The FA Cup fifth round matches have helped clear up a lot of uncertainty around potential fixture rearrangements later this season – and all but killed Gameweek 30 as an opportunity for the well prepared.
FA Cup defeat for Bournemouth, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur means fielding 11 players in Gameweek 30 is unlikely to pose a significant challenge to most Fantasy Premier League managers. Spurs, in particular, are rich in popular FPL players and their Premier League match against Aston Villa will proceed as planned. In total, five Premier League fixtures will go ahead in Gameweek 30, four have been postponed and one more will be off if Arsenal beat Hull City in the cup replay.
Furthermore, the draw for the quarter-finals has thrown up the first postponement in Gameweek 35. West Ham United’s league game against Manchester United will be rearranged because they face each other in the cup quarter-finals and were scheduled to face each other in Gameweek 35. Whichever one of the two teams wins the cup game will have to play in the semi-final while the other side will miss out as a result of their opponent being unavailable.
One interesting wrinkle, however, could turn up if Manchester United lose to West Ham, Crystal Palace lose to Reading and Everton beat Chelsea in the quarter-finals. If that happens, Manchester United and Crystal Palace would both have a space for a match in Gameweek 35 and a mutual fixture from Gameweek 30 to rearrange.
As that would require quite a specialised set of results and a later declaration of the new date, I’ve updated my Double Gameweek (DGW) planning chart from earlier in this series without including that possibility for now.
The chart shows the known blanks (dark purple) and possible slots for DGWs created by the Capital One Cup final (lilac). In the DGW boxes the large tile shows a team who could have a DGW and the smaller tiles show their likely opposition (opponents the DGW team will have to travel to are indicated by lower case letters). Four games (dark grey) could potentially join the existing Gameweek 35 blank, but three of the four home teams are already out of the FA Cup and their league matches will go ahead if their opponents exit in the quarter-finals (GW35, light grey, wait to see). Arsenal’s home match against West Bromwich Albion in Gameweek 30 (light grey, wait to see) will be off if the Gunners beat Hull City in the fifth round replay – and that would create a DGW for Arsenal and West Brom (orange).
For now, the chart shows DGW options created by the FA Cup quarter-finals (yellow) in Gameweek 34 because that is the week intended to pick up those games. They could potentially be rearranged for Gameweek 37, but that is intended to provide a slot for league matches rearranged by the FA Cup semi-finals in Gameweek 35. One of the only exceptions I have made for charting FA Cup-inspired DGW options in Gameweek 37 is for teams whose the rearranged Gameweek 30 tie involves Liverpool or Everton. The Merseyside teams have a Gameweek 27 match to rearrange too and we don’t know for sure which postponed fixture will grab the first available slot. Given West Ham and Manchester United will likely need both available DGW slots, I have also charted both of their likely DGWs and made them a different colour (light blue). The Premier League games we know are going ahead in Gameweeks 30 and 35 are also shown (light green).