What the EFL Cup semi-final first legs might mean for FPL
Although the two-legged EFL Cup semi-final ties aren’t yet settled, we can start thinking ahead. The final will interfere with FPL.
Man United’s place at Wembley looks secure, with Newcastle also winning their away leg.
Should they compete in the Sunday 26th February final, it will likely bring a blank Gameweek 25 for four teams. Man United, Newcastle and league opponents Brentford and Brighton.
As the following midweek is for the domestic FA Cup games rather than European, the two matches could simply be nudged to midweek and remain part of Gameweek 25.
However, this would require Man United to be eliminated by Reading and Brighton to lose to Liverpool. Both fourth-round ties take place this weekend.
It certainly creates a conundrum for those about to go all-in on Erik ten Hag’s Double Gameweek 22 side. Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw could be kept by FPL managers to ride out the storm but a third asset would increase the problem, especially with Newcastle having hugely popular names Kieran Trippier, Miguel Almiron and Nick Pope.
Furthermore, Ivan Toney, Solly March and Kaoru Mitoma would also be absent for this potential blank.
So what if Nottingham Forest or Southampton overturn the deficits and reach the final?
Due to face West Ham and Leeds respectively, three of these four could still be FA Cup competitors by Gameweek 25’s midweek. All are against lower-league opposition in the fourth round.
But very few players from Forest, West Ham, Southampton and Leeds have notable FPL ownership. Just Rodrigo, the already-injured Dean Henderson and heavily-rotated Neco Williams.
In all likelihood, it’ll be a Man United and Newcastle EFL Cup final, where the latter could avoid a Gameweek 25 blank depending on the Brighton v Liverpool FA Cup clash.