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. Gearoid
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    2FT (&WC). 0.4 ITB

    Sanchez
    Shaw Azpi Mitchell
    Bruno(c) Lingard Jota Son
    Kane Iheanacho Vardy

    McCarthy Soucek Dallas Stones

    A. Son and Vardy to Salah and Watkins for free
    B. Son, Vardy and Soucek to Salah, Watkins and JWP for -4 and bench Lingard
    C. WC
    D. Other

    1. Gatsby
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      A

  2. ViperStripes
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Those who are FH or WC'ing this week, what Single GW players have you kept and are NOT benching?

    I've got Dallas, Bale, Son, Coufal and can't decide which one to play as my 11th player.

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Bale

    2. ViperStripes
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      I'm also considering Coufal > Coleman, but think Coufal is likely to score more points between now and season end than Coleman.

  3. Voodoo
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Why is nobody mentioning Maddison on a Free hit?

    Could hit form now that he’s had his few games back…

    1. KLOPPS AND ROBBERS... the s…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Looking at him for my last spot on FH
      Between him, Jota, Auba, Bale

    2. Would Ed Woodward
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      People have been criticising Vardy recently on here but Maddison has been much worse, looks completely out of form and he's trying too hard, was very wasteful against Southampton.

    3. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      He has looked so poor in those games

  4. Kabayan
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Just for this gw, which one that you would pick?
    A. Vardy + Greenwood
    Or
    B. DCL + Rashford

    1. Spin The Wheel
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 23 days ago

      B 100%

  5. C_G
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    took a -4 for this side. BB this lot as well. Please help me pick my captain and am I GTG?

    Martinez Forster

    TAA Shaw Holding Castagne Ward

    Lingard Greenwood Salah Jota El Ghazi

    Kane Nacho Vardy

    1. C_G
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      i did:

      Saiss + Dunk + Raphina ---> Ward + Shaw + El Ghazi

    2. A-L
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      I think Salah captain and you're good to go

  6. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    What transfers should I make? (no chips left)

    Mendy
    Taa Holding Fofana
    Salah Jota Esm Bruno Son
    Vardy Nacho

    Bench: Forester Vydra Coady Dallas

  7. LanMi
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    GKP: Martínez (Sánchez)

    DEF: Fofana, Alexander-Arnold, Ward, Digne (Dallas)

    MID: Fernandes, Greenwood, Jota, Son (Lingard)

    FWD: Kane, Iheanacho (Bamford)

  8. Von Lipwig
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Do you agree with my bench? GTG?

    Henderson
    TAA Rudiger Shaw
    Lingard Jota Bruno(c) Son
    Ihenacho Vardy Kane

    Martinez Perreira Dallas Coady

    1. The Units
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      G2G

      1. Von Lipwig
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 23 days ago

        Thanks mate. GL!

  9. The Units
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Is Zaha fit?

    1. # Young Gun SEAMUS #
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      I think so...where did u find he is injured

      1. The Units
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        4 months, 23 days ago

        Heard he is carrying an injury

        1. Fit_to_drop
          • 1 Year
          4 months, 23 days ago

          I think the story is he hasnt fully recovered from whatever he has but is playing on anyway. A bit like Maddisons hip

    2. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Hodgson presser later today for news update

  10. Eastman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Best keeper on a free hit?

    1. Von Lipwig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Henderson?

  11. MattysFantasyFooty
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    What to do? 2FT 0.0 ITB looking to bench boost

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Rudiger Reguillon Fofana Holding
    Bruno Salah Son Lingard Jota
    Vardy Nacho Vydra

  12. # Young Gun SEAMUS #
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Benteke or Che Adams

    1. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Toss a coin

    2. JJeyy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Adams

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Have gone Tekkers but Che is a neat enough call especially if you factor in Fulham in 36.

