Angelo Ogbonna’s last-gasp winner for West Ham United in their FA Cup fourth round replay triumph over Liverpool was an important result for Fantasy Premier League managers. Liverpool’s failure to progress to the fifth round of the cup sets up the prospect of a fourth Premier League fixture being played in Gameweek 30, thereby increasing the likelihood that more FPL managers will be able to field 11 players that week without taking a points hit or using their wildcard.
Liverpool’s cup exit means there is a league opponent waiting in Gameweek 30 for whichever side loses the FA Cup fifth round match between Chelsea and Manchester City. If Chelsea lose they will face Liverpool in Gameweek 30, while a loss for Manchester City will give them a league game against Norwich City.
One potential wrinkle for this scenario is if that FA Cup match goes to a replay. The Champions League commitments of Chelsea and Manchester City limit the scope for them to replay the fixture before the quarter-finals. Therefore, they might have to take Gameweek 30 (the date of the FA Cup quarter-finals) for a fifth round replay.
Another result of West Ham’s win is that Liverpool are now guaranteed a Gameweek 35 fixture against Newcastle United because both sides are out of the FA Cup. That brings to three the number of league fixtures scheduled to go ahead in Gameweek 35, which is FA Cup semi-final weekend. It also means Newcastle United join Leicester City and Southampton in being the only sides currently set to have games in both Gameweek 30 and Gameweek 35. However, the Magpies, unlike the Foxes and the Saints, do not have a Gameweek 27 fixture.
I have updated the Double Gameweek (DGW) and blank fixture chart I shared in earlier posts in this series.
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 the FA Cup fifth round matches between Bournemouth and Everton, and Chelsea and Manchester City (dark green) – the winners of those ties should have a blank and the losers a Premier League fixture in Gameweek 30 (assuming no replay is required).
The light grey boxes show where Aston Villa (Gameweek 30), Stoke City, Norwich City and Sunderland (all Gameweek 35) are waiting to discover if their Premier League opponents (Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Watford and Arsenal respectively) progress in the FA Cup.
The teams that could have a DGW in Gameweek 34 or Gameweek 37 as a result of Premier League teams facing each other in the FA Cup fifth round are shown in the orange boxes. The other Premier League teams that could have a DGW if they reach the FA Cup quarter-finals are highlighted in the light blue boxes.