FPL managers

Why FPL managers must plan for Blank Gameweek 26?

Fantasy Managers Beware: EFL Cup Final Threatens Top Players’ Availability in Gameweek 26

A looming obstacle is set to disrupt the plans of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, as the second legs of the EFL Cup semi-finals unfold next week. Chelsea and Liverpool are eyeing spots in the final, but their potential clash in the Wembley showdown on Sunday, 25 February, coincides with Gameweek 26 of FPL, posing a significant headache for managers.

Chelsea faces Middlesbrough on Tuesday, 23 January, hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit, while Liverpool, carrying a 2-1 advantage, battles Fulham on the following day. If both clubs progress, it spells trouble for FPL rosters, with Chelsea set to face Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool scheduled against Luton Town in Gameweek 26.

Mohamed Salah, FPL,

The impact of a Chelsea vs. Liverpool final would be substantial. Three of the top-scoring midfielders in FPL—Mohamed Salah (£13.1m), Son Heung-min (£9.7m), and Cole Palmer (£5.8m)—would be unavailable, along with two of the top-scoring defenders—Trent Alexander-Arnold (£8.5m) and Pedro Porro (£5.8m). Considering their ownership, each exceeding 21 percent, Fantasy managers face a dilemma.

Alternatively, a Fulham vs. Middlesbrough final would prompt the postponement of Fulham’s fixture against Manchester United in Gameweek 26. While this may offer some relief, the potential absence of key players in the event of a Chelsea vs. Liverpool final urges Fantasy managers to tread cautiously and plan strategically for the upcoming game weeks.

Also Read: Mohamed Salah Injury: What does it mean for FPL Managers

Strategic Considerations for Gameweek 26: Patience with Salah and Son

As Fantasy Premier League managers navigate the complex landscape of Gameweek 26, a crucial decision looms regarding the potential returns of Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min from international tournaments. The specter of a Blank Gameweek 26 for these star players adds a layer of complexity to managers’ planning.

The advice on the table suggests that the appeal of immediately reintroducing Salah and Son to your squad might be dampened if they have just one match each over Gameweek 25-26. This hesitation stems from the fact that Manchester City duo Kevin De Bruyne (£10.4m) and Phil Foden (£8.0m) are set to benefit from a coveted Triple Gameweek 25. Guardiola’s side will host Chelsea and Brentford before a trip to AFC Bournemouth in Gameweek 26, offering Fantasy managers a potential treasure trove of points.

In light of this, managers are advised to exercise patience with their transfers, holding off until after next week’s EFL Cup matches have been played. This cautious approach allows managers to gather more information about the potential Blank Gameweek 26 for Salah and Son, providing a clearer picture for strategic decision-making.

The strategic landscape of FPL is undoubtedly intricate, and managers are encouraged to stay vigilant and adaptable as they navigate the upcoming game weeks.

Blank Gameweek 26 Scenarios

FPL managers, Bruno Fernandes

The potential blanks are as follows:

  • Chelsea vs. Spurs: This fixture will be postponed if Chelsea emerges victorious against Middlesbrough in the EFL Cup semi-finals.
  • Liverpool vs. Luton: If Liverpool triumphs over Fulham in the EFL Cup semi-finals, the Gameweek 26 fixture against Luton Town could be postponed.
  • Man Utd vs. Fulham: A victory for Fulham against Liverpool in the EFL Cup semi-finals would result in the postponement of the fixture against Manchester United in Gameweek 26.

With Liverpool currently holding the advantage after a 2-1 victory against Fulham in the first leg, and Middlesbrough carrying a slender 1-0 lead over Chelsea, the outcomes of these semi-finals remain uncertain.

Intriguingly, if Liverpool advances to the EFL Cup final, the postponed Gameweek 26 fixture against Luton Town might potentially be rescheduled into Gameweek 25, offering a ‘double’ for both sides. While speculative at this stage, this possibility adds an element of strategic planning for Fantasy managers.

As the FPL landscape navigates these uncertainties, managers are advised to stay tuned for the confirmed blanks and remain adaptable in their strategies to optimize their teams amid the dynamic nature of the upcoming game weeks.

Also Read: Salah and Kudus Could Be Back For FPL Gameweek 22 But Son Set To Remain Absent