Scouting The Doubles

The best Man Utd players for FPL Double Gameweek 34

Manchester United and Chelsea are the only two teams who have a Double Gameweek 34, after their Gameweek 37 encounter at Old Trafford was brought forward by more than two weeks.

That’s because the Blues will now be contesting the FA Cup final against Liverpool on the weekend of May 14/15, when the league fixture was originally scheduled for.

In this first installment of a two-part Scouting the Doubles, we look at the pick of the United players for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) and weigh up the pros and cons of investing.

All stats in this piece come from our Premium Members Area.

BUYING MAN UTD PLAYERS FOR DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 34: THE PROS

ANOTHER DOUBLE GAMEWEEK

While the Double Gameweek 34 schedule isn’t that attractive, it is still a Double Gameweek.

It also feels like a potentially decent time to face Arsenal, given that they have now lost three in a row and only managed one clean sheet in their last five Emirates outings.

In fairness, their defeat against Southampton in Gameweek 33 owed more to their profligacy than anything else, but their defensive structure has been weakened by injuries to Kieran Tierney (£5.0m) and in particular Thomas Partey (£5.0m).

Chelsea absolutely feels like a tougher proposition, but as we’ve seen in previous Double Gameweeks, it might still be worth rolling the dice on a United attacker given that they are fourth in the league for non-penalty expected goals (xG) in 2021/22:

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PUSH STILL ON

Having looked out of the top four race just a week ago following defeat to Everton, United clawed their way back into the reckoning for Champions League qualification with a 3-2 win over Norwich City in Gameweek 33.

And it was a good weekend for Ralf Rangnick’s side as both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal lost, bringing them right back into contention.

As a result, Saturday’s win places them just three points behind Spurs in fourth having both played 32 games, which suggests there is still plenty to play for and that motivation won’t be an issue during the run-in.

NO ROTATION WORRIES

Given that United are one of only two sides in the current Premier League top five who don’t have the distractions of cup competition, rotation – at least in theory – should be kept to a minimum.

And the schedule is very kind, too, with only one midweek fixture to navigate from Double Gameweek 34 right through until the end of the campaign.

The Gameweek 35 clash with Brentford being moved to Monday also helps with the recovery time following next Thursday’s visit of Chelsea.

  • Saturday 23 April: Gameweek 34 – Arsenal (a)
  • Thursday 28 April: Gameweek 34 – Chelsea (h)
  • Monday 2 May: Gameweek 35 – Brentford (h)
  • Saturday 7 May: Gameweek 36 – Brighton and Hove Albion (a)
  • Sunday 22 May: Gameweek 38 – Crystal Palace (a)

BUYING MAN UTD PLAYERS FOR DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 34: THE CONS

UNITED ARE STILL A BIT OF A MESS

After Ralf Rangnick criticised his players on Saturday and admitted nobody in the Premier League concedes goals like them, it still feels like United are a bit of a mess.

Notably, Norwich created plenty of chances throughout the afternoon and scored more than one goal in an away game for just the third time this season.

Under Rangnick, United have won nine, drawn six and lost three of their 18 Premier League matches. In that time, his side have scored 28 goals and conceded 20, while they have laboured to just one clean sheet in their last 10 outings.

Whilst there have been signs of improvement at times, United are essentially unconvincing when defending and often lack confidence when in the final third.

POTENTIALLY TRICKY FIXTURES TO NAVIGATE AFTER THE DOUBLE GAMEWEEK

On first glance, Brentford, Brighton and Crystal Palace seems like a decent enough run of fixtures to target.

However, anyone who has watched those sides in action recently will know only too well how tough these matches could potentially be.

The Bees, for example, are on an excellent run of five wins in their last six, which has included victories over Chelsea and West Ham United.

As for Brighton, the division’s highest scorers in 2022 – Spurs – failed to register a single shot on target against them on Saturday, while Palace have kept back-to-back home clean sheets against Manchester City and Arsenal.

BLANK GAMEWEEK 37

As a result of United’s fixture against Chelsea being brought forward, United will now blank in Gameweek 37.

Planning an exit route for their assets seems wise, then, particularly for those working towards a Gameweek 37 Bench Boost.

That needn’t necessarily be an issue – for example, a Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.2m) to Harry Kane (£12.6m) switch is an easy enough transfer to make in Gameweek 35 or 36 – but it’s certainly something worth thinking about if investing.

OTHER GOOD OPTIONS IGNORED?

While United play twice against Arsenal and Chelsea, it’s worth remembering that there are some very appealing ‘single’ Gameweek fixtures on offer elsewhere.

Kevin De Bruyne (£11.8m) faces Watford on Saturday, while Son Heung-min (£11.1m) and Kane are in action later that day at Brentford.

Liverpool and Mohamed Salah (£13.2m), meanwhile, entertain Everton in a Merseyside derby that has produced quite a few goals in recent times.

It’s impossible to fit all of the above premiums in, and the question Fantasy managers need to ask themselves is whether or not a United asset against Arsenal and Chelsea is more appealing than those mentioned above, even with the additional fixture.

MAIN FPL TARGETS

CRISTIANO RONALDO

The Salah injury latest as in-form Toney tops FPL Gameweek 30 transfers in 4

Cristiano Ronaldo’s treble against Norwich means that he has, once again, scored at least 20 goals in all competitions in a season, something he has achieved in each of his last 16 campaigns at club level.

Notably, the hat-trick has taken him to 15 goals in the Premier League in 2021/22, only behind Salah and Son.

Ten of those efforts have arrived in five fixtures, and it would be nice to see a more balanced share of the goals, but it’s an impressive feat all the same.

