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How to plan for upcoming Blank and Double Gameweeks

The Scout 10 Jan 2021

The Scout looks at how to navigate Blank GW18 and Double GW19, including chip strategies, after recent fixture amendments

Managers must react following the news of two rescheduled September fixtures that will impact planning for the first Double Gameweek of 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League.

Manchester City's home meeting with Aston Villa, originally scheduled for the opening weekend, has been moved into Gameweek 19.

In addition, Burnley's home match against Manchester United, also originally scheduled for Gameweek 1, will now take place in Gameweek 18.

The announcement comes after five matches that were originally scheduled for Gameweek 18 were moved into Gameweek 19.

As a result, Burnley, Fulham, Man City and Man Utd all play in Gameweek 18 before facing two matches in Gameweek 19.

Eight sides will now blank in Gameweek 18 and instead play twice in the following round of fixtures.

The remaining eight teams will play one match in each Gameweek. 

Double Gameweek 19 teams
Club GW19 matches
Aston Villa MCI (A) NEW (H)
Burnley WHU (A) LIV (A)
Chelsea FUL (A) LEI (A)
Fulham CHE (H) MUN (H)
Leicester SOU (H) CHE (H)
Liverpool MUN (H) BUR (H)
Man City CRY (H) AVL (A)
Man Utd LIV (A) FUL (A)
Newcastle ARS (A) AVL (A)
West Brom WOL (A) WHU (A)
West Ham BUR (H) WBA (H)
Time to Wildcard?

There are a number of tactics to consider, with much depending on the number of chips still available to each manager, as well as the players who are currently in their squads.

Handily, the second Wildcard of the season is now available to deploy.

By playing their second Wildcard in Gameweek 17, managers could build their squads with players from Double Gameweek sides such as Chelsea, Leicester City, Liverpool, Man City and Man Utd.

Mohamed Salah (£12.5m), Bruno Fernandes (£11.3m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£11.7m) will be major armband contenders for their two matches, while Jamie Vardy (£10.2m) and Tomas Soucek (£5.3m) play at home twice.

Use free transfers instead?

But there is a strong case for remaining patient with the second Wildcard. 

Managers then play their Free Hit chip in Gameweek 18 to navigate the limited schedule and fill their squad with players who have a fixture.

Gameweek 18 schedule
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Burnley v Man Utd
Man City v Brighton
Sheff Utd v Newcastle 
Spurs v Fulham
Wolves v Everton

Big-hitters from Man City, Man Utd and Tottenham Hotspur, along with the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m), Wilfried Zaha (£7.4m) and Callum Wilson (£6.5m), will be key targets in Gameweek 18.

Those managers could then play their Bench Boost chip in Double Gameweek 19, earning points from every player in their squad. 

Be aware that when playing your Free Hit chip, any free transfers carried over from previous Gameweeks will be lost. You will be back to the usual one free transfer for the following Gameweek.

By using the second Wildcard in Gameweek 20, they can refresh their players for the subsequent fixtures.

Alternatively, the second Wildcard could be kept to navigate further Blank and Double Gameweeks later in the season.

More postponements will be brought on by the latter rounds of the FA Cup, while there are also currently matches still to be rescheduled.

Matches to be rescheduled
Aston Villa v Spurs
Burnley v Fulham
Everton v Man City
Fulham v Spurs
Leeds v Southampton
Man City v Southampton

Finally, when preparing their squads for Double Gameweek 19, managers should not forget the players who only play once. 

Spurs pair Harry Kane (£11.1m) and Son Heung-min (£9.8m) are at Sheffield United.

Both have the potential to outscore most Double Gameweek 19 players. Kane has blanked just twice all season, while Son’s six double-figure hauls are second only to the seven of Fernandes.

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