In this article, we give you a 5th Round FA Cup Summary, discussing in particular the implications for Fantasy Premier League and Gameweek 24.
Winners and Losers as popular players drop like flies
After three nights of entertaining cup football, us Fantasy managers set our sights on the Premier League yet again.
We’ve been busy, closely paying attention to the magnificent work of Ben Crellin, but also closely watching those updates coming from Ben Dinnery as players who were very much in demand have dropped like flies in almost every cup tie. Who are the winners and losers as the next round of Premier League games awaits?
Winner: Dean Smith’s Villans
Aston Villa were already eliminated from the FA Cup in the third round and will have had a complete week’s rest when they travel to Brighton, a side which in contrast to Villa just played in the cup away to Leicester and included at least four major players in their starting XI.
Furthermore, across the whole league, Villa have the most games outstanding.
Together with Everton they’ve still got 17 games to be played, whilst more than half the teams have only 15 more games to be played. This definitely gives Villa assets a head start, as not only will they very likely have a double in GW26, but they could also have a double in two of GW25, 27 or 28.
With no other competitions to worry about, Smith could even push his players to a spot that secures European football.
Lastly, their upcoming run of fixtures looks very decent as well. Up until GW31 they play only two sides in the top half of the table, one of which is Leeds who are obviously extremely leaky at the back.
Although possible DGWs include home encounters with Spurs and Everton, two other sides out of the top half of the table, players such as Martínez, Grealish and Watkins have lots and lots of potential.
Loser: David Moyes’ Hammers
There’s no denying that Moyes would have hoped for a different outcome on Tuesday night.
West Ham didn’t only lose their cup tie against Man United, but they also lost a handful of players to injuries at both ends of the pitch. Dawson is the only senior centre-back fully fit currently, since Balbuena is struggling with a calf injury.
Meanwhile, Ogbonna and Diop were subbed with an ankle and head injury respectively. Ogbonna especially is expected to be set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
And it gets worse. Antonio was already a concern for their game against Sheffield United.
Moyes on his availability: “I hope so. I don’t think it’s too bad. We are being careful with him. He’s a concern [for GW24] as he didn’t play [against United].”
Although he may yet feature himself, Antonio’s direct replacement, Yarmolenko, was subbed off with a knee injury. According to Moyes he ‘opened up his knee ligaments’, which doesn’t sound well for the Ukrainian. He could be out for the remainder of the season.
The Hammers have quite a bit of rest now since their game against Sheffield United is taking place on Monday, but it remains to be seen which players can recover in time and what those 120 minutes of football have done to them.
Also, their league fixtures look far from good. After Sheffield United in GW24 they face Spurs, Man City, Leeds, Man United and Arsenal up until GW30.
This means they don’t have a double anytime soon and they face five sides against which they conceded ten goals in the first half of the season.
That being said, they will feature in GW29 which could mean it is worth hanging onto their cheaper assets such as Dawson and Coufal.
Winner: Pep Guardiola’s Citizens
It may sound crazy after Dias was left out because of a stomach problem and Rodrigo went off with a knock, but City can certainly be seen as winners here from an FPL perspective.
Guardiola started the cup tie with a good team but gave his entire back five a rest and took off most of his important players before or around the hour mark.
Both aforementioned players should also be declared fit sooner rather than later. Guardiola has since confirmed that both Dias and Rodri are fit to face Tottenham. Gündoğan is therefore likely to operate as an attacking midfielder again.
City are one of only four teams to have a double coming up in GW24. Their opponents, Everton and Spurs, faced each other in a great cup contest and the home side were on the winning end after 120 minutes.
Both sides looked absolutely knackered at the end which bodes well for City’s chances in the upcoming league games. In addition, Spurs average a very poor xG against top sides this season – below 0.6 – and Everton will probably be without Calvert-Lewin. Everything really is in City’s favour.
Finally, City are extremely likely to have another couple of doubles coming up shortly after GW24. Chances of a double in GW26 couldn’t be higher and another double in GW27 is also on the horizon.
