Preamble

The Pre-Match Preamble – Gameweek 38

Ten fixtures, 20 teams, no doubles, no blanks, no postponements (touch wood), and everyone’s pretty much used all their chips.

Gameweek 38 is Fantasy Premier League (FPL) stripped back to its basics, how we used to play it way back when.

I’ve seen plenty of commenters within our own weird little corner of the internet saying how much they’re ready for the summer now, how the endless procession of last-minute cancellations and short-notice rearrangements and blanks and doubles and catastrophic points swings has taken its toll. Thinking back to my journalism studies days, it’s felt akin to one of those live newsroom exercises where you’re repeatedly being fed absurd new nuggets of information and having to constantly rewrite your intro.

I share the jaded feeling to some extent but I do wonder whether we’ll look back with more fondness on a rollercoaster 2021/22 in years to come.

It goes without saying that the circumstances of how the week-to-week bedlam came about aren’t to be celebrated in the slightest, with Covid’s impact on our daft wee game small fry compared to the death and disruption it has caused in real life.

But chaos is part of the reason why we love football in the first place, so why shouldn’t our pre-conceived chip strategies and transfer plans be challenged once in a while?

We’ll likely soon be back to how things were, with maybe two or three Blank Gameweeks a season and as many Double Gameweeks following in their wake. They’ll be relatively easy to plan for in advance, as they’ll be around FA Cup/EFL Cup weekends, and we’ll not have nearly as much reactionary, short-term firefighting that has been a feature of 2021/22. It’ll all be very familiar, the cream will rise to the top again barring the usual luck/variance and we’ll be back to the ‘snooker player’ approach to FPL of thinking four to six shots/weeks/moves ahead.

How comforting, how rewarding, how… boring?

How many times in the past have we bemoaned medium-term templates forming and seasons stagnating? And with the rise of algorithms, points projections and automated team recommendations, you could easily get away without any manual ‘thinking’ in a routine campaign and still rank highly.

This season has been exhilarating, frustrating and agonising in equal measure, with beautifully-laid plans obliterated by a lateral flow test or three and so, so many 50/50 decisions rewarded handsomely or punished unimaginably.

Commanding mini-league leads have been overturned in the space of a Gameweek or two, entire seasons’ works have been undone with one red arrow. It’s been more snakes and ladders than Risk, with a big fat serpent catching many on square 99.

But it has seldom been dull and I think, over time, the short-term scars will heal and we’ll be left with some more positive memories of Double Gameweek hauls for the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Bruno Fernandes, Mohamed Salah, Kai Havertz, Philippe Coutinho, Marcos Alonso, Kevin De Bruyne and James Maddison.

FPL anecdotes are made from such points bonanzas and we’ve had about a decade’s worth in one year.


Just as a post-script, longer-term readers of the site will remember the Pre-Match Preamble being very much Mark Sutherns’ baby.

When David Munday and I joined the team four years ago, we made a concerted decision not to continue with these articles as they were so utterly associated with Mark and, quite frankly, who would give a toss about what we thought? Reading this, you’re probably wishing I’d stuck to my guns…

But the Pre-Match Preamble continues to be fondly remembered even now, so a final-day reflection seemed like a good excuse to resurrect it. Do let us know in the comments below if it’s a series you’d like to see revived in future, perhaps with a ‘Have I Got News For You’-style rotating writer.

Good luck with your Gameweeks, thanks for reading, and the very best for the summer.


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2,367 Comments Post a Comment
  1. The Knights Template
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Good luck mine knights, one last battle!

    1. NABIL - FPL otai
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      *dance

    2. Echoes
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Light the beacons!

    3. DavidBW
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Fie upon thee!

      1. The Knights Template
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        If mine dog had a face like yours Dave, I’d shave its ar*e and teach it to walk backwards! Good luck.

    4. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Good luck knight! May your team all haul like Ayling!

      1. The Knights Template
        • 8 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Ayling just waiting to cut loose!

  2. Amsterhammer
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Who do we think will score more -

    A) Nketiah

    B) Pukki

    1. PLerix
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Eddie

    2. NABIL - FPL otai
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      A

    3. Echoes
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Pukki hatty incoming

    4. Amsterhammer
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Pukki on pens. Thanks all. Thinking I’ll go Eddy and hope Pukki stays quiet.

    5. Cornholi0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Nketiah against some guys with huge hangover or Pukki against a team that will defend for their lives and try to counter.

      It have to be A for me!

  3. PLerix
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Ederson
    VvD*, Alonso, Rudiger, Dier
    Salah*, Foden, Saka, Raphinha
    Kane, Nketiah
    Dubravka, Martinelli, Justin, Adams.
    1 ft, 0.1 itb

    Salah and Martinelli -> Son and Maddison (-4)? Yes / no?

