Manchester City and Everton have both been handed an unexpected Blank Gameweek as their Goodison Park clash was postponed on Monday afternoon.
The two sides were scheduled to meet at 20:00 GMT on Monday evening but an “an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the Manchester City squad” forced their hand.
As things stand, the identities of players who have tested positive remain undisclosed.
Meanwhile, with the compressed nature of the current schedule, Manchester City’s Gameweek 17 trip to Chelsea on Sunday is sure to be under threat already.
That is less than a week away and, with the self-isolation periods not specified, it is certainly possible that the number of players available for the Stamford Bridge visit to also be too high to field a full squad too – certainly something to monitor in the next few days.
Naturally, we wish those affected by the positive tests and their families our best wishes during this strange and unpredictable season.
The Fantasy Premier League fallout, of course, means Blank Gameweeks for popular assets such as Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£8.0m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) – although with the announcement coming after Monday’s Gameweek 16 deadline, none of us had any chance to pre-empt it.
As a result, a large number of managers will be relying on their benches over the next few days – perhaps increasing the need for returns from Tyrick Mitchell (£3.9m), Max Kilman (£4.2m), Rhian Brewster (£4.5m) and the more highly-owned £4.5m midfielders such as Yves Bissouma (£4.5m) or André-Franck Zambo Anguissa (£4.5m).
Moving forward, the silver lining to this development is that Everton and Manchester City are likely to have Double Gameweeks in the future.
Double Gameweek 19 is due to take place in January, with the two clubs currently only set for one fixture each – so they could meet during the midweek phase of that round.