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. vova
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Coady/Lingard to Phillips/Greenwood

    yay or nay?

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Probably yes but be aware you are blocking yourself to to get a good Liverpool player if going with Phillips

  2. Tonyawesome69
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Thoughts on Son and Periera to Jota and Greenwood? I want to use both FTs before FH36 and set the team for 37 & 38

    2FT 1.7ITB FH36
    Mendy
    TAA Rudiger Shaw
    Salah Bruno Son Lingard Pereira
    Kane Nacho
    (Forster Holding Davis Dallas)

  3. Sid07
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Playing Bench boost

    Thoughts on son + vydra + coady + Mendy to Greenwood + Watkins + digne + guiata (-8)

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Not sure on Mendy out but the other moves in isolation look good

  4. MadeinIreland
    • 12 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Anyone think DCL outscores Wood by more than 4 points this gameweek?

    Thanks...

    1. Tonyawesome69
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      He does have an extra game over Wood....

      1. MadeinIreland
        • 12 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I know but I can see a 4 point return from DCL and a 6 point return from Wood against Fulham

  5. sergioaguero67
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 20 days ago

    Which one has better prospects of starting all 3 matches?

    A) Greenwood
    B) Bruno

    Please help

    1. Dont_Win_Friends_With_Salah…
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      B

    2. Aster
        2 months, 20 days ago

        bruno

      • Tonyawesome69
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Bruno

    3. PoldervogelsUit
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Does anybody know whether the '6 GW projections' (which would be '4 GW projections) will come back online?
      Right now I only see projections till the end of the season but I'd like to see them split into GW's.

    4. kysersosa
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      G2G?

      Took -4 to get to...

      Martinez
      Maguire, TAA, Holding
      (B)runo, Salah, Jota, JWP
      Kane, Benteke, Nacho

      Forster, Targett, Lingard, Dallas

      TIA

    5. Lallana
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      A) Rashford (C), DCL
      2) Fernandes (C), Benteke

      Rashford got a rest in Europa League which is nice and Bruno hasn't been producing the crazy numbers as before...

      1. Chandler Bing
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I've gone for A but I do have Bruno as well.

      2. Booked4Dissent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Mmm don’t bet against Bruno, he’s class. I would never bench Bruno

      3. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        A

    6. Super Saints
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Who is crystal palaces most nailed defender?

      1. dbeck
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        ward

      2. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Doorman you mean?

      3. Tonyawesome69
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Probably Ward but I have seen a few post mentioning Clyne could get some mins. Just back from injury

    7. sergioaguero67
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Shaw or AWB?
      With the hope that one of them would start all 3
      Please help

      1. Booked4Dissent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 20 days ago

        I would go AWB as he got subbed at 45 last night.

        1. Kiwivillan
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          So did Shaw

          1. Booked4Dissent
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Ah right. Shaw has bigger upside and AWB has had back problems this season

            1. The Knights Template
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Wow you flipped quick!

      2. PlayPercentage
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Mitchell may be worth a punt. See my post below.

      3. Tonyawesome69
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Shaw

    8. Booked4Dissent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 20 days ago

      Play Holding (double but rested last week) or Lingard?

      1. son of city
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Lingz

        • Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Lingard

        • Free Hat
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Lingard

      2. PlayPercentage
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Tyrick Mitchell worth a punt? Started last game for Palace.
        PvA's contract expires in June and he is linked with other clubs.

        1. Chandler Bing
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Probably not. Would push for Nat Phillips or Ward if on a tight budget.

        2. Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Mitchell did just sign a new contract. Difficult one as dropping PvA and starting Mitchell vs City was tactical. Now that they are playing SHU and SOU, they could go with PvA for more attacking threat

        3. Free Hat
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Thinking he probably only starts one

        4. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          I have transferred in and I am playing him. If there is a cheap punt that can be afforded this week it's him.

      3. Gizzachance
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Thoughts
        Son to
        A Greenwood tgw then blank
        B zaha dgw no blank
        Then vydra to Watkins dgw no blank-4

        If want dcl, son to 6.8 would be needed
        Cheers

      4. Herman Toothrot
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Latest FH draft:

        Guaita
        Shaw / TAA / Digne
        Salah / Mane / Bruno / Havertz
        Cavani / DCL / Nacho

        Fabri / ASM / Mitchell / Fodder.

        Thoughts?

        1. Free Hat
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Solid. Not so sure on Mane with his form.

        2. AC/DC AFC
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Cavani and league game time is the question for me.

          1. Herman Toothrot
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            True but his form his hard to ignore

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Yeah.

              I've made my mind up, reckon he starts against both Leicester and Fulham with some time v Liverpool or benched for Leicester to start against Liverpool.

      5. Jet5605
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Hey guys. 1 FT and 0.1 ITB. Struggling to think of transfer options and would appreciate any help.

        A - Coady > Lindelof
        Other suggestion?

        Mendy
        Fofana - Dallas - Rudiger
        Bruno - Greenwood - Salah - Son
        Nacho - Kane

        Forster - Wood - Holding - Coady

        1. Jet5605
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Plus Lingard as starter

      6. Free Hat
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 20 days ago

        Play one.

