Pro Pundit Teams

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. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 8 hours ago

    Hi.....2fts. 0 cash

    Thoughts on son and vardy to Bruno (c) and dcl?

    Then it's a - 8 to field 11 in gw36.....

    Struggling to see an better plan than this....

    Thanks

    Mendy (forster)
    Taa shaw konsa (Dawson holding)
    Salah son jota greenwood (lingard)
    Kane vardy nacho

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Why not just Son >> Bruno(c) and roll the second. -4 for 11 next week or just play no keeper next week

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 7 hours ago

        I can't afford just son to Bruno....

  2. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 8 hours ago

    BB Active. Yay or Nay for a hit?

    Lingard+Coady >> Greenwood+Ward (-4)?

    Mendy
    TAA. Shaw. Rudiger. Holding
    Salah. Bruno. Jota
    Kane. DCL. Nacho
    (Forster, ASM, Lingard, Coady)

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Haha! Thanks bud

    1. drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      surely play lingard over holding

      1. drughi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        oh nothing

        1. RAFA THE GAFFA
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          Bench boost buddy aye

    2. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Would do that
      Losing Lingard, I'd get Antonio for the last two gw's

    3. jtreble
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      6 GW36 blankers + Forster > 7 GW36 blankers + Forster.

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        What does this mean? Sorry haha

        1. jtreble
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          With this move you'll have 7 players that blank in GW36 + Forster, correct?

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 7 hours ago

            Oh, the I read the greater than sign. So don’t do the moves then? I’ll get potentially 3 extra games this week though?

            Greenwood(x3)
            Ward(x2)

            1. jtreble
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 7 hours ago

              What's your plan for GW36 where you'll have 8 players that won't start?

              1. RAFA THE GAFFA
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 7 hours ago

                Would be a hit to get 9 out. I could go Zaha in the move above? Or I could just roll my FT.

                1. jtreble
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 7 hours ago

                  I'd recommend you use a model like fplreview.com to optimize your transfers. GL.

    4. sneif4
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      I'd do it

    5. Maddamotha
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Do you think Forster will play?

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Yes hass has said

        1. Maddamotha
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          Thought Hass didnt say who would play?

    6. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Looks solid

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Cheers boss. Means only 7 next week though. 9 with a hit

    7. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Or Greenwood could be Zaha?

  3. Hitthewall
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Is Mendy -> Guaita worth a -4?

      Makes be able to go DCL instead of Watkins.

      Also no GK in 36 if i dont transfer out Mendy.

      1. Ha.
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Yes if it enables DCL in the same hit

    • Ha.
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      G2G?

      Guaita
      AWB, TAA, Fofana, Holding
      Salah, Bruno (c), Son, Jota
      Kane, Nacho

      Forster Vydra, Coady, Traore

    • langov
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Is Mitchell nailed?

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        He was last game

      2. Phlajo
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        No

    • corderz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Which one would you keep?

      A) Kane
      B) Son
      C) Both

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Kane.
        Bruno to Son is easy switch in GW36

        1. corderz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 7 hours ago

          So Son > Bruno this week?

          1. Pompel
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            3 months, 7 hours ago

            yes

      2. Ha.
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        C

      3. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Kane

    • Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Have this knack that I need DCL for GWs 35+36, but would mean one hit extra over Watkins:

      A) Bamford -> Watkins -4pts
      B) Bamford + Rudiger -> DCL + Phillips -8pts
      C) keep Bumford

      cheers

    • Straobalno
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Have BB and TC. Is it better to use TC on Bruno now or BB? If i use BB now i would TC salah against CRY

      1. Hybrid.power
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        I'd love to triple captain a triple player, just for the novelty! Who knows when it will happen again

      2. sneif4
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Depends on how good your bench is!

    • JONALDINHO
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Kane and Lingard to Bruno and DCL or Son and Azpi to Bruno and Ward?

