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. Koolswan
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Which is a better move?
    A. Cash to Sessegon
    B. Mykolenko to Sessegon

    1. Gon Freecss
        1 month, 14 days ago

        A

      • The Knights Template
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        A

      • Il Capitano
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        A

    2. Gon Freecss
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Would you make any changes for a hit?

        Or gtg?

        Schmeichel
        Matip, Cancelo, Alonso, Sessegnon, TAA
        Saka, Kulu, Son (c), KDB
        Nketiah

        Richarlison, Ings, Gordon

        1. Koolswan
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Gtg. I would play Richarlison

          1. Gon Freecss
              1 month, 14 days ago

              In for who

              1. tryf88
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 14 days ago

                Matip

        2. Hits from the Bong
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Good to go here? Cheers

          Dubravka
          TAA Cancelo Alonso
          Son Foden Bowen Maddison Saka
          Kane Pukki

          Foster Mateta Schar Coady

          1. Gon Freecss
              1 month, 14 days ago

              Looks good

          2. Nightf0x
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            FH team which ?

            a) alison 3.9
            robo rudi/azpi james sess 3.8
            mount jota/diaz son (luiz brownhill)
            kane toney vardy

            b) alison 4.0
            alonso james robo sess amartey
            mane son mount madds 4.3
            kane toney 4.4

            c) kepa 3.9/4.0/raya
            X X tsi sess robo
            mount son mads diaz son
            toney kane 4.4
            (itb for 2 defs. 14/10/10.1)

            1. Gon Freecss
                1 month, 14 days ago

                They all look good tbf, leaning a or c

            2. Klip Klopp
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              1 month, 14 days ago

              I'm 30 pts clear in my mini league, my rival has Son and maddison, which of those two should I bring in for Salah?

              1. The Knights Template
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                You know which one.

              2. Gon Freecss
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Son

                • Hits from the Bong
                  • 3 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Both? Or Son

              3. Hunting for points
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 14 days ago

                A) Take -8 to do Coutinho, Gordon and Ings to Maddison, Diaz and a bench fodder?
                B) Coutinho and Ings to Maddison and punt on Jesus (-4)?
                C) Coutinho and Gordon to Maddison and Bruno Guimaraes (-4)?

                Leading ML by 70 pts.

                Schmeichel
                Cancelo, Robbo, Matip, Alonso
                Coutinho, KDB, Son, Mount
                Richarlison, Ings

                Foster, Nkeitha, Gordon, Cash

                1. The Knights Template
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Nope

                2. Koolswan
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  B with Diaz if possible

                  1. Hunting for points
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Cant afford without downgrading Ings. Thats why it will take me -8 to get 2 good players.

                    You think -8 is too much?

              4. Justin Credibles
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                A or B?

                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

                Good luck everyone.

                1. aleksios
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  B.
                  Great front line.

              5. kellamergh
                • 3 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                I'm chasing a 14pt lead.
                Who's worth the punt in bringing in?

                Schmeichel
                TAA Cancelo Alonso James
                Saka Mount Son
                Toney Watkins Richarlison

                Foster Coutinho Gordon Dias

                1.9m itb

                1. Justin Credibles
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Sess, Maddison, Diaz?

              6. Reinhold
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                Rival is 30 points ahead and has this team. Who do you think he'll play / bench? I am guessing he goes Son in for FT

                Schmeichel - Leno

                T Silva - Alonso - TAA - Tsimikas - Cancelo

                Mount - Maddison - Zaha - Salah - Sterling

                Richarlison - Pukki - Broja

                0.8 itb

                1. aleksios
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Bench Tsimi-Silva-Broja.

                  1. Arteta
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Exactly.

                    1. Reinhold
                      • 11 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Yeah. That probably means I need to play someone else than Pukki - very reluctantly

              7. aleksios
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                Chasing 17pts,need to gamble.
                Which one for a hit?

                a) Mings to James (have Alonso).
                b) Weghorst to Toney.

                Thanks all.

                1. Justin Credibles
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  B.

                  If James plays I am sure he will do really well, but start is a bit up in the air.

