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. Perthite
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Looking at using my FT with Salah->Son.

    Is either of these worth a hit?

    Dennis->Toney
    Coutinho->Bowen

    1. TheAbear53
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Nope

  2. Jones Kusi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Final thoughts.
    Do you think James will start?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Yes

    2. Perthite
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Can't change their ladder position, so maybe not.

  3. The Knights Template
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ayling to Veltman done. Exciting times!

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Elite transfer!

    2. JELLYFISH
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I’ve got him too. First on my bench

  4. Nightf0x
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    did i miss any leaks or something ?

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Yes, check last few pages

      1. TheAbear53
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Which ones sorry ? Can’t see em

      2. Nightf0x
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        whats going on

  5. abaalan
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    A. Weghorst to nketiah
    B. Kdb + weghorst to l Diaz + vardy. -4

  6. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Ok final call ... Mount or Bowen?

    Dubravka
    TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte James
    Saka Foden Kulusevski Mount*/Bowen*
    Kane [C]

    1. The Knights Template
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Bowen for me.

    2. The Mighty Hippo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I think Bowen, simply because West Ham still have something to play for.

  7. Baron Saturday
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 10 days ago

    GTG lads?

    Ramsdale
    Robbo Cancelo Alonso James Royal
    Son (C) Saka Mount
    Kane Nketiah

    (Foster Foden Gordon Broja)

    Good luck all!

    1. HM2
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Foden ahead of Saka

      1. Baron Saturday
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Interesting. Cheers

  8. HM2
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 10 days ago

    Best captain option if chasing:

    a) Vardy
    b) KDB

    1. Baron Saturday
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      I'm feeling Vardy

    2. PartyTime
        1 month, 10 days ago

        You know there is a Party today, I don’t need to remind you!

    3. Najj
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Choose 1 plss:
      1) play nketiah
      2) play Richarlison
      3) -4 to Vardy

      Leading ML by 50pts

      1. HM2
        • 1 Year
        1 month, 10 days ago

        1

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

        3 - you can afford it with that lead and could get the -4 back multiple times!

      3. TheAbear53
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        1

    4. Better luck next year
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Zaha + Ings > Mount + Jesus worth a -4?.

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        I like it

      2. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Although Ings could do well I guess

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

      Nobody considering Foden? Had a rare rest v West Ham, just announced as Younger Player of the Year, in front of home fans with an aim to win the league title. Could be a rmid price differential.

      1. The Mighty Hippo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        I didn't have the money to get him in without taking a hit, otherwise he'd have been my first choice as a Coutinho replacement.

      2. Magic Zico
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Sealed in my team

    6. Milkman Bruno
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Planning on doing Zaha to Bowen. Would you play Rodrigo or Cash to Sessegnon -4?

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Play Rod

    7. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Last big one! Any late news yet? Either of these worth a -4? Thanks all! 🙂

      A. Davies >> James
      B. KDH >> Kulu (bench Davies)
      C. G2G

      Schmeichel

      TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte Davies
      Son(C) KDB Saka Mount
      Nketiah

      (Foster, Pukki, KDH, Dennis*)

      1. Hairy Potter
        • 7 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        B

        1. Hairy Potter
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Actually maybe not for a hit

          1. RAFA THE GAFFA
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            1 month, 10 days ago

            Yeah that’s the thing mate. Tricky.

      2. The Mighty Hippo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        C

    8. FCRS BGD
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Guys
      Pick one to start, who will score more points
      1) Walker
      2) Azpilicueta
      3) Gabriel ?
      Thanks

    9. Hairy Potter
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      1 FT and money ITB. Any of these worth doing?

      A) Zaha to Bilva/Grealish
      B) Jota to Diaz
      C) Saka to Bilva/Grealish

    10. camarozz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Son or Kane capt?
      I'm sure my rival will get Son (he has Kane)

      46 pts ahead and not sure who to go for tbh.

      1. El Presidente
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Son obviously

    11. yanky
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Sa > Ramsdale/Schmeichel worth a -4 pt hit??

      1. El Presidente
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        No

    12. Nightcrawler
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Everyone read for one final MUD MANIA of the season?

    13. Tribecca
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      BRING PREAMBLE BACK! I really enjoyed reading it and always look forward to it during the week!

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

      Sterling worth a differential captain punt? I'm chasing big time??

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

        someone from city could score 4 - it might just be his turn

        1. Junks
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          1 month, 10 days ago

          Yeah its done... thanks and GL

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

            you too

    15. Simon69
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      20 points between me and ML leader. Cancelo + Ings > Alonso + Kane (C) worth a -4? 3.8m in the bank

      Dubravka

      James - TAA - Matip - Cancelo

      Son - Maddison - Kulu - Zaha - Saka

      Richarlison

      Bench: Rams - Ings - White - Broja

    16. El Presidente
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      What happened to David Munday?

      1. The Mighty Hippo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        He left and went to work elsewhere. A pre-season transfer.

      2. Baron Saturday
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Dunno. I saw him Tuesday and he seemed alright

    17. FCRS BGD
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Guys
      Which goalkeeper to start?
      1) Kepa
      2) Sanchez
      Thanks

    18. JELLYFISH
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Maddison or Bowen on FH? Got Vardy

      1. DF
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Bowen or erikssen

    19. Jinswick
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Chasing a 39 point lead - best move given below teams?

      A) Salah -> Mane
      B) Salah & Nketiah-> L Diaz & Vardy (-4)
      C) Something else keeping Salah

      ME:
      Ramsdale
      Laporte, Cancelo*, James*
      Salah*, Mount, KDB(c), Kulu, Martinelli
      Pukki, Nketiah
      Bank 0.0m

      HIM:
      Schmeichel
      Trent, Robbo, Cancelo*, James*, Alonso
      Salah*, Cout, Saka
      Kane, Weghorst

      Expect he will do Salah -> Son or Cout -> Mount (or both)

      1. WhatWouldYourZlatanSay
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        B. What are the chances of rival doing Salah to KDB to block you though?

        1. Jinswick
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 11 Years
          1 month, 10 days ago

          I’m in 3rd and 2nd has Son so I think he’ll prioritize blocking him

    20. JariL
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Salah to Mane for free or hold? Already have Son and KDB.

      1. DF
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Yeah

    21. Radzio
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Richarlison for -4 to:

      a) Jesus
      b) Toney
      c) not worth it?

      1. DF
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        C

    22. Garlana
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Suggestions? Salah to son looks obvious but will need a -4...also I need to try to be at least be a tad different to get a differential captain that will get me over a 22 point gap with first in my league who is likely to captain son.

      Dubravka
      James, Trent, cancelo, dier
      Salah, kulu, Saka, Gordon
      Richarlison, Kane

      Ramsdale, schar, coutinho, broja

      1ft 0.3 it

      Thoughts?

      1. Phlajo
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Get Mane. Captain him or Kane. Pray for Son to keep quiet

      2. Baron Saturday
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        FWIW I did Salah to Son and Kulu to Mount. Something similar and the armband on a punt or Kane

    23. FCSB
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Pick one to bench:

      1. Jesus (AVL)
      2. Matip (WOL)
      3. Alonso (WAT)
      4. Nketiah (EVE)

      1. Lionac
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        2 or 4. But Alonso might be benched by Tuchel

    24. The Units
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 12 Years
      1 month, 10 days ago

      Got this for a -8. G2g?

      Ramsdale
      TAA Robbo Cancelo Laporte
      (S)on Maddison Saka Kulu Mount
      Kane

      Sanchez Broja Gelhardt Cash

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 10 days ago

        Very nice