All possible games will take place at the Etihad, where City haven’t conceded a goal in six games in all competitions. In fact, since their loss to Spurs on the 21st of November, City have scored 52 goals and conceded only six goals over a period of 22 games in all competitions.
They average over 2.0 xG per league game and concede not even half an xG per game. Three City is a must and Sterling with only 13.1% ownership especially looks tempting.
Winner: Jürgen Klopp’s Reds
After getting knocked out of the cup by Man United, Liverpool finally had a midweek off. And they needed that. Results haven’t gone their way in recent times so they should be eager to bounce back.
They face Leicester, a side which played a couple of their key players in their cup tie against Brighton and more importantly lost this season’s standout defender Justin to an awkward knee injury.
It’s still unclear how long this injury will keep him out, but he surely won’t feature against the Reds and in that case Fuchs and Thomas are Rodgers’ remaining possibilities at left-back.
It presents a big opportunity for Salah. Liverpool have won six out of their last seven league encounters with Leicester, putting 2.43 goals on average past them so the historical numbers are in their favour.
Furthermore, now that Chelsea have won their cup game against Barnsley, Liverpool are another team that’s destined to have a double in GW26.
They also have better than decent fixtures on either side of their double with home games against Everton and Fulham. If Klopp wants them to go back to their winning formula, this is the time.
Loser: Graham Potter’s Seagulls
This might be a controversial one. A team who got 11 points in their last five league games and conceded only a single goal. And still losers? Yes, because not only did they lose their cup tie against Leicester in the 94th minute, but with that they also lost every chance of a double in GW26.
Brighton carry some cheap assets who would otherwise have been very appealing for managers who have the Bench Boost still available, but those managers are probably going to look elsewhere.
Brighton now face an Aston Villa side which for the first time in a month have had the entire week off and will be eager to finally go on a winning run after defeating Arsenal in the last gameweek. The expected numbers from both sides have been very good this season so this is bound to be a close combat.
Neutral: Carlo Ancelotti’s Toffees
No real winners or losers on the blue side of Merseyside.
Everton needed 120 minutes to get past Spurs in the cup. During those minutes they lost Calvert-Lewin, their standout performer this season, to another hamstring injury and another key player, Digne, was subbed off right at the end and he didn’t look comfortable either.
In fact, the whole of Everton looked knackered during the game, which obviously isn’t a surprise considering the game went into extra time. We’ve seen what the loss of key players can do to Everton so it remains to be seen how they will cope without Calvert-Lewin at least. Richarlison and King have big boots to fill.
On the other hand, however, Everton are one of only four teams to have a double in GW24, look certain to have a double in GW26 too and are likely to have another double soon after GW26.
Together with Villa they are the only sides to still have 17 games to be played and it looks as though they will catch up with the rest of the league rather quickly.
Everton’s run doesn’t look bad either.
The double in GW24 includes a game against low-placed Fulham, in GW26 they play at home against Southampton and their fixtures to be rescheduled are encounters with Villa and West Brom. Therefore, Sigurðsson might be worth a shout.
Winner: Ralph Hasenhüttl’s Saints
After losing five consecutive league games, Hasenhüttl will be glad to hear that he’s a winner in FPL terms at least.
Due to their cup victory against Wolves, Southampton now have a possibility of three consecutive doubles. Their first confirmed double will be played in GW25, making Southampton and Leeds the only teams to have a double in that particular gameweek.
Their following two doubles will probably take place in two weeks out of GW26, 27 and 28, handing the Saints seven league games in only four gameweeks.
Their victory in the cup will hopefully also have regained a bit of their confidence. They looked good, sharp, saw more of the ball and had 18 goal attempts of which eight were on target.
As opposed to Southampton, Wolves had only five goal attempts and could only get one of those on target.
They face each other again this weekend, this time in the league, and it will be interesting to see if Southampton can show more of the same.
The signs are good, with key players such as Walker-Peters, Vestergaard and Romeu returning from injury and Ings regaining his confidence with a good goal in the cup. The loan addition of Minamino should also help them to see more of the final third of the pitch.