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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. NateDog
    4 months, 12 days ago

    I can't decide on whether to go for Cavani or not on FH. Been sitting on Bruno, Maguire and Greenwood all week but Cavani is just a man in form. It's just impossible to tell if he's going to play even a full 2 out of 3 or not and if that's worth it if he does over one of the others.

  2. The Frenchie
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Hi guys,

    Would you prefer A) Guaita + Maguire or B) Henderson + Castagne? Do you guys think Maguire can start the 3 games?

    Cheers

    1. The Frenchie
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      "Already posted, mistake"

  3. shawry
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    What are peoples thoughts on Zaha getting both games? Any news from Roy?

    1. Rassi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Presser later today.

    2. Little Frank
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Press conference at 1:15pm

    3. Hazz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Crystal Palace presser at 13:15...

  4. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Which option on FH?

    A) Robbo (also have Taa and Salah)
    B) Digne
    C) Castagne

    1. John Nerdelbaum
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      All great options, my gut is for Castagne

  5. TeddiPonza
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    With gw's 35-37 in mind. Which option is better?

    A. Nat Phillips and DCL (-4)
    or
    B. Coufal and Watkins

    Thanks.

    1. aleksios
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      B.

    2. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A

    3. plt
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 12 days ago

      B - dropping points is too risky

  6. Torres76
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Here’s my team lads

    Martinez*
    Phillips*, Rudiger* Castagne*
    Bruno*, Salah*, Jota*, Son
    Kane, Nacho*, Bamford

    Forster*, Lingard, Dallas, Dias

    0.1m, 2 Free Transfers, W.C, BB, FH all left

    Thinking of playing BB this week. May concede 4/8

    Dias to McGuire
    Son to Greenwood
    Lingard to Prowse or Zaha
    Bamford to DCL

  7. wonkeydonkey
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    BB Team, 1FT:

    Mendy, Forster
    TAA, Shaw, Digne, Castagne, Holding
    Salah, Jota, Maddison, Lingard, Son
    Nacho, Kane, Vydra

    A) Vydra + Son -> DCL + Greenwood (-4, 7 play GW36)
    B) Vydra + Son -> DCL + Zaha (-4, 7 play GW36)
    C) Vydra + Son + Kane -> DCL, Bruno, Watkins (-8, 7 play in GW36)

    1. aleksios
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A.

      1. wonkeydonkey
        • 3 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Reckon Greenwood outscores Zaha by 4 then?

  8. Karan14
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    How does this BB team look?

    Martinez
    TAA Digne Shaw
    Salah Bruno Jota Greenwood
    DCL Nacho Watkins
    (Guaita Rudiger Lingard Coufal)

    Will sell Bruno & Nacho for Kane/Aguero & Mahrez/Foden/Raph in BGW36 to give me 11 starters.

    1. aleksios
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Nice plan.

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Cheers mate!

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

      Looking at similar transfers in next week - minus Raph plus Bale

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        I'm quite excited about next week. Can do Bruno & GW to Bale/Son & Mahrez too.

    3. pingissimus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Nice squad

      1. Karan14
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Palace to get 1 CS?

        Still considering Mendy/Schmeichel over him but saving the change could be handy.

        1. pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          Presumably but not tied on

          SHU burst the cs against both Brighton and Villa (when they were good) so not counting chickens myself. Also expecting a very feisty game at Southampton.

          Don't see it as a "forced" transfer if you have Martinez already and no other Villa defence. The one wrinkle is that for almost the first time in the season Palace could come close to their first choice defence.

          1. Karan14
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            I just can't forget DGW26 when Palace grinded out two 0-0s although I'd be over the moon with just one CS.

            1. pingissimus
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 2 Years
              4 months, 12 days ago

              I know

              It hasn't worked out this season but Palace have a very tidy record historically under RH against bottom 10 types (I'd include Villa there). The one thing in favour of going Palace is that they are the team least likely to lose their shape and go all out attack because it's end of season. They may be a little more front foot than recently but RH will be counting clean sheets

              Might yet switch Martinez to Guaita myself - but I have Ederson in reserve 🙂

  9. Fernandito
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Mendy
    TAA Holding Fofana
    Bruno(c) Salah Jota Greenwood
    DCL Vardy Nacho

    Forster Lingard Dallas Coady

    Already taken a -4, 0.5 itb, gtg? Or anything else worth a hit?

    1. aleksios
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Gtg.

  10. aleksios
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Have 8 starters for next gwk and 1 ft.Would you

    a) Gamble and bring in Greenwood+Shaw for a hit,then take -8 to field 11.
    b) Bring in Zaha/Eze and take -4 to field 11 next week.

    Thanks guys.

  11. pingissimus
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    You normally associate on the beach with midtable - does that extend up to 2nd place?

    I'm not so worried abut minutes as performances. They'll be up for Liverpool of course and Leicester likely but what about Villa which is the only match you'd normally want them for?

    Gone right off the idea of double defence. Villa could be quite a free scoring one looking at how they approached the Liverpool and Everton games. Just a question of picking the right attacker for that.

    1. Shark Team
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Too much hype for MamUtd defence but they can concede in all 3 games easily

  12. Bossworld
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Haven’t been actively playing this season (no changes since GW1). Thought I’d use my free hit for the hell of it. Only have around 100m. Any major changes you’d suggest?