        1. Lingard
        2. Mitchell
        3. Saka

        Thx in advance!

        1. Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          1

          1. Wolfman180
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            1

        2. Tshelby
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Will Mitchell start?

          1. Free Hat
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Prob 1 game. Otherwise Id go with him if he was nailed for 2. Not so sure.

      7. son of city
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Greenwood technically not play all 3

        • Wolfman180
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Coady, Dias & Vydra to Coleman, Philips & Antonio worth a -4?

          1. Free Hat
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            For 3rd striker Id look more for nacho, watkins, dcl this week

            1. Wolfman180
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Already own Nacho, and I can't afford DCL. Think for the run in I'd rather have Antonio than Watkins

          2. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Not a fan. I don't think Colemans mins are nailed with Ancelotti having all defs back and he likes to chop and change

            1. Wolfman180
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Is Holgate any more nailed?

        • Kuzser
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 20 days ago

          Saving FH for gw36, but doing 3 transfers for -4 this week.
          What combo would you prefer out of these guys:
          1) Any 4.7 def, Greenwood
          2) Digne, Lingard
          3) Maguire, El ghazi
          4) Maguire, Coleman (play 4-3-3)

          Martinez
          Taa Shaw XXX
          Salah Bruno Jota XXX
          Nacho Dcl Kane

          1. son of city
              2 months, 20 days ago

              3

          2. Rondon9
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 20 days ago

            Play one:

            A Rudiger
            B Holgate
            C Holding

            Cheers

            1. Free Hat
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Not sure on Holgate 2x so Rudi

            2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              A

            3. son of city
                2 months, 20 days ago

                A

            4. The Mighty Whites
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              2FT, 0.1 ITB, thoughts?

              Meslier / Guaita

              TAA / Castagne / Rudiger / Coady / Coufal

              Salah / Fernandes / Son / Jota / Lingard

              Kane / Iheanacho / Vydra

              Thoughts on Rudiger & Son to Maguire & Zaha?

              1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 20 days ago

                Fitness news on Zaha?

            5. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              9 DGWers, 11 players for the BGW. All set. Let the games begin.

            6. las90855
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

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

              (Forster, ESR, Dallas, Amartey)

              How does it look? Good to go?

            7. Tshelby
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Yeah got rid of Bruno last week for -4 now getting him back for -8 love it!!

            8. Friday Press conference times
              Legomané
              • Has Moderation Rights
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Friday Press conference times

              Arteta - 9am
              Mason - 9am
              Smith - 9.30am
              Klopp - 12.30pm
              Tuchel - 1pm
              Nuno - 1pm
              Parker - 1pm
              Hodgson - 1.15pm
              Ancelotti - 1.30pm
              Pep - 1:30pm
              Moves - 1.30pm
              Potter - 1.30pm
              Allardyce - 1.30pm

              https://twitter.com/ffscout/status/1390564753228062720

            9. Jimjam
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Martinez
              Shaw, Saiss, Coufal
              Salah, Bruno, Bale, Jota, Lingard
              Kane, Iheanacho

              Bench: Forster, Bamford, Dallas, Rudiger

              1FT, 0.3 in bank

              Worth a -4 to get DCL?

            10. trinzoo
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 20 days ago

              Maddison > Greenwood or Zaha (-4) until end of season

              1. son of city
                  2 months, 20 days ago

                  Zaha

                • Aston VII iia hahaha
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 20 days ago

                  I'm not sure getting rid of Maddison is a good idea. He's got 2 fixtures which are fairly far apart. He's likely to play both and we know what he's capable of. He's part of my WC team and I've not got Zaha. That being said I've Captained Greenwood.

              2. CroatianHammer
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 20 days ago

                Controversial but I picked Macca for the midfield. 'Rested' for the cancelled game, rested last night, that's 270 minutes right there.
                I also chose Shaw, because Telles has often played higher up on the left and would be seen more as an alternative for Greenwood or Rasherz if needed. Not that I think Telles plays more than 90 total, but I don't think Shaw is affected so much.
                Picking less costly players has allowed me to spend 4 points to upgrade Brewster (watch his HT this weekend) to DCL. Happy with that, as Everton have something to play for.

                1. Zladan
                  • 3 Years
                  2 months, 20 days ago

                  Who is Macca? McSauce?

                  1. CroatianHammer
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 20 days ago

                    Yes, Jorge McSauce, plucky box to box maestro. .

              3. RedJive79
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 20 days ago

                Is this GTG? Or would you -4 for Bam to Watkins and drop Lingz to bench??

                Martinez
                Shaw / TAA / Dallas
                Jota / Salah / Greenwood / Lingz / Bruno (c)
                Kane / Nacho

                Areola / Bam / Veltman / Struijk

              4. Zladan
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 20 days ago

                It’s looking like a few hits needed to get anything from GW36 but I think I manage to get in all the big picks.

                35:
                James Bale to Maguire Pogba (-4)

                Mendy
                Coleman Phillips Maguire
                Bruno (c) Pogba Salah Jota
                Kane Vardy Nacho

                36:
                Pogba Vardy Holding to Son DCL Dallas (-8)

                Forster
                Coleman Dallas Phillips
                Salah Jota Son
                Kane DCL