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


Pro Pundits 20

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1,947 Comments Post a Comment
  1. waltzingmatildas
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Do we think Mitchell starts?
    A) Holding to Mitchell
    B) Kane to DCL

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

    1. Don Kloppeone
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      You've got a great team - I would hold

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Cheers. Got 2fts and reluctant to burn one!

        1. Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Hmmm that's tough

          I wouldn't want to bench any of that team for Mitchell that's for sure!

          Anything you can do to prep bench for GW36?

    2. b91jh
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Mendy to Guaita/Pickford?

  2. MannionUK
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    I have WC and BB left.... Which one to use this week?? Or -4 for a playing keeper and replacement for Dias?

    Sanchez
    Phillips, Maguire, Robertson
    Bruno, Saka, Bale, Son
    Iheanacho, Vardy, Bamford

    Steer, Soucek, Dias

  3. Jdpz
    • 1 Year
    2 months, 21 days ago

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

    And who? Mane or Salah, Watkins or cavani, Zaha or Greenwood?

    1. Don Kloppeone
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      That's tough .... as I think you need Salah but I wouldn't want to be losing both Kane and Son unless you have a plan to get one back.

      On balance maybe B with Watkins and Greenwood if you can stomach not having Salah!

  4. Don Kloppeone
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Lost on a previous page.
    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!

    1. waltzingmatildas
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Looks great!

      1. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Cheers mate!

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Very solid of course

      Not tempted to switch C and VC? Bruno is safe of course but looking at form, fixtures and schedule there's a really good case for either Mo or Nacho.

      1. Don Kloppeone
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Thanks mate

        I'm definitely torn on the armband decision. Head vs Heart. I think it will be tight between him and Salah.

        Both are trolls in their own right!

  5. cianoc1999
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 21 days ago

    Lingard to Greenwood or Zaha for a -4, or leave as is?

    Current Team:
    Martinez
    Rudiger James TAA Maguire
    Salah Bruno Jota Lingard
    DCL Iheanacho

    Bench: Forster Dunk Bamford Raphinha

    1. Fuddled FC
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      depends if you need Lingard next week?

      1. cianoc1999
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        That's the thing, getting Greenwood would require another hit next week to be close to a full XI, Zaha wouldn't have the same problem. Lingard has gone quiet in the last two but he's probably the most unpredictable player in FPL so losing him would be a risk.

    2. KAALI_DAAL
        2 months, 21 days ago

        Youll need Lingard for the last 3 GWs.

    3. Fuddled FC
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 21 days ago

      Would you go?

      a) Coleman & DCL
      b) Keane & DCL
      c) Digne & Watkins

      1. waltzingmatildas
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 21 days ago

        A

      2. KAALI_DAAL
          2 months, 21 days ago

          C

        • Don Kloppeone
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 21 days ago

          I went A

          But it was close in my mind with C

      3. KAALI_DAAL
          2 months, 21 days ago

          Phillips, Ward or Mitchell for this GW?

          1. KAALI_DAAL
              2 months, 21 days ago

              This would be for a hit.

            • waltzingmatildas
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Not for a hit I don't think

            • Holmes
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Phillips

            • Super Saints
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Ward

            • Don Kloppeone
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              I'd be wary for a hit - who is being removed?

              1. KAALI_DAAL
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  A non playing Lewis from Newcastle.

            • KuttiBunja
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Martinez
              TAA Castagne Lindelof
              Jota Salah Bruno JWP
              Watkins Nacho Kane

              TC Bruno?

            • Jack Burton
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Hi all just a quick one Mane or Vardy have Salah and ineacho thanks in advance

              1. cianoc1999
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                I'd go with Vardy

                1. Jack Burton
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Cheers mate

            • built_this_city
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Bench boosting with Regulion, Kane, Lingard, Forster on the bench......
              First team all playing at least twice....

              Come on 100 points 😐

              1. Super Saints
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Great BB to be fair, mine is Lloris Lingard Pereira Coufal 🙁

            • RamaJama
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Extra cash left on FH, would you consider Alisson instead of Guaita?

              1. pingissimus
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Have you looked at Mendy?

                I assume he gets both and Chelsea Arsenal is as good a chance for a cs as any this week probs. Should rack up a few saves v City and the cs there is hardly impossible. His last DGW went ok versus Liverpool United.

                Just distrust Liverpool and Palace too of course 😉

                1. RamaJama
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Thanks and GL!

            • Jimjam
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Will Mitchell play for Palace this DGW?

