Liverpool and Manchester City have reached the final of the Capital One Cup and presented us with the first blank gameweek of the season for four Premier League teams. Manchester City’s trip to Newcastle United and Liverpool’s game against Everton will be removed from the Gameweek 27 schedule because they clash with the final.
For Fantasy Premier League managers this means their Liverpool, Everton, Newcastle and Manchester City will not play a game in Gameweek 27. Managers with more than three outfield players and one goalkeeper from those teams will need to reduce their exposure to those assets by Gameweek 27 if they want to field 11 men that week.
However, the postponement of those fixtures means they will have to be rearranged to another Premier League gameweek, creating a Double Gameweek (DGW). This is a great time to field players from those four teams as they will have two opportunities to score FPL points for their managers. At the time of writing, we don’t know when the DGWs will be scheduled.
The chart shows the Capital One Cup semi-finals and final match ups (purple), the blank Gameweek 27 fixtures (black), potential DGW options for the teams affected by the Capital One Cup final (yellow), potential blank Premier League gameweeks for teams because of the FA Cup (dark grey), the only guaranteed Gameweek 30 fixture so far (green) and four Gameweek 30 Premier League fixtures (light grey) where the team in the larger tile is waiting to discover if the team beneath them in the smaller tile progresses in the FA Cup.
As you can see, there are four potential options for the DGW created by the Capital One Cup final.
We won’t know until the weekend whether the Gameweek 25 option is needed for an FA Cup fourth round replay for the two Merseyside teams and the Citizens (Newcastle are already out of the FA Cup). For Gameweek 26 to be an option, the teams involved would need to exit the FA Cup before the fifth round.
One of the DGW scenarios after the Gameweek 27 blank could be a strong possibility, but those dates could be needed for league matches postponed by FA Cup games if Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool progress to the quarter-finals or beyond.
I suggest FPL managers hold off making any transfers this week until the FA Cup games have been played this weekend. As well as potentially bringing greater clarity about the DGW caused by the Capital One Cup, we may learn more about which teams might have fixtures in Gameweek 30. Furthermore, as we saw with the unfortunate Kevin De Bruyne in today’s semi-final, injuries can strike key players in cup games.