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. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 9 days ago

    Things to take out of scout tweets so far.
    Dele Alli and Bale weren't really trying for Mourinho.
    Grealish is on grass.

    1. Athletico Underachieving
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Might as well have a smoke while he’s injured I suppose

    2. Mikei
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Digne, Maguire or Shaw?

      1. KuttiBunja
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        lindelof.

      2. Rep Poulette
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Maguire

      3. Studs Up
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Maguire

      4. GinjaWhinja
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Given Shaw actually only played 45 last night, I really think he could be nailed.

        If Utd win versus villa they have Champs League sewn up, so think he personally plays the 1st game. He's also got 22 bonus points this year, those are not to be sniffed at. That's 35% more than Digne's 14 and triple Maguire's 8. Like Digne he has set pieces in his locker.

        Was tempted to ditch for Maguire on a free hit, but I'm now thinking it's barney, especially with Telles struggling last night.

        1. Mikei
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Thanks guys! 😉

      5. jayzico
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Shaw. Been amazing this season. Go out with a bang too I think.

    3. KuttiBunja
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

      Martinez
      Lindelof TAA Castage
      Jota Salah bruno jwp
      nacho watkins kane

      who to TC?

      1. Gizzachance
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        bruno for tgw, but salah ,nacho could be a good shout also, depends if consolidating, chasing i suppose

    4. justaguy9
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Thoughts on Rashford & Greenwood instead of Bruno & Maguire?

        Already have Shaw as sole ManU player.

        1. Gizzachance
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          sooner have mag and bruno

        2. Distinctly Average
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          If chasing, yes. If leading, no.

      • Gizzachance
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        thoughts much appreciated

        son and vydra to
        A 1 greenwood tgw = blank,, 2 zaha dgw no blank
        B watkins -4

        C son vydra holgate to
        ward dcl +1 greenwood 2 zaha - 8
        will b boost with potential 10 dgw, 3 tgw
        greenwood leaves me with 7 for blank, zaha 8
        thanks, good luck all

      • Distinctly Average
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Who scores more:

        A) Son (lee, FUL)
        B) Greenwood (avl, LEI, LIV) (-4)
        C) Greenwood (avl, LEI, LIV), Son (FUL) (-8)

      • quayle99
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        A. Lingard Salah DCL

        B. Greenwood Zaha Kane

      • Gudjohnsen
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Kane to Vardy?

        Rival has Kane

        He's leading and I'm second

        1. Distinctly Average
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Could pay off

      • KuttiBunja
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Martinez
        Lindelof TAA Castage
        Jota Salah bruno jwp
        nacho watkins kane

        who to TC??

        1. Distinctly Average
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          If leading, Bruno.
          If chasing, maybe punt on someone - (Nacho/Salah/TAA)

          1. KuttiBunja
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Chasing by 25 .. also took a -8 this week
            What do you think?

      • Gudjohnsen
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Benching Kane for Lindelof madness?

        1. how now brown cow
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Could pay off.

          Ask yourself how you will feel if it goes wrong.

          If you can handle that then go for it.

        2. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Sure is

        3. KuttiBunja
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Lindelof 2 clean sheets... maybe even starts 3rd.
          Kane against a tough leeds defence. 1 game

          1. Lindelol
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Tough leeds defence??

      • Super Sharpe Shooter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Help please! Do i need another United player for a hit? But who makes way? Apart from bringing in Henderson for Mendy or Lindelof for Coady, i can’t see anything else that makes sense, short of ditching Bale (the only single gameweeker in the 11) for Greenwood or Rashford. But then i’m creating a problem with all those moves as i’d be removing GW36 players for blankers! Would you stick or bring in one more United? Thoughts v welcome...

        Mendy or Forster
        Trent - Digne - Holding
        Salah - Bruno (c) - Bale - JWP
        Nacho - Vardy - DCL
        (ESR, Coady, Dawson)

        1. Super Sharpe Shooter
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          PS no money in the bank - otherwise the logical move is to ditch Holding for Lindelof

        2. Gizzachance
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          be a hit to bring one in, then a trans or further hits next week to rectify blankers, depends on your position, chasing etc,

        3. Brimble82
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Stick.
          You've covered most of the bases, and Bale could always be a solid differential this week.

