Following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, the Premier League have opted to postpone all of the top-flight fixtures in Gameweek 7.
An announcement on Gameweek 8 will, the Premier League effectively said, be provided “in due course”.
If next week’s fixtures are also called off, domestic football won’t resume until the start of October as an international break takes place later this month.
A statement from the Premier League read:
At a meeting this morning, Premier League clubs paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
To honour her extraordinary life and contribution to the nation, and as a mark of respect, this weekend’s Premier League match round will be postponed, including Monday evening’s game.
Richard Masters, Premier League Chief Executive, said: “We and our clubs would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s long and unwavering service to our country.
“As our longest-serving monarch, she has been an inspiration and leaves behind an incredible legacy following a life of dedication.
“This is a tremendously sad time for not just the nation but also for the millions of people around the world who admired her, and we join together with all those in mourning her passing.”
Further updates regarding Premier League fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course.
Fantasy Premier League (FPL) followed suit with another announcement on Friday lunchtime, which we’ll dissect below.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE GAMEWEEK 7 DEADLINE?
The Gameweek 7 deadline will remain at 11:00 BST on Saturday 10 September.
Given that all fixtures have been postponed for this Gameweek, managers will earn zero points from their players.
CAN I CANCEL THE TRANSFERS I’VE ALREADY MADE?
If you’ve already made a Gameweek 7 transfer(s)/taken a points hit and wished you hadn’t, there appears to be a workaround to undo it.
Activating a Free Hit would seem to be the play, as you’d then get the chip reinstated after the Gameweek 7 deadline has passed (more of which below).
Your squad would then revert to how it looked in Gameweek 6, with just one free transfer to use.
We’re still waiting for FPL to confirm that this is 100% the case, as this ‘hack’ unsurprisingly wasn’t mentioned in their statement.
IF I’VE NOT MADE TRANSFERS ALREADY, WILL THEY ROLL OVER?
This isn’t actually made explicitly clear in the FPL statement either but we’ve had it confirmed that it’s business as usual on the free transfer front.
A maximum of one unused free transfer will be rolled over into Gameweek 8 if you don’t use it in this fixture-less round, as is common practise in any other normal Gameweek of the season.
If you’ve already got two free transfers in your pocket for Gameweek 7, then it goes without saying that you can’t roll both over to Gameweek 8.
WHAT IF I’VE ALREADY PLAYED A CHIP?
The Triple Captain and Bench Boost chip can, of course, be cancelled even if they have already been activated.
Free Hits can’t be cancelled but, as alluded to above, the good news is that you’ll get it back after Gameweek 7.
In FPL’s words…
“Please note that managers can cancel any Triple Captain or Bench Boost chip they have played ahead of the Gameweek 7 deadline
“Managers who have played their Free Hit chips won’t be able to cancel them but they will be automatically reinstated after the Gameweek 7 deadline.
“Any Triple Captain and Bench Boost chips played in Gameweek 7 will also be reinstated after the deadline.”
As for Wildcards, you can’t cancel those either – but FPL say that any Wildcard that is already activated will “roll over into the next Gameweek”.
Wildcarders, therefore, will be able to tinker away to their heart’s content for an extra week and don’t have to get anything finalised before this Saturday’s deadline.
WHO SHOULD I TRANSFER IN?
If you’ve got two free transfers burning a hole in your pocket ahead of Gameweek 7, you may be tempted to use one just to avoid it being lost.
There are different schools of thought of what to do here:
- Play the price rises: Use your transfer to potentially gain team value or avoid being priced out of future targets: i.e. transfer in Kieran Trippier (£5.2m), who looks set to increase in value on Saturday evening if the price prediction websites are accurate.
- Transfer in for Gameweek 8 fixtures: Probably the riskiest play is to transfer in players on the assumption that Gameweek 8 is going ahead, given that we have no idea whether this will be the case. Some media outlets have expressed concerns about the entire Gameweek 8 calendar being postponed, while others suggest the games being held in London – Spurs v Leicester, Brentford v Arsenal and Chelsea v Liverpool – are the most at risk due to police resources potentially being needed elsewhere in the lead-up to the Queen’s funeral. That second scenario would leave us with a six-match Gameweek 8, should Brighton v Crystal Palace still be off.
It’s all speculation at this stage, of course, but targeting a player from one of the eight teams listed above carries particular risks.
- Transfer in for Gameweek 9 fixtures: If Gameweek 8 does fall by the wayside, the Premier League will definitely be back with us in Gameweek 9 after the international break. Targeting players for Gameweek 9 onwards might be the safest ploy, then, particularly for managers who have already used their Wildcard. The below screenshot of our Season Ticker shows the clubs with the most favourable-on-paper fixture runs from Gameweek 9-16, though take note of Leicester and Chelsea, two clubs whose matches are scheduled to take place in London in Gameweek 8, and Palace, whose fixture next weekend was originally postponed because of strike action.
What happens to the postponed fixtures?
The postponed Gameweek 7 fixtures will be allocated to another date later in the season and could form part of a huge Double Gameweek if they are all moved en masse to one free midweek/weekend.
Points scored in these fixtures will apply to the new Gameweek in which the fixtures are played and not to Gameweek 7.
Barring any radical schedule changes, the earliest this will happen will be January 2023.
In Head-to-Head league matches in Fantasy, if neither manager made transfers incurring points deductions that Gameweek, then the Gameweek 7 matches will be drawn and managers will earn one point each.
As there are no points deductions for transfer in Draft, all Gameweek 7 matches in Classic and Head-to-Head leagues will be drawn.