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. La Roja
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    How’s she looking?

    Ramsdale
    Trent Cancelo Bavies
    Maddison Son(VC) Trossard KDB(c) Saka
    Nketiah Vardy

    Sanchez Cash RAN Cucho

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

      Looks good, kdb bold over son.

      1. La Roja
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Chasing 40 pts in one league, others I should be ok with it. Time to risk it.

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

          Fair enough, great shout if chasing.

          Kdb cap did me proud couple weeks back, saved my season!

          1. THEKID_88
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            I'm chasing 40 as well. Would you cap KDB or Kane as a differential?

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

              Prb kdb if your chasing that big a score.
              Most are going son.

              If he does well, kane likely to do well as well.
              So kdb cap and hope spurs fail is your best hope!

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

    play 1 out of 3
    a)white
    b) tavares
    c) coutinho

    1. La Roja
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      A

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

      tavares is nailed and may get g/a?

  3. Drumandbaines123
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Anyone else punting on Welbeck? 5 attacking returns in last 4 games. Can't afford Toney so he seems a decent replacement and is in good form.

    1. Mozumbus
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Go for him if can't afford Toney

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

      Sam Martin won't have team news either.

      He's on Roger's radar! But thinks Leicester go near full strength.

      https://twitter.com/SmuelMartinFPL/status/1528302012995190784?t=zXps79VygYGzsvC6FaQdcg&s=19

    3. Bishopool
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Please choose one duo:

      a) Diaz, Jesus
      b) Vardy, Toney
      c) Jesus, Toney
      d) Diaz, Toney

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

        B or D

    4. Felix Navidad
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Hello!
      I’m currently chasing a 21 point lead in my ML, would a -8 make sense?
      Thinking of
      Zaha, Cout, werghorst -> Diaz, Barnes and Toney

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

        Zaha is fine for this GW I think, just Cout + Weg out

      2. AIRMILES
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        I'd keep Zaha

      3. Felix Navidad
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Thank you!

    5. sentz05
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Salah out for Son or KDB?

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

        my issue aswell. probably gonna go son

    6. FPL MAN 123
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      HELP! 1FT, What i do!?!

      Ramsdale
      TAA | VVD | James
      Salah | Kulu | Maddison | Saka | Coutinhio
      Kane | Broja

      Foster | White | Schar | Dennis

      1. Razor Ramon
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        It doesn't matter what you do

        1. FPL MAN 123
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          ??

      2. Killitzer
        • 12 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Count➡️Diaz?

    7. RichRover
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Evening all, and good luck this week.
      Any changes needed?
      Schmeichel.
      Rudiger, Cancelo, TAA.
      Mount, Salah, Son, Maddison.
      Nketiah, Toney, Richarlison.
      Ramsdale, Guehi, Gordon.
      £0 in the bank
      1 free transfer
      Thanks

    8. 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 kdb
      toney kane 4.4
      (itb for 2 defs. 14/10/10.1 chelsea & fodder, cant fit james todo only by madds to barnes or mount to ziyech)

      1. HM2
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        a with Diaz

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

        A

    9. Top Lad Dakes.
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Any hits needed? Wary of going with only 1 Liverpool… 1.4m ITB

      Pope
      Cancelo Robertson James Alonso
      Son(c) Mount Saka
      Jesus Richarlison Toney
      (Foster Martinelli Gordon Cash)

      Good luck to all!

    10. Original - Wolves Ay We
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Has Salah Perma-captain for most of the season spoilt FPL this year. Did it make making up ground a lot harder. Any thoughts?

      1. JT11fc
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Betting against him favoured the bold for the last part of the season

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

        Mine thought is Liverpool will smash Wolves. Hoy, hoy, hooyyy!

      3. Qaiss
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Pot luck cancellations in December/January spoilt FPL. Having to check every 5 mins to see if a game is cancelled. Betting against Salah in the second part of the season would have worked well for people.

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

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

      Foster - Raph Gordon Digne

      All set?

      1. JT11fc
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Set

    12. JT11fc
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Which is best on FH?
      1. Kepa (+Sanchez) Trent Havertz Saka

      2. Ederson James Mane Barnes

      1. Top Lad Dakes.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        2

        1. JT11fc
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Cheers

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

        2

        1. JT11fc
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Cheers

    13. YEAH PITCH!
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      A) B Silva

      B) Foden

      1. Top Lad Dakes.
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        B

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

        B

    14. Scots Gooner
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Hope Kane and Son are terrified to fart

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

        No fun (skid) marking an ill player!

