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. Nightcrawler
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 8 days ago

    Worth getting in any of these players?

    Toney

    Reece James

    Mount

    1. HM2
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 8 days ago

      In the absence of more information, yes.

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

      All are worth it in reverse order of priority.

    3. S6 Owl
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Mount

    4. Mozumbus
        1 month, 8 days ago

        Toney

    5. Rbyrne95
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 8 days ago

      Already made a -4, is a -8 for Wilson worth it with leading my ML by 20 points? I ain’t sure if Rich or Weghorst will play.

      Schmeichel
      TAA-Matip-Davies-Alonso-Cancelo
      KDB-Saka-Maddison-Son(C)
      Richarlison (Geldhart or Weghorst).

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

      Ready or not?

      Raya
      James, Sess, Amartey
      Kdb, Mané, Son, Mount, Eriksen
      Kane, Toney

      Steele, Tsmikas, Long, Greenwood

      1. Mozumbus
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Solid, pretty similar to mine: tripled up Spurs and Brentford. Way to go!

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

            What a trip this week! Good luck!

            1. Mozumbus
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Thanks. Good luck to you too.

        • Bubbles1985
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          How about this for a fun final hit?

          Zaha, Richarlison - Out
          Diaz, Antonio - in for -4

          Means i can field:

          Schmike
          TAA Cancelo James
          Son Mount Diaz Sterling
          Nketiah Antonio Pukki

          KDH Matip Cash - on bench

          1. Rbyrne95
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Ooooh forgot about Antonio, what about Wilson instead?

            1. Bubbles1985
              • 5 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Antonio has something to play for and is nailed for 90min.

              I'm also WHU and going to the game!

              1. jason_ni
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                If your at the game, 100%.

                Maybe tempted by bowen more though.

                1. Bubbles1985
                  • 5 Years
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  Would prefer Bowen but want a striker too and do not trust Firmino!

          2. PascalCygan
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Go for it

        • dunas_dog
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          To bring in

          A Maddison or
          B Foden

          1. PascalCygan
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            A

        • camarozz
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Ahead in ML so just playing safe enough really.

          Coutinho ➡️ Maddison or Mount?

          Capt
          Kane
          Son
          Kdb?

          Thanks and good luck.

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

            Mount must be safer.

          2. Rbyrne95
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Maddison IMO.

          3. PascalCygan
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Maddison, Kane

          4. Baps hunter
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            C Sonny
            Mount safer to start tgan Maddison imo

        • Pep Roulette
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 8 days ago

          On FH

          A. Eriksen & Robbo
          B. Maddison & Matip

          1. Dammit_182
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 8 days ago

            B

          2. HM2
            • 1 Year
            1 month, 8 days ago

            B

        • Dammit_182
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 8 days ago

          Salah & Nketia for Mane & Toney (-4).

          Yay or Nay??

          1. Firminoooo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Nketiah could easily outscore Toney, Everton could be on the beach. Salah: pray we get some inside news.

            1. Dammit_182
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Yea, maybe keep Nketia. No salah can get in Mount & Vardy and keep Nketia instead. Let’s pray for news!

          2. Mozumbus
              1 month, 8 days ago

              No

              1. Dammit_182
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Cheers bud

            • FPL_Crisis
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 11 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              I mean this only works if Salah doesn’t start
              I’m going Salah to Mane myself and my two forwards are Nketiah and Toney. Not sure I’d take a hit though to bring one of those in

              1. Dammit_182
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Yea, I’m now .1 off broja to Toney.

                Think wait for news BUT don’t let the system crash!

          3. Firminoooo
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            28k OR, 45 points from top 10k. Leading my ML with 16 points (300£).

            A) Play my own game and do a -8. Punt on Kane/Vardy, Barnes, Mane
            B) Play safe and block, bring in KdB for Salah( Dont think KdB will haul)

            1. Dammit_182
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Always play your own game bud

            2. S6 Owl
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Can you do A w/o Barnes?

              1. Firminoooo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Could get Maddison, Mount, 9.3

                1. Firminoooo
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  Maybe Diaz instead of Mane.

          4. PascalCygan
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 8 days ago

            Hi everyone

            Been off here after a catastrophic couple of weeks, using a bench boost and free hit to more than double my rank!

            Anyway, looks like Salah might have his minutes managed?

            I’m chasing an unrealistic deficit in a ML but what the heck, shall I do this?

            A) Salah + Pukki > KDB + Toney (-4)
            B) something else

            1FT 0.0ITB
            Ederson
            TAA Robbo Cancelo
            Salah* Saka Kulusevski Gordon
            Kane Richarlison Pukki

            Ramsdale Tavares KDH Holgate

            Thanks!

            1. The Movement
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Sounds Good, prefer Son to KDB though

            2. S6 Owl
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              Start Nketiah or Saka?

              1. HM2
                • 1 Year
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Nk

              2. PascalCygan
                • 4 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Both? Saka

                1. S6 Owl
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  Have Kulu, Nketiah and Saka, but really fancy Kulu to do well

              3. capoultra
                • 5 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Yes

              4. lilmessipran
                • 9 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                The one who is nailed on and on pens

              5. Firminoooo
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                Penalties for Saka, CS point and 1 more point for goal.

