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

    A or B ?

    A JWP
    B Siggy

    1. Parsnips
      4 months, 12 days ago

      A

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

      B or C Maddison

  2. Parsnips
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Gtg?

    Martinez
    Shaw Ward Philips
    Salah Bruno Greenwood Son
    Calvert Lewin Nacho Kane

    Fabri Lingard Holding Coufal

    1. vova
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      looks good! Who are you captaining?

  3. Aster
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Nacho or Greenwood captain?

    1. vova
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Greenwood

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

        This

  4. Hitthewall
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Which option?

    A) Watkins - Zaha - Shaw - Mendy (-4)
    B) DCL - Zaha - Shaw - Guaita (-8)

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

      A

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

    What do I do here?
    2 FT 0.1 ITB
    No chips left.

    Forster Mendy
    Rudiger Philips Fofana Coady Holding
    Lingard Jota Salah Son Bruno
    Nacho Kane Davis

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

    Ederson
    TAA Castagne Phillips
    Fernandes Son Greenwood Jota
    Kane Iheanacho Watkins

    Sanchez Saka Konsa Reguilon

    GTG?

    Thanks! 🙂

    1. artvandelay316
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Yup. Nice team.

  7. lappingitup
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Rob Holding or Jlingz?

    1. vova
      • 11 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      Holding

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

      Lingz

  8. Ha.
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Will Leno play both games?

    Or ditch for Guaita?

  9. Rains of Castamere
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Morning scouters.

    Which keeper would you go for on FH if you didn't fancy Guaita?

    Back three is Maguire - AWB - Trent

    Should I go Mendy as insurance against him getting one clean sheet and a few saves (roughly 10 points?)

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

    Do you think Jota will outscore Zaha (as still also waiting press conference)?

    I have to pull the trigger for a hit for that.

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

      No

  11. seanie3
    • 10 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    is Zaha a better pick than Bruno for GW 35 & 36? Zaha has very good fixtures and bar injury should play every minute of all 3 games where as Bruno won't. He played 83 mins last night now has 3 games in the next 7 days where surely he misses one or minutes managed.

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

      with TGW I think you can consider bruno as an essential pick

      1. seanie3
        • 10 Years
        4 months, 12 days ago

        my point is that will bruno will not play 270 mins over tgw, where zaha has 180 mins over the TGW and 90 mins in gw36 where bruno doesn't play in gw36. so do we still think bruno scores more points than Zaha also given the easy fixtures for palace

  12. Ritchies Magic Hat
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Play 1:
    A) Reguilon
    B) Dallas
    C) Raphinha
    D) Bamford

  13. LucasD
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Guaita
    Robertson / Trent / Shaw / Maguire
    Zaha / Salah / Bruno / Auba
    DCL / Nacho

    Button / Watkins / Mitchell / Burke

    How's this FH team looking? Anything you would change?

    Not sure if I should play Watkins, but who to bench?

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

      Don’t go near Auba. Much rather Mane than him. Just because he starts doesn’t mean he is going to be anywhere near back to his best. Malaria is not something you get over with quickly, he’s going to be struggling for fitness and sharpness for a while IMO.

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

    Its so hard to decide. Iheanacho or Salah for captain?

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

      When in doubt I usually go for the milf.

  15. DAVESAVES
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Anyone else with Leno/Forster issue?

    Leno plays che 100% imo, but you want that WBA game.

    Forster plays at least one I believe. Could play both.

    Who do you play?

  16. Hitthewall
    4 months, 12 days ago

    A) Watkins + Mendy
    B) DCL + Guaita (-4)

    (No playing GK in 36 if I dont go Mendy --> Guaita)

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

      B then

    2. TB303
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      B

  17. TB303
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    BB played. -8

    Is there anything else needed?

    Forster**

    Alexander** Holding** Maguire*** Rüdiger**

    Fernandes(c)*** Salah** Jota** Zaha**

    Adams** Nacho**

    Mendy** Kane* Lingard* Ayling*

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

      It doesn’t leave you with many options for 36 are you taking a big bit to field a team?

    2. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      If you are happy to take a punt on Forster starting looks fine. I'm BBing three single GWers as well Guiata, Kane, Lingard, Bamford.

  18. Crooky
    • 3 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    How many of the three is lindelorf likely to play?

    1. TB303
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      2?

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

      2

    3. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      2, but still a good option for the price.

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

    Thoughts on son to

    A zaha dgw no blank
    B Greenwood tgw and blank
    C save
    Thanks

    1. TB303
      • 4 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      I did A

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

        Cheers

    2. egan
      4 months, 12 days ago

      C

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

        Thanks as I’m also thinking of my blanking players for next week,
        Hence prob a or c, could bring son back for 36

  20. egan
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Vardy+Greenwood or Mane+Shaw anyone?

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

    Who to bench...

    Mount or Saka?

    Thanks

  22. tibollom
    • 4 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    hi guys, would appreciate your help.. got 2 FT and 0.2 ITB and chasing.. got my TC left as well.. What to do?

    Ederson Johnstone
    AWB Saiss Castagne Struik Veltman
    Salah Greenwood Bruno Lingard Raphina
    Watkins Kane ihenacho

    1. son of city
      4 months, 12 days ago

      This game week is the perfect week to use TC but no one is worth it

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

        What about Bruno?

  23. TVPlugSockets
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Best Crystal Palace defender?

    Ward?

  24. Rex Lapis
    • 7 Years
    4 months, 12 days ago

    El Ghazi nailed on?

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

      Yep I think so

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

    A) Watkins + Bruno (-8, 7 players in GW36)
    B) Kane + Greenwood (-4, 7 players in GW36)
    C) Kane + Zaha (-4, 8 players in GW36)

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

    Madness to consider Nacho(TC)?

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

      Nope

      He's going to start both and is the man in form. United could have conceded 6 last night easily and they won't exactly be fresh on Tuesday.

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

        Matches my thinking, thanks for that.

  27. Maeki2
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Kane + traore + dias -> nacho + Salah + lindelöf -4

    Or keep dias without hit?

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

    took -4 already to get this team. How does it look? Good to go?

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

    (Forster, ESR, Dallas, Amartey)

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

    A or B?

    A) Vardy, Jota, Castagne -> DCL, Bruno, Mitchell (-8)
    B) Vardy, Jota -> DCL, Rashford (-4)

  30. TVPlugSockets
    • 1 Year
    4 months, 12 days ago

    Will 9 players for GW36 be sufficient?

    I’m bench boosting this week so trying to have as many DGW players as possible, but worries about the thin team for 36.

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      4 months, 12 days ago

      DGW/blank is the same number of games as SGW/SGW, so it comes down to whether your DGW options are better than keeping SGWers over the two GW period.