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. Fit_to_drop
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Does Holgate play the next two games? Have only 4.8 left to spend to complete a bench boost.

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Don't think so. Has been a disaster.

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

        Made a mistake for the Watkins goal. I can only go on the number of consecutive 90s he has played and it does seem like it but haven't watched all EVE games

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          I have watched them all. All the Everton defenders are now fit to play. He is the weak link.

    2. Boz
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Wouldn’t bank on it

    3. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Cheers guy. Ill cut one of my defenders down to Ward so and need one more defender that has a double and plays the following week upto a value of 4.6m?

  2. Boz
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Which of these for free

    A) Lingard > El Ghazi
    B) Cresswell > Ward
    C) Kane > DCL

    To enable Son > Salah

    1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      None of them sound exciting. Plus Son has Leeds and Salah's second game is United which might end 0-0!

      1. Boz
        • 9 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        I think Leeds vs Spurs will be low scoring so happy to take the risk with the extra game for Salah. Got FH for next week too.

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          If you have to go with A. But get him back in 36/ 37. I have El Ghazi but also have Lingard on the bench. think he can be a good differential this GW.

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

      I'd think about C depending on what moves you have planned for 36 and how aggressive you want to be

      If it's a 2 week swap of Kane to Bale for instance I can see why you'd go there. If it's an in and out of Kane I don't see so much point.

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

      not a fan. Maybe A if I had to pick one for this GW but I would want Lingard back for WHU final push for top 4

    4. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Thats easy. A.

      Take a look at his points run (barring injury) in the last 10 games. His out put has fallen off a cliff.

      1. Fit_to_drop
        • 1 Year
        4 months, 12 days ago

        B - I meant. Aaron Cresswell.

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

    RP - 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)

    1. Boz
      • 9 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I would

    2. Fit_to_drop
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Yes except that Jota runs the risk of underwhelming owners in the next run of games. I own him and dont fancy him but see the logic.

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

        Jota move is more looking forward to GW37 and 38 where Klopp has to go all out and win those games. I can see him start all 4 up front vs BUR and CRY. He is definitely the 1st player to get hooked off if not putting away his chances. Which midfield would you bring in for the rest of the season that has a double?

  4. Pep Roulette
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    With James & Martial out, Rashford not fully fit, Cavani probably not playing more than 150 minutes this week, Greenwood looks like an amazing pick!

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

      Agree-just wish had not played full 90 minutes last night

    2. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Rashford would play 2/3 games. There's still Mata Pogba and VDB who will get some minutes.

      Greenwood playing 90 mins is a tad worrying

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

        I can't see Mata playing in those type of games. He doesn't have the pace

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

      When has Rashford ever been fully fit?

  5. Tshelby
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Vardy, Castagne, Jota -> Bruno, DCL, Mitchell (-8)?

    1. Kryptonite666
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      No other way to get Bruno ?

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

        Yeah could keep Jota look underneed

    2. Tshelby
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Or Vardy, esm, Castage -> Bruno Vydra Mitchell (keeping Jota)

    3. Klip Klopp
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Losing Castagne is crazy

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

        The only route to Bruno..

    4. Rolls-Royce
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Lol

  6. Jet5605
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

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

    A - Coady > Lindelof
    B - Other suggestion?
    C - Save transfer

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

    Forster - Wood - Holding - Coady

  7. Aster
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Captain Nacho or Greenwood?

    Also have Bruno, but do not want to play it safe.

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

      Nacho for me

    2. No Kane No Gain
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Greenwood

  8. Party time
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Bruno minutes prediction:
    35 Vs Avl
    77 vs Lei
    90 vs Liv

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

      90
      90
      90 (+10) penalty after FT.

    2. Joey Tribbiani
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 12 days ago

      90 vs avl
      45 vs LEI
      90 vs LIV

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

        That would be great.