      • LakhaneeFC
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        OR: ~30k. No chips left. Leading ML, so want to protect rank - don’t think I can crack top 10k.

        Transferred Bruno out before GW34 and made 2 transfers before the TGW was announced.

        Current team:
        Martinez (Areola)
        Shaw TAA Digne (Regulion Struijk)
        Jota Salah (C) Greenwood Son (Lingard)
        Kane Watkins Nacho

        1. Bruno essential?
        2. Captain Greenwood or Salah?

        1. FPL_Motty
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 9 days ago

          I wouldnt want to go without bruno. I think suck up the mistake and ditch son for bruno. Find a way, drop reguillon? Or lingard

          1. LakhaneeFC
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Will require another -8 for that. Plus, additional hits because Bruno blanks the week after.

            So do Son+Regulion (2 games over 2 GWs) score less than Bruno + -8 hit (3 games in 1 GW)

        2. Jambot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          I did exactly the same as you. I've taken the -8 to fix it. Ir hurts losing the 8 points but you risk losing a lot more. If you have a healthy lead in your ML i'd cover Bruno maybe Kane and Jota > DCL and Bruno? including captain and assuming Jota plays one that's 4 extra games for 8 points and a major threat covered off

          1. LakhaneeFC
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            I can do Son + Lingard to Bruno + Bench Fodder.

            Over 2 GWs, assuming Bruno captain, I get 6 games out of him vs 3/4 games with no transfers from Son and Lingard.

            Not a lot in it. Plus the questions remain:
            - Does Bruno play all three games?
            - The games are against Lei and Pool.

            I do get your point, just trying to work out the math behind the move 🙂

      • Rep Poulette
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Watkins -> DCL for a hit?

        1. Twisted Saltergater
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          What’s wrong with Watkins??

          1. Rep Poulette
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Nothing wrong 🙂

        2. Maddamotha
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Why?

        3. John Nerdelbaum
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Madness

        4. Rep Poulette
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Thanks all

        5. Gizzachance
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          hit to move a dgw player to another, dcl would need one more goal to pay for the hit, then another to justify it

        6. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          No

      • Twisted Saltergater
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        So as a non-Bruno owner, I need Man Utd to not be awarded any penalties in the next 3 games, right?

        This isn’t going to end well 😆

        1. Bob_the_builder
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          I reckon 2-3 penalties are a given 😛

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Where’s Rashford in the pecking order? Is he ahead of Pogba?

      • Ruinenlust
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Greenwood or Zaha?

        1. Twisted Saltergater
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Zaha plays in BGW36 if that matters?

          Bit worried about his rumoured groin injury though.

        2. riot
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Zaha

        3. Gizzachance
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          greenwood tgw if plays in all 3, same number of games as zaha with his dgw and blank,use trans to off load greenwood next week? as previously stated zaha possible doubt?wait for news

          1. Twisted Saltergater
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            But it’s 95% certain he’s not going to play in all 3. That would be 4 games in 7 days.

            1. Gizzachance
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              True, I’m looking st my utd players as dgw players really can’t see them getting all 3, reduced minutes etc, couple of tricky fixtures with Leic & pool
              Zaha if fit will get both

      • abaalan
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        A) Lingard + Kane -> Watkins + Salah
        B) Lingard + Kane -> DCL + Mane
        C) Gundo + Kane -> Watkins + Mane

      • Oggle22
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Leno
        TAA Holding Coady
        Salah Son Jota Jlingz
        Kane Nacho Vardy

        Forster Saka Amerty Mitchell

        Kane/Son/Saka/Leno to DCL Bruno Zaha and Palace keeper?

      • BigAsGiroud_
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        A) Rudiger to Ward this week
        Fofana and Nacho to Coufal and Antonio next week
        or
        B) Rudiger and Son to Digne and Zaha
        Fofana and Nacho to Dallas and Antonio next week for -4

      • VaVaVoom14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Martinelli or el ghazi?

        1. Twisted Saltergater
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          I’ve gone with Martinelli for a few weeks now. It’s not been pretty. Prior to that, I had El Ghazi which was even worse. So long story short, no idea.

          1. VaVaVoom14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Atleast el ghazi is on pens. My feeling is Martinelli will start against West Brom and be benched against Chelsea

            1. Twisted Saltergater
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Yep, I’m expecting this. Needs to impress vs West Brom.

