The weekend’s FA Cup ties afforded Fantasy managers a little more clarity as we look to plan ahead for the run-in. There’s still much to consider, though. The Gameweek 29 FA Cup Quarter Finals, the knock-on effect of the Capital One Cup Final the previous week and, of course, those midweek matches called off due to adverse weather conditions all need to be factored in:
With just one match left of the FA Cup Fifth Round, we reassess the lay of the Fantasy land, beginning with Gameweek 29.
Safe from Postponement
Cardiff v Fulham
Chelsea v Tottenham
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Norwich v Stoke
West Brom v Man United
Currently Postponed from Gameweek 29
Newcastle v Everton
The Toffees 3-1 win over Swansea yesterday earned them a spot in the last eight. At present, then, their trip to St James’ Park, which was initially scheduled for Sunday March 8 at 4pm, will need to be moved to a new date as they will face Arsenal in the Quarter-Finals of the FA Cup instead that weekend. With neither Newcastle or Everton facing European duties, this fixture could yet be moved to the following Tuesday or Wednesday, thus preserving it within Gameweek 29.
Liverpool v Sunderland
Liverpool may no longer be involved in the domestic cups but the Black Cats’ weekend win over Southampton means this one requires a new date. Initially set to take place on Monday March 10 at 8pm, it may be shifted to the Tuesday or Wednesday, given that neither club has European duties – if not, though, this will means Sunderland face back-to-back blanks, bearing in mind that they also had no league game the previous week due to Capital One Cup Final duties.
TV scheduling may play a significant part in deciding when these matches will take place, though. Both games were due to be broadcast live and could well be shifted to dates which still allow the cameras to capture the action – if that is the case, there’s likelihood they will be moved to another Gameweek.
Postponed from Gameweek 29
Arsenal v Swansea
The Gunners now face Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday March 8, meaning their home clash with Swansea, scheduled for the same day, needs to be moved to a new date. Considering Arsene Wenger’s side then face a Champions League trip to Bayern Munich just three days later, their game against the Swans cannot take place in Gameweek 29.
Man City v Aston Villa
In a similar situation to Arsenal, City’s home game against Villa, initially set to take place on Saturday March 8, has now been postponed due to their progress in the FA Cup. Manuel Pellegrini’s men then face a trip to the Nou Camp the following Wednesday to take on Barcelona and, as a result, their game against Paul Lambert’s side will need to be moved to an alternative Gameweek.
Still to Be Affected
West Ham v Hull
The Tigers travel to Brighton in the final match of the Fifth Round this evening. A win for Steve Bruce’s side puts their Gameweek 29 trip to Upton Park at risk, though unlike the above-mentioned Liverpool and Everton matches, this fixture was not due to take place under the TV cameras and was initially pencilled in for 3pm on Saturday March 8. Obviously, if Hull triumph tonight this match will need rescheduling but perhaps stands a better chance of remaining within Gameweek 29.
Other Matches Yet to Be Rescheduled
Man City v Sunderland
Everton v Crystal Palace
Both matches were called off last Wednesday due to the adverse weather conditions and have yet to be given a new date, though Everton revealed via twitter last week they expect to make an announcement early this week.
Sunderland v West Brom
Postponed due to the Black Cats’ Capital One Cup Final clash with City in Gameweek 28, this has yet to be given a new date.
Weekend defeats to Cardiff, Chelsea and Southampton mean we definitely have at least five fixtures set to go ahead in Gameweek 29 now.
A loss for Hull at Brighton this evening would make that six, though, as suggested, even if they win tonight, their trip to Upton Park may still be retained within the confines of the Gameweek.
TV scheduling could be the main factor in deciding new dates for Newcastle’s clash with Everton and Liverpool’s game against Sunderland.
Arsenal’s game with Swansea and City’s showdown with Villa are definitely unable to take place in Gameweek 29.
Furthermore, City are also without a Gameweek 28 fixture on their agenda due to Capital One Cup Final commitments, meaning they have back-to-back blanks. On the positive side, Manuel Pellegrini’s men are set for three double Gameweeks from Gameweek 30 onwards – currently, double Gameweek 31 (FUL, mun) is the only one definitely confirmed.
Sunderland are also without a Gameweek 28 fixture due to the Capital One Cup Final. If their trip to Anfield cannot be moved within the same Gameweek, they will also be set for back-to-back blanks and will have three double Gameweeks still to factor in – so far, none have been confirmed.
If Everton’s clash with Newcastle needs to be shifted to another Gameweek, they will have two doubles from Gameweek 30 onwards due to the postponement of their game against Palace last Wednesday.
Currently then, only eight clubs – Cardiff, Fulham, Chelsea, Tottenham, Palace, Southampton, Norwich and Stoke – definitely have matches over both Gameweek 28 and 29. For those planning out transfers, Tony Pulis’ side are the only one of those teams with a (yet to be scheduled) double Gameweek to follow.