Our team of Hall of Famers and guest writers are offering regular contributions throughout the 2023/24 Fantasy Premier League (FPL) campaign. Here, two-time Indian FPL champion Lateriser starts planning for the upcoming Double and Blank Gameweeks.
We almost, almost assumed that Double Gameweek 25 for Liverpool and Luton Town would not take place. However, a few hours before deadline the news came in from the Premier League, for the first time on a Saturday morning. That meant we have four teams doubling in Gameweek 25 – Liverpool, Manchester City, Brentford and Luton.
When tackling these doubles in Gameweek 25, blanks in Gameweek 26, potential double(s) in Gameweek 28 as well as blanks in Gameweek 29, there are a few things to keep in mind which is what I’m aiming to cover with this article.
FA CUP IMPLICATIONS
One big factor before making any moves is that you should potentially wait until the result of the FA Cup fourth round replay between Aston Villa and Chelsea. That will determine which team is likely to have a fixture in Gameweek 29.
A win for Aston Villa would likely mean that Arsenal v Chelsea goes ahead in Gameweek 29 (provided they win their FA Cup fifth round clash against Leeds United/Plymouth Argyle) and West Ham United v Aston Villa would be blank.
If Chelsea win, the opposite happens. This is important because if for example Chelsea win, a popular asset like Cole Palmer (£5.9m) would have blanks in Gameweeks 26 and 29. With him playing Man City away in Gameweek 25, he would become slightly more disposable.
MAKE MOVES IN GAMEWEEK 24
One thing I want to mention for the likes of Man City, Liverpool and Luton is that all three of them have incredible fixtures in Gameweek 24.
Man City have three consecutive home matches in the league with a UEFA Champions League away tie against Copenhagen sandwiched in between the two games against Everton and Chelsea. It is also worth noting that City have the early kick-off against Everton on Saturday which means we could get early team leaks as well.
Liverpool also have an enticing tie against Burnley at home in Gameweek 24 before their double against Brentford (a) and Luton (h), with a blank in Gameweek 26 to follow. Similarly, if you fancy a Luton asset, the entry point for them in Gameweek 24 is much greater than just the double in Gameweek 25.
When you combine this with the fact that out of the three teams, only Man City have a confirmed fixture in Gameweek 26, I would prioritize getting three City assets in Gameweek 24 followed by Liverpool and then Luton players.
If you aren’t planning to use the Free Hit chip in Gameweek 26, I wouldn’t be against using a hit or two in Gameweek 24 and setting up your doublers for Gameweek 25, given that Liverpool and Luton blank in Gameweek 26.
This would hopefully (in the case of no injuries) enable you to go into Gameweek 26 with two free transfers and even then, you will know which of Arsenal v Chelsea or West Ham v Aston Villa will be a confirmed fixture in Gameweek 29, thereby giving you a good pool of players to target while selling your Liverpool/Luton assets in Gameweek 26.
The fact that Liverpool play Man City at home in Gameweek 28 and are likely to blank in Gameweek 29 (if they beat Watford or Southampton in their FA Cup fifth round tie) would enable us to sell their assets in 26 and target players who for sure play in Gameweek 29.
By that time, Son Heung-min (£9.6m) will be back in the Tottenham Hotspur setup and it would give you a clear headway of six teams to target with players having confirmed fixtures in Gameweek 29, provided you don’t plan to use a Free Hit.
LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD
I also want to mention that the teams we’re going to need in Gameweek 29, double and blank Gameweek 34 and Double Gameweek 37 could all be potentially different, which is why holding the Free Hit chip for either Gameweek 34 or 37 could be handy if you are looking to Wildcard before Gameweek 34.
Out of the teams you could target in Gameweek 26, Spurs (who are going to be very popular in Gameweek 27 given their fixtures in 27-30) and Chelsea will have a blank.
But you could very easily convert your Liverpool assets into Aston Villa or Arsenal players (based on the FA Cup result), both of whom have good fixtures between Gameweek 26 and 29, so as to save the Free Hit chip.
It will almost certainly need a few hits to be taken but I’d be open to them in Gameweek 26 and 27 to pivot your team aggressively. The likes of Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United all have good entry points in Gameweek 26 but the likelihood of them getting a confirmed fixture in Gameweek 29 isn’t very likely as things stand.
Before the Gameweek 27 deadline, we will know what Gameweek 29 will look like which will help us pivot accordingly. We should have a very open mind post the FA Cup results between Gameweek 26 and 29 and decide a firm chip strategy at that point. which could even be an earlier-than-planned Wildcard if a route should open up.
On a separate note, playing a Free Hit in Gameweek 26 will have more upside than playing in Gameweek 29, as 26 has way more targetable fixtures (see below).
I hope this has given you some food for thought and my advice would be that one way or another, be open to taking aggressive hits in Gameweek 24 to set up your team for Gameweek 25, especially if you’re not Free Hitting in 26.