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. Dybala10
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 18 days ago

    Any idea who to start out of Lingard (EVE H) or Holgate (WHU A & AVL A)?

    I feel like Lingard has the higher ceiling and not massively confident on Holgate getting one clean sheet, but feels odd benching a DGW player.

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 18 days ago

      Start Lingard. Holgate might even be dropped.

  2. Svidde
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 18 days ago

    1. Lindelof + kabak (for coady and rudiger)
    2. Phillips + awb (for coady and rudiger)
    3. phillips + maguire (for coady and rudiger)

    1. linkafu
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 18 days ago

      2

    2. KuttiBunja
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 18 days ago

      1.

    3. Maeki2
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 18 days ago

      1

  3. linkafu
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 18 days ago

    Why do I see Zaha as a trap? 😉

    A Zaha
    B JWP

    1. KuttiBunja
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 18 days ago

      B 100%

    2. GinjaWhinja
      • 12 Years
      2 months, 18 days ago

      C. Maddison

      1. linkafu
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Need a player whom will play in GW36

    3. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 18 days ago

      He is a troll of epic LOTR proportions.

    4. Steiger
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 18 days ago

      B

  4. egan
      2 months, 18 days ago

      Help me pick one:
      a. JWP (M Sou)
      b. El Ghazi (M Avl)
      c. Evans (D Lei)
      d. Coleman (D Eve)

      1. linkafu
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 18 days ago

        A

      2. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        A

      3. Alonso The Great Midfielder
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        b if no watkin

    • tissae
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 18 days ago

      Will Holding start both matches ?

      1. KuttiBunja
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Nope. Max 1 w luiz back.

      2. Pariße
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        The word around here is no. I got him a few game weeks ago, and apparently, he's the next in line to be rotated.

    • JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 18 days ago

      To those asking if they should use their chips.

      When else exactly are you planning on using them if not this week?

      I can't see how there will be a better opportunity.

      1. KuttiBunja
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        So TC Bruno you think? Or Salah?

        1. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          I couldn't look at myself in the mirror if I didn't triple Bruno in in a triple game week.

          I'm not saying it will 100% work, but I'd play the upside.

          1. KuttiBunja
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Have Salah too. Even Nacho. Bruno best option for TC? Given fixture congestions and hard fixtures?

            1. JabariParkersEyelid
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 18 days ago

              I've said more than once (on last page as well) that I would use it on Bruno. I have no reservations about that, he's my captain this week.

              1. KuttiBunja
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 18 days ago

                Okay. Thanks man will be a last min decision.

      2. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Saving for next season, want get off to a good start.

    • DavidBadWillie
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Anyone got a strike force of just Iheanacho and Vardy??

        Feel very underwhelmed.

        1. Holmes
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Just feel that they wont score more than 2 goals over 2 games, thats why avoiding

        2. All about the galacticos
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Indeed last week for Vardy, then straight to Antonio

        3. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Kane, Vardy

      • LakhaneeFC
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Bottomed.

        Transferred Bruno out before GW34 for Son. Did my transfers this before TGW was announced for a hit :/
        - Dias to Digne
        - Davis to Watkins

        Would love your views on the team:
        Current team:
        Martinez (Areola)
        Shaw Digne TAA (Regulion Struijk)
        Greenwood Son Salah Jota (Lingard)
        Kane Watkins Nacho

        1. How essential is Bruno and who to lose to get him back?
        2. Any other changes you’d make to this team? (Transfers or playing 11)

        Cheers!

      • RedJive79
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Morning all. Is this GTG? Or would you -4 for Bam to Watkins and drop Lingz to the bench?? Thanks!

        Martinez
        Shaw / TAA / Dallas
        Jota / Salah / Greenwood / Lingz / Bruno (c)
        Kane / Nacho

        Areola / Bam / Veltman / Struijk

      • ratski
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Who scores more this gw... Pick one from each
        A. Mane
        B. Vardy

        1. Digne
        2. Castagne

        1. KuttiBunja
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          a2

        2. Kabayan
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Currently on B2 but might change before deadline

        3. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Think Vardy is due, b2

      • Nespinha
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Mendy
        Fofana, Digne, Phillips
        Son, Salah, Bruno, Jota, Mount
        Iheanacho, Vardy

        subs: Forster, Coady, Holding, Davis

        Thinking:

        A) Mount --- Greenwood/Zaha
        B) Mount + Holding --- Greenwood/Zaha + Shaw (-4)

      • Bleh
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Any changes you’d make to this FH?

        Guaita
        TAA, Maguire, Digne
        Salah, Zaha, Greenwood (C), Bruno
        Vardy, Iheanacho, DCL

        1. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Bold captain choice in Greenwood!

          Good team.

          Vardy hasn't done enough to impress me but worth a try with good fixtures

          1. Bleh
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Thanks, may chicken out on the captain choice but holding firm for now! Vardy definitely a punt.

      • Miguel Sanchez
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Captain:

        A) Salah
        B) Greenwood
        C) Rashford

        1. linkafu
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          A

        2. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          A

        3. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Salah

      • linkafu
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Cavani or TAA?