    Guaita
    TAA - Maguire - Digne
    Salah - Jota - Bruno Fernandes - Zaha
    DCL - Watkins - Iheanacho

    Bench is Ryan, Kilman, C. Taylor and a fodder CDM

  13. Atimis
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Best pick from these - preferably for next 2 GWs??

    1. Jota
    2. Greenwood
    3. Zaha
    4. JWP

    1. Karan14
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Jota

  14. Torres76
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Lingard options

    1. Keep Lingard
    2. Sell for Zaha
    3. Sell for Ward Prowse

    Thanks

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      2

  15. Shark Team
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Son out for Salah
    or
    Raphinha out for Greenwood

    1. RamaJama
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Son for Salah

  16. AD2110
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Anything you’d do to this team? 1FT and 0.4 ITB

    Martinez
    TAA, Dallas, Shaw
    Salah, Jota, Bruno Lingard, Son
    Kane, Nacho

    Forster, Veltman, Struijk, Davis

    1. las90855
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      son to rashford

  17. Atters
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Who's more likely to play both games Rudiger or James?

  18. Davidwes
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    On a free hit, which combo?
    A) Vardy and Rashford
    B) DCL and Bruno

  19. BS03
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Hi all got a big benching headache here:

    Martinez
    TAA Castagne Digne Shaw
    Greenwood Bruno Salah
    DCL Nacho Watkins

    Sanchez; Jota, Lingard, Dallas

    Currently set up like this but who will yall bench? (if not jota)

  20. Footieboot
    4 months, 12 days ago

    FH Team - Any improvements?

    Guaita - fodder
    TAA - AWB - Castagne - Mitchell - fodder
    Jota - Salah - Bruno - Rashford - ESR
    Vardy - Nacho - Watkins

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A grav would be a major improvement.

      1. Footieboot
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Sorry - could you elaborate?

        1. The Knights Template
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          A cool picture next to your username to provide Footiboot with more personality and identity, and therefore more responses. Head on over to gravatar.com

  21. PlayPercentage
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Is Dean Henderson now the nailed-on Goalkeeper for Man U?
    I notice that David DeGea started last night. And conceded three goals.

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Were they his fault?

  22. Chandler Bing
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Which duo on FH?

    A. Castagne & Aubameyang
    B. TAA & Vardy

    Easy B?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Easy peasey Terry Campese.

      B

  23. AdamJ91
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    On a FH;

    A) Zaha (3-4-3 / Strujik bench)
    B) Digne (4-3-3 / Saka bench)

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      B

  24. Johan Queef
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Chasing here with one eye on next week's blank (currently have 9 players next week incl Forster & constantly injured Raphinha).

    2FT and 1.2 ITB.

    A) Lingard to Zaha
    B) Lingard to Greenwood (3 UTD for TGW but 1 fewer for next week)
    C) Lingard to JWP & Vydra to Watkins

    Happy to take a -4 next week which will be easier if I carry a tranny.

    1. Gizzachance
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A or C to avoid further blanks?
      Same dilemma for me, go for more tgw or dgw, could have more blanks next week, possible injuries to!

      1. Johan Queef
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        I'm swaying towards that...last week I ended up with only 6 players and that stings!

        Next week I may try and get Antonio so am concerned Watkins might block that.

        1. Gizzachance
          • 6 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          I had 7 no shows inc bench!
          May roll my 1ft till
          Next week as I will have 6-7 with blanks , 2 ft and even a hit will prob benefit me more next bgw
          Good luck

          1. Johan Queef
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            4 months, 12 days ago

            I think I agree. Maybe just Zaha in this week, then the -4 (3 transfers) next week for max benefit. Gl to you too!

    2. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      C

  25. las90855
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    My team for TGW35

    Allison,
    TAA, Digne, Shaw
    Mane, Rashford(c), Maddison, Lingard
    Kane, Watkins, Iheanacho

    (Forster, ESR, Dallas, Amartey)

    How does it look? Good to go?

  26. LIARS POKER
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Son + Vardy to Bruno + DCL for free?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Yep

    2. drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I'm doing it for a hit

    3. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Prob yes

  27. onceuponatyne
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    OK, got:

    Martinez
    Digne TAA Shaw
    Salah Fernandes Siggy Jota
    Nacho DCL Davis

    (Ederson / Son / Dallas / Holding)

    I'm chasing 50pts in my league, so seriously debating going DCL cap and hoping for miracles.
    *Many would play Son over Davis, but I reckon he'll start for Villa next game out and looks mad-motivated.

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Good luck.

      1. onceuponatyne
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Thanks... I need it!!

  28. ludaslol
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Anything worth a hit?

    Lloris
    Dunk TAA Konsa
    Salah Jota Bruno Greenwood
    Cavani DCL Nacho

    Johnstone, Lingard, Stones, Veltman

    1.2 itb

    1. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Maybe a man u defender. Many think Maguie will play the three games.

      1. ludaslol
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Got three already

  29. ZAMUNDA
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Rate my TGW35 team:

    Mendy
    TAA - Shaw - Rudiger
    Bruno - Salah - Jota - Maddison
    Nacho - Kane - Adams

    Forster - Lingard - Dallas - Coady

    Leaves me with 10 TGW35 + Kane and 9 BGW36 (to be 11 with a hit)

    Any hits needed for this Gameweek?

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Looks solid GTG

      1. ZAMUNDA
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Cheers mate

  30. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Morning,

    A, Save FT
    B, Son & Martinez > Greenwood & Guita -4

    Martinez
    Trent, Shaw, Castagne,
    Bruno, Son, Salah, Jota,
    Nacho, Kane, Watkins,

    Button, Rüdiger, Lingz, Veltman,