming fixture list presents AVB with a great opportunity to get a number of decent results under his belt. Over the next 6 gameweeks, Spurs have just one really testing fixture which is against Man United in gameweek 6, with their remaining opponents being West Brom, Norwich, Reading, QPR and Villa. Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Bale, Sigurdsson and Adebayor (transferred from Man City to Spurs on Tuesday) are all tempting options.
Everton are often labelled as slow starters, and based on recent seasons that has been a pretty fair tag for them to carry. However, not so this year! Everton kicked off the 2012/13 season with an impressive 1-0 victory over title contenders Man United. Whilst that in itself is enough to make fantasy manager’s sit up and take note, what significantly adds to the appeal of Everton players is their fantastic upcoming fixture schedule. With the exception of Newcastle in gameweek 4 and Liverpool in gameweek 9, Everton have a pretty decent run of fixtures all the way out to gameweek 13, with their remaining opponents being Villa, West Brom, Swansea, Southampton, Wigan, QPR, Fulham, Sunderland, Reading and Norwich. The likes of Baines, Fellaini, Pienaar and Jelavic are all ones to consider.
The Best of the Rest…
Looking across the rest of the league, although they have the odd tough game, we feel that both West Ham and Wigan have a good run of fixtures ahead of them over the course of the next 8 gameweeks. It should also be noted that Man United’s next 3 fixtures look pretty appealing, although life does get pretty tough for the Red Devils from gameweek 5 onwards.
Liverpool are on the first rung of a rebuilding exercise under new manager Brendan Rodgers. The ex-Swansea manager brings with him a new style and culture of play, and undoubtedly that will take some time for Liverpool to adjust to. Liverpool’s heavy 3-0 defeat at the hands of West Brom in gameweek 1 being a perfect example of this. Unfortunately for Rodgers, the upcoming fixture list suggests that life is not about to get any easier in the short term. Over the course of the next 4 gameweeks, Liverpool have 3 exceptionally challenging fixtures against Man City, Arsenal and Man United. Ouch!
After successfully keeping QPR in the Premier League last year, Mark Hughes has been a busy boy in the Summer transfer market with a number of impressive signings. Unfortunately for Hughes though, given the look of the Hoops upcoming fixture list, his new recruits are going to have a very tough settling in period. Over the next 8 gameweeks QPR have 5 really challenging fixtures being Man City, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton and Arsenal. On the back of a heavy 5-0 defeat at the hands of Swansea in gameweek 1, it would seem that Mark Hughes and his team are entering a very difficult period early on in the season. Whilst they have some exciting new players, it may be best to avoid too much QPR exposure over the coming weeks.
When it comes to horrendous opening fixture lists, we would have to say that they don’t come much worse than the one facing the Potters. The easiest way of getting our point across here is simply to tell you who they face between now and gameweek 8, which is Arsenal, Wigan, Man City, Chelsea, Swansea, Liverpool and Man United. Given their upcoming opponents, we suspect Begovic may end up regretting the fact that he got the nod over Sorenson as first choice keeper! Tony Pulis has most definitely got his work cut out over the next few weeks.
Be Aware Of…
Looking across the rest of the Premier League, in addition to the above mentioned clubs, we feel that Arsenal, Villa, Norwich, Southampton and Newcastle also have some pretty testing fixtures over the next few gameweeks. It is also worth noting that both Chelsea and Reading have no fixture at all in gameweek 3, with the latter also suffering from a tough run of upcoming opponents.
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