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Seven-time top 10k finisher Zophar on Man Utd’s best Triple Gameweek 35 players

One of the most consistent FPL managers in the game, Zophar, is on course for his eighth top 10k finish. Here, he takes an in-depth look at Manchester United’s assets ahead of their Triple Gameweek.


It’s been a surreal 12 hours.

My own team, Chelsea, have trounced Real Madrid and progressed to the Champions League final, a scenario that many of us would have deemed impossible midway through the season.

As tempted as I am to wax lyrical for another 1,000 words about the Blues, I cannot ignore the elephant in the room: Manchester United’s TRIPLE Gameweek!

The Manchester United v Liverpool fixture being postponed in Gameweek 34 hit all of us hard and myself included, as I had five players in that fixture. While this immediate, surprise rescheduling gives us an opportunity to get some of those points back, the schedule indicates that it might not be that simple. Let’s get stuck into it.

I’m writing this piece before United have played in the UEFA Europa League, and while the Red Devils carry a four-goal advantage going into the second leg, I don’t see them fielding a weakened team as that would offer Roma a glimmer of hope – which is the last thing they’d want to do. I expect the likes of Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m), Edinson Cavani (£7.9m) and Marcus Rashford (£9.6m) to start, with early substitutions the likely route to rest.

The Red Devils play a total of four games in a space of seven days, a schedule that is largely unprecedented and given that it is at the tail-end of the season, when players are already mentally and physically fatigued from a congested schedule, rotation is inevitable. 

Motivation

Manchester United are in a firm position to clinch UEFA Champions League qualification, sitting nine points clear of fifth placed West Ham. With their superior goal difference, the Red Devils effectively need just three points to seal it. So there’s no real need to flog players and risk injury with such short turnarounds. There is some merit to finishing as high up the table as possible, too, so that has to be factored in as well. 

Scheduling

The turnaround time from the Europa League to the Villa fixture isn’t too bad. After all, it’s the usual Thursday-Sunday schedule that they’ve handled all season. A full rest since their last Europa League game due to the Liverpool postponement would also help in terms of energy levels.

The curveball here is the next two fixtures, against more formidable opposition on Tuesday and Thursday. 

Now, do United consider resting players for Villa to prioritise the Leicester and Liverpool games or do they go for the more ‘winnable’ points? I think they go for the former as the game against Leicester is almost a six-pointer, as it would open up the gap against the Foxes. The Liverpool fixture is always a big one too because of the rivalry. It’s not ideal when you think about captaincy for Fernandes, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he played all three. 

Which players are the most likely to see minutes?

Harry Maguire (£5.5m), Fernandes and Rashford are the only players to feature in every single league match for United this season, while only Maguire has played every minute. 

On this basis, you would assume that the most nailed-on asset in defence is obviously Maguire. I think Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£5.7m) is also relatively safe for starts but I would worry about Luke Shaw (£5.4m) with Alex Telles (£5.3m) available and the Englishman’s past history with muscle injuries. Victor Lindelof (£4.8m) doesn’t fill me with confidence with Eric Bailly (£4.8m) around, either.

Fernandes is the obvious attacking pick, having seen the most minutes of any of their attackers. For the next best pick, let’s have a closer look at the minutes over the last seven Gameweeks rather than the season.

The likes of Wan-Bissaka, Shaw, Lindelof, Maguire and Dean Henderson (£5.2m) have played the entirety the last seven Gameweeks, with Fernandes missing out by just one minute.

Rashford’s game-time has been managed to an extent due to the niggling injury he has been carrying and he’s struggled to play two games a week, let alone four, so I am not tempted by him there. We have often seen Paul Pogba (£7.6m) play on the left, as well, which reduces the appeal of Rashford on the right.

It is encouraging to see Mason Greenwood (£7.2m) feature in all five of their last league matches for an average of 75 minutes each. At just 19 years of age, the youngster can recover quicker than most in the United squad and should see a decent amount of minutes across the three matches, especially given Rashford’s struggles. 

