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. mdm
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Will Zaha start 3 games in 8 days?

    1. Reinhold
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Yeah

  2. AC/DC AFC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Why are we tripled up on Spurs with a stomach bug through their squad?

    https://twitter.com/SpursITKhub/status/1527628177094283264?t=w5lJkHKINNsu93sb-Wjscg&s=19

    Should we ditch Kane and who for?

    Jesus.

    1. Van der Faart
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Ally Gold poo pooed all this yesterday

      1. The Knights Template
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        So you’re saying it’s all Faart and no poo?

        1. Van der Faart
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Haha sharp this morning

      2. AC/DC AFC
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Alright, thanks.

        I think it was the case and it takes about 3 days to recover.

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      It’s okay all three have recovered now.

      Sessegnon and Kane and Emerson.

      https://twitter.com/SpursITKhub/status/1528298096115044352?t=a5HKdHabzryG_1xUkkIR9A&s=19

      Probably not 100%.

    3. ⭐ Bemba_Da ⭐
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      uh oh

    4. Qaiss
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      That was 2 days ago …

  3. Reinhold
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Rank in order of score this GW:

    A) Pukki
    B) Nketiah
    C) Sessegnon

    1. Apollo Sanchez
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      C (clean sheet points)
      B
      A

    2. DF
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      ACB

      1. DF
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        622

    3. rokonto
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      BAC

  4. Stram Dunk
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Gtg? -4

    Pickford
    Cancelo James TAA
    Sterling Son(c) Zaha Barnes Bowen
    Toney Jesus

    Sanchez Weghorst Schar Cash

    1. Kryptonite666
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Punty, but interesting. Good luck!

    2. Stram Dunk
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Good luck mate!

  5. Kryptonite666
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Leading by 19, need help to win

    Me
    Ramsdale
    Robertson Matip Cancelo Laporte James
    KDB Son Saka Jota (Coutinho)
    Richarlison (Nketiah) (Mateta)

    Opponent
    Schmeichel
    Taa Matip Cancelo Laporte (Schar)
    Salah Mount Saka Coutinho (KDH)
    Kane Broja (Weghorst)

    Will you do

    A. Richarlison and Coutinho to Toney and Mount for -4, bench Laporte

    B. Richarlison KDB and Jota to Kane (c) Mount and Maddison for -8

    Second options blocks Kane (c) for an extra -4

    1. Mambino
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Oppo will probably swap Salah out for son and Captain son. If I were you I'd captain KDB and do A.

  6. ratski
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Ramsdale (foster)
    James, taa, robbo, cancelo, cash
    Son, kdb, Saka, mount (Ramsey)
    Nketiah (Dennis, pukki)
    Best move to defend 18 points ML lead

    A. Cash to someone like Alonso (rest possible) or sess
    B. Saka to madd
    c. Dennis to Toney and bench cash

    1. Kryptonite666
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      C

    2. Il Capitano
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      C

      1. ratski
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Thanks.

  7. Brewstercat
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Chasing 26 pts in ML so going for broke.

    Would love some help!

    A) Mane and Alonso
    B) Mane and Sessengon
    C) Diaz and Vardy (will Vardy start?)
    D) Diaz and Alonso/Sessengon

    1. Birdman77
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      C most potential I think

    2. Kryptonite666
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Diaz and Vardy for me. Prefer Mount and Vardy

    3. Hog Roast Junkie
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A

    4. HM2
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      C. I’m chasing 27 points and have gone for Vardy (C). There’s a slight chance he does start but you have to take the risk when you’re this far behind imo.

      1. Birdman77
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Nah cap Mane

    5. Bobby_Baggio
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A

  8. DF Team
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    On FH, sold Kane when the rumours, now getting him back, but price is current market price.

    Surely if FH is activated, preexisting players’ prices should be locked? FH is not like WC you can de-activate.

    1. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      But if you deactivate you take the hits.

      Not reset.

    2. NateDog
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      If you sold him you sold him, doesn't matter if you're on FH or not, he's not part of your team once you got rid so you have to pay the same price any other people do

  9. Hog Roast Junkie
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A) Salah to KDB
    B) Laporte to James
    C) both for -4

    1. Birdman77
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Just A. But I like Mane better than KDB

      1. HM2
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        this

  10. Birdman77
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Any news on Richarlison people?

    1. mdm
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      What news you expect?

      1. Birdman77
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Whether he’s playing

  11. Il Capitano
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Ramsdale
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte
    Son (C) Saka Kulu
    Kane Nketiah Toney

    Foster - Raph Gordon Digne

    This is probably what I'll end up on, bench order GTG?

  12. wulfrunian
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A big thank you to everyone who helped me this season!I hope I have been helpfull.Good luck with the last gameweek!

    1. Arteta
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      You're welcome and good luck to you too! 😀

    2. Bobby_Baggio
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Good luck to you too

  13. Bobby_Baggio
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Which one people for -4? 19 points ahead of 2nd place in league. He has Maddison.

