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. umerlfc
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 26 days ago

    Maddy or Diaz?

    1. The Movement
        2 months, 26 days ago

        DiaZ

        1. tokara
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          is he sure to start?

      • phoenixfromtheflames
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Diaz

    2. Muscout
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 26 days ago

      Are we likely to get any early team news at all? Or better to just do transfers now

      1. DF
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Rumours will start flying soon enough

      2. Revival
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Unfortunate that Spion Kop won't have the Liverpool team till 2:45, 15 minutes after the deadline 🙁

    3. The Movement
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Hello Guys. Which is better option? Protecting rank.

        A) Salah & Kulu
        B) Mount & Kane -4

        Thanks

        1. hotine
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          B

        2. Pegboy
          • 12 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          B

        3. phoenixfromtheflames
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          2 months, 26 days ago

          B

      • AF90
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 26 days ago

        Is 40 points difference too much to make up?

        1. The Movement
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Not impossible but very very hard and would need many different players and captian

            1. AF90
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Mane (c) ? Or just play safe take 2nd & go for Son?

          • DF
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Yeah

          • PKnox11
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Not what you want to hear but If I had a 40 point lead, I'd be very confident about it being enough.

            • Revival
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Yeah, you need a final day like 2013 and matches finishing 4-4 or 5-5 and both your players in the match scoring hatties

          • PartyTime
            • 1 Year
            2 months, 26 days ago

            Damn! I need some leaks

            1. RamaJama
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Which ones?

              1. g40steve
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Chelsea
                Pool
                Leicester

                1. PartyTime
                  • 1 Year
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Yeah chelsea too. Forgot Tuchel likes to experiment

              2. PartyTime
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 26 days ago

                All if possible but mainly Leicester

                1. RamaJama
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Barnes?

                  1. PartyTime
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Yeah Barnes

            2. SmallManFirminoooo
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Its a nightmare. I have to do my moves, going out. Keep or sell Salah?

              1. PartyTime
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Tough. Maybe join the crowd & sell, shouldn’t be that bad

              2. Athletico Timbo
                • 1 Year
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Sell

          • ran
              2 months, 26 days ago

              Best defender below 6.8m for the final gameweek?

            • PKnox11
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Sessegnon or Alonso?

                Mount or Diaz?

                1. DF
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  S D for me

              • Perthite
                • 11 Years
                2 months, 26 days ago

                Is either of these worth a hit?

                A: Dennis->Toney
                B: Coutinho->Bowen

                1. The Units
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  B

                2. Botman and Robben
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  A

                3. Mozumbus
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    A

                  • trafalgarlaw
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    B

                  • Crunchie
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    A

                4. 1912 F.A Cup Winners
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Narrowed it down to theses options now…..

                  A- Kane And Barnes
                  B- Kane and Bowen
                  C- Vardy and Mount

                  Any thoughts?????? Cheers!!!!

                  1. The Mighty Hippo
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 6 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    B

                  2. Aeu96197
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    A if you’re chasing. I think Barnes is a great differential - if he starts

                5. The Units
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

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

                  Sanchez Broja Gelhardt Cash

                  G2g?

                  1. Wolfman180
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 8 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Yup

                6. gloryhornetboy
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 12 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Team line ups has Richarlison not playing! Worth a -4 to swap to Toney? Cheers

                7. Al Green Arrows
                  • 5 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Di you think Vardy starts?

                  1. RamaJama
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 9 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Yes

                  2. PartyTime
                    • 1 Year
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Vardy starts

                    1. g40steve
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      That confirmed?

                      1. PartyTime
                        • 1 Year
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        No. Vardy starts in my opinion

                8. Ruinenlust
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Play White or Gordon?

                  1. trafalgarlaw
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    White

                  2. Aeu96197
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 2 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    White

                9. RamaJama
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 9 Years
                  2 months, 26 days ago

                  Which option do you prefer?

                  A) Salah to Son
                  B) Salah/Saka to Son/Diaz for -4
                  C) Salah/Richa to Son/Jesus for -4
                  D) Salah/Saka/Richa to Son/Diaz/Jesus for -8
                  E) Salah/Richa to Son/Vardy for -8
                  F) Richarlison to Toney

                  1. The Movement
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      A

                    • Aeu96197
                      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                      • 2 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      C if you know Jesus starts. Maybe Toney if you don’t?

