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

1,947 Comments Post a Comment
  1. JabariParkersEyelid
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 24 days ago

    All set? Bench order correct?

    Kasper
    Digne Shaw Trent
    Bruno (c) Salah Jota El Ghazi
    DCL Kane Kelechi

    Forster Rudiger Lingard Lowton

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Very strong. Lingard could easily outscore Rudiger though

  2. Silecro
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Rashford(c) solid punt if I trail my ML by 50?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Why not if 50 back, should start 2 and come on in the third.

      1. Silecro
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        yeah, also my way of thinking

    2. justaguy9
      5 months, 24 days ago

      i am on him c at the moment. have him and greenwood no bruno

  3. Aubamazette
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Greenwood or Rashford?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Rash

  4. KuttiBunja
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Martinez
    Lindelof TAA Castage
    Jota Salah bruno jwp
    nacho watkins kane

    who to TC?

    Chasing by 30..

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      You've asked this so many times mate.

      Consensus is Bruno. If you don't like it then Salah also an option. You have to make the decision ultimately.

  5. Big Jari Litmanen
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Which of the following would be recommended?

    A: Bale, Son -> Bruno, Greenwood

    B: Son, Bamford -> Greenwood, DCL

    C: Vardy, Lingard -> DCL, Rashford

    1. linkafu
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      A if you have a FH for GW36

      C if not

    2. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      A
      Wouldn't dare go without Bruno

  6. Fernando Torres
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    A) Benteke + Digne
    B) DCL + Mitchell (-4)

    Which is best?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      A because I don't trust Mitchell.

  7. SHOWSTOPPERRR
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Guys concentrating on my ml.. I am 50 points ahead rival have bb. Using -4 I am planning to block to an extend. Rival will probably cap Bruno do I need to go maverick and tc salah? Issue is that 36 I need -4 0 to play 11, where he can go without hit.

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      If you're ahead just captain Bruno.

    2. Sharkytect
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Chasing a 50 point lead - yeah time to go maverick. All or nothing. Salah.

      1. SHOWSTOPPERRR
        • 3 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Am leading bro

        1. Sharkytect
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          5 months, 24 days ago

          Bruno, then

  8. Fit_to_drop
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    What are the reasons not to select Havertz from here till the end of the season? Will his minutes be managed to keep him fresh for ECL final?

    Will Werner see more pitch time in the Premier League so?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      He doesn't play in 36 and his double is poor, rotation is rife.

      Its a punt that might pay off ultimately, but huge risk attached.

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Thanks for summarising for me. Needed that context. I have a FH to cover next week.

        I can buy either of Werner or Havertz this week. Would like some Chelsea in my squad as confidence must be flying high at that club now. But, yes, rotation the worry....

    2. Would Ed Woodward
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Werner has already been getting lots of time and can play with Havertz so that's a non-issue but all Chelsea are a rotation risk, they're still in a battle for top 4 though so it's not like he'll play the kids or anything.

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Thanks Ed, I think similarly. He is rotational - upto a point. I dont see the likes of Alonso, Emerson, Tammy, Hudson Odoi, etc getting much game time in coming weeks. He will still keep a 'core' side.

  9. KirkhamWesham
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Am I gtg, guys?

    Mendy
    Shaw Rudiger TAA
    Bruno Pereira Son Salah Lingard
    Iheanacho Kane

    Foster Coufal Dallas Brewster

  10. rozzo
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Already got Maguire

    A). Cresswell to AWB
    B). Son to Greenwood

    Cheers

    1. ZakyJ
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      B

    2. linkafu
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      A

    3. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Both good moves. Id do them both for a -4 TBH. Especially if you can field 11 next week losing Son. Creswells numbers have fallen off a cliff in last 6-8 weeks.

  11. MidTableFantasy
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Holding + Saka -> Mitchell + JWP for -8?

    1. MidTableFantasy
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Wait this is dumb

  12. ZakyJ
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Emi Areola
    Shaw Rudiger Konsa Struijk Reguilon
    Bruno Salah Son Raphinha Lingard
    Kane DCL Iheanacho
    1FT 0.3ITB

    so how about this, it is -8 but gives me a solid squad this week and a full squad after ft next week

    Son, Reguilon & Raphinha > TAA, Jota & JWP for -8?

    1. zotter
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Dont like the JWP bit of it. What about Son, Rudiger to Jota, Trent?

      Rudi wont play both i dont think .... and then blanks

      1. ZakyJ
        • 6 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Thanks man, although 0.1m short for that. No Sure Raph will play next week either and so i mayhave to take a -4,-4 bth weeks but if i take the -8 i get a player with a double GW

  13. zotter
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Sorry RP (bottomed / ignored)

    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

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 8 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Put off by the potential United benching but im thinking he plays v SOT and does well enough to get United. Got 2 off bench v Brighton I think sellers will regret tbh

      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 8 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Arsenal sorry

  14. popcoin
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Silly to keep Kane on a Free Hit?

