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. Reece’s Pieces
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Behold! The (potentially) Jammy Free Hit Team

    Guaita
    Digne, Trent, Maguire
    Bruno(C), Greenwood, Salah, Zaha (if Hodger passes him fit today)
    Nacho, Vardy, DCL

    JWP first off bench

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Im one of the people who is not convinced by Guaita. Yes, there fixtures are decent but look back at his point take in the last 10 GW's. Not pretty. I know he plays 36

      1. Reece’s Pieces
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Spot on. I wouldnt transfer him in but as a Free Hit its fun to take a few differential hits so he is one of them alongside Zaha and (crazily to say it), Vardy

      2. Ruinenlust
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Who’s better than him?

        1. Reece’s Pieces
          4 months, 16 days ago

          Henderson maybe if you risk that he plays three. Other than that I'm stumped.

    2. Brimble82
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Hey! You hacked my account.
      12/12 here too

      1. Reece’s Pieces
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Good luck to us both then!

        1. Brimble82
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 16 days ago

          I hope you top score this week.

          1. Reece’s Pieces
            4 months, 16 days ago

            Thanks, you too. Its hurt me to leave the Free Hit unused this long so I'm hoping its payback time

            1. Brimble82
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 16 days ago

              Amen.
              I commented earlier - I only have my chips because I screwed up in previous weeks!
              My rank has been;
              - steadily declining since GW20 (if I’m being kind to myself)
              Or;
              - absolutely tanking over the last 5-6GWs (if I’m being more accurate!)

              So I really need the FH to slingshot me back up to something a bit more respectable.

              At this stage, a 5-figure OR is all I can realistically dream of. And that’s dreaming BIG!

              1. Reece’s Pieces
                4 months, 16 days ago

                Most managers will have used their FH by now so its a huge potential boost. Looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds, starting this evening ...

                1. Brimble82
                  • 2 Years
                  4 months, 16 days ago

                  Absolutely!
                  Hopefully LEI/NEW kick us off with a few goals.

                  Is an intriguing match up - both teams need something at the opposite ends of the table!

                  (As non Lei-defensive owners, I just want goals. Lots of them!)

  2. dbeck
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    anyone going or considering going without any Man Utd?

    1. Nedvěd11
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Yes

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        interesting....whats the thinking here?

    2. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Sutherns

    3. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Doubt it

    4. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      What’s the point?

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        i dont have any united and sturggling to get a team out in 36, every united player i'll need to rip out. I am either going 0 or just greenwood

    5. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      i'm not, but i don't see it as that big a risk. For the vast majority of United players it will effectively be a double, and i think there are other sides with better doubles.

      Wouldn't be surprised if Salah outscores Bruno, Zaha outscores Greenwood, Trent outscores all united defenders.

  3. Jon Walter's Hatty
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Is Kepa gonna get the Arsenal game?

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Nothing to suggest he will. Kepa might get the game after the FA cup final if the pattern holds though.

    2. Reece’s Pieces
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Quite possible if he is going to play the Final as I think is the plan

    3. Miguel Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Good shout, needs a game before the cup Final

      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Cheers all makes me think a hit on Henderson might be worth it

  4. Nedvěd11
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Got Kane and playing Siggy.

    Would you bench Son and play Lingard? (JWP, Salah the others)

    1. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      no, Son all day long.

  5. pukunui
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    I have WC and BB left. What are good options for when I should use them? Current team: Lloris, Shaw, Targett, Coufal, Jota, Fenandes, Salah, Lingard, Watkins, Kane, Iheanacho, Johnstone, Soucek, Dunk, Dallas. 1FT. 0.1 ITB.

  6. Rotation's Alter Ego
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    New Community Article

    First time Community writer FPLSpies has taken a look at putting together a comprehensive list of GW 35's FPL options

    https://www.fantasyfootballscout.co.uk/2021/05/07/an-elaborate-guide-covering-all-the-teams-worth-looking-at-for-gw35/

  7. pingissimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Having fun this week - still fed up from last week. GL all.

