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FPL tips: How to make the final blanks and DGWs work to your advantage

As the Premier League season nears its close, double gameweeks and blanks offer opportunities in the Fantasy Premier League – but how can you make the most of them?

With the FA Cup fifth round completed, FPL managers should have a clearer idea of when these weeks may fall, and being in the know could be the difference between winning and losing your mini leagues in May…

All becomes clear

Derby County v Manchester United – FA Cup – Fifth Round – Pride Park

(Martin Rickett/PA)

The FA Cup quarter-final ties will take place during gameweek 31, meaning the league will lose six fixtures that weekend: Man City v Chelsea, Brighton v Leicester, Sheffield United v Manchester United, Aston Villa v Newcastle, Everton v Norwich and Arsenal v Southampton.

That means two things: the first is that only players from Tottenham, Liverpool, Wolves, Burnley, West Ham, Watford, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth will play in GW31.

The second is that the teams with blanks that week will have to have their fixtures rearranged, creating a DGW at some point.

The midweeks after GW34 and GW37 are the only ones without any European football currently scheduled, so look likely to become doubles if you’re looking for a big gameweek score.

With the FA Cup semi-finals taking place during GW34 however, GW37 remains the most likely bumper DGW at present.

Trustworthy teams

Liverpool v West Ham United – Premier League – Anfield

(Peter Byrne/PA)

A blank is just as good an opportunity as a DGW to make up ground on your rivals, with the poorly prepared likely to suffer heavily in the points department.

To prepare your side for such pitfalls, select players from Tottenham, Liverpool and Wolves – all three sides currently sit in the top seven of the league, and all are scheduled to have one match per gameweek for the remainder of the season.

At Liverpool, Mohamed Salah is the most in-form player according to the FPL’s metric, having scored six goals in his last 10 games.

At Tottenham that accolade belongs jointly to the injured Son Heung-min and the not-so injured Steven Bergwijn, who has notched two goals in the league since arriving at the club.

And finally, Wolves defender Matt Doherty is on fire in the midlands, with a goal, two assists and three clean sheets in his last four games.

Any of these in-form footballers could offer much needed stability in tricky times.

Risky business

Manchester City v West Ham United – Premier League – Etihad Stadium

(Martin Rickett/PA)

While keeping your team ticking over is important however, for some the prospect of an XI of players involved in DGWs could mean overhauling a rival.

If that’s your aim with the business end of the FPL season approaching, Man City and Man United could offer bumper returns with multiple DGWs possible for both sides.

At City, the man with the golden touch is currently Kevin De Bruyne, the Belgian leading the way with 178 FPL points and the additional incentive of being just four assists away from Thierry Henry‘s Premier League record.

KDB has been remarkably consistent in the minutes column too, having not missed a league game since GW8.

At United, Bruno Fernandes is the form man with two goals and two assists in his first four Premier League games for the club.

Fernandes is reasonably priced at £8.3m and owned by just 13.3% of managers. In favour at Old Trafford, the Portuguese could well play both games in a DGW, with the potential for huge returns.