      1. Straobalno
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Son and azpi

      2. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Difficult one, but I'd lean towards the latter as easier switch in GW36

    • sneif4
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Bench boosting this lot:

      Martinez Johnstone
      TAA Maguire Castagne Holding Ward
      Salah Greenwood Lingard Zaha Jota
      Vardy Nacho Watkins

      Anything worth a hit?
      Salah captain?

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Decent. Salah safe captain choice

      2. Rupert The Horse
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 7 hours ago

        Yikes. No Bruno.

      3. Super Saints
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 7 hours ago

        I want to bring in Ward but sounds like he'll be rotated with Clyne, is Mitchell a safer bet?

    • waltzingmatildas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Still lost as to what to do with 2fts and 0itb.

      Mendy
      TAA Shaw Castagne
      Salah Bruno Greenwood Jota Lingard
      Kane Nacho
      (Forster Holding Vydra Veltman)

      Kane to DCL would give cash to upgrade for next week but unsure.
      Any suggestions?

      1. sneif4
        • 8 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Great team, and tough call, but I'd probably do it. DCL has SU next week too

        1. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          Yeah, tempting. It's whether I then upgrade Vydra or Lingard this week for the 2nd ft that's confusing me!
          Cheers

      2. Camzy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Holding out to prepare for next week maybe? With no money it's tricky though. Maybe Mitchell.

        1. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          Yeah, good point. Mitchell or maybe Struijk?

      3. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        That team can't be faulted, really. Lingard to Eze or JWP , if anything

        1. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 7 hours ago

          Ha, cheers. Looks great for this week, not so much for next!

      4. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Perhaps use one on goalkeeper as you may have none playing in 36!

        1. waltzingmatildas
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          Yeah Mendy to McCarthy or Pickford maybe.

      5. Dr. Mantis Toboggan
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        In a similar situation, it's tough.
        I had been considering Mendy -> Meslier on the basis that Forster was playing both in the double, but Ralph's latest comments make that seem less certain.

        I think I'd to Kane move in your case

    • Jdpz
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Schmeichel, Forster
      TAA, Shaw, Coady, Fofana, Reguilon
      Bruno, Jota, Lingard, Son, Bowen
      Iheanacho, Bamford, Kane

      0.1m itb., 2ft. I still have bboost and TC

      a) Bowen, Son >>> Zaha, Greenwood
      b) Bamford, Son >>> Watkins/Cavani, Zaha/Greenwood
      c) Son, Kane >>> Salah/Mane, Watkins/Cavani

      1. Maeki2
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        I go with c

    • quayle99
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Martinez
      Azpi* Trent Targett Shaw
      Lingard* Son Ferndes(c) Perriera
      Iheancho Kane*

      Sanchez Bamford Dallas Rafinha*

      Azpi Lingard Rafinha Kane - Mitchell Salah Greenwood DCL. worth a -12?!
      Then bench Bamford, Perrira, Dallas.

      Perriera > Ward Prowse next week and I can play 11.

      1. quayle99
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 8 hours ago

        Considering just Lingard + Rafinha >>> Zaha Greenwood. Have money in the bank.
        Then Fernandes > Salah next week...

    • RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 8 hours ago

      Which FH combo?

      A) Utd def and Guaita
      B) Castagne and Henderson

      1. KAALI_DAAL
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          A

        • sneif4
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          I haven't seen Henderson mentioned much, but that could be a good shout

      2. KAALI_DAAL
          3 months, 8 hours ago

          Have 5M.

          Which defender is worth taking a hit for? Already have Shaw and Azpi.

          1. rubberdignerapids
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 8 hours ago

            Nobody sub 5m

            1. KAALI_DAAL
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Mitchell? Phillips?

                1. Super Saints
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 7 hours ago

                  Mitchell over Ward?

          2. Finding Timo
              3 months, 8 hours ago

              Play 2 of 1) rudiger 2) holding 3) lingard

              1. rubberdignerapids
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                1) and 2)

            • Old Gregg
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              3 months, 8 hours ago

              Which combo please.

