All the original games from the fourth round of the FA Cup have been played and the draw has been made for the fifth round. This week’s event have helped to clear up the picture surrounding the double gameweeks (DGW) arising from the Capital One Cup final, but the scale of the potential disruption the FA Cup could cause to Gameweek 30 and beyond is just beginning to emerge.
Since part four of this series was published, a few more details have emerged. Everton’s win over Carlisle United removed the last remaining opportunity for the Toffees’ clash with Liverpool to be rearranged before the blank Premier League gameweek 27 caused by the Reds reaching the Capital One Cup final. That Merseyside derby will now likely create a DGW in Gameweek 34 or Gameweek 37.
We also know now that there will be at least three Premier League games played in Gameweek 30. Everton being drawn against Bournemouth in the fifth round of the FA Cup means one of them will be knocked out before the quarter-finals and both sides have opposition already out of the cup waiting for them in Gameweek 30. Therefore either Everton and Sunderland or Bournemouth and Swansea will play a Premier League fixture in Gameweek 30.
The fifth round draw also ensured that at least three Premier League games will be postponed in Gameweek 30 and that six teams will have a DGW later. As a result:
- Chelsea and Liverpool or Manchester City and Norwich City
- Bournemouth and Swansea City or Everton and Sunderland
- Tottenham and Aston Villa or Crystal Palace and Manchester United
will have a blank in Gameweek 30 and a DGW in Gameweek 34 or Gameweek 37.
If Manchester United, Arsenal and Watford win their FA Cup fifth round games against lower league opposition they will have a blank in Gameweek 30 and subsequent DGW, as will West Bromwich Albion if they make it through their fourth round replay against Peterborough and fifth round tie against Reading. The winner of the fourth round replay between West Ham United and Liverpool will land a blank Gameweek 30 and later DGW if they can also get past Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round.
Here is the latest version of my planning chart to help visualize the possibilities.
The chart shows the Capital One Cup final match up (lilac), the blank Gameweek 27 fixtures (purple), 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 and Gameweek 35 fixtures so far (light green) and the Gameweek 30 fixtures that hinge on the outcome of Everton’s fifth round FA Cup match with Bournemouth (dark green) – the winner of that tie will have a blank and the loser a Premier League fixture in Gameweek 30.
There are two Premier League fixtures in Gameweek 30 and four in Gameweek 35 (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.
The teams that could have a DGW in Gameweek 34 or Gameweek 37 as a result of the Premier League teams facing each other in the fifth round of the FA Cup are show in the orange boxes. The other Premier League teams that could have a DGW if they reach the FA Cup quarter-finals are shown in the light blue boxes.