The early international break is now out of the way and players will be looking forward to getting back with their clubs for more league action. For Fantasy PL managers, there will likely be a lot of planning to carry out, as some squads have their fixtures turning too. The difficulty of the fixtures for a team definitely has an impact on the performances of their individual players, which obviously equates to more FPL points. Some FPL managers will be looking to activate their wildcard post-GW7 too, which means this is a very good opportunity to start all fresh. In this FPL 2021/22 Gameweek 8-12 Fixture Watch we will address the best teams to target ahead of the next 5 gameweeks, as well as the recommended teams to avoid too. Use this as a guideline to help you pick out the FPL players that have the most potential, as well as to help you avoid the traps too.
FPL 2021/22 Gameweek 8-12 Fixture Watch: Best teams to Target
These teams are expected to get a good result in the majority of their next 5 matches, which means it would be a pretty good idea to pick up some of their players.
Chelsea has been under the spotlight the last couple of weeks, mainly because of the sheer amount of appealing fixtures in a row coming up for them. In the next 5 gameweeks, the Blues play against Brentford, Norwich, Newcastle, Burnley, and Leicester. All 3 of the current clubs in the relegation zone are in that list of those teams – Norwich, Newcastle, and Burnley. Furthermore, Norwich and Newcastle have the worst xGA in the league too. Leicester and the on-form Brentford are both tough teams, but with the squad, Chelsea has built up, a good run of form would make them definite title contenders, so these games should really be easy wins.
Chelsea hosts a huge range of talent in their team, but FPL managers should tread carefully. Last year saw a deadly roulette come into play, in the form of Pep Guardiola’s team selection. So much talent in that City squad, yet only a finite number of layers allowed onto the pitch. Players like Havertz (8.2 million), Mount (7.4 million), and Werner (8.6 million) are getting rotated all the time, and so should be avoided. Lukaku (11.7 million) is a stable and nailed option, as well as Rudiger (5.8 million) and Azpilicueta (6.1 million). Alonso (6.0 million) and Chilwell (5.6 million) were both rotated recently, so perhaps keeping an eye on Chelsea fixtures and seeing who starts and who is rested may help pick the right player.
Brentford was in the Teams to Avoid in the last 5 weeks, but with the form they’re currently on, as well as the upcoming fixtures, this is almost a no-brainer to go in for, especially if you’re on a wildcard. They play Chelsea, Leicester, Burnley, Norwich, and Newcastle. The latter 3 are obviously the bottom 3 at the moment, and the only real obstacle for a team like this would really be Chelsea. Leicester is a solid team, however, they’ve conceded 2 goals per game over the last 3. In addition, those were against Palace, Burnley, and Brighton, not necessarily teams you’d expect to score twice against Leicester.
At the start of the season, Toney (6.3 million) was the most hyped, and he still has the potential to score points, however, it will be difficult to squeeze him in with the abundance of other quality strikers. Mbeumo at 5.5 million is a brilliant budget pick, who plays as a forward alongside Toney as a second striker. Pinnock (4.6 million) and Jansson (4.6 million) are both putting up brilliant underlying numbers, and have the best points per million out of all other defenders.
3. Manchester City
This is a pretty obvious team to have on this list. Man City rank 2nd for the highest xG, and 1st for the lowest xGA in the league, as well as 1st for the lowest shots conceded (8). They’ve already proven themselves as being one of the best defenses in the league, as well as one of the best attacks too. The opposition over the next 5 Gameweeks is Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace, Man United, and Everton, with at least 4 of them being winnable fixtures for City. Furthermore, Burnley, Brighton, and Palace all rank in the bottom half for shots on target.
As good as the above sounds, predicting the players is the difficult bit here, there aren’t many nailed players that you can pick up from Man City. The only absolutely nailed players when they are fit are Ederson (6.0 million), Dias (6.1 million), De Bruyne (11.9 million), and maybe Cancelo (6.2 million). The rest all get switched about on a regular. Players like Dias and Cancelo are must-haves if you’re on a wildcard, in order to cover the clean sheet chances. As for the attack, picking the right player is difficult. KDB is a tough buy considering his price, and how there are other better premiums out there. Taking a punt on one of Foden (7.9 million), Grealish (7.9 million), or even Jesus (8.6 million) may be profitable.
4. Leeds United
Leeds is one of the hosts of some brilliant budget options for FPL this season, and now might be a good time to pick some up if you haven’t already. They face Southampton, Wolves, Norwich, Leicester, and Tottenham in the next 5 weeks, with the first 3 being the key ones to watch here. Although Southampton and Norwich are both away games, as well as Wolves being an improved side, Leeds is still expected to play the attacking football they’re known for. Southampton and Norwich both sit in the bottom half for xGA, and Leeds has an average of 15.14 shots per 90, the 5th highest in the league.