              1) JWP + DCL
              2) Greenwood + Antonio

              1. rubberdignerapids
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                1

            • rubberdignerapids
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 8 hours ago

              A, B or C?

              A) Cresswell + Mendy + 8 points
              B) Robertson + Mendy + 4 points
              C) Robertson + Guaita

              (Other GK is Fabri)

            • cescpistols111
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 8 hours ago

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

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

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

              Forster Coady Burke N.Williams

            • DavidBadWillie
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Any other Arsenal fans want to discuss Arteta??

                Taking of Aubamayang after hitting the post twice was and needing a goal was the final straw for me.

                Selling Martinez and giving players like David Luiz a new contract and Cedric and Willian big contracts was very poor.

                Arsenal need the Spotify owners and real investment in the team.

                1. Jonny HOW SON?
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  At least you won't have Europe next year to worry about.
                  No excuses next season, if he doesn't get a good position in the table.
                  If he stays, of course...

              • Nespinha
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Pick what looks like the best move:

                A) Holding --- Shaw

                B) Coady + Jota --- TAA + El Ghazi (-4)

                C) Phillips + Son --- Robertson + Greenwood (-4)

              • TVPlugSockets
                • 1 Year
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                I’m BB and back 5 is:

                Shaw Phillips Holding Coady Rudiger.

                Have one transfer to improve defence, want to bring in a Palace/Villa/Everton player so they’re playing next week too.

                What move would you make?

              • Maeki2
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Kane + traore + dias -> nacho + Salah + lindelöf -4

                Or keep dias without hit?

                1. Reacher
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  keep Diaz and no hit

              • Reacher
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Who should I bench

                A, Mount

                or

                B, Jota

                only other single GW player is Kane and i cant bench him

                1. Bavarian
                  • 3 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  A

                2. TVPlugSockets
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  A I’d say.

                3. ElliotJHP
                  • 9 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  B

              • Bavarian
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                who to play?
                1-Rudiger
                2-Coufal
                3-Dallas

                1. Reacher
                  • 11 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  Rudi

              • Ready Manager One
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Any thoughts on this team? 1 FT 0.1 ITB

                Martinez
                TAA Shaw Rudiger
                Salah Jota Bruno Son Lingz
                Kane Nacho
                (Forster; Vydra, Llorente, Holding)

                Atm thinking of doing Son to Greenwood with 1 FT, but that worries me about next gw

                TIA!

                1. TVPlugSockets
                  • 1 Year
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  I’d do the transfer. Just to be safe. I’d presume there will be lots of hits next week anyway

              • Lindelol
                • 3 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                I thought I had activated the FH and just checked and it was not!!
                Lucky!!

              • Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                1FT 0.3 ITB and no chips left here guys. Essentially a question of pick 2 from DCL Watkins Greenwood Zaha JWP Siggy (?)

                A) Vydra Son Coady to DCL Greenwood Coufal/other 4.8 (-8)
                B) Vydra Son to Watkins Greenwood (or Zaha/someone else) (-4)
                C) Vydra Lingard to DCL JWP (-4)

                Martinez (Forster)
                TAA Shaw Rudiger (Coady Johnson)
                Bruno(c) Salah Son Jota Lingard
                Kane Iheanacho (Vydra)

                Sadly the defender move is needed to find 0.1 in A... Lingard would be benched in A/B

                1. Super Saints
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  If you can get Son back next week then B for me.

              • Super Saints
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Leno + Rudiger > Henderson + Ward -4?

                Need to play BB and it allows me funds to get Kane and Son next week for 11.

                Henderson
                TAA Castagne Shaw Ward
                Salah Bruno Jota
                Vardy DCL Nacho
                Lloris Lingard Pereira Coufal

              • ElliotJHP
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 8 hours ago

                Zaha or Greenwood? Would have 9 players and 1FT for the next GW if I went Mason

                1. Super Saints
                  • 4 Years
                  3 months, 8 hours ago

                  G