Fantasy Premier League managers are just a few hours away from finding out the complete line-up of fixtures in Blank Gameweek 31.
That round of matches takes place on the same weekend as the FA Cup quarter-finals, which will be drawn this evening.
Just one Blank Gameweek 31 match is yet to learn its fate, hinging on the result of tonight’s FA Cup meeting between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are currently scheduled to travel to Everton then, but if they win tonight that match will be postponed and rearranged.
Those hoping for more Blanks, and therefore more fixtures in upcoming Double Gameweeks, should be backing Maurizio Sarri’s men in the cup.
That’s because opponents Manchester United have already had their Gameweek 31 fixture postponed by Manchester City winning their fifth-round tie at Newport County.
The two city rivals were due to meet at Old Trafford on the weekend of March 16, but will now face each other on a rearranged date, most likely in Gameweek 32.
A win for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side would mean that the number of Gameweek 31 Blanks, currently at five, and resulting Doubles, would remain the same.
The matches already postponed from Blank Gameweek 31 are:
Watford v Southampton
Brighton v Cardiff
Man United v Man City
Wolves v Arsenal
Tottenham v Crystal Palace
Furthermore, if both Wolves and Manchester United were to make it to the FA Cup semi-finals then the two of them would only cause one Gameweek 33 fixture to become a Blank.
The two sides are currently set to meet each other at Molineux on the weekend of April 6.
However, if Chelsea were to win tonight, and then progress from their quarter-final too, Wolves making it to the last four as well as them would postpone two matches.
That’s because Sarri’s men are set to host West Ham in Blank Gameweek 33, who have already been eliminated from the FA Cup.
A Chelsea FA Cup exit, and a presence in both Blank Gameweeks, would drastically change the landscape for the FPL ‘chip season’.
Having options such as Eden Hazard (£10.9m), Gonzalo Higuain (£9.5m), Marcos Alonso (£6.5m) or David Luiz (£5.9m) available for matches against Everton and West Ham would be a great help to Fantasy managers.
After all, there are very few widely-owned Fantasy options set to play in Gameweek 31 with 10 teams already absent from that weekend of action.
Confirmed Blank Gameweek 31:
West Ham v Huddersfield
Bournemouth v Newcastle
Burnley v Leicester
Fulham v Liverpool
However, Chelsea ending up involved in Blank Gameweek 31 would mean a missed opportunity for more Doubles, and that they would not have more than one Double Gameweek match this season.
The Blues currently have an outstanding game waiting to be rearranged, their Gameweek 27 hosting of Brighton, but need to beat Manchester United to add more to that list.
Hazard or Higuain could make potential Triple Captain options if Chelsea are able to make it through to subsequent rounds of the FA Cup.
For example, if Chelsea were to have their rearranged Gameweek 31 fixture in Gameweek 32, the would have a Double of Cardiff (away) and Everton (away) – appealing stuff.
Likewise, if Chelsea were to make it to the FA Cup semi-finals they could face Burnley (home) and West Ham (home) in a Double Gameweek 35.
The Blues may still have a Double in Gameweek 32 though even if they get eliminated, as their outstanding meeting with Brighton could be moved there if the Seagulls don’t already have a fixture rearranged there.