                1. S6 Owl
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 7 Years
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  Cheers all

            3. jungle
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              1 month, 8 days ago

              The pre-match preamble is back for one guest appearance. I used to love this - would love to see it again.

              Bricking it today without Kane. Good luck everyone!

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

              Coutinho to
              A. Bowen
              B. Madisson
              C. Erikssen
              D. Trossard

              1. waldo666
                • 11 Years
                1 month, 8 days ago

                C

              2. The Movement
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  B

              3. kanuforpresident
                  1 month, 8 days ago

                  Start 1

                  Mateta
                  Gelhardt
                  Tavares
                  cash

                  1. chilli con kone
                    • 8 Years
                    1 month, 8 days ago

                    Tavares

                • mcflyjohn
                    1 month, 8 days ago

                    Which do you like more?

                    Salah + Couthino >> Son + Diaz

                    Or

                    Couthino + TAA >> Son + Amartey

                    Both for a -4

                    Current squad

                    Schmeichel

                    TAA | Robbo | Laporte | Cancelo | Alonso

                    Salah | Foden | Coutinho | Saka | Mount

                    Nketiah | Pukki | Dennis

                    1. St Pauli Walnuts
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 3 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      A for sure

                    2. The Movement
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        A 100%

                    3. waldo666
                      • 11 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Who to start?

                      A) Ramsdale
                      B) Dubravka

                      1. Baps hunter
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 4 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Ramsdale. But still glad I sold him and have Dubravka.

                      2. gellinmagellan
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 4 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        A

                    4. chilli con kone
                      • 8 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Anybody know the best Twitter accounts to follow for leaked team news?

                      1. FPL_Crisis
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 11 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        FPL goat made a post about the reliable accounts to follow

                    5. stevethecadman
                      • 12 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Sitting in top 4k and have won my mini leagues. Want a midfield punt to aim at top 1k. Opinions on:
                      A) Eriksen
                      B) Barkley
                      Anyone in the know re Chelsea probable line up? If Barkley starts I like that option.
                      Good luck all, enjoy the final day.

                      1. waldo666
                        • 11 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        A

                      2. Baron Saturday
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 11 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        I prob prefer Barkley.

                        Can't afford Diaz or Jota? Could be interesting choices

                        1. stevethecadman
                          • 12 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Have Diaz, looking for a differential. Berkley fits the bill but not convinced he will start.

                    6. FPL_Crisis
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 11 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Trying to take my Liverpool goggles off…
                      I’m chasing 20pts so would you bench someone like Laporte for Odergaard in the hope city concede (already playing Cancelo) or is that just playing with fire?

                      1. jason_ni
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Its an option, but odegaard is not the one you want to try it with( at least based on his recent form)

                        1. FPL_Crisis
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 11 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          I have Ode and Pukki on the bench and don’t really feel the need to take a hit

                          1. jason_ni
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            50/50 between them.
                            Odegaard is lovely player, but doesn't seem to translate to fpl points.
                            I have inkling on pukki getting something, last home game this season, but who knows.

                      2. FCSB
                        • 6 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Nah going with Laporte, could score and cs

                        1. FPL_Crisis
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 11 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Makes sense! What’s your rank now?
                          I’m at my highest rank for the season and really trying to crack 100k so just looking at options.
                          Salah to Mane(c) as well

                          1. FCSB
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            I’m 7629, I think my best was last season at 7200 ish, I’d love to beat that

                            Top 100k is great, you really turned it around back end of the season didn’t you

                            Salah to Mane is good, I like that pick

                            I’m doing Salah >> Kane (-4) myself, not a sensible pick but just going for it

                            Unsure whether to captain Son or Kane though… I’m chasing about 10/20 in a ML but also defending a position by 10/20 points too?!

                            1. FPL_Crisis
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 11 Years
                              1 month, 8 days ago

                              I guess it ML is for cash then can focus on that otherwise OR more important.
                              Son v Kane too close to call so go with gut here. Also if Kane been unwell he may not be as involved but still has pens.

                              I’m tempted by -4 to either Mount or Vardy but that would mean going Luis Diaz instead

                              Good luck

                              1. FCSB
                                • 6 Years
                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                Good luck mate!!! The seasons been a ride!!

                    7. jason_ni
                      • 6 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Its a bit mad that salah has become such a differential( at least in my main league) 2 people in top 22 owned him for 37

                      1. HM2
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Not really mad since he was injured.

                        1. jason_ni
                          • 6 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          I understand the reason, just saying its a bit mad. If he starts today, he missed one game, and is playing for the golden Boot and the league.

                          Lots of ifs in there, but he could easily reward those who held.

                      2. KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
                        • 5 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        I’d imagine a lot have him coming back in after FH?

                        1. jason_ni
                          • 6 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Actually I was dumb, had selected those who started and not the own option.
                          That takes it up to 8 managers in 22.
                          I'm shipping for son personally, have neither him or kane, and fear him hauling with huge capt backing.

