The FA Cup quarter-finals took place at the weekend, with Arsenal, Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs progressing to the last four.
Having looked at United’s extra-time victory over Norwich City in a separate piece, we’ll briefly recap the events of Sunday’s sixth round ties in the article below.
We’ve noticed a few people asking if the FA Cup semi-finals will result in any more Blank/Double Gameweeks in Fantasy Premier League.
The short answer: no, it looks very unlikely.
Four Premier League matches will have to be moved from the weekend of July 18/19 as a result of the clash with the FA Cup, which equates to Gameweek 37+ in the FPL world.
However, there is a free midweek following that weekend, so the overwhelming expectation is that those postponed league fixtures will simply be shifted back a few days to July 20/21 and still fall within Gameweek 37+.
Indeed, this mirrors the FA Cup-affected Gameweek we are currently in right now.
The four Premier League matches that will have to be rearranged are:
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Liverpool v Chelsea
Manchester United v West Ham United
Watford v Manchester City
For Villa, Liverpool, West Ham and Watford, that means an extra bit of recuperation time in between their Gameweek 36+ and 37+ fixtures.
However, it also means that we are unlikely to hear from Messrs Smith, Klopp, Moyes and Pearson before the Gameweek 37+ deadline, with regards to the latest injury news at their clubs.
For United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal, of course, it means that they will have an FA Cup tie in between that aforementioned FPL deadline and their Gameweek 37+ fixture.
There were some fitness concerns to note from Sunday’s FA Cup ties.
While it’s too late to do anything about them in Gameweek 32+, it’s worth holding fire on the players involved for anyone thinking of moving early before Saturday’s Gameweek 33+ deadline.
Christian Pulisic (£7.0m) has been a popular purchase following his goals against Aston Villa and Manchester City but his owners will be sweating on his availability for Wednesday’s clash with West Ham, with the USA international having been withdrawn after 70 minutes of the FA Cup quarter-final tie with Leicester.
Speaking after full-time, Frank Lampard said of his midfielder:
Christian [Pulisic] felt a bit of tightness in his calf in the second drinks break so we took him off straight away. We will find out over the next day or so how that it is, hopefully it’s nothing that puts him out.
Andreas Christensen (£4.8m) missed out with a hip problem, as did Leicester City’s James Maddison (£7.4m).
Brendan Rodgers reported that Maddison picked up an issue with his hip a few days ago and had to have an injection.
While he is a doubt for Wednesday’s match against Everton, the midfielder is expected back this weekend if he does miss out.
John Lundstram (£4.8m) took a nasty fall in Sheffield United’s defeat to Arsenal, meanwhile, and had to be replaced on 35 minutes with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
Speaking after full-time, Chris Wilder said:
Don’t know [how bad it is] yet, I haven’t seen the fall back, so I’ve not had the opportunity to speak to our physio, but Sander [Berge] when he came on was really good, I was delighted with his contribution.
David Luiz‘s (£5.7m) comeback from suspension for the Gunners lasted all of 54 minutes, with Mikel Arteta saying that the Brazilian would have to be assessed for an ankle injury.
Mesut Ozil (£7.1m) had missed the game with a back problem.
At St James’ Park, Matt Ritchie (£5.3m) missed out for the hosts but Isaac Hayden (£4.4m), John Stones (£5.1m), Joao Cancelo (£5.1m), Claudio Bravo (£4.7m) and Phil Foden (£5.2m) returned to their sides’ matchday squads following injury.
Kevin De Bruyne (£10.7m) seems to have cemented his place as Manchester City’s first-choice penalty-taker, stepping up from 12 yards to put Pep Guardiola’s side 1-0 up on Tyneside.
The Belgian has now taken all three of City’s last penalties in all competitions when he has been on the field, with Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) deputising in the Gameweek 30+ win over Burnley.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.0m) an unused substitute for Arsenal, it was Nicolas Pepe (£9.2m) and not Alexandre Lacazette (£9.3m) – who won the penalty – who was given the nod to take the Gunners’ spot-kick against the Blades.
|Team||Changes Made From GW31+||Subs Made in FA Cup|
The six managers who took charge of an FA Cup tie on Sunday all made changes to their starting XIs from Gameweek 31+, although it’d be difficult to argue that any of the teams were under-strength.
