From a Fantasy perspective, there’s been plenty of news to consider from Old Trafford over the last couple of days. First there was the club record signing of Juan Mata on Saturday evening, whilst earlier on today David Moyes revealed both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are back in full training ahead of tomorrow’s home game with Cardiff.
In the past hour, though, United’s confirmation of a Manchester derby with neighbours City on Tuesday March 25 is perhaps the most significant of all.
With both clubs facing a blank Gameweek 28 due to City’s participation in the Capital One Cup final, the Premier League have moved quickly to reschedule their Old Trafford encounter.
Essentially, this means both clubs now have a double Gameweek 31 on their respective agendas. United will travel to West Ham on the Saturday evening beforehand, whilst City entertain Fulham at the Etihad on the same day, giving the duo three days’ rest before they go head-to-head at Old Trafford.
As winter wildcard plans are finalised, today’s news is bound to play a significant part in our thinking.
Looking at the fixtures directly after the double, United are clearly at an advantage. David Moyes’ side have home games with Villa and Hull in two of the subsequent three, while City have trips to Arsenal and Liverpool over the same period. Mata, Rooney and van Persie look set to be earmarked by many, though the tactic of stocking up on City may be a little less enticing.
With Liverpool travelling to Cardiff the same weekend, Luis Suarez owners will be keen to hold – many will be looking to free up budget in midfield, then, in order to afford a United forward along with Suarez and Sergio Aguero up top.
Significantly, this comes in the same Gameweek where Chelsea and Arsenal go head-to-head at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, with the Gunners’ fixtures reading (tot, che, MCY, eve) from Gameweek 30-33, offloading their assets may be a popular tactic.
We’ll bring you the usual Scouting the Doubles articles nearer the time but, for now, this is a heads-up.