Arsenal and Manchester City are set for two fixtures in the upcoming Double Gameweek 29.
The two sides will meet on the evening of Wednesday, March 11 at the Etihad Stadium.
That means Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta’s men each have the following fixtures in the Double Gameweek:
- Manchester United v Manchester City
- Manchester City v Arsenal
- Arsenal v West Ham United
- Manchester City v Arsenal
It may be short notice for Fantasy Premier League managers, with just a few days until the next deadline, but this announcement is sure to send shockwaves through the community.
Still the top-scoring Fantasy asset this season, Kevin De Bruyne (£10.7m) was among the three most-sold assets for Blank Gameweek 28 losing 330,000+ owners ahead of last week’s Friday night deadline.
Meanwhile, no player was transferred out by more managers than Sergio Aguero (£11.9m) for Blank Gameweek 28. Despite an EFL Cup final knock, Guardiola has confirmed the striker is fit and available for the next round of action.
These decisions may have been, in part, influenced by a probable lack of Blank Gameweek 31 fixture. But this Double Gameweek 29 announcement has thrown something of a spanner into the works for Fantasy managers hoping to spend the next few weeks preparing their teams for Blank Gameweek 31.
As ever, Fantasy managers may also be scratching their heads when it comes to assessing which Manchester City assets are likely to start both matches of a Double Gameweek.
As you can see from the table above, De Bruyne is the only player to have started each of the last 10 matches for Manchester City.
Ederson (£6.0m) probably would have done the same were it not for his Gameweek 19 red card at Wolves but interest in his signature is not expected to be too high for this Double Gameweek.
As it is pitting Manchester City against their local rivals and Arsenal, both teams boasting revitalised attacks in recent weeks, clean sheet potential across the two matches is not too high.
Aguero has started on seven occasions, almost certainly sowing enough doubt to cast aspersions on his viability for Double Gameweek 29.
However, the eight starts and 673 minutes for Riyad Mahrez (£8.4m), as well as three goals and four assists during this period, could make him a powerful differential once again.
However, Fantasy managers may find it easier to consider Arsenal options, especially as their first fixture of Double Gameweek 29 sees them host an obliging West Ham defence.
The Hammers have conceded a total of nine across their last three away trips, an average of three per game. Meanwhile, Manchester City have kept just two clean sheets in their last eight home matches.
That could open the door into Fantasy teams for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) and Nicolas Pépé (£9.2m).
The striker has already been involved in 20 goals this season and is behind Jamie Vardy (£9.8m) by just five points in the hunt to be the top-scoring FPL forward this season.
When we consider the minutes played by Arsenal assets over the last 10 matches, we see that Aubameyang only missed two, the punishment for his Gameweek 22 red card.
Meanwhile, Pépé has been in fantastic form recently, and enough to ease any concerns about just six starts since Gameweek 18.
Despite the handicap of fewer minutes in the selected period, Pépé’s goal tally is beaten only by Aubameyang among Arsenal players, while none of his colleagues has managed more assists than his three.
With a trip to Brighton in Gameweek 30, Arsenal attackers may also have more long-term appeal than Manchester City counterparts considering it’s Burnley up next for Guardiola’s men who, unlike the Gunners, still have European commitments to consider.
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