Chris Wilder had John Egan (£4.5m) and Dean Henderson (£5.2m) back available and recalled them to the starting XI, while Oliver McBurnie (£5.6m) returned up front.
True to form, none of the six Premier League head coaches from the clubs above made fewer changes to his team or in-game substitutions than the Sheffield United boss.
Mikel Arteta opted to bench five of his first-team regulars for this cup tie, with the notable selection decisions concerning Eddie Nketiah (£4.4m) and Aubameyang.
The budget FPL forward only played 23 minutes as a second-half substitute, while Aubameyang was unused – both players surely now stand in good stead for a start against Norwich City in midweek.
Following their experiment with a 4-4-2 against Brighton, Leicester were back in their familiar 4-1-4-1 shape and (Maddison aside) at full strength.
Frank Lampard made more changes than any other manager on Sunday, with only Antonio Rudiger (£6.0m) and N’Golo Kante (£5.0m) completing 90 minutes of the players who made the starting XI in Gameweek 31+.
Mason Mount (£6.2m), along with Reece James (£5.0m) and Billy Gilmour (£4.4m), were hooked at half-time in a tactical reshuffle, with Lampard saying:
The individuals that came on had nice impacts, and that’s happened in a few games now. If we didn’t have the extra substitutions, then I wouldn’t have made three at half-time. It is to limit injury. We can look at the fact we’ve had two big games in a week. The fact we turned it around means I can give the lads credit.
I could have made different changes. In Mason Mount’s situation, he’s played two games in a week at a really high intensity and put a lot in against City on Thursday. Reece James has not played in a long time, Billy [Gilmour] the same.
Other than Ederson (£6.0m) and perhaps Rodri (£5.4m), Manchester City were at full strength for their clash with Newcastle.
De Bruyne and Mahrez were both substituted midway through the second half but Raheem Sterling (£11.7m) and Gabriel Jesus (£9.6m) completed 90 minutes.
The Magpies reverted back to a wing-back system as they were pummelled by City but did switch to a back four after half-time.
As mentioned earlier, Ritchie missed out through injury.
Sheffield United 1-2 Arsenal
- Goals: McGoldrick | Pepe, Ceballos
- Assists: Lacazette
Sheffield United XI (3-5-2): Henderson; Basham (Sharp 75′), Egan, Robinson; Baldock (K Freeman 62′), Lundstram (Berge 34′), Norwood, Fleck, Stevens; McGoldrick, McBurnie.
Arsenal XI (3-4-3): Martinez; Mustafi, Luiz (Holding 53′ ) Kolasinac; Maitland-Niles, Willock (Nketiah 66′), Xhaka, Tierney; Pepe (Sokratis 92′), Lacazette (Ceballos 66′), Saka.
Leicester City 0-1 Chelsea
- Goal: Barkley
- Assist: Willian
Leicester City XI (4-3-3): Schmeichel; Justin, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell; Praet (Choudhury 58′), Ndidi, Tielemens; Perez (Albrighton 58′), Vardy, Barnes (Gray 76′).
Chelsea XI (4-2-3-1): Caballero; James (Azpilicueta 46′), Rudiger, Zouma, Emerson; Kante, Gilmour (Barkley 46′); Willian (Pedro 78′), Mount (Kovacic 46′), Pulisic (Loftus-Cheek 72′); Abraham.
Newcastle United 0-2 Manchester City
- Goals: De Bruyne, Sterling
- Assists: Jesus, Foden
Newcastle United XI (5-4-1): Darlow; Manquillo, Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez, Rose (Lazaro 75′); Almiron (Joelinton 65′), Hayden (M Longstaff 79′), S Longstaff, Saint-Maximin (Yedlin 74′); Carroll (Gayle 65′).
Manchester City XI (4-3-3): Bravo; Walker (Cancelo 71′), Otamendi, Laporte, Mendy; De Bruyne (Rodri 71′), Gundogan, D Silva (B Silva 64′); Mahrez (Foden 64′), Jesus, Sterling.