Attacking stats

My team

I’m sitting with two free transfers and £0.2m in the bank. As it stands, I have four players who will blank in Gameweek 36, and Rhian Brewster (£4.3m). 

My plan is to sell Son Heung-min (£9.6m) for Greenwood this week and roll the other transfer. Then, next week, I plan on reversing that move and bringing Gareth Bale (£9.1m) in for Fernandes. I do think the Red Devils will play a weakened team in Gameweek 38 with the Europa League final in mind, so I might get only the Fulham fixture out of Fernandes. This would also allow me to fund Brewster to Michail Antonio (£6.4m) for a -4. This would allow me to bench Kelechi Iheanacho, Shaw and AntonioRudiger and have a strong squad for any unexpected rotation in the final weeks. 

I know there’s talk – and justifiably so – about this Triple Gameweek being a trap and whatnot, but this is only the second time I’ve seen it happen in my 12 years of playing FPL and I just cannot bring myself not to max out on it. In five years’ time, I don’t want to be saying that I had only two players when Manchester United had a Triple Gameweek, irrespective of the outcome. 

Enjoy the chaos. One thing is for sure, there will never be a season like this again.

Thanks for reading. 

THE FPL WIRE PODCAST WITH ZOPHAR, LATERISER AND TOM FREEMAN


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1,947 Comments Post a Comment
  1. LloristheHounds
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Out ;
    Mendy, rudiger, son
    In;
    Pickford,
    A) McGuire, B) digne
    1) greenwood 2) zaha

    For a - 4 hit
    Which defender and mid, Thoughts?

    1. ZakyJ
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      1B

    2. gawa11
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      1A but how many will it leave for your next week

    3. Heiro
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      What's wrong with Mendy?

  2. SuperG
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A) Maguire
    B) AWB

    For this week, plus the rest of the season. Money no object.

    1. gawa11
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Maguire

    2. Cruyff's Eleven
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Ole just said Maguire won't play all minutes

  3. Heiro
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Do we think holding starts both?
    Toying with Wan bisaka switch

  4. gawa11
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Play Kane against leeds
    or use FT and bring in ward for shu/sou

  5. STONEROSES
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A. DCL & JWP
    B. Watkins & Zaha

    WHICH IS BETTER LADS??
    Ta very!

    1. gawa11
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      B but toss of a coin really

  6. TNB
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Leading my ML by 30pts with 2FT 0.5ITB and no chips

      CT

      Martinez
      TAA - Holding - Holding
      Bruno - Salah - Lingard - Son
      Vydra - Kane - Ihenacho

      (Forster - Coufal - Coady - Gundo)

      I'm considering the following options:

      1. Son & Vydra > Greenwood & DCL
      2. Son to Rashford (roll the extra FT)
      3. Son, Vydra and Rudiger/Holding for Greenwood, Benteke, Digne or (Wan Bissaka/Maguire) -4

      1. TNB
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Rudiger* (Holding)

          1. Heiro
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            You don't think holding plays both?

            Leeds are an odd side. Could be 5-5 or 0-0

            1. TNB
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Very difficult to say, captained his side against Villareal last week and then no in the match squad vs newcastle over the weekend. With David Luis injury he might be more likely to play but still a hit and miss

              • DannyDrinkVodka
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 10 days ago

                I have zero confidence in Arsenal being able to keep a clean sheet

                1. Heiro
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 10 days ago

                  Very good point. I was worried more about him playing two then actually scoring points

        • More Cowbell
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Do we think Nat Phillips plays both games for Liv in the double?

        • Gun gun
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Capt salah?

          1. Thia6o
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Why not i cannot see any triple assets playing every game.

        • JamRec
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 10 days ago

          What do you think:

          a) Son for Greenwood for 4 pts
          b) Salah for Fernandez for 4pts
          c) Both for 8pts
          d) Neither - go through the hell of not owning Fernandez for this triple week!