              8. lewis274
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 14 days ago

                foster
                taa alonso cancelo tavares
                raphinha salah kulusevski
                jesus kane nketiah

                sa white coutinho gordon

                thoughts ? and salah -> kdb or son?

                1. aleksios
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Son and captain.

              9. Muscout
                • 2 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                Chasing so willing to take risks, any suggestions pls?

                Ramsdale
                James Alonso Cancelo
                Salah Kulu Saka Madd Raph
                Kane Pukki

                Foster Nacho White Coady 1 FT

                1. Apollo Sanchez
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 8 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  Pukki for Toney?

                  Raphinha for Bowen?

              10. lewis274
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 14 days ago

                salah to kdb or son? i have jesus kane kulu

              11. Apollo Sanchez
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 8 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                Hoping to secure a top 100k finish (currently around 94k).

                Looking at Saka to Bowen based on his attacking stats and output over the past couple (as well as being a slight differential move).

                Did Maddison out last week (to Son) which obviously totally burned me, and with his ownership going up, do I bring him in instead and look to protect the rank, or go for the "differential"?

              12. Jacktastic
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                When I started reading this I thought why haven’t I read the preamble in a while? The preamble used signal the start of match day and may the resurrection of it continue.

              13. Conor1
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                I’m retiring today. Second place in mini league down up. 92 points off top and 40 clear of third. Is it the time to take a few hits and pick a team to get me 100 points today!!!!!

                1. Gon Freecss
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Why not. Roll the dice

                2. _Ninja_
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 11 Years
                  1 month, 14 days ago

                  I know these are similar but any preference? Cheers

                  A. Mane/Maddison
                  B. Diaz/Vardy

                  Dubravka
                  James TAA Laporte
                  Salah Son Saka Mount Coutinho
                  Jesus Nketiah

                  Schmeichel Mateta KWP Doherty

                  1. Arteta
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    First one.

                  2. Gon Freecss
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Quite like Diaz & Mads

                  3. The Knights Template
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Chasing 225pt lead. What are the best football boots you’ve ever owned?

                    1. el polako
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Puma Kings.

                    2. Hooky
                      • 7 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Copa Mundial

                    3. _Ninja_
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Adidas Predator

                    4. The Knights Template
                      • 8 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Puma Menotti Stars for me. Some good answers here.

                      1. The Knights Template
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 14 days ago

                        I have owned all these boots at one stage or another.

                    5. PartyTime
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Adidas 11 pro. I realized why Kroos loves it too.

                      1. Hooky
                        • 7 Years
                        1 month, 14 days ago

                        Are they good for passing sideways and backwards?

                        1. PartyTime
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 14 days ago

                          Absolutely!

                          Ball control, quick short dribble while under pressure(as if the ball sis attracted) & also long,medium & short range shots.

                          Not good for high speed/acceleration but very good to maintain balance too.

                          1. Hooky
                            • 7 Years
                            1 month, 14 days ago

                            Do you work for Adidas? If not, you should as you've just sold them to me!

                    6. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                      • 5 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Adidas Predators

                  4. Vovhund
                    • 3 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Any reason in doing KdB to Kane for a hit to protect lead?

                    1. lewis274
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      why’s everyone selling kdb?

                    2. Arteta
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      I'm not sure that it's worth a hit and KDB could easily outscore him. Play you own game until the end and follow your gut.

                  5. LittleBK87
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    I’m 9pts away from top in my FP league and the other guy’s team is looking worse than mine. My current team:
                    White, Alexander-Arnold, Mykylenko, Son(c), Zaha, KDB, Saka, Kulusevski, Richarlison, Nketiah.