      2. Party time
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Quite possible tbh

      3. Party time
        4 months, 12 days ago

        But I can’t see him playing the full 90 vs Avl

    3. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      75
      80
      90

      1. Party time
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Yeah. I would love this

    4. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      70
      70
      90

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

      Minutes look about right to me

      I'd be shocked if some of the predictions came through with his playing the best part of 4 matches in 8 days. Optimistic calls.

  9. Kryptonite666
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    What is the one change you’ll make if this were your freehit team ?

    Guiata
    Digne AWB Castagne
    Salah Mane Fernandes Greenwood
    Vardy DCL Iheanacho

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

      Like it

    2. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I'd want Trent.

      1. Keeptrying
        • 7 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        TAA instead of Digne/Castagne

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

      Potentially Castagne to Trent and downgrade Mane to Siggy, Pulisic or Maddison. Not sure that ends up being a better 11 though

  10. Zladan
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Sold Greenwood last week...

    But it was for Bale so not too down.

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

      That was a great move.

      Don't feel bad about it.

      Feel awesome about it!

  11. Jet5605
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Why people ditching Son? Despite no doubles he has nice games coming up

    1. Il Capitano
      4 months, 12 days ago

      For me it's to get Salah in, will get Son back for Bruno in 36 to field XI

    2. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      most likely manu assets. But half of them will want him back (potentially at a hit) the next gameweek

  12. Il Capitano
    4 months, 12 days ago

    0 FT 0 ITB

    Martinez
    Digne TAA Shaw xxx
    Bruno (C) Salah Jota Lingard xxx
    Nacho Kane xxx

    Almost settled on my team, just need to decide who fills that last slot:

    A) Targett
    B) ESR
    C) Mitchell
    D) Bamford

  13. Fuddled FC
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Which one?
    a) Digne
    b) Coleman
    c) Keane
    d) Ward

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      If money is not an issue A

  14. CapK
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Chasing 30 points in my mini league for cash,

    Is Maguire (C) suicide over Bruno (C)?

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Salah / Greenwood would be better options over Maguire tbh

  15. Mr Ozil
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Current team for GW35: 2FTs, 0.1 itb

    MENDY
    RUDIGER ROBERTSON FOFANA
    BRUNO SALAH SIGGY Son Bowen
    Kane NACHO

    subs: FORSTER HOLDING Vydra Coady

    which is better?

    A- Son + Bowen > Greenwood + Zaha (play 3-5-2)
    B- Son + Vydra > Zaha + DCL/Watkins (play 3-4-3)
    C- Something else?

  16. HammersXI
    • 8 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Which picks makes more sense?

    Ward / Phillips (already have TAA in my team)

  17. rowdog24
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    If you were chasing, any love for Rashford?

    1. No Professionals
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      sure

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

      I'm chasing and Rashford is my captain.

    3. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      nope.

    4. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Good option. But don't think he's fully fit to play 3 games in 5 days.

    5. Corgzzzz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Have you considered Pogba if you are chasing .........I think he plays all 3

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

      Yeah I've brought him in instead of Bruno (risky but I'm chasing) - considering him as captain too

  18. AzzaroMax99
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Son+Mount+Dias to Greenwood+Jota+Maguire for (-8)

    Crazy or not?

    I don't have Bruno (would have to sell Kane for that move), while Rashford, TAA, Salah in my squad.

  19. No Professionals
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Bench boosting, anything worth a hit?

    Martinez
    Digne Maguire Shaw
    Salah Bruno Jota Ward-Prowse
    Kane Watkins Iheanacho

    Areola Lingard Dunk Dallas
    0.0itb

    plan is Bruno and Iheanacho to Son and Antonio (-4) next week so might be worth avoiding hits this week.

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

    Leading ML, but chasing a 10k spot (team linked)

    Captain choice?

    A) Bruno
    B) Salah
    C) Maddison

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

      Bruno

    2. Mince n Tatties
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Salah

    3. AJ24
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A

  21. Gangster Panda
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    WC’ing into this.Starting JWP over Mount feels so wrong, what d’ya reckon?