    Other suggestions?

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Yes..depends if chasing or not, not a fan of a hit on last day but moves are good

      1. PLerix
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Cheers!

        1. tibollom
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          let me know what you think of my move, just posted below

  4. MFC86
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Havertz to mount for -4 or risk Havertz?

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      risk it

    2. Echoes
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      I'm selling Havertz. Can't be worrying about his one pointer on the final day.

  5. NABIL - FPL otai
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Play
    A. Pope
    B. Kasper

    Get
    1. Toney
    2. Richarlison

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      B1

  6. JUST ONE LOMBARDO...
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Would you stick kulusevski and Zaha or better options?

    Hard given the former has Nor but conceded for mins.

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      yea stick

  7. tibollom
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Im 11 pts ahead in my ML... 1 FT 1.5 ITB.. thinking salah to son and C..

    His team
    rams foster
    taa cancelo alonso fofana myko
    salah kdb son brownhill gordon
    richa nketia dennis

    my team
    Sch,meicel Foster
    taa cancelo matip laporte alonso
    kdb salah kulu saka kdh
    nketia pukki dennis

    1. PLerix
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Kane in as a differential? Salah and Nketiah out

      1. tibollom
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        yea but worried about taking a hit when its only 11pts between us;im giving him 4 pts

        1. seewhyaxe
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          Salah to Son is safe but if he also captains Son, there’s nth else you could do to make up the difference.

          If really that’s the only thing you’re playing for, go for bloke and bring in another fwd for -4?

          1. tibollom
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 28 days ago

            yea well im the one who is 11 ahead.. think he may captain KDB though, still hesitting betwenn the two myself.. tempted to do a -4 but I am only reducing the gap by doing that...

  8. Holmes
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Best article of the week is here lads... 😆

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Agree fantastic

  9. seewhyaxe
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Need a differential and yet want to protect my ranking.

    A) Salah to KDB, Son (c)

    B) Salah to Mane (c)

    Anyone else I should consider ?

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      A

      1. seewhyaxe
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Cheers mate ! Good luck to your final gw !

        1. tibollom
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          thanks mate, just wrote above, let me know your thoughts

  10. Agbonlahorse
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Never liked that FPL deadline is deliberately early, to prevent players reacting to team news. Why?

    People should be rewarded for paying attention. Silly old FPL!

    1. D.r.a.c.o
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      What's the deadline?

    2. paulfantham
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      They should make the deadline 30 minutes into the first half if you ask me

      1. Agbonlahorse
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        I like it. But would you get the points from a player you bought in, for their first 30 mins, or only points you score after you bring them in?

    3. Holmes
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      What if someone is sleeping due to different timezone?

      1. Oscar Slater
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Set the alarm clock like any self respecting FPL addict would do.

    4. Going Home
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      It was early enough to react to the villa game being called off for covid back in 2021

  11. paulfantham
    • 11 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Kane or KDB? Tell me nowwwww!!

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      kdb

    2. DavidBW
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Kdb

    3. Obamawang
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Kane fe me

    4. Oscar Slater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      I'm going for KDB. Kane's midweek illness might have just shaved an ounce or two off his effectiveness today and IF Spurs get a couple of goals in front, everything could revolve around Son.

    5. Agbonlahorse
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Conte's 'Kane will definitely play' was all a bit 'lady doth protest too much', if you ask me. KDB

  12. D.r.a.c.o
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Let's get in some last GW match predictions:

    1. Liverpool v City - Who will win the PL?
    2. Spurs v Arsenal - Who is getting into UCL net season?
    3. United v West Ham - Who is getting the EL spot?
    4. Leeds v Burnley - Who is going down?

    My responses:

    1. Liverpool to win the title
    2. Spurs will get UCL
    3. West Ham finish 6th
    4. Burnley going down for sacking Dyche

    1. tibollom
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      so you really think villa will beat city?

      1. D.r.a.c.o
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Yes

      2. TheKeitaSuccess
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        They only need a draw. Unlikely, but not out of the question.

    2. ShackledAce
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      1. City
      2. Spurs
      3. West Ham
      4. Leeds, unfortunately

    3. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      City to grind out a 2-0 And win title
      Leeds and Burnley both lose, Leeds down
      Spurs win 1-0, get 4th, arsenal hammer Everton

  13. The Brown Casanova
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Great article, loved these back in the day.

    1. circusmonkey
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Yes, resurrecting these is fine, it is a bit more colourful than the wrap article currently used.

  14. D.r.a.c.o
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Who's winning FPL?

    1. Echoes
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      The guy who finishes OR1

      1. yousunkmybattleship
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Or girl

    2. The Mentaculus
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 28 days ago

      The one who gets the most points

  15. NABIL - FPL otai
    • 9 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    My FT might be Vydra to Barnes in the end, and also play Pope ahead of Kasper.