    At least I didn't captain him 😉

    Martinez
    Castagne Digne TAA Shaw
    Bruno Jota Mo Mo
    Benteke Nacho Watkins

    Ederson Lingard Dunk Raph (loads in bank)

  8. gmando2011
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    whos best to take out for Coleman?

    A) Coady
    B) Holding

    1. MidTableFantasy
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      B if you need Coady to start in GW36. A if not.

  9. sirmorbach
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Lads, one last question here please:

    Meslier / Forster
    TAA / Coufal / Rüdiger / Coleman / Holding
    Salah / Bruno / Son / Zaha / Lingard
    Kane / Wood /  Iheanacho

    Kane to Cavani, or Son to Rashford worth a -8? Or they won't even play all three anyway?

  10. Sam (Team Sam)
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    I think it comes down to this...

    A) Castagne & Son (no hits)

    vs

    B) Jota & DCL (-4)

    Essentially, bringing in one defender, playing Son in a 451, or taking out Son to fund DCL in a 352.

    Would love some advice.

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 16 days ago

      I think most on here would suggest B from what i am reading

  11. Deulofail
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    I need to bench 3 of these players. What would your bench order be?

    A) Smith Rowe (7.2) - WBA, che
    B) Benteke (7.3) - sha, sou
    C) Targett (7.4) - MUN, EVE
    D) Kane (7.3) - lee
    E) Bale (10.0) - lee

    For reference, I've put the PPG in brackets. This is for 60+ minute games only. And doubled for A-C as they have a DGW.

    1. Deulofail
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Also have Jota in my XI. Not sure what's goin on with him

    2. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Targett would be my only sure fire benching choice there. Then I guess Smith Rowe as Chelsea is such a poor one. Playing Benteke here but find it strangely hard to justify it for anyone else. 🙂

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Thanks. I've shifted along the same lines. Bale and Benteke starting with Kane first sub right now. Targett 3rd.

    3. GinjaWhinja
      • 12 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      I see sleep has not helped you. Looking at 60min game weeks only is flawed. Inflates Smith Rowe and Bale’s numbers, when arguably they are just as unlikely to see 90mins as before.

      B1 - Bale
      B2 - Targett
      B3 - Smith Rowe

      1. Deulofail
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Of course it's flawed. It's not the be-all-and-end-all.

        Being unlikely to see 90 mins is not the same as likely to see 60+ though. You're adding more noise in your argumentation.

  12. Tarzan
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Playing my BB with a -4

    McCarthy - Guaita
    Lindelof - Rudiger - Castagne - Coleman - Holding
    Son* - Fernandes(c) - Lingard* - Jorginho - Greenwood
    Kane* - Wood* -Vardy(vc)

    * -Single gw

    Any thoughts?

  13. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Any help here ?
    PS: BB Activated
    Already -8 it worth to get Gauita instead of Areola ?

  14. jai1212
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    All set for this one, would really appreciate the feedback.

    Guaita
    Rudiger Shaw Robertson
    Bruno(C) Greenwood Mane Jota Sight
    Benteke Nacho

    Subs: Kane Saiss Veltman

    Playing BB this week

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Who is Sight. And who is your sub keeper for the BB.

  15. Gizzachance
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    thoughts on watkins for a hit
    dgw v utd & eve,then palace, tot ,chel !

  16. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    I read a comment a few pages back about Ole mentioned no one will play 3 games?? Any else hear that?? Does that make Maguire slightly less a better option and make Shaw the better pick?? I’m going round in circles on this decision!! Haha

    1. SHOWSTOPPERRR
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      I don't think ole said that..

      1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Ah good!! Haha I haven’t heard it just reading a comment a few pages back mate

    2. Brimble82
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/57017559

      _”Physically impossible”_

      Bruno… hold my milk.

