Chelsea's FA Cup Triumph Sparks Fantasy League Fixture Concerns
|Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on March 19, 2023 in London, England(Image-Getty)
Chelsea's triumph in the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Aston Villa may lead to a fixture blank for popular Fantasy Premier League players Bukayo Saka (£9.0m) and Cole Palmer (£5.9m) in Blank Gameweek 29 (BGW29).
The scheduling conflict arises as the FA Cup quarter-finals coincide with Gameweek 29 of FPL, necessitating rescheduling of Premier League matches involving clubs still competing in the cup.
If Chelsea prevails over Leeds United in the FA Cup fifth round at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 28 February, their Premier League encounter against Arsenal in BGW29 will be postponed.
In such a scenario, both Saka and Palmer, highly-owned midfielders in Fantasy, with 60% and 39% squad inclusion respectively, would face a blank Gameweek.
Aston Villa's elimination from the cup means their scheduled match against West Ham United in BGW29 will proceed as planned, alongside Burnley vs. Brentford and Fulham vs. Spurs.
Ollie Watkins (£8.8m), the third most-owned player in Fantasy with 53% ownership, and West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen (£7.9m), featured in nearly a quarter of squads, will both have fixtures in the reduced round of matches.
Nottingham Forest's victory over Bristol City sets up a fifth-round clash at home against Manchester United. If they advance to the quarter-finals, or if Luton Town defeats Manchester City, their BGW29 fixture will also be rescheduled.
The list below identifies fixtures at risk of postponement in BGW29, where at least one of the clubs - highlighted in bold text - is involved in the FA Cup and could progress to the quarter-finals.
BGW29 fixtures at risk of postponement:
- Arsenal vs. Chelsea
- Brighton vs. Man City
- Crystal Palace vs. Newcastle
- Everton vs. Liverpool
- Luton vs. Nott'm Forest
- Man Utd vs. Sheff Utd
- Wolves vs. Bournemouth
The FA Cup fifth-round draw features matchups including Coventry vs. Maidstone, Blackburn against Newcastle, Bournemouth vs. Leicester, Luton vs. Man City, Chelsea vs. Leeds, Liverpool vs. Southampton, Nottingham Forest vs. Manchester United, and Wolves vs. Brighton on various dates in February.