This article intends to explain in simple terms why some teams might double/blank, when this might happen and what it is conditional on. Advice on which teams to target will come once the FPL Gameweeks are confirmed.
I almost feel greedy demanding another big Double Gameweek (DGW) having already been given two massive ones this season, but here we are. I demand it. I demand every single one of my players plays twice, with all of them gripping me firmly by the buttocks and thrusting me up the greasy pole that is Overall Rank.
The problem with these weeks is the high level of brainpower needed to figure out in advance how to maximise your team’s chances at getting the holy doubling eleven. The prophet/demi-god @BenCrellin does a fantastic job of alerting us to when these weeks are going to rear their heads. I (like many) have benefitted massively from his tweets, which act like air raid sirens warning us that fixture congestion is coming over the English Channel.
Double and Blanks will be caused by one of three things:
- Existing Postponed Fixtures
- FA Cup Final
- Fans Re-entering Grounds
The very simple flow of events that is most likely to happen is as follows:
- The Premier League is moving fixtures back to let every team have home fans for one fixture.
- FPL will likely move their deadlines too: GW36 will replace GW37 and GW37 will go between the original GW37 date and GW38.
- The FA Cup Final will then clash with GW36 instead of GW37, and 2 fixtures from GW36 will have to move to GW35 because of this clash.
- Therefore, due to the FA Cup Final, 4 teams will play twice in GW35 and blank in GW36.
- The 2 postponed fixtures from earlier in the season get added to GW35, giving another 4 teams a double fixture that week.
- 8 teams play twice in GW35, 4 teams blank in GW36.
The next sections will break down which teams are involved and who their fixtures will be against.
Existing Postponed Fixtures
Currently there are two fixtures postponed earlier in the season left to be rescheduled:
- Everton vs Villa
- Palace vs Southampton
These two fixtures will definitely cause a double gameweek when they are slotted into the schedule: GAMEWEEK 35 has been deemed the likely place for these fixtures, as there is a free midweek to accommodate them.
The double fixtures for these teams would be:
Everton: WHU (A) + VIL (A)
Villa: MNU (H) + EVE (H)
Saints: LIV (A) + PAL (H)
Palace: SHU (A) + SOUT (A)
Fans Re-Entering Grounds:
Currently, the FPL deadlines for GW36-GW38 are as follows.
GW36: Tuesday 11th May
GW37: Saturday 15th May
GW38: Sunday 23th May
However, May 17th is when the next stage of unlocking lockdown begins, which only leaves one round of fixtures available for fans to attend. Therefore, the fixtures have been pushed back to allow for fans to re-enter the grounds:
GW36: 11/12th -> 15/16th
GW37: 15/16th -> 18/19th
GW38: Remaining the same.
We are now just waiting for FPL to confirm the new deadlines that will accommodate these date changes.
It is worth noting that if FPL didn’t change the deadlines (which is considered very unlikely), then huge numbers would double in GW36 and blank in GW37.
FA CUP Final
After English participation in the ESL collapsed quicker than you can shout “greedy f******* b******* get out of English football now!”, it seems that the FA Cup final between Leicester and Chelsea will go on as planned. This final clashes currently with GW37, however, due to the Fans Re-Entering Grounds project, it is likely that it will end up clashing with GW36 instead. This means that Leicester vs United and Chelsea vs Arsenal will have to be rearranged, most likely to Gameweek 35.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester and Man United would therefore all DOUBLE in GW35 and BLANK in GW36.
Chelsea: MCI (A) + ARS (H)
Arsenal: WBA (H) + CHE (A)
Leicester: NEW (H) + MNU (A)
Man U: VIL (A) + LEI (H)
Therefore, it seems likely that GW35 will be a big double with:
- Villa, Everton, Southampton and Palace doubling due to the postponed fixture being slotted in.
- Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester and United also doubling due to the FA Cup Final the week after.
Followed by GW36 with:
- Chelsea, Arsenal, Leicester and United all blanking due to Chelsea and Leicester’s involvement in the FA Cup final.