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EPL: The Fixtures Are Out - Rate My Team

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Start planning fantasy fans and think ahead to your week 1 options.

The player of the 2014/15 season has a decent opening fixture.
The player of the 2014/15 season has a decent opening fixture.
Matt King/Getty Images

The countdown can start to the new season as the 2015/16 fixtures have been announced.

Lets take an early look at the opening weekends match ups and start the fantasy team selection considerations.

Arsenal v West Ham United

They say the worst time to face a side is when they have a new manager.  The Hammers with the fresh appointment of Slaven Bilic head to Arsenal.  On paper the Gunners will be very big favourites and we will want an attacking option from them.

With Alexis Sanchez playing in the Copa America and the earlier than normal start to the season, manager Arsene Wenger may opt to follow his post World Cup tactic and rest anybody who played summer football for the opening games.  That puts Sanchez under a risk category.  Lets hope Wenger clears that up for us.

Bournemouth v Aston Villa

All the Cherries would have wished for was an opening game at home and they have just that.

They could be facing poor travelers Villa minus their star weapon Christian Benteke as well.  This has banana skin written all over it for Villa.  Not wanting to offend any Villa fans reading (do we have any) I hope the league's biggest underdogs get off to a winning start.

Chelsea v Swansea City

The Swans are progressing but they picked out the one fixture they didn't want.  Champs Chelsea are not a side who give anything away.  Unbeaten at home once again in 2014/15 an away win would be a much bigger shock than the surprise win at Old Trafford on the opening day last year.

Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and whoever they buy in the summer will be tempting.

Everton v Watford

You would expect the Toffees to show the Hornets the gap between EPL and the Championship.  The Everton side of 13/14 would have but the 14/15 side would make hard work of this one.

Troll King Romelu Lukaku will again be in our thoughts.

Leicester City v Sunderland

Based on any point of last season this is a home win/draw.  Based on the second half it's a home win and by a couple of goals.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez will have their fans.

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

The match of the weekend.  Last seasons 4th v 5th.

Lots of maybes here.  Perhaps either Hugo Lloris or Harry Kane will face their old club (although I'd say the chances of the transfers before the weekend is much smaller now knowing Levy).  Surely it won't be as one sided as last season.  Maybe the volume of new signings will make it a great watch while teammates get to know each other.  Finally maybe just MAYBE, even though it's a slim chance, Gareth Bale could be back.

Its certain to be a live game in the UK and when will depend on when the Champions League qualifiers are.  Hopefully it won't be the Saturday lunchtime game as I dont have the channel it would be on.

Newcastle v Southampton

This could be anything.  The Magpies are certain to have a bunch of new players and they now have an attack minded manager.  The Saints though are stubborn opponents.

Fantasy wise its an impossible thought on Newcastle but from the Saints you have to like their attacking midfield options in this one.

Norwich City v Crystal Palace.

One more hard to call.  Norwich were strong in attack late in their playoff run.  Palace though are equally attacking and may have one or two players linking their chances.

With the Carnies being so positive you can surely see fantasy favourite Jedi master Miles Jedinak being an option.

Stoke City v Liverpool

Poor Brendan Rodgers may have choked on his cornflakes this morning.  Scene of the final day 6-1 mauling this wasn't what was on his wishlist.

In life I'm one of those people who after defeat wants to go straight into a rematch and prove a point.  Sometimes its better though to come back later at a better frame of mind.  Which applies to Liverpool?

West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City

City wont love or hate this matchup.  You get the idea Tony Pulis will be licking his lips.

Like the Gunners with Sanchez, City may be without star man Kun Aguero for this one.  But this may all depend on how Citys summer signings go.  I have a theory that as Kun is injured each and every season, when fit you just have to play him as you never know how long until he's back in the treatment room.  With the Manager under win the league/Champions League or out can he risk ever not starting him?

So there you go.  Below we have a poll asking what is the match of the weekend.

Second a challenge.  Lets do a rate my team for fun.  So name me a fantasy starting 11 for week 1 based on the where players currently play.

Key rule as we have no idea on player prices.  You may only pick 1 player each from Chelsea, Arsenal and City.  Who you going with????????

I will post my side in the comments section.

Stall