They’re back! It’s back! It’s ON! After agreeing on a return to training under special conditions from May 28 onwards, a few days ago all Premier League clubs agreed unanimously on a full return for the Premier League (and therefore FPL!) action on June 17th, 2020. It has taken mass testing, surprise inspections, GPS tracking, pages of new health and game protocols and much more, but it looks like Project Restart is going to achieve this football season’s biggest over-riding objective: to finish the season competitively.
In the build-up to Manchester City versus Arsenal and Aston Villa against Sheffield United, we will be releasing a few articles to inform you of the latest Premier League developments and their influence on the world of FPL. In this piece we’ll take a look at the recently released adjusted fixture calendar and the potential (hidden) opportunities it presents for FPL managers.
We have also received a few questions about the chips in FPL (these aren’t the same type of chips you’d find at australian slots though!) and what happens to them once the season restarts. To quote the official Premier League website (find full press release here) it says that “any chips you retain at present (i.e. Triple Captain, Bench Boost, Free Hit and/or Wildcard) would remain available for you, in accordance with the Game Rules” for the reorganised upcoming gameweeks. For those FPL managers who have some or even all of their chips still intact, that’s excellent news, because the revised schedules will undoubtedly require some skills to play around with just like those enjoying Mr Bet casino online for entertainment.
The Premier League has already published the schedule for the first three rounds of games, with 32 games being played on 14 different days inside a period of just 16 days between June 17th and July 2nd. As a matter of fact, only June 18th and June 26th will be football-less during that period, which provides the perfect opportunity for us FPL managers to maybe catch a ray of sunlight and check if the kids still remember our names. It’s nice to see that FPL cares about our physical and social health as well.
All kidding aside, we are providing a full overview of the revised fixture calendar as published by the official Premier League website here. Next, we will take a brief look at a few of the parameters you should keep in mind when preparing for the first gameweek 39 (and beyond) in PL history, starting with those two key stats: fixture and form. First though, a quick public service announcement in regard to the upcoming gameweek 30+, as published by FPL at the moment of writing this piece.
All FPL managers can make unlimited transfers up until the GW30+ deadline, which is set at Wednesday June 17th at 17h30 (UK time). We figured we’d start with that, as this means we have all just gotten a free extra wildcard, even those managers who had no wildcards left by the end of gameweek 29. Oh and also, gameweek 30+ is going to be a double gameweek. Finally, all of your unused chips remain intact and no player prices will be taking place until after the GW30+ deadline. For more information, do read this official FPL statement. You may have noticed the remaining gameweeks now have a + after their number, so for example GW30 is now called GW30+.
For the moment, it looks like the order of games for each team has been maintained for the revised playing schedule. Not taking into account several factors that have inevitably been influenced by the corona-crisis, like form, this is pretty good news for FPL managers, especially those who always try to plan a few weeks in advance. In any case, with the free extra wildcard active for GW30+, it’s interesting for any manager to have at least a good idea of which teams have a favourable set of fixtures coming up and which don’t. Keep in mind though, that all teams have been out of action for about three months and that they will be playing in empty stadiums (possibly even on neutral ground sometimes). The Bundesliga, for example, has already shown a seriously decreasing “empty stadium” effect on home team advantage and away team disadvantage. After the first two weeks of German football after the corona-break, just 21% of all home games had been won, in comparison to the season’s 41% average before the break. Also bear in mind that due to the number of fixtures played over a relatively short period of time, fitness will be an issue and the EPL have agreed to increasing the number of subs used from 3 to 5 during a game to reduce the chance of injuries due to tiredeness.
More favourable (GW30+ to GW32+)
- Wolves: West Ham (away), Bournemouth (home), Villa (away), Arsenal (home).
- Arsenal: City + Brighton (both away), Southampton (home), Norwich (away), Wolves (away).
- Newcastle: Sheffield Utd (home), Villa (home), Bournemouth (away), West Ham (home).
- Leicester: Watford (away), Brighton (home), Everton (away), Palace (home).
Less favourable (GW30+ to GW32+)
- West Ham: Wolves (home), Spurs (away), Chelsea (home), Newcastle (away).
- Brighton: Arsenal (home), Leicester (away), Man United (home), Norwich (away).
- Everton: Liverpool (home), Norwich (away), Leicester (home), Spurs (away).
- City: Arsenal + Burnley (both home), Chelsea (away), Liverpool (home), Southampton (away)
Both team and player form are largely unknowns until we have seen at least the first round of post-corona games. That’s mainly because the teams not only did not play an official match in about three months, but also because of the relatively unusual preparation for a return to football, training-wise at least. Still, and especially with a free extra wild card available, we figured it would be interesting to see which FPL assets were on fire just before football’s suspension. In order to keep it relatively “ current”, we have looked at just gameweeks 27, 28 and 29; the three last rounds before the break.
|PLAYER||POSITION in FPL||TEAM||FORM|
|Diogo Jota||Forward||Wolves||3 goals, 1 assist, 30 pts|
|Bruno Fernandes||Midfield||Man United||2 goals, 1 assist, 30 pts|
|Marcos Alonso||Defender||Chelsea||3 goals, 30 pts|
|Pablo Fornals||Midfield||West Ham||1 goal, 2 assists, 16 pts|
|Ismaila Sarr||Midfield||Watford||2 goals, 1 assist, 22 pts|
|Harvey Barnes||Midfield||Leicester||2 goals, 1 assist, 22 pts|
|Jordan Ayew||Forward||Crystal Palace||2 goals, 1 assist, 18 pts|
|Dominic Calvert-Lewin||Forward||Everton||2 goals, 15 pts|
Catch up with the latest discussions on what to do about with your unlimited transfers for the DGW 30+ on this fiso forum FPL topic.