The Premier League have announced there will be two Manchester City and Everton fixtures in a Double Gameweek 25.
The two clubs’ postponed fixture from Gameweek 27, caused by City’s commitment to the League Cup final, has been brought forward to sit in the round of matches after the next one.
Everton will host Pep Guardiola’s men on Wednesday 6 February.
Manchester City’s combination of Arsenal (home) and Everton (away) is perhaps not quite as exciting as if Chelsea had been handed a Double Gameweek 25, but still offers them a chance for plenty of attacking returns.
However, it will be hard to pick out the key players who will start both of them given Pep Guardiola’s selection policy during his time at the Etihad Stadium.
Not only will the turnaround time between the Arsenal and Everton matches be short, just four days after the trip to Goodison Park comes an important Sunday afternoon meeting with Chelsea in Gameweek 26.
Perhaps the only players likely to play both matches in Double Gameweek 25 for Manchester City are Ederson (£5.6m) and Aymeric Laporte (£5.9m), with plenty of options to rotate others around them.
Everton’s doubles don’t offer the same level of potential with Wolves their opponents already scheduled for that Gameweek.
Crucially, with Double Gameweek clubs then having a Blank in Gameweek 27, there will have to be careful management from Fantasy managers. They may want to stock up on Double Gameweek players for Gameweek 25, but they will be effectively useless in Blank Gameweek 27.
Some of the cheaper options such as Laporte or Lucas Digne (£5.3m) would be easier to bench, but the likes of Raheem Sterling (£11.3m), Leroy Sané (£9.7m) and Sergio Aguero (£11.2m) being inactive could make fielding a strong XI without taking hits a difficult task.
That particular dilemma could see some managers opt to use the Free Hit chip either in Double Gameweek 25 or Blank Gameweek 27, although it could have a bigger impact when the bigger Blank Gameweeks occur later in the campaign.
Also, Gameweek 25 could be the first time this season that a real opportunity for the deployment of the Triple Captain has presented itself.
Later opportunities to use the chip would include Gameweeks 32 or 35, which are currently expected to be Doubles, although the Bench Boost and Free Hit chips, as well as the second Wildcard, also need to be considered.
With the Bench Boost and Free Hit offering better potential in the bigger Double Gameweeks, and the Triple Captain only capable of affecting one match, the make-up of Double Gameweek 25 would present an appealing case for the chip.
Triple Captain aside, Fantasy managers will have to choose whether they want to use the Doubles to influence their armband decision at all. There will, of course, be the option to stick with the tried and tested, and captain a more reliable player even if they only have one fixture.
Recent standout candidate Mohamed Salah (£13.6m) will be away at West Ham in Gameweek 25, where he scored on his most recent league visit in August 2017. Furthermore, he has six double-figure hauls in his last eight Premier League matches.
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