Fantasy Premier League

Clubs to target in FPL: Southampton

By The Scout 5 Jul 2024
Walker-Peters, Armstrong, Smallbone

The Scout on why Saints can make quickest impact of three promoted sides in 2024/25 Fantasy

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The Scout is using the Fixture Difficulty Ratings (FDR) to determine the sides with the most favourable opening schedules in 2024/25 Fantasy Premier League.


After sealing their immediate return to the Premier League with a 1-0 win over Leeds United in the Championship playoff final, Saints have been handed the kindest opening schedule among the three promoted sides.

They face only one of last season’s top six clubs in their first eight fixtures of 2024/25, with that match coming when they travel to Arsenal in Gameweek 7.

That kind run is also reflected in the FDR, with five of those matches scoring just two. They host Nottingham Forest, along with both of their fellow promoted teams, Ipswich Town and Leicester City, in addition to visiting Brentford and AFC Bournemouth.

Southampton's first eight matches
GW Opponent FDR*
1 NEW (A) 4
2 NFO (H) 2
3 BRE (A) 2
4 MUN (H) 3
5 IPS (H) 2
6 BOU (A) 2
7 ARS (A) 5
8 LEI (H) 2

*1 = easiest possible fixture, 5 = hardest possible fixture

Here are three Southampton players backed to make a flying start thanks to their fixtures.

Adam Armstrong (£5.5m)

His talismanic displays were instrumental in ensuring Southampton’s swift return to the Premier League.

Armstrong was involved in 37 of Saints’ 91 goals last season, with his totals of 24 goals and 13 assists both more than any team-mate. 

The underlying statistics help strengthen his prospects as his side’s go-to attacker in Fantasy.

Armstrong's 153 shots were at least 73 more than any other Southampton player, while his 125 shots in the box were nearly double the 63 of his nearest team-mate, Che Adams.

The 27-year-old also proved a standout creator; his 63 key passes were only five off top spot for Saints.

If there is one Southampton player who is likely to take advantage of their kind early schedule, it’s impossible to look past Armstrong.

Kyle Walker-Peters (£4.5m)

The right-back was another key figure for Russell Martin’s side last season, producing two goals and four assists over his 46 outings.

Walker-Peters’ all-round attacking threat is backed up further by the underlying statistics. 

His 40 shots were more than any other Southampton defender, with 22 of them recorded from inside the opposition box. Meanwhile, his total of 44 key passes ranked fifth among team-mates, underlining his potential for assists.

Should Martin’s side show signs of resilience in defence, Walker-Peters could emerge as a handy budget rotation pick at the start of the new season. 

Will Smallbone (£5.0m)

The central midfielder enjoyed the most productive campaign of his career in 2023/24, scoring seven goals and supplying four assists over his 38 starts.

Smallbone’s totals of 58 shots and 58 key passes showcase his all-round style of play - he was among Southampton’s top four players for both statistics.

His prospects for assists were also boosted by the departure of James Ward-Prowse to West Ham United last summer, with Smallbone sharing set-piece duties with left-back Ryan Manning.

But whereas Manning struggled for pitch time towards the end of the season, Smallbone’s two goals and an assist in Saints’ final four matches show his growing influence on Martin’s side.

Bearing in mind Southampton scored 15 goals from set-pieces – a total bettered by only three rivals in the Championship – Smallbone’s delivery could appeal to managers in need of a cut-price midfielder in the early Gameweeks of 2024/25 Fantasy.

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