    Schmeichel
    Cancelo - Robbo - Laporte - Matip
    Coutinho - Saka - Son - Mount - KDB
    Nkeitah

    (Foster) - Pukki - Fofana - Mateta

    A) Coutinho > Maddison (-4)
    B) Coutinho > Bowen (-4)
    C) Fofana > James (-4)

    1. Kryptonite666
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A easy. Buying insurance for Maddison haul for -4

      1. Bobby_Baggio
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Yea think has to be maddison. Cheers.

    2. HM2
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 16 days ago

      a

      1. Bobby_Baggio
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Cheers

  14. Gudjohnsen
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Maybe Mount isn't the best option?

    Chelsea got nothing to play for?

    Bowen, Diaz, Foden or even Raphinha better options?

    Rest of midfield Saka, KDB, Son and Maddison

    1. _Ninja_
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Mount playing for a spot in the England team.

    2. AC/DC AFC
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Foden could be the one.

      Going under the radar.

    3. Mozumbus
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Agreed.
        Eriksen is also an option against Leeds.
        You'd need Liverpool mid, they'll rotate though.

    4. Digne do well
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Ramsdale
      Laporte Cancello TAA James Amartey
      Mount Saka Son(C) KDB
      Richarlison

      Foster, Weghorst, Ramsey, Gelhart

      Chasing a 35 point deficit. Any suggestions for a differential or is worth -8 for triple Spurs, Cancello > Sess , Richarlison > Kane?
      or just stick.

      1. HM2
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        What’s your rivals team?

    5. AC Yew
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Do we expect Maddison to start. Will be taking Salah out for him to fund Kane

      1. Mozumbus
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Get Eriksen instead, or Liverpool mid if you are sure who among Jota/Diaz will start

        • Birdman77
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          The thing I don’t get, is they’re professional footballers. It’s the last game, why on earth would he be “rested” when they’ve nothing to play for except finish in style. He’s got all off season to rest.

      2. Sharkytect
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Where has this article gone all season!? The best of all the FFS articles

        1. Sharkytect
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Just read the end of the article and the explanation. Yeah, keep these coming, please

      3. lewis274
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        foster
        taa alonso cancelo tavares
        raphinha salah kulusevski
        jesus kane nketiah

        sa white coutinho gordon

        thoughts ??and salah -> kdb or son?

        1. dra_mit
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Difficult question.

          I would rather go to with SON because of his opponent.
          But I think Man City will teach Villa a lesson, KDB for me.

      4. jay01
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Buy Bowen or Barnes?

        Feel like Bowen sees more minutes and WHU have something to play for but Barnes could also haul

      5. PartyTime
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I am only here for some leaks

        1. mynameisq
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Upstairs sink needs a looking at

          1. PartyTime
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Haha

        2. The Knights Template
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Making a pie?

          1. PartyTime
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Well, I would love to eat a warm pie

      6. dra_mit
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Is it worth -4

        Weghorst OUT - Tony IN

        Good luck to everyone in the last round!
        Cheers.

        1. HM2
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          If you were planning on playing Weghorst, yes. Maybe not if there’s a decent bench option you could play instead.

          1. dra_mit
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            1. Schmeichel
            2. Cancelo 3. James 4. TAA 5. Amartay
            6. Luis Diaz 7. KDB 8. Maddison
            9. Kane (C) 10. Nketiah 11. Weghorst

            bench: Ramsdale, Kulusevski, Gordon, Holgate

            1. HM2
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Play Kulu

      7. Gon Freecss
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Bench one:

          A) Richarlison
          B) Saka
          C) Nketiah
          D) Matip
          C) Alonso

          1. The Knights Template
            • 8 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            A

        • lewis274
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Son or KDB to replace salah?

          1. HM2
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Son

          2. Mozumbus
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Son first

          3. Siva Mohan
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            to score more points ..

            A. Vardy + Chalobah
            B. Maddison + Toney

            1. Mozumbus
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Toney

            2. 1-1 at Newcastle
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              I’ve really enjoyed this season, more so than the previous few. I’m hoping next season will be good too with the World Cup break. Enjoyed the article, hadn’t even realised it had gone!

              Good luck today everyone, hopefully we can all reach our rank targets.

              1. PartyTime
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Good luck buddy

            3. capoultra
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Alisson,
              Robertson, Cancelo, Laporte, Alonso
              Son, Saka, Mount, Salah
              Nketiah, Jesus

              (Dubravka, Gordon, Schar, Hwang)

              0.2 ITB, 23 points ahead in mini-league.

              Salah to Maddison then?

            4. Tricky90
                1 month, 16 days ago

                Diaz or Mount?

                Can’t make my mind up, thinking mount will get more mins

                1. HM2
                  • 1 Year
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Diaz

                2. Mozumbus
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    Diaz

                3. Visionaries
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Already on a -4 and leading my mini league by 6..

                  A Weghorst > Toney -4
                  B play Weghorst, Dalot or Gelhardt

                4. Whats the Mata?
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  Any team news leaks yet?

                  1. Annie
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    No

                5. Nightf0x
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 16 days ago

                  FH

                  a) barnes james
                  b) madds rudi/alonso/azpi

                  1. HM2
                    • 1 Year
                    1 month, 16 days ago

                    a

                  2. Mozumbus
                      1 month, 16 days ago

                      Not much difference