The Fixture Puddle

How to manage the GW28 and GW29 blank fixtures

Conclusion of the weekend’s FA Cup games plus the called midweek games at the Etihad and Goodison has left a right old mess of the fixture list. If you are a subscriber to our weekly newsletter hopefully the ‘Gameweek Calendar’ we put in the GW24 issue gave you at least a heads up.

GW27 this Saturday comes first of course and will be a normal schedule of games but after this the fun begins. For GW28 Man City and Sunderland will both be at Wembley for the Capital One Cup Final. Their respective fixtures with Man United and West Brom are thus postponed.

The following week, GW29 to you and I, sees several clubs involved in the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup. Arsenal, Man City, Everton and Sunderland will all be involved in the cup games from the Premier League and could be joined by Hull if they win their 5th round game with Brighton on Monday night. Essentially, all these clubs will miss their scheduled GW29 game, as too, of course, will their opponents that week.

GW28 Postponed Games:

  • Man United vs Man City
  • Sunderland vs West Brom

GW29 Postponed Games:

  • West Ham vs Hull (if Hull beat Brighton)
  • Arsenal vs Swansea
  • Man City vs Aston Villa
  • Newcastle vs Everton
  • Liverpool vs Sunderland

GW29 Currently Scheduled:

  • Cardiff vs Fulham
  • Chelsea vs Tottenham
  • Crystal Palace vs Southampton
  • West Brom vs Man United
  • Norwich vs. Stoke
  • West Ham vs Hull (if Hull lose to Brighton)

It’s not all set in stone yet. There may be some games moved to midweek although Champion’s League games in and around these dates will make it difficult.

It should not be all panic stations either. With potentially half the teams missing out in GW29 the majority of FPL managers are going to be in the same boat, particularly with Liverpool, Everton, Arsenal and City prevalent in people’s fantasy teams. The fixtures that have survived in GW29 are not all that attractive in themselves either. There looks to be a lot of clean sheets in the offering more than anything.

Remember too that every game that’s missed will eventually get rearranged into another gameweek resulting in some tasty double gameweeks and captain points on the horizon.

The worst hit teams have to be Man City and Sunderland. Both clubs will miss both GW28 and GW29 and City are perhaps worst affected. Many a fantasy team will have Yaya Toure ensconced in their midfields. Dzeko and Negredo were both popular transfer following Aguero’s injury a few weeks back. The prospect of three double gameweeks for City following these blanks has to be also tempered somewhat by the inevitable rotation of their best players when the fixtures pile up like this. A lot will depend on their result against Barcelona in the Champion’s League midweek.

So, how to handle this? First, remember that everyone else is in the same boat. GW29 is going to be a low scoring gameweek that’s for sure. Secondly, think about offloading Dzeko or Negredo if you own one of them. The two blanks are bad enough but it gets worse if you couple this with the rotation risk around with both Jovetic and Aguero now available (expected on the bench against Barca). Hopefully GW27’s home game with Stoke can make a nice farewell present.

Good players to bring in right now would be those in decent form and in teams who have managed to avoid too much postponement. Tottenham are one such team and managers are already bringing in Adebayor. He was already the most transferred in player this week after his 2 goals and assist in GW26. He’s a very good buy this week. Southampton’s exit in the Cup to Sunderland also keeps their already popular players like Lallana, Rodriguez and Lambert in the frame to continue their success. As already mentioned, the fixtures in GW29 don't really scream goals so drafting in a budget defender for a 5 man defence might pay off too.

With Liverpool also missing out in GW29 we’re also going to need a stand-in captain. Looking at the fixtures that are still on there’s no real obvious candidate that would be worth planning your transfers around. We’d expect Eden Hazard will get many people’s vote as Chelsea host Tottenham. If Man United can get a few decent results between now and then Robin Van Persie or Rooney might just make a play for our attentions.

All in all it’s going to be a pretty messy affair and our key takeaway is to remember everyone is in the same boat and not to do anything rash just to field a full XI for the week. On the whole, the remaining GW29 fixtures aren’t very eye-catching but the subsequent double gameweeks will be.

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