      2. AutoFill 2021
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Plenty of immodium packed

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

      FH which trio

      a) alison james vardy
      b) kepa(if he plays) madds kdb

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

        B

      2. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 14 days ago

        A

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 14 days ago

          No, I change my mind: B haha.

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

            ok haha lol

            1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              1 month, 14 days ago

              Somehow I missed KDB in there.

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

                i even posted 3 drafts of my FH in the one have kdb missed him also lol

    16. Sillet Bang
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Eddie or Richarlson who is a doubt i believe?

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

        Lock it in Eddie

      2. AIRMILES
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Nketiah all day long.

      3. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Eddie

      4. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Eddie

    17. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Seeing some fairly even love on here for:

      A) Diaz
      or
      B) Jota

      1. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        A defo

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Cheers, mate.

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

        B

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 14 days ago

          What's ya thinking? More likely to start?

      3. RichRover
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        B

        1. BECKS TO THE FUTURE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Cheers 🙂 how come B?

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

        A

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

        leaning toward B but on my FH need the .2 will get diaz

    18. FPL MAN 123
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Ramsdale
      TAA | VVD | James
      Salah | Kulu | Maddison | Saka | Coutinhio
      Kane(C) | Broja

      Foster | White | Schar | Dennis

      Salah & Cout > Son & Diaz (-4)??

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

      FH team which ?

      a) alison 3.9
      robo rudi/azpi/alonso 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 kdb
      toney kane 4.4
      (itb for 2 defs. 14/10/10.1 chelsea & fodder, cant fit james todo only by madds to barnes)

    20. RichRover
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Captain Son or Salah?
      Currently on Son

      1. Finding Timo
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Son

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

        Son

      3. AutoFill 2021
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Son unless you hear Salah is starting- then still son

        1. AutoFill 2021
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          It think he will be on the bench

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

          Thanks all, I'll leave it on Son.
          Good luck today

    21. 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

      1. Dragon1983
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        A or D
        Saka could haul today

    22. abaalan
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      A) Weghorst -> Nketiah
      B) KDB + Weg -> L. Diaz + Vardy -4

      any other fwds to consider under 6.6?>
      Rank 565 if it matters.

    23. xvavl
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Bench order correct?
        Amartey, Gordon, Digne

      • KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Who’s keeping Salah?

        1. Finding Timo
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Me 30 mins enough

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

          Me

          1. KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            Wise choices both!

        3. Levi's 501
          • 2 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Just sold him for KDB, no doubt Salah will play and haul now!

          1. KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            Ooh….

      • lewis274
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        beating 2nd place by 1 point. should i do coutinho-> diaz for a hit?

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

          If the alternative is fielding Coutinho, then yes.

      • Ridings92
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        10 points behind in mini league

        Schmeichel
        Cancelo, Trent, Alonso, Emerson Royal
        Mount, Maddison, KDB, Saka
        Kane, Nketiah
        Bench: White, Pukki, Coutonho

        Option A: Leave it
        Option B: KDB > Son
        Option C: Coutinho > Kulisevski (bench Nketiah)
        Option D: White > Sessegnon (bench Nketiah)
        Option E: open to suggestions

        Appreciate the help guys

        1. Dragon1983
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Depends who rival has - not having Son is a risk

          1. Ridings92
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 14 days ago

            Rival team is
            Pickford
            Robertson, Alonso, Cash, Castagne, Ben Davies
            Son, Luis Diaz, Coutinho, Saka, Gray
            Kane, Ings, Richarlison

            Assuming he is going to take a couple of hits as he isn't really set up for this gameweek. I guess my main worry is not owning Son.

        2. AIRMILES
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          I think in your situation, don't bring in Son. Maybe leave it,

        3. Shteve
          • 12 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Looks good to me but maybe see who you your ML rival has and go with some differential to try make up the points

          1. Ridings92
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 14 days ago

            Rival team is
            Pickford
            Robertson, Alonso, Cash, Castagne, Ben Davies
            Son, Luis Diaz, Coutinho, Saka, Gray
            Kane, Ings, Richarlison

            Assuming he is going to take a couple of hits as he isn't really set up for this gameweek. I guess my main worry is not owning Son.

        4. tommo-uk-
          • 9 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Likely to get any early team news today?

      • Dragon1983
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Very close in ML - would you do anything with the below or GTG ? Thanks.

        Dubravka
        James, Robbo, Rudi, Dier
        Mount, KDB, Son, Saka
        Niketiah Jesus

        Gordon, Telles, Broja

        0 ITB, 1 FT

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

        Anybody chasing in their mini-league backing Lukaku? I'm tempted if I could be sure he will play. Likely to get a haul against that pitiful Watford defense.