              1. Liegitty
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Yes

            • BrutalLogiC
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Play FT?

              Martinez
              Shaw Rudiger Konsa
              Bruno Salah Son Lingard
              Kane Nacho Bamford

              1. BrutalLogiC
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                I mean play FH? I got 2 FT

                1. Holmes
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Nah, use 2FTs

            • Holmes
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Current draft:

              Guaita
              Trent, Robertson, Wan Biss
              Salah, Bruno, Rashford, Zaha
              Dominic. Iheanacho, benteke

              Thoughts? Probably the most balanced I'm able to get. Will go Digne if Zaha looks doubtful

            • Gun gun
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Capt salah gtg?

            • JelliedSpark968
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              2 months, 21 days ago

              I still have TC and BB; what are others doing with them? United TGW feels like a trap imo

            • SomeoneKnows
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Martinez
              TAA, Shaw, Coleman, Fofana
              Salah, Bruno, Greenwood, Jota
              Kane, Iheanacho

              (Forster, Lingard, Wood, Coufal)

              G2G in terms of bench order?

            • OptimusBlack
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 21 days ago

              Predicted pts for
              A - Areola BUR (H)
              B- Gauita SHU (A), SOU (A)

            • KAALI_DAAL
                2 months, 21 days ago

                BB or not?

                Johnstone
                Lingard
                Dallas
                Aina

                1. Nedvěd11
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Not

              • ELMEO
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Play two out of:

                A. Holding
                B. Rudiger
                C. Lingard
                D. Gundogan
                E. Wood

                Cheers

              • Nedvěd11
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Anyone considering benching Son or Kane this GW?

                1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  I've sold one and benched the other.

              • andrewrichter
                • 8 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                FH team:

                Guaita
                TAA Casta Maguire
                Ferdy Salah Greenwood Zaha
                Watkins Nacho DCL

                Don't know if shoukd gi for Digne instead of Watkins? Also not set on which Man U defender? Interested in thoughts. Thanks!

              • b91jh
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                My guess on the lineups:

                vs AVL
                Hendo
                AWB Lindelof Maguire Shaw
                McTom Matic
                Rash Bruno Pogba
                Cavani

                vs LEI
                De Gea
                AWB Tuanzebe Bailly Maguire Telles
                Fred VDB Bruno
                Greenwood Rash

                vs LIV
                Hendo
                AWB Lindelof Maguire Shaw
                Fred McTom
                Greenwood Bruno Pogba
                Cavani

                1. Miguel Sanchez
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Bruno probably starts on bench in one

              • Miguel Sanchez
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Pereira (ars) to El Ghazi (MAN, EVE) -4 worth it?

              • Gudjohnsen
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Kane to Vardy a stupid move?

              • Top Lad Dakes. - all chips …
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Greenwood is a trap isn’t he....

                1. Twisted Saltergater
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  I think so.

                2. OptimusBlack
                  • 8 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Yes

              • MannionUK
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Anyone wildcarding this week?

                1. Liegitty
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  I am !

              • Liegitty
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Not talk of siggy ? On pens and surely starts with James injury nighle

                1. KuttiBunja
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  James/iwobi rotation

                  1. Liegitty
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 21 days ago

                    He seems relatively nailed to me

                2. Nedvěd11
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Got him!

                  1. Liegitty
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 21 days ago

                    Im deciding between two of Siggy, JWP and Zaha

                3. Twisted Saltergater
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Brought in Rashford and Siggy. Sheff Utd in BGW36 too.

                  1. Liegitty
                    • 5 Years
                    2 months, 21 days ago

                    Its the BGWK fixture thats attracting me to him I believe. That and pens

              • KuttiBunja
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Emi
                Victor Trent Timothy
                Bruno Jota Mo JamesWP
                Harry Kelechi Ollie

                TC on Bruno>=?

              • ShaunGoater123
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 21 days ago

                Is there merit in triple-captaining Salah over Bruno? Even with the extra game we could see similar minutes for both and then arguably liverpool fixtures are better with saints rather then villa / leicester with reduced mins

                or is that just pure overthinking!?

                1. KuttiBunja
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  GOing with bruno

                  1. Twisted Saltergater
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 12 Years
                    2 months, 21 days ago

                    sorry, just seen your reply to me on page 14 and have replied back.

                2. Twisted Saltergater
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  2 months, 21 days ago

                  Absolutely there’s merit.