The first Double Gameweek of the 2019/20 season was announced by the Premier League on Friday.
Liverpool’s match against West Ham United, originally scheduled for Gameweek 18 but postponed due to the Reds’ Club World Cup commitments, will now take place on Wednesday 29 January.
That means both of those clubs will now enjoy a Double Gameweek 24, with Jurgen Klopp’s troops and the Hammers enjoying the following schedule:
Wednesday 22 January
Leicester City v West Ham United
Thursday 23 January
Wolves v Liverpool
Wednesday 29 January
West Ham United v Liverpool
Rather unusually for a Double Gameweek, we’ll have a midweek Fantasy Premier League deadline.
A full week separates West Ham’s trip to the King Power Stadium and their meeting with Liverpool in east London.
The fourth round of the FA Cup also falls within this Gameweek, with ties being played on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 25/26 January.
With West Ham facing the sides currently ranked first and second in the Premier League, it’s perhaps fair to say that interest in the Hammers’ Fantasy assets will be modest.
An ‘out of position’ Michail Antonio (£6.9m) may appeal if he is still leading the line come the end of January, while Lukasz Fabianski (£4.9m) ought to be fit again well in advance of the Double Gameweek – although save points, rather than clean sheets, might be as much as he can hope for.
Liverpool players are likely to be much more in demand.
This will be Mohamed Salah‘s (£12.3m) first ever Double Gameweek as a Liverpool player, with the Reds having dodged any postponements in each of the last two seasons.
Salah and Sadio Mane (£12.2m) are the obvious targets in midfield, with Roberto Firmino (£9.2m) a differential of sorts in attack.
At the back, Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m), Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) and Virgil van Dijk (£6.4m) will compete for our investment, with Alisson (£6.0m) offering a further route into the Reds’ backline.
Those looking for a ‘triple-up’ on Klopp’s side will face the usual dilemma of which three players to perm from that group, although of course any injuries or suspensions in the intervening period may make our lives easier.
The good news is that stockpiling Liverpool assets also comes with the added benefit of a favourable fixture run after the Double Gameweek.
The Reds’ match schedule from Gameweek 25 onwards is:
We will also, barring the need for a replay, know by Gameweek 22 whether Liverpool and West Ham have made it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup (the two sides face Everton and Gillingham respectively in the third round) and who their potential opponents will be.
An early exit from the FA Cup or a favourable fourth round draw, which allows for mass-rotation in between the Double Gameweek fixtures, would help our cause no end.
Urge to use the Triple Captain chip: rising.
Whenever there is a Double Gameweek, our fingers get itchy.
We’re in unchartered territory with Salah in that Fantasy managers have never had the chance to use their Triple Captain chip on the Egyptian when has had a Double Gameweek, and there’ll be plenty of us who are considering it after today’s announcement.
Mane will also have his suitors, of course, while the more maverick amongst us may consider handing the armband to the likes of Alexander-Arnold or Robertson.
With Spurs at home to Norwich, Manchester United entertaining Burnley and Leicester hosting West Ham in Gameweek 24, there may be some of us contemplating a Bench Boost, too – although the prospect of a bigger Double Gameweek later in the campaign will be enough for many of us to hold fire on that chip.
Similarly, the generous notice period gives us plenty of time to build towards Double Gameweek 24 without having to use the prized Free Hit chip, which again may prove useful later in the campaign.
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