    Today I am a Burnley fan

  16. SHOOTER MCGINN
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Mane, KDB or Son... Still undecided.

    1. Obamawang
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Son

      1. SHOOTER MCGINN
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        On top of Kane and Kulu - still Son?

  17. Obamawang
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 28 days ago

    Trying to snea Ito the top 20k with this lot:

    Schm
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte Alonso
    Salah Mahrez Saka Maddison
    Richarlison
    (Foster Nketiah Wakins Dewsbury-Hall)

    1 FT

    A little help please:
    (1) is my team/bench in the right order?
    (2) just Salah to Son
    (3) Salah to Son and Mahrez out for a hit (if so, who is the best midfielder who deffo plays)
    (4) Salah to Son and Wakins to Toney for a hit

    Thanks!

    1. Justin Credibles
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Bench is the order I would go with with your squad. Salah to Son & Watkins to Toney would be nice moves - IF Mahrez starts he could be a great differential, but who knows with Pep.

    2. GK
        2 months, 28 days ago

        4

        1. Obamawang
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          Thanks, both

    3. elwardio
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      I always really enjoyed these preambles and would welcome them back

    4. Fpl_Ludwig
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Vardy and Pulisic

      or

      Maddison and Lukaku

      1. Justin Credibles
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Would do Vardy & Mount if you don't already have him instead of Pulisic, can't see him starting.

        Lukaku will be a decent differential so depends if you are chasing or not.

    5. Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      I agree it’s been a fun season

      The thought of a normal season with the odd double seems a bit boring now, and some people would actually like to get rid of Chips as well!

    6. Atimis
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Which one if leading?
      Just go without a hit?

      1. Salah to Son (c)
      2. Salah Pukki to Son (c) Toney -4
      3. Salah Pukki to Kane (c) Maddison/Bowen -4

      1. Echoes
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        If the lead is big, 1. Or else 3

      2. Justin Credibles
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        How much is your lead?

        1. Atimis
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          About 40

          1. Justin Credibles
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 28 days ago

            Think you will be fine just doing Salah to Son in that case - do the chasers have a FH left?

            1. Atimis
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 28 days ago

              Nope, just like 6 other players than me

              1. Justin Credibles
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                2 months, 28 days ago

                Should be fine in that case

    7. Justin Credibles
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Morning all, good luck for the final game week...looking for some help as caught between two FH teams;

      Raya
      TAA Cancelo Sessengnon
      Luis Diaz Mount KDB Maddison Son (C)
      Toney Kane

      McGovern Mateta Tsimikas Kelly

      OR

      Raya
      TAA Cancelo James
      Luis Diaz Mount Maddison Son (C)
      Toney Kane Vardy

      McGovern Sessengnon Brownhill Kelly

      Currently around 80K so hoping for a decent finish - thanks in advance for any/all advice.

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        The 1st one.

        1. Obamawang
          • 3 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          1st one - I guess KDB gets more minutes than Vardy, and Sess more than James

          1. Justin Credibles
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 28 days ago

            Thanks both

    8. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Raya or Dubravka?

      Who is more likely to keep a clean sheet today?

      1. Justin Credibles
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Raya for me, although probably won't be too many clean sheets looking at the data

      2. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Dubravka

    9. jaywills
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Chasing by 24 in ML
      Either is a differential captain:
      A) Mane
      B) Kane
      C) Mount

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Mane or Mount

      2. Justin Credibles
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        B

      3. Agbonlahorse
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        A

    10. phrampton534
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Who scores more:
      A) Pukki
      B) Richarlison
      C) Maddison/Barnes -4
      D) Sessegnon/Emerson -4
      E) Toney -4
      F) Bowen -4

    11. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Final midfield spot.

      Maddison, Diaz or Foden?

      Cheers guys and enjoy your final game week.

      1. Justin Credibles
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Maddison or Diaz for me

        1. Atimis
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 28 days ago

          This

      2. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Diaz

    12. Vpan
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      a) Maddison

      b) Nketiah

      c) Jesus

      d) Saka

      1. Justin Credibles
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        A

      2. Atimis
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Gamble on A

    13. Agbonlahorse
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Mini League Chasers - assemble!

      Who we bringing in? Who we captaining?

      1. The Mentaculus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 28 days ago

        Final moves: Thiago Silva & Saka - Sessegnon & Mount.
        Mané (C)

    14. Luggy10
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      Would you play Pukki or....

      Buy Rudiger and Sessegnon for -4
      and bench Pukki?

    15. corderz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 28 days ago

      A) Son + Vardy
      B) Kane + Maddison

      1. AC/DC AFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        B

      2. phrampton534
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        A

      3. Obamawang
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 28 days ago

        A