                    I’m thinking to do Richarlison to Wilson or Vardy for free hit. Do you think it’s worth taking -4 to replace White? He doesn’t seem to be 100% playing and I don’t have a strong bench

                  6. DavidBW
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Any chance Van Dijk starts today? He’s in my Fanteam teams and need to know

                    1. HurriKane
                      • 9 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Why wouldn't he start?

                  7. Smudger’s Dirty Dozen
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Schmeichel
                    TAA Cancelo Alonso Davies
                    Salah Son (C) Saka Kulusevski
                    Jesus Nketiah
                    Subs Laporte Pukki Dewsbury Hall

                    For -4
                    A Salah/Dewsbury H to Maddison and Bowen (bench Davies)
                    B Salah/Pukki to Mane/Toney (bench Davies)
                    C Salah/Jesus to KDB/Toney
                    D Salah/Jesus to Sterling/Vardy

                  8. AC/DC AFC
                    • 6 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Itk

                    Team sheet leaks

                    All teams @FPL_Rockstar
                    @unit_football
                    Liverpool @TheKopHQ
                    Man City @City_Xtra
                    Chelsea @AbsoluteChelsea
                    Leicester @SmuelMartinFPL
                    Spurs @SpursITKhub
                    Leeds @fpl_tactician
                    Westham @ExWHUemployee
                    Wolves @parker_bradley

                    https://twitter.com/SalomonYaniv/status/1528253643509612544?t=b63dT_qzfHWhabNozeJTBg&s=19

                    1. AC/DC AFC
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      I'd do it by 2.20 pm at the latest.

                    2. Arteta
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Absolute scenes when FPL, FFS, FFH, r/FantasyPL and twitter all go down at the same time.

                      1. AC/DC AFC
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 14 days ago

                        Twitter should be fine

                  9. HurriKane
                    • 9 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    If Son nationality was English, Brazilian, Spanish or French he would win the pfa player of the year easily.

                    How does Conor Gallagher, TAA,Rice and Foden is nominated over Son. Absolute Joke. Id even rate Son season better than Salah. and KDB

                    Criminally underrated and overlooked

                    1. Van der Faart
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      The ones that were announced are apparently fan awards, the full one isn't announced until 1st June from what I read.

                    2. el polako
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 4 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Same as Messi winning Ballon d'Or last year.
                      All these awards are joke.

                    3. PartyTime
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Agree

                    4. Arteta
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      It's sad, I know. These awards should be taken with a pinch of salt.

                      1. HurriKane
                        • 9 Years
                        1 month, 14 days ago

                        Turning into a Popularity contest

                  10. Lord Flashheart
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 10 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    A martinli to mount/maddison (which one?)
                    B watkins to toney
                    C both for -4

                  11. RamboRN
                    • 10 Years
                    1 month, 14 days ago

                    Schmeichel
                    Taa cancelo matip laporte james
                    Kdb saka salah havertz
                    nketiah

                    Subs werner, puki, kdh, foster.

                    1ft. 1m itb.

                    A. Salah to Son
                    B. Salah and saka to son and diaz for -4
                    C. Salah and saka to son and Mount
                    D. Salah and werner to son and vardy

                  12. xvavl
                      1 month, 14 days ago

                      Eriksen or Mbeumo?
                      Defending 11pt lead against Mount and Saka
                      Other 5.8 mid?

                      1. DF
                        • 8 Years
                        1 month, 14 days ago

                        Erikssen should see you through

                        1. xvavl
                            1 month, 14 days ago

                            Thanks fx

                      2. Junks
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        1 month, 14 days ago

                        Saka or Zaha out for Diaz??

                        1. Gon Freecss
                            1 month, 14 days ago

                            For free yes... but I'm holding saka

                          • Big Col
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 9 Years
                            1 month, 14 days ago

                            Zaha

                        2. Big Col
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 9 Years
                          1 month, 14 days ago

                          9 points ahead in my ML, but rival has a FH left.

                          Will take a 4 point hit, to bring in Son & Diaz/Mount.

                          But who to Captain?

                          Son, Kane or would you bring someone other than Son to captain eg Mane, KDB?

                        3. jay01
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 14 days ago

                          Who scores more?
                          1) Mane and Gordon
                          2) Kane and Bowen (-4)

                          1. Fabreghastly
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 11 Years
                            1 month, 14 days ago

                            2, Gordon should get a rest