    And Bale?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      On a FH I'd probably ignore SGW players.

    2. potatoace
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      I'd be inclined to keep bale

    3. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      No, could be goals vs Leeds

  15. Footieboot
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Why are people not getting Jota for DGW? Feels like a better pick than Zaha and Siggy

    1. Gudjohnsen
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      I have him and see no reason getting rid.

      Not sure I would be bringing him in though.

    2. zotter
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      issue with him is he will play 1.25 games in the double and then probably start 1 or 2 of remaining 3. Can do damage off bench and tbh prefer to Siggy, but i would prefer Zaha this week

    3. Lindelol
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      He might only start in one game

    4. Alonso The Great Midfielder
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      gametime

  16. Bury94
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Think I'm finally settled on my FH

    Henderson
    Maguire, TAA, Robertson, Castagne
    Bruno, Salah, Siggy
    Iheanacho, Vardy, DCL

    Any glaring mistakes?

    1. PattBrofield
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Gtg

    2. zotter
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      dont like double Utd defence... also i think Digne / Madison is better than Siggy/Castagne. And get Greenwood over Henderson imo

      Not sure how you fund that - perhaps Vardy to Watkins. or Robbo to Philips

  17. Lindelol
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Bale or Zaha?? (in case of Bale have to downgrade AWB to Lindelof)

    1. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Zaha in your case

  18. PattBrofield
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Azpi + Gundo -> Greenwood and Phillips for -4?

    (Have Bruno and Shaw)

    Leading ML and want to protect lead

  19. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    If you on BB so how many hits did u take
    A -4
    B -8
    C -12

    1. Alonso The Great Midfielder
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      b seem reasonable

  20. tim
    • 12 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Bench boost all good?

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

    CHEERS LADS!

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      No second keeper a worry? I'd probably take a hit to get one if it's within reach but as you have Mitchell I assume money is tight.

      1. tim
        • 12 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        I can get Guaita or somebody else 4.9

  21. panda07
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Which one would you start?

    A) Rudiger
    B) Tierney
    C) M. Pereira
    D) Bamford

    1. zotter
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      B

    2. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      A

  22. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Will Arteta play his strongest team against WBA now that they are out of Europe?

    Thinking of Saka ahead of Lingard.

    1. zotter
      • 12 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      yeah i imagine so. having said that i wouldnt get Saka over Lingard

  23. Lindelol
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    1. Kane, Zaha and Shaw
    2. Vardy, Bale and Lindelof/Philips

    1. Lindelol
      • 3 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Yelp!

    2. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      1 with Bale

  24. shabalala
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Hello people, I need help
    Bench one for this GW:
    1. Sigurdsson
    2. Zaha
    3. Watkins
    4.Greenwood
    5. DCL

  25. Matt Sk
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Anyone else keeping the second willcard for the last gw as kind of a free hit? 🙂

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      That seems utterly mental to me haha.

  26. Pompel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Play

    A) Rüdiger
    B) Konsa

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      5 months, 24 days ago

      A.

    2. KuttiBunja
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      none

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        haha, could ofc play SGW player Dallas. But also looking at a hit Rudiger -> Phillips to afford DCL

  27. unitednations
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    I can get the following team for a hit. FH36 but main issue is how do i get Kane back in 37? I also want antonio in 37.

    Mendy
    Taa Shaw Holding -- Rudi Veltman
    Salah Bruno Jota Greenwood - Lingard
    Vardy Nacho DCL

    A: Cross the bridge when we get to 37. Take 1 hit to get kane back and ignore Antonio

    B: Have Digne/Kane over Vardy/DCL. Avoids a hit this gw and the future hit in 37.

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      B

      1. unitednations
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Thanks

  28. Fit_to_drop
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    i have 2 FT's but can do 3 moves. Have FH to cover GW36.

    The players I want out are Azpi (gametime), Lingard, Son

    Who replaces them?
    Greenwood, Digne, XXXXX (upto 8.6m)

    Mendy
    Azpilicueta Shaw TAA
    Lingard Salah Fernandes Jota Son
    Iheanacho Kane

    Forster Coady Struijk Davis

    1. Klip Klopp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Why Lingard out?

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 24 days ago

        Single GW'er and I am FH'ing 36.

  29. Klip Klopp
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Is Rudiger + Davis out for a -4 worth it to any of these?

    A. Mitchell + Benteke
    B. Fofana + Brewster
    C. Coleman + Brewster

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 24 days ago

      Argument for A but if Rudi plays both, i would say No.

  30. Nespinha
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 24 days ago

    Looking to minimize GW36 damage. Already have 9 DGW players and Bruno + Son

    A) mendy to guaita
    B) mount to zaha
    C) save, play mendy and mount