                          1. KAPTAIN KANE’S SON
                            • 5 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Fair, I have both Kane and Son already so naturally tempted to keep Mo

                    8. Flynny
                      • 7 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Thoughts on this for - 8 please?

                      Salah, vvd and ramsey to son Mount and sessegnon

                      Schmeichel
                      Taa vvd cancelo rudiger (schar)
                      Salah kdb saka kulu (ramsey)
                      Jesus pukki (broja)

                      Thanks

                      1. The Units
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 12 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        I have done Son mount -4. Looking at Maddison in for another -4.

                        1. Flynny
                          • 7 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Cheers

                    9. marpy016
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 10 Years
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Current lineup:

                      Ramsdale
                      TAA - Cancelo - Rudiger
                      Maddison - Saka - Salah - Kulu
                      Kane - Toney - Nketiah

                      Sanchez - Cash - Johnson - Ramsay

                      Pretty sure about Salah to Son (C)

                      Then either of the following for -4:

                      A)Johnson to James and bench Rudiger
                      B)Ramsay to Mount and bench Kulu

                      Thoughts?

                      1. Baps hunter
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 4 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        B

                      2. OneArseneWenger32
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Why not Hold and captain salah?

                    10. OneArseneWenger32
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 1 Year
                      1 month, 8 days ago

                      Chasing 30pt ML. Toney good captain shout over son and Kane?

                      1. HM2
                        • 1 Year
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Leicester attack if you’re chasing imo.

                        1. OneArseneWenger32
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Have vardy as well

                      2. Mozumbus
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Have Toney. Captaining him over Son Kane is not a good shout.

                      3. Indio
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 10 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        So I should really know this by now, but... is there any way of seeing what chips your ML rivals have used so far?

                        (Have healthy lead this year despite modest OR, but fearing a TC as said rivals hold big hitters that aren't in my team or transfer plans).

                        Thanks all, and good luck for later.

                        1. andymck
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          View gameweek history and scroll to the bottom

                          1. Indio
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Ah great, thanks.

                        2. HM2
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          There might be a quicker way but i just go through there gameweek history on the app to see what they’ve played so far.

                          1. HM2
                            • 1 Year
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            their*

                        3. OneArseneWenger32
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 1 Year
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Fplgameweek.com

                          1. Indio
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Thanks all - really great help there... found it easily at bottom of GW history (it's where I'd looked before but was using small screen, so just had to scroll down right to bottom).

                            TCs and other chips all used up, so feeling much happier now!

                        4. Baron Saturday
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 11 Years
                          1 month, 8 days ago

                          Check their gameweek history. Shows you down the bottom

                          1. Indio
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 10 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Thanks! All set now. Good luck to you.

                      4. St Pauli Walnuts
                        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                        • 3 Years
                        1 month, 8 days ago

                        Which scores more? Ta.

                        A - Salah and Toney

                        B - KDB and Richarlison

                        C - Foden, Kane and -4 points

                        D - Kuluseski, Kane and -4 points

                        1. Mozumbus
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            A if Salah plays 20+ minutes

                          • JoeSoap
                            • 8 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            A or D

                          • Al Pacho
                              1 month, 8 days ago

                              D

                          • JoeSoap
                            • 8 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Maddison (Raphina out) or James (Laporte out)?

                            1. St Pauli Walnuts
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 3 Years
                              1 month, 8 days ago

                              Very tough that one, probably just about James in.

                          • FCSB
                            • 6 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            I’m in 3rd place in a ML (top 5 get prizes), I’m 10 off second and 20 off first but also 10 off 4th and 10 off 5th…

                            Do I play safe with Son (c) or bring in Kane for Salah and go Kane (c)?

                            1. Son
                            2. Kane

                            Thanks for all your help!

                            1. OneArseneWenger32
                              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                              • 1 Year
                              1 month, 8 days ago

                              Keep salah and C him to win the whole thing

                          • Jones Kusi
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            1 month, 8 days ago

                            Best moves here? Im 17 points ahead in ML

                            1 FT 1.5 ITB
                            My team:
                            Ramsdale Foster
                            TAA Robbo Cancelo Dias Alonso
                            Martinelli Kulu Son Gordon Zaha
                            Ings Watkins Rich

                            His team:
                            Pickford Ramsdale
                            TAA Rudiger Cancelo Amartey Schär
                            Saka Son Zaha Coutinho Maddison
                            Kane Nketiah Broja

                          • JakesNorval
                              1 month, 8 days ago

                              Hey Guys, who would you bench :

                              1. Zaha
                              2. Saka
                              3.Kulu
                              4. Maddison
                              5.KDB

                              Thanks

                              1. JakesNorval
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  Or play alk and bench

                                  1. Richarl
                                  2. Jesus

                                • JoeSoap
                                  • 8 Years
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  Tough 1 or 2

                                • Shteve
                                  • 12 Years
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  1

                                • Baron Saturday
                                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                                  • 11 Years
                                  1 month, 8 days ago

                                  Zaha

                              2. sentz05
                                • 5 Years
                                1 month, 8 days ago

                                Please help …
                                A Start Salah and bring in Bowen for Coutinho
                                B Bench Coutinho, start Targett and bring in Son for Salah