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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. estheblessed
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    What to do here?!? Take some hits of G2G?!
    0 funds and no more free hits ...

    Martinez**
    TAA** Rudiger**, Konsa**
    Bruno***, Greenwood***, Lingard, Zaha**, Son
    DCL**, Nacho**

    Johnston, Kane, Veltman, Dias

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

      Benching Kane?

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

        Yea wasn't sure about that... Kane didn't look fit to me the last couple and I had Son.

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

      G2G but I would bench Lingard and play Kane

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

      Can't be benching Kane for Lingard

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

    Bottomed

    G2G this week?

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

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

  3. Zlatan F.C
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Would you rather have Digne or Maguire? (I have Godfrey already)

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

      M

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

      Maguire

    3. artvandelay316
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Maguire

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

    Start Saka or Lingard?

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

    Hoping that Raphinha is fit this weekend. Want him for Leeds' last 3 games!

    1. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      As a Bamford owner I want him in as well for some service or assist option

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

      I got rid of him and Bamford. Better options.

  6. 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)

    1. juanmata8
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Neither seems like a sideways move as your current three as 6 Games whereas you might get only 4/5 games out of your preferred 3

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

        Yeah true but would you want to go in this gw without Bruno?

        1. juanmata8
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          Well the real question is will your preferred 3 outscore your current 3 ?

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

            I think so.. Surely with DCL and Bruno. Castagne might get a CS and don't think Vardy will do much.

            Got rid of Bruno for -4 last week and it didn't work out so yeah don't really have anything to play for

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

      А) all you want in got potential to deliver with presumption, that you want bruno

  7. juanmata8
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    WC. Any changes?

    Guaita (Mcgill)
    Digne TAA Shaw* (Philips, Dallas)
    Bruno* Salah Zaha Greenwood* (Burke)
    DCL Nacho* Kane

    The idea is to navigate the 4 blanks by doing Greenwood > Lingard & Nacho > Antonio next week to field a full 11 (excluding Burke)

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

      Looks great

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

    Anyone with Rashford (c) or am I riding this boat all alone?

    1. Aston VII iia hahaha
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Not a bad bet, but I think he's got a niggle which is being managed so people are worried about minutes.

      Bruno is out of form so all the minutes in the world might not help him.

      That's why I'm Captaining Greenwood.

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

    bottomed...RP

    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!!

  10. son of city
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Is Greenwood even a smart move? Did he got subbed in the Roma game?

    1. Rasping Drive
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      played the full 90

    2. Aston VII iia hahaha
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I'm still thinking about Captaining him. I mean who else is there? Salah? Not sure I trust Liverpool.

      Iheanacho? Games aren't the easiest...

      There doesn't appear to be an obvious C pick.

  11. Jon Walter's Hatty
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Is Pogba a genuine diff option?

    1. son of city
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Yeah

    2. Aston VII iia hahaha
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I'm picking Cavani instead. Total goal machine even with limited minutes.

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

    Morning,

    A, Save FT
    B, Son & Martinez > Greenwood & Guita -4
    C, play Rudiger or Jota.

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

    Button, Rüdiger, Lingz, Veltman,

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

      definitely play Jota - no brainer.....

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

        Ta

    2. Party time
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A, Jots

      1. Party time
        4 months, 12 days ago

        Jota

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

          Ta,

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

      I wouldnt hit but like Son to Rash/Greenwood no hit. Play Jota

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

        Might save for next week due to blanks?

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

    play Ward or Rudgier?

    1. son of city
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Ward

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

      Ward has easier games, Chelsea have better defence?

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

        yeah if i thought Rudi plays both he would be my preference but i cant read/trust TT

  14. Aaa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    1. Bin Lingard or Gundo?

    2. Who scores more Digne or Castagne?

    3. Best cheap defender? Dann/Mitchell/Phillips

  15. Blonde Faith
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    No love for Greenwood (c) ?

    I'm not feeling the urge to armband Blanky Bruno, even over 3 games. It's Greenwood vs Salah, surely?

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

      could well be Greenwood in two tough games though...

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

      I'm on Greenwood atm. If I owned Salah I would probably cap him.

