This article is part of our Fantasy Premier League Rankings series.
The congested holiday period around Christmas is loved by many fantasy Premier League players because it gives us a lot more of what we want (more matches!) in a shorter amount of time. However, the Christmas period is hardly the only congested spot in the fixture list, and we're deep in the middle of another one now, with not only some teams competing in the Champions League or Europa League, but also the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, the latter of which ended Sunday when Manchester City defeated Chelsea in penalties.
The plethora of matches usually leads to some muscular injuries, as players are pretty fatigued from the constant play. No match exemplified that more than the Manchester United v. Liverpool match Sunday, which saw Ander Herrera come off in the 21st minute with a hamstring injury, followed by Juan Mata in the 25th because of a hamstring injury, Roberto Firmino in the 31st with a foot injury and then Jesse Lingard, who subbed on for Mata, with a hamstring injury of his own in the 43rd. And we didn't find out how bad it was until after the match, but apparently Marcus Rashford had a severely swollen ankle because of repeated fouls, giving Manchester United nine confirmed injuries heading into Gameweek 28, one that commences two days after Gameweek 27 concluded.
You cannot accurately predict or plan for injuries, which makes fantasy Premier League so difficult because you want to outline our team for the next four, six or eight weeks to minimize your blank gameweek players and maximize your double gameweek players, but it takes just one injury to a player like Rashford or Firmino or Aymeric Laporte, who was injured against Chelsea, to completely ruin your plans. So, while we want to ensure we're set up for maximum success, just remember to always be prepared in case your plans are tossed into the trash bin.
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2:45 pm: Arsenal vs. AFC Bournemouth
2:45 pm: Southampton vs. Fulham
3:00 pm: Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur
3:00 pm: Crystal Palace vs. Manchester United
3:00 pm: Liverpool vs. Watford
3:00 pm: Manchester City vs. West Ham United