Leeds is a reliable side in how there are players you know will definitely start when fit. Raphinha (6.6 million) is one of those, who is easily a must-have player for his cheap price and attacking potential. He averages 0.59 goal contributions per 90, the 3rd best of all other Leeds players. The top 2 consists of Bamford (0.73) and Rodrigo (0.62). Obviously, a fit Bamford (7.8 million) would easily be a definite pick, however, he is currently uncertain to start. Rodrigo (6.3 million) could be a very promising differential, but risky too. Due to Leeds’ poor defensive records, it’s best to avoid the defenders.
Despite Southampton arguably being below their best this season, sitting just above the relegation zone. They sit around the middle of the tables for many of the major stats, such as shots conceded, shots on target, etc. The fixtures, however, look like one of the best of all the teams across the next 5 game weeks. The Saints face Leeds, Burnley, Watford, Villa, and Norwich – all the kind of fixtures you’d want to see when choosing who to start in your FPL teams. All those teams bar Villa sit in the bottom half for shots conceded and shots taken, with Leeds and Norwich being rock bottom in those areas too.
There aren’t many hopeful players you can pick up from Southampton, but there is one reliable and solid player that’s made themselves popular amongst the FPL community – Livramento. The 4.2 million youngster started out as a complete bargain and is looking like a really useful budgeting pick, especially if you’re on a wildcard. If you’re looking for some differentials, Adam Armstrong at 6 million can be a cheap forward, that has shown promise in recent matches, achieving an average of 2 shots per target per game too. They are definitely risky picks, considering how Southampton doesn’t necessarily have any of your standard attacking-minded picks.
FPL 2021/22 Gameweek 8-12 Fixture Watch: Best teams to Avoid
These teams have a tough run of games ahead of them, and the chances of them getting many points from these games are unlikely. It’s advised to steer away from these players for the next 5 Gameweeks, as other options will definitely look more appealing.
Watford hasn’t been too bad of a side this season, sitting 15th in the league, however that proved unsatisfactory for the Watford board after they sacked the manager and re-introduced Claudio Ranieri to the Premier League. The new management may play a part in the unreliability of the Watford team, however, this isn’t helped with the huge twist in fixture difficulty either. The EFL Championship runners-up face a whole host of tough competition in the coming weeks, against Liverpool, Everton, Southampton, Arsenal, and Man United.
The most owned Watford player in Ben Forster is still probably worth keeping because there really is no reason to drop him now. He seems like Watford’s number 1 keeper, and for the cheap price of 4 million, he’s a reliable backup, and probably the best. The same goes with 10.5% owned Dennis (5.3 million), who despite is a slight rotation risk, is quite cheap and might as well be kept if you still own him. The second most-owned in Ismaila Sarr (6.3 million) will likely be one of the most transferred out this week. He isn’t one you want to start against such opposition, so it is advised to look for alternatives.
2. Manchester United
Manchester United hasn’t been the most convincing side in the last couple of games, unable to get a result against Villa or Everton. The fixtures are now about to flip completely, with the Red Devils facing Leicester, Liverpool, Tottenham, Man City, and Watford in the next 5 weeks. That’s 3 of the classic top 6, all back-to-back, so the pressure is starting to come on for the team to perform now.
Maybe it’s time to make the switch from Ronaldo (12.6 million) to Lukaku (or someone else!), as the fixtures look tough, and the price quite high. Furthermore, players like Bruno Fernandes (11.8 million) and Shaw (5.4 million) may also be premiums that you want to shift on from, especially with the whole host of options in the above section of teams to watch.
3. West Ham
West Ham has been a focal point for FPL managers, with some decent FPL options arising. However, as the fixtures turn this week, perhaps the focal point will shift elsewhere. They face Everton, Spurs, Villa, Liverpool, and Wolves all in the next 5 weeks, with not many of those looking like desirable matches. However, there’s nothing to say that the quality in the West Ham side doesn’t match that of their opponents, therefore the FPL assets aren’t necessarily on the high priority to sell for the upcoming weeks.
Selling one of the season’s FPL stars (as of now) in Michail Antonio (8.0 million) will definitely be tough, but may not be too damaging, as there are better forwards, with better fixtures. The same goes with Saïd Benrahma (6.6 million), the second highest-owned FPL player of the club. All in all, these aren’t necessarily a “must-out” group of players, but ideally, there are alternatives.
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