        • Thia6o
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Who to Captain?-Chasing down 60 point mini league Leader

          Guiata
          TAA Coleman Shaw
          Salah Zaha Greenwood Bruno
          DCL Kane Iheanacho

          Forster Mitchell Dallas Lingard

          1. Thia6o
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            On W/C
            Leader has Bruno TAA Shaw as i have.

        • KeepCalm
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Is this the last DGW right?

          1. Thia6o
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Unless any other games are postponed then atm yes. This season has been one to remember though so who knows.

        • Rabb05
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Sitting second in mini league and leader who is 90pts ahead has bruno,shaw and Henderson so I need to differentiate. Not sure what to do. Appreciate any thoughts

            Huge risk not going bruno but considering these for a -8 or -4. Too reckless?

            A.Aspi,Son,Bowen, Pereira > Maguire, Greenwood, Zaha, Siggi
            B.Aspi,Son, Bowen > Maguire,Greenwood,Rashford

            Other option is punting on Cavani but would need to lose Kane to do so

          • Jam0sh
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Is this the real life

            1. mynameisq
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              It's fantasy

          • OptimusBlack
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Any help here ??
            PS: BB Activated
            Already -8 it worth to get Gauita instead of Areola ??

          • lastmanback
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Rudi to Maguire worth a hit? Already have bruno and shaw, but concerned Shaw wont get 3 games and that Rudi might only get one

            1. Cruyff's Eleven
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

            2. Cruyff's Eleven
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Ole just said Maguire won't play all minutes

          • cescpistols111
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Best move? 1FT, 2.4 ITB. No chips left.

            A. N.Williams -> Mitchell & start over Lingard
            B. Son/Lingard -> Greenwood
            C. Save FT, use 2FT before GW36 to move some blank players.

            Leno
            Shaw Kabak Rudiger
            Bruno (c) Son Jota Lingard
            Kane Vardy DCL (v)

            Forster Coady Burke N.Williams

          • JamRec
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Mount and Kane > Fernandez and Wood

            Thoughts?

          • Tshelby
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            No Bruno for me?

            1FT/ 0.1 ITB

            Martinez*, Guita*
            Konsa*, TAA*, Dallas, Castagne*, Veltman
            Salah*, Greenwood**, Jota*, Lingard, ESM*
            Kane, Vardy*, Nacho*

          • DannyDrinkVodka
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Any sense benching Son for a DGW defender like Rudiger or Holding? I could even get Lindelof for a hit!

          • Bergkamps second touch
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Got Leno and Forster.
            Which to replace, and to who? Thinking Guaita.

            1. Detweiler
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Guatia a nice pick.

          • Rabb05
              1 month, 10 days ago

              Is Bowen unlikely to play given Antonio is back?

              Zaha or Siggi?

              1. Detweiler
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Zaha

            • Rabb05
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Non-Bruno owner and chasing leader.
                Alrrady have Maguire and Greenwood.

                3rd utd player Rashford or Cavani?

              • Detweiler
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Play 2 from the below?

                A) Nat Pillips (SOU, mun)
                B) Konsa (MUN, EVE)
                C) Rudguer (mci, ARS)
                D) Son (lee)

                1. AzzaroMax99
                  • 4 Years
                  1 month, 10 days ago

                  AD

              • Bobby's Teeth
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Just for this GW (I am on FH) - please help choose one:

                1. Vardy (already have Nacho)
                2. DCL

              • Gandalf
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Sure it's been asked million times but not been checking much recently..

                1. Greenwood
                2. Zaha

                A. Swap Son for one of the above
                B. Hold and potentially bring in Bale for Bruno next week

              • AzzaroMax99
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Who to C here?

                A) Salah
                B) Greenwood
                C) Rash
                D) Jota
                E) Kane

              • Boss Hogg
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Rashford should get 2 starts right?
                Villa and Liverpool?
                Maybe also a sub appearance v Leicester?

              • Fantasy man on the top
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                1 month, 10 days ago

                Worth taking -4 to transfer out Vydra for Benteke? Gonna BB and need a better player for BB

              • Oggle22
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                Double Palace defence they'll win this 4 - 1 90minute goal for Sheffield