Fixtures

Which Gameweeks could be affected by the Champions League and Europa League

The UEFA Champions League and Europa League recommence this week following a two-month break.

As we have learned the hard way in the past, that could have a knock-on effect for Fantasy managers regarding squad rotation in the top flight.

Seven Premier League sides are still involved in European competition, with Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, in particular, facing a busy time of it.

While Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur only face a two-legged, last-16 Champions League tie between now and the international break, the trio of clubs still involved in the Europa League will face four Thursday night games over the same period.

Six of these seven teams (Wolves being the exception) are still involved in the FA Cup, too, while City have a League Cup final to come in less than a fortnight’s time.

Should United progress to the semi-finals of both the FA Cup and Europa League, for instance, they will likely be in action twice a week, every week, from now until the end of 2019/20 (barring the international break).

With that in mind, we thought it was worth a look at the fixture schedule for Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Manchester United and Wolves over the next month.

The picture obviously gets more clouded from Gameweek 31 onwards, with blanks and doubles still to be determined, so we’ll stop in earnest at that point and revisit the article during the international break when we’ll hopefully know a little bit more about postponements and rearranged matches.

MANCHESTER CITY

Wednesday 19 February: Gameweek 26 – West Ham United (h)
Saturday 22 February: Gameweek 27 – Leicester City (a)
Wednesday 26 February: Champions League last 16 – Real Madrid (a)
Sunday 1 March: EFL Cup finalAston Villa (n)
Wednesday 4 March: FA Cup fifth round – Sheffield Wednesday (a)
Sunday 8 March: Gameweek 29 – Manchester United (a)
Saturday 14 March: Gameweek 30 – Burnley (h)
Tuesday 17 March: Champions League last 16 – Real Madrid (h)
Saturday 21 March: Gameweek 31 – Chelsea (a)*

*possible blank due to clash with FA Cup quarter-finals


City could well be in action twice a week until the international break if the Premier League opts to crowbar in an extra fixture for Pep Guardiola’s side in Gameweek 29. That is still a hypothetical scenario at this stage, however, and would depend on results in Europe and in the FA Cup.

With the league title gone and a place in the top four (which, of course, may not necessarily translate into Champions League qualification for next season) looking fairly assured, the Gameweek 30 clash with Burnley could see some key players rested, as the second leg of City’s tie against Real Madrid follows just 75 hours after that game.

This week’s league matches against West Ham and Leicester may also see a degree of rotation (what’s new there, many of you will ask) but Guardiola’s previous comments about City’s players needing “rhythm” before next Wednesday’s trip to the Bernabeu are at least heartening.

LIVERPOOL

Tuesday 18 February: Champions League last 16 – Atletico Madrid (a)
Monday 24 February: Gameweek 27 – West Ham United (h)
Saturday 29 February: Gameweek 28 – Watford (a)
Tuesday 3 March: FA Cup fifth round – Chelsea (a)
Saturday 7 March: Gameweek 29 – Bournemouth (h)
Wednesday 11 March: Champions League last 16 – Atletico Madrid (h)
Monday 16 March: Gameweek 30 – Everton (a)
Saturday 21 March: Gameweek 31 – Crystal Palace (h)*

*possible blank due to clash with FA Cup quarter-finals


As if they need any assistance on their procession to the Premier League title, Liverpool’s schedule is arguably the most favourable out of the seven clubs in European action.

The Reds have six days to recover from their exertions in Madrid before they take on West Ham in the top flight in Gameweek 27, which ought to diminish any risk of fatigue-led rotation.

Similarly, the second leg of their Champions League tie with Atletico falls four days after the visit of Bournemouth and a generous five days before they take on Everton in the Merseyside derby.

Klopp kept rotation in the league to an absolute minimum around the Champions League group stage and, although his side has since built up a huge lead domestically, the carrots of an unbeaten 2019/20 and a triple-figure points tally will hopefully see our key Liverpool assets avoid more than the odd breather between now and May.

Given his previous for naming youthful sides in the third and fourth round of the FA Cup, it’ll be interesting to see how Klopp approaches the fifth round tie against Chelsea in terms of team selection, with that game falling in between Gameweeks 28 and 29.

CHELSEA

Monday 17 February: Gameweek 26 – Manchester United (h)
Saturday 22 February: Gameweek 27 – Tottenham Hotspur (h)
Tuesday 25 February: Champions League last 16 – Bayern Munich (h)
Saturday 29 February: Gameweek 28 – Bournemouth (a)
Tuesday 3 March: FA Cup fifth round – Liverpool (h)
Sunday 8 March: Gameweek 29 – Everton (h)
Saturday 14 March: Gameweek 30 – Aston Villa (a)
Wednesday 18 March: Champions League last 16 – Bayern Munich (a)
Saturday 21 March: Gameweek 31 – Manchester City (h)*

*possible blank due to clash with FA Cup quarter-finals


Given the importance of the Gameweek 27 clash with Spurs to the race for a top four place, it’s difficult to see Frank Lampard approaching that match with minute management in mind even though a Champions League last-16 tie against Bayern follows just three days later.

Lampard’s “favourites” – Cesar Azpilicueta (£5.8m), Willian (£7.1m) and Tammy Abraham (£7.7m), for example – generally started every league and Champions League game when the group stages were on anyway, so the Chelsea boss doesn’t seem to have any qualms about his first-team regulars racking up game-time in busy periods.