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          TAA

        2. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          TAA

      • Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Anyone else going Salah over Bruno for C?

        1. linkafu
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Yeah

          1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Nice!

        2. Maddamotha
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          No

        3. ZAMUNDA
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Leaning towards it

          1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            The argument for it is really strong. Top 4 ambitions. Golden boot ambition. Playing Southampton and then possibly a tired United team.

            1. KuttiBunja
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 18 days ago

              So if you had TC, you would rather Salah than Bruno?

              1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 18 days ago

                Yes.

      • 1912 F.A Cup Winners
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Good morning everyone!!! Best option here???

        A- Play Holding
        Or
        B- Get Shaw -4
        C- Get Maguire -4

        Cheers!!!

        1. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          C

        2. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          C

        3. linkafu
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          C

          1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Thanks guys!!! Reassuring that what’s my initial plan!! Weill go Maguire!!! Cheers!! Best of luck!!

      • Netters2018
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Salah cpt yeah? Or protect rank by Bruno? I honestly see Salah matching bruno... ole comments after game says no one is playing all 3

        1. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Salah

        2. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Oh blimey I didn’t see that, does that comment extend to Maguire too do you think?? Only one I could imagine playing all 3, obviously not with those comments

      • tissae
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Would you rather have A or B for BB?

        A) Holding + Watkins
        B) Digne + Davis

        1. GreennRed
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          A

        2. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          A

        3. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Has to be more potential for points in A imo

      • Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Morning all

        Am I G2G here? Have doubts around who to bench tbh!

        0itb -4. No chips left
        Mendy
        TAA, Shaw, Coleman
        Bruno (C), Salah (v), Greenwood, Jota
        Kane, DCL, Iheanacho
        (Forster) (Rudiger, Lingard, Masuaku)

        I am currently on 8 starters for GW36 so will either use FT for 9 or stretch to 10 with a -4.

        Cheers and GL!

      • Nedvěd11
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Need some help on GK and DEF

        1. Start Leno or Forster?
        2. Start Holding or Rud? (Got Azpi..)

        Cheers

        1. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Forster rudiger

          1. Nedvěd11
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Thanks

        2. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Forster and Rudiger

          1. Nedvěd11
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Thanks

      • BigAsGiroud_
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Mendy (Forster)
        TAA Fofana Holding (Rudiger Lowton)
        Salah Bruno Son Jota (ESR)
        Kane Watkins Nacho

        Plans to do Rudiger and Son to Digne and Zaha this week,
        and Fofana and Nacho to Dallas and Antonio for -4 next week,
        that's good hah?

      • Peekay
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Is this team good for BB? Question marks on my Arsenal assets

        Leno Forster
        Holding- J. Ward-Shaw-Phillips Digne
        Sallah Bruno Lingard Son Saka
        Vydra Kane Kelechi

        1. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Arsenal asset is an oxymoron.

          1. Tambling5
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Lucky for a Knight they no longer have Pennant. You'd have to have him!

      • Oooo Matron
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Any better options in the same price bracket than Mendy or Lingard?

      • the dom 1
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Would do any of these moves for a -4?

        a. Jota > Zaha
        b. Bamford > DCL

        Leading my ML by like 22 pts

        Cheers

        1. JustSomeGuy
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Old probably do it for DCL, although I'd probably want Bamford back.

      • tim
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Bench boost good to go?

        Martinez Fabri
        Holding Targett Veltman Mitchell Maguire
        Salah Lingard Bruno(C) Jota Greenwood
        Nacho Kane DCL

        CHEERS LADS!

        1. nurav11
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          Yeh very set there

      • Maddamotha
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Would you bench boost this team, and do either:

        A) Son, Lingard, Brewster > Greenwood, Ward-Prowse, Watkins (-4)
        B) Son, Lingard > Greenwood, Zaha
        C) Dont play BB

        TEAM ATM :

        Martinez
        Shaw, Castagne, Rudiger
        Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
        Vardy, Nacho

        Forster, Targett, Brewster, Struijk

        1. nurav11
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 18 days ago

          I like A and then BBing - other options mean I doubt you'll get much change out of the BB (but also not sure when you'd use it otherwise), any way to get DCL in?

          1. Maddamotha
            • 4 Years
            2 months, 18 days ago

            Yeah, dont know which other week to play it. Difficult to get DCL in. Have to shuffle around some more then. Cheers.

      • JustSomeGuy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 18 days ago

        I'll likely end up with 12 double players (of which 2/3 will be triples).

        One of them will be Watkins and I'm edging towards him being benched. Am I mad?

      • BrutalLogiC
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Should I use free hit or just use 2 FT and save for next week

        Martinez
        Shaw Rudiger Konsa
        Bruno Salah Son Lingard
        Kane Nacho Bamford

      • Lignja
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        Mendy, Forster
        Shaw, Holding, Coleman, Philips, Coady
        Salah, Jota, Son, Bruno, Saka
        Dcl, Ihenacho, Kane

        2ft 0.5m itb, Will BB.

        A. Coady to Lindelof (roll other ft)
        B. Coady, Forster to Henderson, Mitchell

      • cuppatea78
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 18 days ago

        What do you reckon.

        Kane > DCL for -4?