As you all know, Blank Gameweek 31 is still very much up in the air for a lot of Premier League teams at the moment. A lot of the details are unconfirmed and depend on certain results, however, it’s always good to see what outcomes are most likely/unlikely so we can react accordingly and make sufficient plans.
What we know
Firstly let’s look at what we do know. What we do know for certain for Blank Gameweek 31 is that the below four Premier League teams 100% do have a fixture.
Wolves vs Bournemouth
Burnley vs Watford
We are also guaranteed at least two blanks. Either Norwich vs Everton or Spurs vs West Ham will definitely be a blank however they can’t both be blanks.
Also, either Liverpool vs Palace or Chelsea vs City will be a blank.
The maximum number of blanks we can get in Blank Gameweek 31 is seven.
You can access Ben Crellin’s blank double Gameweek sheet here (for free!).
What we don’t know
Quite a lot. As you can see from Ben Crellin’s tweet, 14 teams could still technically blank. It all depends on the result of the FA Cup Round 5 fixtures which take place from the 3rd-6th of March (midweek before Gameweek 29).
Norwich vs Everton is the one most likely to go ahead according to the odds (17% chance of a blank). The only way that game does not go ahead is if Norwich beat Spurs, and it looks like Jose is taking the FA Cup very seriously this year so I would be confident of those calculations. Liverpool vs Palace and Newcastle vs Aston Villa are around 50% chance of going ahead. There are five games that have an 80%+ chance of being called off. Therefore if we look at this Blank Gameweek 31 scientifically we are looking at around five or six games being called off (see table on the bottom left of Ben Crellin’s tweet above). So that is 10-12 teams not playing. Therefore planning for all scenarios is going to be vital. Depending on the teams that go through will determine which chip to use, or not use in this Gameweek.
Free Hit Chip
The Free Hit chip seems to be the most likely one to use in Blank Gameweek 31 due to the number of likely postponements. When there are going to be so many games called off it’s difficult, and even non-optimal, to plan transfers as it will mean losing players you will want back immediately. This is why I feel the FH chip is by far the most powerful chip and worth the most points. If there are more than three blanks then those without the FH chip are going to struggle big time.
However if say, for example the Liverpool vs Palace game goes ahead and one of the other big teams like City, Chelsea, United or Spurs games go ahead then there might be a case to hold on to the FH chip as a decent team can still be assembled. Saving the FH chip for the big Double Gameweek could then be an option.
Another way to approach Gameweek 31 would be to use the wildcard. If you are one of those who have already used the FH chip then this could be a ‘get out of jail’ card for you. As stated above we will know the results and implications of Blank Gameweek 31 in the midweek before Gameweek 29 so that’s not enough time to plan for transfers.
Whatever way it goes, having the FH chip and wildcard is most likely going to prove to be vital. Without going into too much detail about chip strategies at this point, it’s important to keep the above in mind coming up to this period.
Looking Forward – Double Gameweek 34
I would not recommend planning this far ahead just yet transfers wise but it’s good to know when the Blank and Double Gameweeks will fall. That way we know to save our chips and keep a calm head while everyone else is knee-jerking wildcards and using chips in random Gameweeks. This is what separates the wheat from the chaff as they say.
For Double Gameweek 34 the only two Premier League fixtures definitely going ahead are:
West Ham United v Burnley
Everton v Southampton
There is a free midweek in Double Gameweek 34 in which postponed games from Gameweeks 28, 31 and 34 will be played therefore we can assume this will be the seasons first ‘big’ Double Gameweek.
Access Ben Crellin’s blank double Gameweek sheet here (for free!).
For more information on upcoming Blanks and Doubles please see our guide here and we will update this article as and when we get any more information so stay tuned.
Thanks to Ben Crellin again for doing all the hard work and you can access his handy planning sheet here to navigate all the Doubles and Blanks effortlessly.