    Guaita
    TAA, Shaw, Maguire, Digne
    Salah, Fernandes, JWP
    DCL, Watkins, Iheanacho

    Forster, Mount, Bale, Phillips

  22. Jet5605
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Chances of Lindelof playing all three?

    1. Pep Roulette
      • 3 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Good chance imo

  23. Tshelby
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    A or B?

    A) Vardy, Jota, Castagne -> DCL, Bruno, Mitchell (-8)
    B) Vardy, ESM, Castagne -> Vydra, Bruno, Mitchell (-8)

    The team:

    Guita, Martinez
    TAA, Castagne, Dallas, Veltman, Konsa
    Salah, Jota, ESM, Lingard, Greenwood
    Kane, Vardy, Nacho

  24. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    TAA, Saka to Maguire, Greenwood for -4?

    1. CapK
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Loosing TAA before a double then a great end of season run in, dont like it, especially for a hit

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

      I wouldn’t do that

    3. AJ24
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Not for me

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

      Difficult- TAA and Greenwood the ideal but guess unaffordable. I think I would make move on balance as long as not leaving you short for 36

  25. dunas_dog
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Keeper dilemma

    Presently have Leno and Forster and was going to play Forster when earlier in week Hassenhutl appeared to say plays next 2. However he backtracked yesterday so no certainty. Plan was to get Meslier next week. Would you

    A Start Forster as planned
    B Start Leno who might get both now out EL
    C For certainty get 1 Guaita or 2 Pickford for double and rest of season - 4 ( means do not get Meslier next week)

    1. HammersXI
      • 8 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Just stick with Leno. You won't be expecting CS with Forster anyways. Not sure if Guaita for a hit will give you more returns.

    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Did he actually backtrack yesterday?

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

        That’s how I read quote in Scout Tweets

      2. rainy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 6 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        You might say he refused to commit:

        "Yes. I don't want to [tell you]! Let's have a look. [They will share starts in] the final six games but you must always wait who is playing in the end."

        and

        “Both keepers have done well and had clean sheets, and with both goalkeepers we have not defended well so it’s not about who’s standing in goal. Both have good qualities and this is how we handle it over the last six games.”

        1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          Yes. Just read the key takeaways from his interview. Non-committal and hence risky to pick any of those two.

          Thanks!

  26. Buck The Trent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    For DGW?

    A JWP
    B Siggy

  27. villian-ty
    • 11 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Chasing ML

    Who to captain? Iam BB

    Bruno - I think all will captain him
    Greenwood
    Salah
    Nacho
    DCL

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

      Salah if chasing imo

      DCL could also be a genius captain pick

    2. Party time
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Bruno

    3. No Kane No Gain
      • 2 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Greenwood

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

    Who scores most out of these? What would your playing order be?

    KEANE
    SAKA
    El GHAZI
    DCL
    Wood
    Lingard
    Son
    Kane

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

      DCL, Kane, Son, El Ghazi, Saka, Lingard, Wood, Keane

    2. son of city
      4 months, 12 days ago

      DCL Lingz and El

  29. AJ24
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    G2G this week?

    Martinez
    Trent, Shaw, Rudiger
    Bruno (C), Salah, Greenwood, Jota, Lingard
    Kane, Iheanacho (VC)

    Forster, Bamford, Holding, Coufal. 1FT & 0.1ITB.

  30. zotter
    • 12 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    What is best here.... (have Salah, Trent and Bruno and Kane).....(have Nacho, Shaw, Bruno, ESR, Rudi blanking 36)

    a. Son, ESR, Rudi >>> Siggy, Greenwood, Philips (-4)
    b. Son, ESR, Rudi >>> Zaha, Greenwood, Philips (-4)
    c. Son, Rudi >>> Greenwood, Digne (Free)
    d. Son, Lingard, Rudi >>> Greenwood, Jota, Digne (-4)
    e. Son, Lingard, Rudi >>> Zaha, Jota, Digne (-4)
    f. Son, Lingard, Rudi >>> Zaha, Greenwood, Digne (-4)

    d,f probably need be to take a hit in 36

    Help please!!