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

      Very strong. Lingard could easily outscore Rudiger though

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

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

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

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

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

        yeah, also my way of thinking

    2. justaguy9
        1 month, 9 days ago

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

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

      Greenwood or Rashford?

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

        Rash

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

        A if you have a FH for GW36

        C if not

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

        A
        Wouldn't dare go without Bruno

    6. Fernando Torres
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 9 days ago

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

      Which is best?

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

        A because I don't trust Mitchell.

    7. SHOWSTOPPERRR
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 9 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
        1 month, 9 days ago

        If you're ahead just captain Bruno.

      2. Sharkytect
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

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

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

          Am leading bro

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

            Bruno, then

    8. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 9 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
        1 month, 9 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
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 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
        1 month, 9 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
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 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
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Am I gtg, guys?

        Mendy
        Shaw Rudiger TAA
        Bruno Pereira Son Salah Lingard
        Iheanacho Kane

        Foster Coufal Dallas Brewster

      • rozzo
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

        Already got Maguire

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

        Cheers

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

          B

        2. linkafu
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 days ago

          A

        3. Fit_to_drop
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 9 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.

      • MidTableFantasy
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 9 days ago

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

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

          Wait this is dumb

      • ZakyJ
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 9 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
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 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
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 9 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

      • zotter
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 9 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
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 9 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
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Arsenal sorry

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

        Silly to keep Kane on a Free Hit?

        And Bale?

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

          On a FH I'd probably ignore SGW players.

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

          I'd be inclined to keep bale

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

          No, could be goals vs Leeds

      • Footieboot
          1 month, 9 days ago

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

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

            I have him and see no reason getting rid.

            Not sure I would be bringing him in though.

          2. zotter
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 9 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
            • 2 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            He might only start in one game

          4. Alonso The Great Midfielder
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            gametime

        • Bury94
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 9 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
            1 month, 9 days ago

            Gtg

          2. zotter
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 9 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

        • Lindelol
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

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

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

            Zaha in your case

        • PattBrofield
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

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

          (Have Bruno and Shaw)

          Leading ML and want to protect lead

        • OptimusBlack
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 9 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
            1 month, 9 days ago

            b seem reasonable

        • tim
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 9 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
            1 month, 9 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
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              I can get Guaita or somebody else 4.9

        • panda07
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

          Which one would you start?

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

          1. zotter
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

            B

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

            A

        • Gudjohnsen
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 9 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
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 9 days ago

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

        • Lindelol
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 9 days ago

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

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

            Yelp!

          2. Fit_to_drop
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 9 days ago

            1 with Bale

        • shabalala
            1 month, 9 days ago

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

          • Matt Sk
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 9 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
              1 month, 9 days ago

              That seems utterly mental to me haha.

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

            Play

            A) Rüdiger
            B) Konsa

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

              A.

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

              none

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

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

          • unitednations
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 9 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
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 9 days ago

              B

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

                Thanks

          • Fit_to_drop
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 9 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
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 9 days ago

              Why Lingard out?

              1. Fit_to_drop
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 9 days ago

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

          • Klip Klopp
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 9 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
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 9 days ago

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

          • Nespinha
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 9 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