Fantasy managers were given a heads-up over potential changes to the Gameweek 19 fixture list after a proposed London Underground strike was today confirmed by the Aslef union. The industrial action by tube station workers has yet to be ratified by the authorities but with three games scheduled to take place in London on Boxing Day, this has major repercussions if given the go-ahead:
While QPR have this afternoon confirmed their home clash with West Brom will take place as planned, Arsenal’s Emirates encounter with West Ham and Fulham’s encounter with Southampton at the Cottage could face disruption – a scenario which will leave Fantasy managers struggling to cope and perhaps staring points hits in the face.
At the same point last season, Arsenal called off their match with Wolves but due to the fact that their next game was not until December 31, they simply put the game back 24-hours – this time round, they don’t have that option. With their Gameweek 20 fixture at home to Newcastle scheduled for December 29, it seems that Arsene Wenger’s side will be left with no option but to postpone the Hammers clash for a later date in 2013, should the strike go ahead. Martin Jol’s men could be in the same situation. Fulham’s following fixture at home to Swansea also takes place on December 29 so they, too, could be left without a fixture. However, a report in the Daily Mail today suggested that, at this moment in time, Fulham’s Boxing Day fixture is to go ahead.
We’ve spoken to Arsenal earlier and they have confirmed they are currently in meetings with police to assess the situation – an announcement from the club is expected within the next 24-hours.
As we await news as to whether the FA will charge Marouane Fellaini following his headbutt on Ryan Shawcross, it seems there could be plenty of transfer activity just around the corner as 15-man squads are restructured to cope with the upcoming ramifications. While the possible postponements could potentially lead to the rescheduling of fixtures in January and hand us a chance to utilise our winter wildcards more efficiently, the knock-on effect on the short-term makes the strength of our benches more essential than ever, with many teams struggling to field a starting XI if the rail strike comes to fruition.