Arsenal’s thumping of Hull City in their FA Cup fifth round replay has completed the blank picture for Gameweek 30. We now know that half the Premier League fixtures will be off and half the fixtures will be played this weekend.
Watford face the Gunners in the FA Cup quarter final this weekend. The winner of that tie will give have a blank Premier League fixture in Gameweek 35, while the loser will have a game because both sides have opponents waiting for them that are no longer in the cup.
I’ve updated my Double Gameweek (DGW) planning chart from earlier in this series to add the new confirmed blank to the other known blanks (dark purple). The Premier League games we know are going ahead in Gameweeks 30 and 35 are also shown (light green).
Three games could potentially join the existing Gameweek 35 blank. Chelsea’s game against Bournemouth in Gameweek 35 will be off if the Blues beat Everton in the FA Cup quarter final, but it will stay on the calendar if they lose. Everton and Crystal Palace would both have to lose their respective FA Cup quarter-final matches for that Premier League fixture to survive. And, as mentioned, either the Sunderland v Arsenal or the Norwich City v Watford match in Gameweek 35 will be postponed (dark green), depending on who wins the cup tie between the Gunners and the Hornets.
In the DGW option 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). The C1C final has created DGWs (lilac) that could be held in Gameweeks 34 or 37.
West Ham United’s Gameweek 35 league game against Manchester United has been postponed because, as well as originally being scheduled to face each other that week, they now meet in the FA Cup quarter-finals. So no matter who wins the cup tie, the league game can’t go ahead as planned because one side will be playing in the FA Cup semi-finals. The Red Devils and the Hammers both have two fixtures to rearrange and there are there are two slots available so I have coloured those options differently (light blue). There is a potential wrinkle with this scenario, which I discussed in Part 8 of this series.
The Premier League has stated it expects to announce “on or around” March 10 more details about when the fixtures postponed by cup games will be rearranged. But, 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. We will only start finding out from March 11 which sides will be in the FA Cup semi-finals.
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 yet which postponed fixture will grab the first available slot.