  13. Gatsby
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Who would you captain out of this lot?

    A) Salah
    B) Greenwood
    C) Iheanacho
    D) TAA

    1. MattysFantasyFooty
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      A or C

    2. HonestBlatter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Mo

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Currently on Mo but home form for Leicester makes Nacho a more logical choice. Simply betting on Liverpool to finally put a home performance in and thinking United will be truly knackered by the time he gets to play them.

      Not persuaded by the TGW.

  14. Flynny
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Hi.....who to start?

    A....konsa (United, Everton)

    B...holding (wba chelsea)

    Not sure if holding is nailed....luiz seems injured again....thanks

    1. Sun Jihai
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      B

    2. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Arsenal are going to be pretty demoralised after last night. I'd go A

    3. j16
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      B

      1. Flynny
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 23 days ago

        Thanks...

  15. Shark Team
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    What's the problem with Rashford?
    Bale or Son to score more pts till the end of season?

    1. Jimmers
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      He's being managed game to game with injury issues

      1. Shark Team
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 23 days ago

        Oh right thanks then I ll avoid him

    2. Eastman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      I'm bringing Bale in next week for Son.

  16. OptimusBlack
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

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

    1. HonestBlatter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Yes

    2. MattysFantasyFooty
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      No

  17. Tarzan
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 23 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? #rp

    1. fplking14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Is Coleman nailed?

  18. Zlatan F.C
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Coufal to Crystal Palace/Villa defender worth it for a - 4?

    1. 007 [RoboKlopp]
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      No

  19. sparky17
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Would be great to get peoples views on most points potential between Castagne & Watkins?

    Castagne (NEW & mun)
    Watkins (MUN & EVE)

    Thoughts?

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Id go A on this. Watkins is a frustrating own

  20. C_G
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    took a -4 for this side. BBing this lot as well. Please help me pick my captain and am I GTG?

    Martinez Forster

    TAA Shaw Holding Castagne Ward

    Lingard Greenwood Salah Jota El Ghazi

    Kane Nacho Vardy

    1. gellinmagellan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Salah surely

  21. Gizzachance
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    b boost forster vydra holding holgate?
    give a potential 11 dgw players, and save trans to sort out blank players next week
    cheers

  22. gellinmagellan
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Mendy Forster
    Rudiger TAA Shaw Coleman Holding
    Salah Bruno Son Jota Lingard
    Vardy Nacho Vydra

    -4 taken. Good to go and BB this?

    1. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Crack on

  23. 007 [RoboKlopp]
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    So annoying, price out doing Jota, Holding -> Greenwood, Phillips.

    Not anticipated that prices rise, now I must choose Mitchell.

    Good luck all 🙂

  24. LLoris
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    What transfers should I make? (no chips left)
    I don't know what to do because I want dgw players but I want a full 11 next week

    Mendy
    Taa Holding Fofana
    Salah Jota Esm Bruno Son
    Vardy Nacho

    Bench: Forester Vydra Coady Dallas

  25. JJeyy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Who scored more?

    A) Son, DCL
    B) Greenwood, Vardy (-4)

    1. JJeyy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      Scores

      1. gellinmagellan
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 23 days ago

        A for me

    2. Shark Team
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      A

    3. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 23 days ago

      A for me

    4. Eastman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      This week B

  26. Spin The Wheel
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 23 days ago

    1ft, 1.3itb, no chips left.

    Mendy
    TAA Shaw Castagne
    Salah Bruno Jota Pereira
    Nacho Kane Watkins

    Forster Lingard Azpilicueta Ayling

    A) Pereira -> JWP
    B) Pereira -> Zaha
    C) Other
    D) Roll FT

  27. Mane Mane Mane
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Right first to 5 wins..
    Who is the best pick this gameweek?

    A) Maguire
    B) AWB
    C) Shaw

    1. Eastman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      I'm sticking with Shaw on a fh

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 23 days ago

      B

  28. The Units
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Mane or Zaha on FH? I have Salah and TAA fwiw

  29. C_G
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 23 days ago

    Made these transfers without thinking, am i crazy? Will be BBing this week.

    Saiss + Dunk + Raphina ---> Ward + Shaw + El Ghazi (-4)