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. Cabra
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    How many minutes will these two get in the double?
    Leno
    Forster

    1. JJeyy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      90
      90

    2. More Cowbell
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      I thought Sou press conference said that Forster plays the next 2? So 180 mins

      1. JJeyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Reiterated yesterday

      2. sunzip14
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Their manager has an updated vague version of which of the 2 GKs would start the next matches

    3. Don Kloppeone
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Forster looks likely to play both - have no clue re Leno tbh

  2. Gun gun
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Mendy
    Shaw digne taa
    Bruno salah mount saka siggy
    Nacho kane

    Subs steer saiss cresswell vydra

    Gonna activate BB.
    Will u still do mount to zaha for -8?

    1. More Cowbell
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      I woulnd't take the -8, looks g2g

      1. Gun gun
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Capt bruno or salah?

        1. More Cowbell
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Bruno for me.

    2. Alonso The Great Midfielder
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      no active second keeper?

      1. Gun gun
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Yeah dont have . But i dont think it matters

      2. Gun gun
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Imaginr if i take the -4 to get mccarthy or forster and they only play one game

  3. More Cowbell
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Hi All,

    Who is the best 4.5m defender for GW35 and beyond?

    1. sunzip14
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      I am bringing Phillips

      1. More Cowbell
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Do you think he plays both games?

  4. tissae
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Would you BB this? 0FT, 0.0itb

    Mendy
    TAA Shaw Fofana
    Salah Jota Bruno Greenwood Lingard

    Forster Rudiger Watkins Holding

    1. tissae
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      hahha, Kane + Nacho up top 🙂

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Yes

    3. More Cowbell
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Yes definitely, very nice looking BB that

  5. disarrays11
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 27 days ago

    Playing benchboost this GW and have 2 FT, going for 4 transfers to optimize.

    A) Shaw, Ward, Greenwood, DCL
    or
    B) Shaw, Keane, Ward-Prowse, Cavani

    cheers lads!

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      A

    2. justaguy9
        2 months, 27 days ago

        def A

    3. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Changes to my FH team?
      1.9 in the bank

      Guaita
      TAA, AWB, Castagne
      Salah, Bruno, Greenwood, Zaha
      Dcl, Vardy, Nacho

      Forster, Phillips, Mitchell, Saka subs

      1. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Pretty much how I’d want it GL

        1. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Cheers, GL

      2. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 27 days ago

        I'd maybe go Alisson over Guaita as you can afford it.

        1. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Can afford it and change sub Phillips to Vestergaard

      3. More Cowbell
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Looks lovely - Vardy the only ? for me.Maybe Watkins instead?

        1. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Gambling that he’s due. Avl fixtures not that month watering and Think Watkins’ ceiling is lower.

      4. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Looks good

        Seems a lot to leave itb on a FH - but I'm not sure I'd want the benching headache if you upgraded one of the bench!

        1. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Agree!

    4. wulfrunian
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Lingard->El Ghazi/Siggy for a hit?

      1. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 27 days ago

        I don't like it, Lingard has a great 36-38

    5. VaVaVoom14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Who gets more points this dgw:

      A) El Ghazi
      B) Saka
      C) Martinelli

      1. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        B

      2. Your Man With The Hair
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        B hopefully

      3. JabariParkersEyelid
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 27 days ago

        A.

    6. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Better pick?
      A) Watkins
      B) DCL (-4) - requires an extra hit to fund it

      Also probably replacing Greenwood with Son

      1. Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Son to Greenwood** ofc

      2. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        A

      3. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        A should do well - not worth the hit

      4. No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        A

    7. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Pereira (ars) or Eze (shu, sot) -4?

    8. TheDragon
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Good to go?

      Mendy
      Rudiger, Shaw, Philips
      Salah, Jota, Fernandes, Zaha
      Kane, DCL, Iheanacho
      Forster, Lingard, Veltman, Coady

      1. Your Man With The Hair
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        looks lovely

      2. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        V nice mate. G2G

      3. Super Saints
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Nice

      4. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Thanks all

        I’m not looking great for next week!

    9. Super Saints
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Best combo for next couple of game week's?

      A. Henderson Ward (11 for 36) -4
      B. Forster Maguire (10 for 36) -4
      C. Guaita Rudiger (10 for 36)

      1. RamaJama
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        B

        1. Super Saints
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Oooo really, how come? Possible 6 games from Henderson and Ward, max of 5 from Forster Maguire...

    10. Your Man With The Hair
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      Hi guys, chasing 30 points to get into the monies in my mini league. What are you thoughts on these safe-ish punts?