    3. Aston VII iia hahaha
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I am for the reason you mentioned.

      I have Salah too, and Liverpool certainly have a reason to win games...hmmmm

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

    Considering OGS' sparse post-match comments last nights, were there any watchers of yesterday's game who would have reason to gauge if any of the MUN players got injured at all?

    1. jason_ni
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      No obvious injuries.

  17. SomeoneKnows
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Tied in a cash league in first place. All the others have Shaw while I don't have any Man United defenders

    Do I get Shaw or Maguire?

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

      Shaw - dont take risks / chase via defensive defenders!

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

      I'd get Maguire. Also guaranteed to play the last 2 GWs. Expect Shaw to miss the final GW personally.

  18. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    I literally have no idea what to do.

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

      Well, you could Netflix and Chill.

      1. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        That's the best reply I could have hoped for.

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

        Well played.

      3. Aston VII iia hahaha
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        ZeroZeroZero - but difficult to chill with that show.

  19. Nespinha
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Pick what seems to be the best move:

    A) Holding --- Shaw

    B) Coady + Jota --- TAA + 5.4 mid (-4)

    C) Phillips + Son --- Robertson + Greenwodod (-4)

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

    Which one on a FH please?

    A) Digne & (El Ghazi)
    B) Jota & (Ward)

    (These will be benched)

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

      A..but very close

  21. gmando2011
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Will Lacazette play both games guys?

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

      who knows with Arsenal...

      who knows how they will behave now out of Europe and nothing to play for

      wouldnt go there

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

    Guys, I am seriously thinking of bringing in Pogba over Greenwood and Rashy............am I mad or am i onto something.......I believe he will play all 3

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

      Do it! No one remembers a coward!

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

      Highly doubtful that any of them play all 3.

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

      Nice differential - could go both ways ofc, as Greenwood attacking stats have been good recently

    4. son of city
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Good move, but playing all 3 ......impossible

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

      Decent call imo

      He's been used further up the pitch recently and DvdB looks like he's 40 million pounds wasted right now and I can't see his being trusted much.

      Fail to believe here that Bruno will get the bulk of 4 matches in 8 days and that means they need someone to step in for him. Pogba looks the most rational solution and he's been ticking over nicely for the most part and slots into almost all formations.

  23. Deulofeu
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    When is the best GW to play FH? Now or later?

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

      Think depends how many you have playing +1?

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

    Which single gameweek players will you definately play this week?

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

      Kane.

    2. Jon Walter's Hatty
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Son. In form

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

      I am playing Kane + Son.

  25. jason_ni
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Silly to consider a back four on a fh?

    TAA, Maguire, Castagne, Digne

    I like all 4 options, and can't seem to drop any to move away from the back 4!

    1. son of city
      4 months, 12 days ago

      It takes a big heart to do that.... 🙂

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

      This is not a GW for CS.

  26. GE
    • 5 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Who will get most points for rest of the season?

    1) Mendy
    2) Henderson
    3) Pickford
    4) Guaita
    5) Messlier
    6) Lloris

  27. BrutalLogiC
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Should I use free hit? I have 2 FT.
    5 with doubles, 2 with triple

    Martinez
    Shaw Rudiger Konsa
    Bruno Salah Son Lingard
    Kane Nacho Bamford

    Coady Veltman Raph

    Also, if I use FH do I keep my 2 FT for next game week?

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

      FH counts as a transfer, you'd have one next week to navigate the blanks

  28. akhilrajau
    • 2 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Who to get in addition to bruno
    A. Rashford
    B. Greenwood

    1. Aston VII iia hahaha
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I've gone Greenwood and potential C

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

        K so how about Greenwood and adams instead of son and wood

        1. Aston VII iia hahaha
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          4 months, 12 days ago

          I would, but you also need to think about navigating the blank. I have a FreeHit so I have no concerns.

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

            Yes i am considering that. I dont have FH. Here Adams have game in 36. I can transfer Greenwood to Sonnagain in the next week and get Dallas for coady for -4 hit if needed

  29. Zlatan F.C
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Would you bench boost this?

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Maguire Godfrey Coufal Rudiger
    Salah Greenwood Bruno Lingard Jota
    Kane Vydra Nacho

  30. teknicolourfox
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Free hit team...

    Guiata
    TAA | Castagne | Digne
    Salah | Fernandez | Jota | Greenwood
    DCL | Cavani | Nacho

    Happy with that!