The Portuguese is actually beating Kane (43) for FPL points over his last six matches (46), and trumping every other £10.0m+ asset for non-penalty expected goal involvement (xGI) in that time.

Yes, his latest hat-trick was ‘only’ against Norwich, but he delivered on a bigger stage against Spurs recently and he’ll be encountering a depleted Arsenal at a potentially good time in Double Gameweek 34.

BRUNO FERNANDES

Fernandes and Ronaldo deliver as United beat 10-man Brighton in FPL Double Gameweek 25

Bruno Fernandes (£11.6m) is going through a bit of a poor run of form at present – albeit while still registering good enough xGI figures (see above table).

Against Norwich on Saturday, the playmaker was deployed in a deeper role than usual (see his touch heatmap below) and failed to make much of an impact on proceedings, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if he was restored to a more advanced, second-striker role at Anfield.

That is, however, definitely something worth monitoring, as a deep Fernandes is essentially no good for FPL.

In terms of actual returns, it’s eight in 16 matches for Fernandes under Rangnick, while it’s also worth noting that he is top for big chances created (nine) among Fantasy midfielders since the German took charge.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER

The best FPL defenders for a Gameweek 33 Free Hit 4

United’s latest dismal defensive display against Norwich, in which they almost contrived to lose to the division’s lowest scorers and 20th-place club, is off-putting for their backline assets.

Rangnick of course won’t go again with Paul Pogba (£7.4m) as his sole holding midfielder as he did against the Canaries, but on Saturday’s evidence and all that came before it, investment in their backline probably isn’t advised.

These comments from the German tactician following the match are revealing, too:

“If you look at the two goals we conceded, especially the first one, we had the ball on the sideline but we were just not physical enough. As soon as there is body contact we have to be more physical, more aggressive, but we weren’t. It was, for me, too easy, and that’s why we are probably the only team in the league who concedes goals like this.” – Ralf Rangnick

Due to a lack of clean sheets – just one in their last 10 outings – plus the strength of the attacks they will face in Double Gameweek 34, it does feel like David de Gea (£5.1m) and Alex Telles (£5.1m) will be relying on saves/attacking returns for points.

Further forward, Anthony Elanga (£4.8m) is a budget-freeing midfielder who offered more in the final third than Jadon Sancho (£8.9m) at the weekend, although two starts might be in question. However, it does seem – at least for now – that he has jumped ahead of Marcus Rashford (£9.4m) in the pecking order.

“I had to decide between him (Rashford) and Anthony Elanga today. I think Anthony, not only did he do well when he prepared the first goal, but he also played for the first time in his career as a right-back and did well the last 20 minutes.

The way he defended, he won most of the balls on his side in those 20 minutes and then Rashford came on those last 25 minutes into the game. That’s how it is and quite like all the other players he just has to show up.” – Ralf Rangnick


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228 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Ginkapo FPL
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Any chance of Ben Mee playing himself up front?

  2. panda07
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Which of these moves is best?

    A) Doherty > Rudiger
    B) Foden > Havertz
    C) Both for a -4

    1FT £2m ITB

    Ramsdale
    TAA Robbo Cancelo James Doherty*
    Salah Son Foden Saka
    Weghorst

    Foster Broja Gordon Dennis

  3. Nomar
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    West Brom have really fallen off a cliff this season. They were in the automatic promotion places in October.

    1. CABAYE4
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      The Bruce effect.

    2. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Thank God!

      1. RedRo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Not really - that was 6 points every season for us when they were up

  4. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 9 days ago

    Evening all! Giving some thoughts to this weeks transfers…. Best option here??!!…

    A- Bruno, Martinelli and Alonso
    Or
    B- Mount, Havertz, Laporte for and extra -4

    Cheers everyone!!

    1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      *have T.Silva already

    2. noissimbus
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Tough one but B should get more returns.

        1. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Cheer mate!! This is what I’m thinking too, don’t have WC and have BB left to play and Bruno takes a big chunk of money up

    3. Ronnies
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      Have exact cash to do these 2 transfers, if I leave it another day I might be priced out. Should I rush it ?

      A) Yes
      B) No

      Robertson > James
      Saka > Mount

      Cheers.

      1. dunas_dog
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        No- all 4 still to play.

      2. Jones Kusi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        No

      3. NIKO.
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        No none of those players look like changing price tonight

    4. Jones Kusi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 9 days ago

      What do you think?
      Doherty, Lacazette > James, Watkins

      1. noissimbus
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Watkins may struggle, but not much value elsewhere. Other options are Pukki or Toney.

        • Fabreghastly
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          How about Alonso and Werner?

      2. Original - Wolves Ay We
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        A) Son
        B) Salah
        C) Kane
        D) KDB

        Which ones are a priority on the WC?

      3. Weak Become Heros
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        Look forward to the Chelsea article.

      4. popey
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 9 days ago

        If chasing c50points in ML is now the time to start taking risks and begrudgingly go without one of Salah and Kane? Free's up a lot of funds and can only captain one of them

        1. The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Yep

        2. noissimbus
            2 months, 9 days ago

            Salah to KDB to invest 1.4 elsewhere may be rewarding.

            1. popey
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 9 days ago

              Salah & Cornet > KDB & Mount this week looks good actually

              Problem with downgrading Kane is there are absoutely no alternatives

        3. hogree
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          WC Draft I'm looking at - how's she looking?

          Schmeichel - Foster
          Trent - James - Cancelo - Cash - Dalot
          Mane - Mount - Havertz - Son - KDH
          Pukki - Dennis - Watkins

        4. FortunesAlwaysHiding
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 9 days ago

          Is Guaita nailed in goal for Palace?