      GW35: Veltman & Son - > Robertson & Zaha
      GW36: Bruno - > Bale

      Current team, 2FT
      Ederson
      Shaw | TAA | Robertson
      Bruno | Salah | Zaha | Saka
      Kane | Iheanacho

      (Meslier, Mitchel, Lowton, Vydra)

      1. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Go for it

      2. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Looks like a decent plan

    11. Mikei
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 27 days ago

      The best goalkeeper regardless of price?

      1. Miguel Sanchez
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Mendy

      2. TheDragon
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        For this week - Guaita

        For rest of season - trickier

      3. GE
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Pickford for rest of the season

      4. Alonso The Great Midfielder
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        guaita

    12. winchester
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Hey lads! have 1ft and 0,1m itb and no chips left. Currently leading my ML with 2points, so I am not sure if I should take a hit?.. Could you please share some advice here what to do? Cheers all! Also, anyone know if Mitchell will play both games?

        mendy
        taa rudiger coufal
        son bruno lingard salah jota
        kane nacho

        (forster lowton davis mitchell)

        a) son+davis -> greenwood+watkins -4 ?
        b) son+davis -> zaha+watkins -4 ?
        c) son -> JWP?
        d) something else?

      • Gudjohnsen
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Captain

        A. TAA
        B. Salah
        C. Bruno
        D. Ihenacho
        E. DCL

        Mini league leader has Bruno captain.
        I'm second in my mini league

        Thoughts?

        1. Miguel Sanchez
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          B

        2. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 27 days ago

          How big is the gap?

          I'd lean Bruno and hope you can make the difference elsewhere unless it's over 50.

        3. Netters2018
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          B regardless... bruno will play villa and liverpool games....

      • Retro
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        I still have Nat Philips from Liverpool in my team. Is he likely to get his place back now after injury? Just have to wait and hope?

        1. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 27 days ago

          He was in the XI v United, you should be good.

        2. TeddiPonza
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Was on the confirmed teamsheet against Man Utd before the game was postponed

          1. Retro
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 27 days ago

            Thanks, both. Appreciate the help!

        3. TheDragon
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          He was confirmed in the starting 11 for the United game before it was cancelled

      • Lignja
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 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.

      • Tshelby
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        A/B/C?

        A) Vardy, Jota, Castagne -> DCL, Bruno, Mitchell (-8)
        B) Vardy, ESM, Castagne -> Vydra, Bruno, Mitchell (-8)
        C) Vardy, Jota -> DCL, Rashford (-4)

        1. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          C

      • Lindelol
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        I am on FH and which one should I drop out
        1. Kane
        2. DCL
        3. Vardy

        1. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Vardy of those

        2. RamaJama
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          If Kane, who are you getting for him?

          1. Lindelol
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 27 days ago

            Thinking of DCL Nacho Vardy and Kane and don't know who should I kick out

            1. RamaJama
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 27 days ago

              I went for the 3 first

              1. Lindelol
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 27 days ago

                Good I am on those three right now. Only problem is all ML rivals have Kane and he could be a big hitter

            2. Keeptrying
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 27 days ago

              I am going for DCL Nacho and Vardy on FH.

      • Bury94
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Do we thing Siggy gets both games in the double?

        1. Bob_the_builder
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          I would think so.

      • Holmes
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        C'mon Roy!!!

      • No Professionals
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        I'm on Fernandes captain, but really don't like it for some reason. Gut says he'll end up with something like 6 points total. I bet they get 2 penalties in the 3 games, and that he isn't on the pitch for either!

        Still too much of a coward to go for someone else.

      • Lindelol
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Maguire or AWB or Shaw? or None?

        1. RichRover
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Maguire

        2. Astronautovic
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Maguire the safest

      • Will Kane
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        All of this TGW excitement makes me wish I had more to play for than trying to achieve a top 1m finish.

        The heady heights of 80k in GW13 are a very distant memory now...

      • Gonzola
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        On FH. One last decision to make.

        Kane or Mane?

        1. nurav11
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Sane?

        2. No Professionals
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          on FH I wouldn't be going with any SGW players

      • Astronautovic
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        What to do with Leno, Forster?
        Anyone confident one of those two plays both games?
        Also will Forster play in 36?
        Or should i make the switch to Martinez, Pickford or Henderson for free?

      • niloh1
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 27 days ago

        Does Mitchell still play? Need a 4m defender that isn’t Philips

        1. winchester
            2 months, 27 days ago

            played last game at least.. Would love to have some input if he plays next two as well..

        2. Gun gun
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Anyone starting vydra?

        3. nurav11
          • 1 Year
          2 months, 27 days ago

          Start 2
          A) Saka
          B) Rudiger
          C) Mitchell
          D) Lingard
          E) Kane

          1. RamaJama
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 27 days ago

            AE

          2. Keeptrying
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 27 days ago

            DE

          3. Astronautovic
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 27 days ago

            A and E