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FPL planning: Fixtures point to early player pairings

The Scout 16 Jun 2018
Vicente Guaita and Asmir Begovic

The Scout explains how the close analysis of the fixture list hints at the rotation potential for the new FPL season

With the fixtures for the new season now revealed The Scout explains how Fantasy Premier League managers can devise early plans for 2018/19.

Rotating players

When preparing the blueprint for an initial squad, the idea of swapping or rotating players according to fixture difficulty should play a part.

This rotation can be as simple as alternating budget options in the starting XI and picking the player who has the home match.

Often this rotation strategy can involve two cut-price players, either defenders or goalkeepers.

Clean-sheet couples

Fantasy managers should seek out pairings who can offer the best potential for clean sheets.

Statistics show that teams were more resilient in home fixtures last season.

Nine teams supplied at least four more clean sheets at home than they managed on their travels.

When planning a squad for Gameweek 1, managers should mainly consider a short period of fixtures, perhaps 10 Gameweeks.

However, the fixture list reveals some team pairings that alternate home and away matches over the full 38 Gameweeks.

Natural club pairings
Team 1 Team 2
AFC Bournemouth Crystal Palace
Burnley Huddersfield Town
Chelsea Fulham
Everton Liverpool
Leicester City Wolverhampton Wanderers
Manchester City Manchester United
Newcastle United Brighton & Hove Albion
Southampton West Ham United
Rotation examples

Two examples from these eight pairs highlight how rotation can be effective.

Last season, Burnley and Huddersfield Town combined for 14 clean sheets at home compared with eight away.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion combined for 14 home clean sheets but returned only seven away.

As an example of a promising goalkeeping partnership for this season, Vicente Guaita (pictured top left) and Asmir Begovic (pictured right), who provide the combination for Crystal Palace's and AFC Bournemouth's fixtures, look to have great potential.

By selecting the goalkeeper with the home match in the first nine Gameweeks, this offers only one match against a side from last season's top seven.

Also in this series

Part 2: FPL planning: Pair Everton and Fulham for clean sheets
Part 3: FPL planning: Make most of home advantage
Part 4: FPL planning: Get goals from Daniels and Tomkins
Part 5: FPL planning: Morrison and Cedric can inspire fast start
Part 6: FPL planning: Home in on Pereira and Douglas

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