      1. Jon Walter's Hatty
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Or my hamstring

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      He phrased it differently but massive rotation/managed minutes is clearly intended over the 3 games (or 4 if you include yesterday)

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 16 days ago

        This - he said that everyone will play a role

      2. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Ah Cheers for that mate!!! Need to decide if I go for Shaw or Maguire, will give it more thought

        1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          4 months, 16 days ago

          Thanks for that information folks!!!! Appreciate it!! Best of luck to you all!!

  17. sirmorbach
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Also, if I may, play Rüdiger (mci, ARS) or Holding (WBA, che)?

  18. Maeki2
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 16 days ago

    A. Cavani (villa, lei, liv) maybe 3
    B. Nacho (new, man u) 2 games for sure

    1. SHOWSTOPPERRR
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      B

  19. SHOWSTOPPERRR
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Guys
    A) vydra son Rudiger to dcl greenwood Ward -4?
    B) vydra son to dcl elghazi free
    C) vydra son to Watkins greenwood free

    I know a lot will prefer b or c but a will block my rival who is 50 points behind and gonna bb.

    1. BrazilianGooner
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      B

  20. checkit_j
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Thinking of doing this for a -4.

    Lingard -> WP
    Burn -> Mitchell
    Bam -> DCL

    Thoughts?

    Martinez
    Taa - Castgne - Shaw (Mitchell , Dallas)
    Gwood - Bruno (c) - WP - Son (Jota)
    Kane - DCL - Hencho

  21. MattysFantasyFooty
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Thoughts?

    Reguillon, Rudiger to Shaw, Holgate for free

    1. Hiddenpaw
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Nope

  22. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    I have no idea what to do any suggestions I have no chips left

    Mendy
    Taa Holding Fofana
    Salah Jota Esm Bruno Son
    Vardy Nacho

    Bench: Forester Vydra Coady Dallas

  23. Hiddenpaw
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Which one, my decision comes down to these options:
    A) Son and El Ghazi +4 points
    B) TAA and Greenwood -4

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      b

  24. jg7u
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Which option to fund Phillips > TAA?

    A) Kane > DCL
    B) Lingard > Burke

    Option A would allow me to play Lingard instead of Burke in the blank gw. But no Kane scares me..

    1. Hiddenpaw
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      A is the better option out of those two but no Kane is a risk. He got 13 points against Leeds last time ...

    2. Chandler Bing
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Just play Phillips

      1. jg7u
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Not an option, for minileague reasons.

  25. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    best Goalie on FH?

    a) Mendy
    b) Ederson
    c) Schmeichel
    d) Henderson

    1. Rupert The Horse
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Haven’t considered anyone but Martinez.

      1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Villa a bit leaky of late and on FH so free rein

  26. white heart pain
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    GTG?

    Martinez
    Shaw Rüdiger Phillips
    Bruno(C) Salah Greenwood Jota
    Vardy Nacho Kane

    McCarthy Mitchell Gündogan Holding

    All DGW/TGW except kane. Mitchell first sub due to fixture. Agree?

    1. white heart pain
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Wish i had BB

  27. DRAXLER1105
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Jota/siggy/Zaha/JWP

    Pick one just for this week. Thanks

    1. Rabb05
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Zaha

  28. Sollado14
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    BB this lot? Have 2 FT so burn 1 to improve bench, right?

    Mendy
    TAA Castagne Holding
    Salah Bruno Jota Lingard
    Jane Nacho Watkins

    Forster ESR Saiss Veltman

    1. white heart pain
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Holding and forster may not play. I think you go for it and spend both.

      1. TVPlugSockets
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 16 days ago

        Forster was confirmed as playing the next two I believe.

  29. 007 [RoboKlopp]
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    Greenwood or Zaha?

    1. TVPlugSockets
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 16 days ago

      Same dilemma myself. Fear is making me choose Greenwood

  30. Wolfman180
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 16 days ago

    A) Dias, Coady, Vydra to Philips, Ward, Antonio for -4
    B) Dias, Coady to Castagne, Philips/Ward for free (Would mean not getting Antonio for run in)