The dust is still settling on 2018/19 but we’re already looking ahead to next season.
There is plenty of football to be watching over the summer for those looking to get their fix and some of it may well have a significant impact on Fantasy managers in 2019/20 – particularly the Africa Cup of Nations and Copa America.
We’ve outlined some of the key dates in the article below.
Reopening of the transfer window
Thursday 16 May
The Premier League transfer window reopens for business at midnight on Thursday.
The transfer of players from another national association may only take place once the FIFA Transfer Matching System opens on Tuesday 11 June, however.
Deals can be made by top-flight English clubs until Thursday 8 August, which will likely be a day before the start of the 2019/20 campaign given that a Friday night fixture has been the curtain-raiser in each of the last two seasons.
Some deals have already been arranged, of course, with Aaron Ramsey set to join Juventus on Monday 1 July after having signed a pre-contractual agreement.
The Serie A, La Liga and Bundesliga windows all open at the start of July, so that may well be the departure date for Eden Hazard should the ever-strengthening rumours about a move to Real Madrid materialise.
Chelsea, of course, are taking their appeal against Fifa’s two-window transfer ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but will at least have Christian Pulisic to call upon in 2019/20.
Championship play-off final
Monday 27 May
We know already that Norwich City and Sheffield United will be in the Premier League next season and those two clubs will be joined by one of Aston Villa, Leeds United or Derby County in the top flight.
Villa progressed to the final on Tuesday evening and Leeds have a 1-0 advantage going into the second leg of their semi-final against Derby on Wednesday, with the “richest game in football” to be held at Wembley on Monday 27 May.
We’ll soon be bringing you our usual ‘Promoted’ pieces on the Canaries and the Blades, with further Fantasy articles to follow on the play-off winner.
Europa League and Champions League finals
Wednesday 29 May + Saturday 1 June
The Europa League and Champions League finals are all-English affairs, with Chelsea facing Arsenal in the former and Liverpool taking on Spurs three days later.
The result of the Europa League could be particularly significant next season, especially if Arsenal triumph – a victory over the Blues means that they would join Chelsea, Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester City in the group stages of next season’s Champions League.
That would mean that the Gunners wouldn’t have to endure the dreaded Thursday/Sunday fixture turnaround for the first half of the season, at least.
It could also lead to further rotation from Unai Emery in 2019/20, of course – the Arsenal boss having largely fielded second-string starting XIs in the group stages of the Europa League this season but having named increasingly stronger teams towards the back-end of the competition, with plenty of changes made on the domestic front in April and May.
UEFA Nations League Finals, European Championship Qualifiers and International Friendlies
Wednesday 5 June – Tuesday 11 June
There will be plenty of Premier League interest in the last four of the UEFA Nations League, with England, the Netherlands, Portugal and Switzerland battling to win the inaugural edition of this competition.
Portugal take on Switzerland on Wednesday 5 June before England and the Netherlands clash a day later, with the final and third-place play-off both taking place on Sunday 9 June.
Qualification for the 2020 European Championship also continues in this week, while there are a number of international friendlies involving South American nations taking place around this time as those countries involved in the 2019 Copa America (see below) ramp up their preparations.
These games take place two months before the start of the new Premier League season so any impact on Gameweek 1 of 2019/20 will likely be minimal but we will keep an eye on any injuries that are picked up by top-flight players over this international week.
2019/20 Fixture Release Date
Thursday 13 June
What it says on the tin: the Premier League will release the fixtures for the 2019/20 season on Thursday 13 June, with the television companies likely to announce which matches will be broadcast live a couple of weeks after that date.
We’ll have reaction on that day and take a look at which sides have the most – and least – favourable runs in the first weeks and months of 2019/20.
2019 Copa America
Friday 14 June – Sunday 7 July
While there is no World Cup or European Championship this summer, there are major international football tournaments taking place in South America and in Africa.
The Copa America kicks off first and ends less than five weeks before the start of the 2019/20 season.
Ten CONMEBOL nations plus Japan and Qatar will take part in the three-week-long tournament in Brazil, with the four teams making the furthest progress having to contest six matches (there is a third-place play-off, as well as a final).
Premier League players taking part will obviously have their domestic pre-season disrupted, which could affect some line-ups in Gameweek 1 – although the Fantasy assets involved in the Copa America last four will have an extra week to recover for the forthcoming season than those who were involved in the 2018 World Cup final/third-place play-off.
The likes of Roberto Firmino, Richarlison, Gabriel Jesus, Ederson, Allison and Felipe Anderson could be competing for the host nation, while there are reports suggesting that Sergio Aguero could be back involved for Argentina after a year-long absence.
Manuel Lanzini, Roberto Pereyra, Salomon Rondon, Fabian Balbuena, Miguel Almiron, Maya Yoshida, Alexis Sanchez, Lucas Torreira, Davinson Sanchez and Yerry Mina are among the other players who could be representing their respective countries and we’ll keep you posted on the squad announcements and these Fantasy assets’ subsequent involvement over the next two months.
2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship
Sunday 16 June – Sunday 30 June
England are one of 12 nations represented at this summer’s UEFA European Under-21 Championship and will need to negotiate five fixtures in less than a fortnight in order to win the tournament.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the Premier League players involved, with the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Phil Foden among those who could be on show in Italy and San Marino.
The competition finishes around six weeks before the start of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, so may not have the same impact on Fantasy assets in Gameweek 1 as, say, the Africa Cup of Nations might – although pre-season preparations will still be affected.
2019 Africa Cup of Nations
Friday 21 June – Friday 19 July
Possibly of more concern to Fantasy managers than the Copa America will be the Africa Cup of Nations, which culminates only three weeks before the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season.
This is the first time that the Africa Cup of Nations will feature 24 teams (previously only 16 countries took part) and the final four nations involved in the competition will have to play seven matches this summer, with there being a third-place play-off as well as a final.
Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are the obvious worries for the first couple of Gameweeks of the Premier League season, with Senegal and host nation Egypt the favourites for the trophy among many bookmakers.
The likes of Yan Valery, Romain Saiss, Riyad Mahrez, Wilfried Zaha and Serge Aurier – among others – could be involved for their respective countries although Naby Keita will miss out and Jeffrey Schlupp is a major doubt.
As with the Copa America, we’ll keep you posted on the squad announcements and the tournament itself as we monitor the Fantasy assets involved.
2019/20 Fantasy Premier League Launch Day
Probably not even FPL Towers know when this will take place just yet but we can expect the 2019/20 game to be released in early-July – or maybe even late-June given the pattern of earlier releases that has formed in recent years.
FPL has been launched on the following dates in previous seasons:
|Season||FPL launch date|
Our content will be ramping up around that time regardless, with pre-season friendlies – including the 2019 International Champions Cup – commencing in early-to-mid July.
The season itself will commence on the second weekend in August.