        2. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 days ago

          El Ghazi

      • Better luck next year
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 9 days ago

        What about this FH team for GW35? Any changes needed?

        Guaita/Schmeichel
        TAA Robbo Castagne
        Salah Bruno Rash Greenwood Zaha
        Kelechi DCL

        1. Maeki2
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Cavani over rash could be an option

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

        I have WC and BB left.... Which one to use this week??

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

        Steer, Soucek, Dias

      • Teomi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Play Ricardo pereira or take a hit för shaw?

        1. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Take the hit.

        2. Twisted Saltergater
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Rodgers making noises that Pereira will be involved tonight vs Newcastle. I ran out of patience last week and switched to Castagne.

          I’d go Castagne or Shaw.

      • how now brown cow
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        God I hope kane gets a hattrick.

        1. potatoace
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Shame it wasn't last week.

        2. Boly Would
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Only if Dallas gets 4

      • TVPlugSockets
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Want to bring in a Villa or Palace defender

          I have Coady and Holding currently so will replace one of them. Who would you get rid off?

          1. Gizzachance
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            coady

        • zotter
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          USed my FTs to get this...

          A. Stick
          B. Kane to DCL -4
          C. Lingard to JWP -4
          D. Anything else

          1. Play ESR
          2. Play Lingz

          Martinez
          Robertson. Trent. Shaw
          Greenwood. Bruno c. Salah. ESR
          Kane. Watkins. Nacho

          Fabri. Lingard. Dallas. Veltman

        • OptimusBlack
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Predicted pts for
          A - Areola BUR (H)
          B- Gauita SHU (A), SOU (A)
          PS: BB Activated
          Already -8 it worth to get Gauita instead of Areola ?

        • v3n0m
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Start Holdgate (WHU,AVL) or Kane (LEE)?

            1. Ruinenlust
              • 3 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Holdgate

          • FALSE PROFIT
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            I look at my FH squad and it is difficult to get excited.
            3 man U, 3 Pool, 3 Foxes, Guata and DCL all sound good. The problem is all the 9 players play each other and it is hard to compute whether to play attack or defense with limited choices. I fear points shared on the low side will result. I honestly wonder if I had just played without the FH would have been better. Certainly more exciting!

            1. RamaJama
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Are there better weeks left for FH this season?

              1. Holmes
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                GW38 looks better tbh

                Playing FH this week because I dont want to spoil my team for man utd assets

                1. FALSE PROFIT
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  Same reason. My ML rival will play BB I think and he will probably get more points.

              2. FALSE PROFIT
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                Yes. I week where 90% of F hitters are choosing the same teams!

            2. NateDogsCats
                1 month, 9 days ago

                I feel much the same. I'm trying to mix things up a bit but at the same time feel like if I don't take advantage of the doubles/triple then I'm wasting the FH. I have 3 MU, 2 Pool, 2 Palace, 1 Leicester Soton Villa and Everton in my starting XI and it still feels too unbalanced.

                1. FALSE PROFIT
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  I tried it bud. Just seems I am sacrificing points to enjoy the weekend.

              • Would Ed Woodward
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                You can still make it more exciting, drop 2 of them for Eze and Benteke.

                1. Twisted Saltergater
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  😀

                2. John Nerdelbaum
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  Some false profit there

                  1. FALSE PROFIT
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 7 Years
                    1 month, 9 days ago

                    LOL

                3. FALSE PROFIT
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  Ed would wouldn't he. (smile) I still want to get as many points as possible (smile)

                  1. Would Ed Woodward
                    • 2 Years
                    1 month, 8 days ago

                    Told you.

            3. NateDogsCats
                1 month, 9 days ago

                What 2 would you pick from these?

                A) Vardy
                B) DCL
                C) Benteke
                D) El Ghazi
                E) Rodriguez
                F) Cavani (would mean losing Greenwood)

                1. RamaJama
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  Ab

              • KuttiBunja
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 9 days ago

                Chasing by 30.

                Martinez
                Lindelof TAA Castage
                Jota Salah bruno jwp
                nacho watkins kane

                who to TC?

                1. Twisted Saltergater
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 9 days ago

                  Salah