A Double Gameweek 29 has been mooted in some quarters but that would hinge on both Chelsea and Manchester City’s progression to the FA Cup quarter-finals and a swift rearrangement of their Gameweek 31 clash, not to mention other factors like Arsenal’s elimination from the Europa League (the Gunners also have an outstanding fixture against City to be rearranged).

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Wednesday 19 February: Champions League last 16 – RB Leipzig (h)
Saturday 22 February: Gameweek 27 – Chelsea (a)
Sunday 1 March: Gameweek 28 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (h)
Wednesday 4 March: FA Cup fifth round – Norwich City (h)
Saturday 7 March: Gameweek 29 – Burnley (a)
Tuesday 10 March: Champions League last 16 – RB Leipzig (a)
Sunday 15 March: Gameweek 30 – Manchester United (h)
Friday 20 March: Gameweek 31 – West Ham United (h)*

*possible blank due to clash with FA Cup quarter-finals


Jose Mourinho took charge of two Spurs games in the Champions League after his appointment in November, with the likes of Son Heung-min (£10.0m), Dele Alli (£8.4m) and Harry Kane (£10.8m) starting all four league matches around those ties – although the mid-December defeat in Munich was something of a dead rubber.

The Gameweek 29 clash against Burnley falls just three days before the Lilywhites travel to Germany for their clash with RB Leipzig but, given how tight the race for fourth (maybe even fifth) is at present, it’s surely more likely that Mourinho will opt to shuffle his side (or manage minutes) in the FA Cup fifth round ahead of that trip to Turf Moor.

ARSENAL

Thursday 20 February: Europa League last 32 – Olympiakos (a)
Sunday 23 February: Gameweek 27 – Everton (h)
Thursday 27 February: Europa League last 32 – Olympiakos (h)
Monday 2 March: FA Cup fifth round – Portsmouth (a)
Saturday 7 March: Gameweek 29 – West Ham United (h)
Thursday 12 March: Europa League last 16, first leg
Saturday 14/Sunday 15 March: Gameweek 30 – Brighton and Hove Albion (a)
Thursday 19 March: Europa League last 16, second leg
Sunday 22 March: Gameweek 31 – Southampton (a)*

*possible blank due to clash with FA Cup quarter-finals


With Mikel Arteta not taking charge of Arsenal until Boxing Day, we are in the dark as to how seriously he will be taking the UEFA Europa League regarding team selection and its impact on the Premier League front.

The Gunners will, of course, have a Blank Gameweek 28, given Manchester City’s involvement in the EFL Cup final on that same weekend.

Should the north London side be eliminated from European competition at the round-of-32 stage, that would open up the possibility of their postponed match against Pep Guardiola’s troops being moved to a Double Gameweek 29 – although it’s all conjecture at this point and nothing has been, or likely will be, confirmed for some time yet.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Monday 17 February: Gameweek 26 – Chelsea (a)
Thursday 20 February: Europa League last 32 – Bruges (a)
Sunday 23 February: Gameweek 27 – Watford (h)
Thursday 27 February: Europa League last 32 – Bruges (h)
Sunday 1 March: Gameweek 28 – Everton (a)
Thursday 5 March: FA Cup fifth round – Derby County (a)
Sunday 8 March: Gameweek 29 – Manchester City (h)
Thursday 12 March: Europa League last 16, first leg
Sunday 15 March: Gameweek 30 – Tottenham Hotspur (a)
Thursday 19 March: Europa League last 16, second leg
Saturday 21/Sunday 22 March: Gameweek 31 – Sheffield United (h)*

*possible blank due to clash with FA Cup quarter-finals


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priority in the first half of the campaign was very much the Premier League, with second-string players frequently used on the continent.

Marcus Rashford (£8.9m), for example, started only two of United’s six Europe League group games but every Premier League fixture around those matches.

The teamsheet in Belgium on Thursday will perhaps provide us with some clues as to whether that remains the case, and there could be a point later in the season (much like Arsenal) where qualification for next season’s Champions League is more realistic by winning this year’s Europa League than it is by finishing fourth.

As we mentioned in the introduction, United’s schedule has the potential to be the busiest of all seven clubs featured in this piece, should they go deep into the Europa League and FA Cup.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

Thursday 20 February: Europa League last 32 – Espanyol (h)
Sunday 23 February: Gameweek 27 – Norwich City (h)
Thursday 27 February: Europa League last 32 – Espanyol (a)
Sunday 1 March: Gameweek 28 – Tottenham Hotspur (a)
Saturday 7 March: Gameweek 29 – Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
Thursday 12 March: Europa League last 16, first leg
Sunday 15 March: Gameweek 30 – West Ham United (a)
Thursday 19 March: Europa League last 16, second leg
Saturday 21/Sunday 22 March: Gameweek 31 – Bournemouth (h)


Nuno Espirito Santo rang the changes in the first quarter of the campaign as Wolves juggled the Premier League and Europa League but, from Gameweeks 10-19, the West Midlands club’s starting XI was the most settled in the division despite their involvement on the continent, with only one change (an enforced one, at that) being made over that period.

The hope from an owners’ perspective is that Santo adopts that latter approach when the knockout stage recommences this Thursday, and an early elimination from the FA Cup (thus giving Wolves a breather in between Gameweeks 28 and 29) is certainly advantageous from that perspective.

Happily for those of us who own Raul Jimenez (£7.7m), the Mexican striker started every single league match either side of a Europa League group stage game.


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635 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Lindelol
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 12 days ago

    KDB or Mane? Have Salah

  2. Hazz
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 12 days ago

    CHO supposed out this evening, in case anyone still has him!