Fantasy Premier League

FPL rotation: Pair up Villa and Everton for fast start

22 Jul 2023
Torres/Tarkowski FPL composite

The Scout shows how Torres and Tarkowski could work in tandem for managers’ squads

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The Scout looks at clubs who can be paired together effectively to help Fantasy Premier League managers make a strong start in 2023/24.

Aston Villa and Everton

Both Aston Villa and Everton benefited in defence from a mid-season change of manager in 2022/23.

Villa recorded a mere three clean sheets in their opening 13 matches, a total better than just two other sides - relegated Leeds United and Southampton.

But the arrival of Unai Emery as head coach in Gameweek 15 transformed their fortunes.

Villa kept nine shutouts from that point onwards, ranking joint-third alongside Arsenal

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Everton, meanwhile, kept just four clean sheets in the first 21 Gameweeks. That was the second-fewest in the league, bettering only the one of Southampton.

However, they claimed five clean sheets after Sean Dyche arrived as manager in Gameweek 22.

That total was bettered by only five other sides and matched the tally of both Arsenal and Manchester City.

It would be a smart tactic for FPL managers to pick a player from Villa and Everton in their squad and then rotate between them each Gameweek, starting the one who has the better fixture and benching the one with the tougher match.

See: How to get a home match every Gameweek

By doing so, in five of the first 10 Gameweeks FPL managers would have a player who faces a team who have been promoted to the Premier League in the last two seasons.

How to rotate from the start
GW Team  Opponent
1 EVE  FUL (H)
3 EVE  WOL (H)
4 EVE  SHU (A)
5 AVL CRY (H)  
6 EVE  BRE (A)
7 EVE  LUT (H)
8 EVE  BOU (H)
10 AVL LUT (H)

Although left-back Alex Moreno (£5.0m) is the standout pick among Villa defenders, they have a host of options in the budget bracket for managers who are looking to rotate.

At present, Villa’s new centre-back Pau Torres (£4.5m) looks their one guaranteed starter under £5.0m.

The Spaniard had his best ever attacking campaign in 2021/22, scoring five goals and supplying an assist for Villarreal in LaLiga.

If centre-back Tyrone Mings or right-back Matty Cash (both £4.5m) can also secure a regular role, they too can provide major value.

Mings was the seventh top-scoring defender after Emery arrived, claiming 98 points from Gameweek 15 onwards.

James Tarkowski (£4.5m) was Everton’s top performer at the back under Dyche.

The centre-back produced 60 points from Gameweek 22 onwards, placing him joint-ninth in his position.

Tarkowski’s aerial threat can be a major weapon for the Toffees in 2023/24.

Everton produced 80 shots from set-pieces following Dyche’s arrival last season, the third-most in the league.

Also in this series

Part 1: How to get a home match every Gameweek
Part 2: Brighton and Forest stars offer dream fixtures
Part 4: Find early value with Brentford and Newcastle

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