                    • Pegboy
                      • 12 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      A

                  2. Nightcrawler
                    • 3 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Is there even any point choosing who to start out of this sorry defence?

                    Cash Bedranek Keane Telles Schar

                    1. Permanently bannedⓄⓃⒺ…
                      • 8 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      Schar easy

                  3. Shifty
                    • 9 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    16 point lead. Cash on the line.

                    I have Son, opponent doesn't. He's got KDB, I've got Coutinho.

                    I know he's going to punt with Kane....block Kane with a hit?

                    1. Ruinenlust
                      • 4 Years
                      2 months, 26 days ago

                      No brainer

                      1. Shifty
                        • 9 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        thanks bud.

                  4. JELLYFISH
                    • 10 Years
                    2 months, 26 days ago

                    Final team check guys. G2g?

                    Raya
                    Alonso Sess Matip
                    Diaz Son Maddison Mount KDB
                    Kane Vardy

                    1. The Movement
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Looks good buddy

                    2. GC123
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Could really do with some advice please guys

                        Schmiechel

                        Laporte Rudi Cancelo Robbo

                        Salah Havertz Kulu Saka

                        Kane Nketieh

                        Jakupovic Mendy Tsimikas Cucho

                        1) Boring Salah to Son for free
                        2) Salah & Saka to Son & Diaz/ Bowen/ Mahrez for -4
                        3) Saka to Bowen for free
                        4) Havertz to Bowen for free
                        5) Something else?

                        Have 3 Pool so can only get Dias if I sell Salah

                        Half tempted to keep Salah as he could be a differential if he starts. Could also kill me if he gets 0 mins

                      • rnrd
                        • 8 Years
                        2 months, 26 days ago

                        Calum Wilson or Toney for this last Gw?

                      • Saintjack01
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Need a differential captain pick, kulu, Jesus, mount or saka

                          1. Athletico Timbo
                            • 1 Year
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Mount

                          2. The Knights Template
                            • 8 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Jesus

                          3. trafalgarlaw
                            • 3 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Mount or Jesus

                        • Athletico Timbo
                          • 1 Year
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Pickford Steele
                          Robertson Cancelo Ake
                          Son Jota Diaz Kulu Maddison
                          Kane Nketiah

                          Steele ings Holgate Digne

                          0.3 itb 1ft

                          Should I sell Ake ings or get a keeper?

                        • Harry Ball Bag™⚽⚽…
                          • 12 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Hi all

                          I’m chasing a 26 point lead heading into the final week and thinking of -8

                          My team below and I have my bench boost chip

                          Sa / sanchez

                          TAA / Cancelo / James / Mings / sessegon

                          Countino / mount / Maddison / son / Diaz

                          Broja / weghorst / niketeh

                          Worth doing?

                          1. Athletico Timbo
                            • 1 Year
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            What are the moves?

                            1. Harry Ball Bag™⚽⚽…
                              • 12 Years
                              2 months, 26 days ago

                              Salah shar and allan out

                              Maddison sess Diaz in

                        • DF Team
                          • 5 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Best of Maddison, Bowen, Barnes?

                          1. Magic Zico
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Bowen

                            1. JELLYFISH
                              • 10 Years
                              2 months, 26 days ago

                              I’m currently on Maddison on FH but the knee is twitching for a move to Bowen. Figure Vardy sufficient for Leicester cover

                          2. trafalgarlaw
                            • 3 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Maddison, but i go Bowen for differential

                        • Nightf0x
                          • 7 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          any team news or lineup leaks i missed ? thanks

                        • RAFA THE GAFFA
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 6 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Mo to go big in a final twist to this season?

                          1. Magic Zico
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            He will - hattrick possible, as I sold him

                          2. Wolfman180
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 8 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            I am worried about it like. Still will likely sell him though

                        • Morthau
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 2 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Mahrez to Diaz for -4?

                          Ramsdalen
                          Alonso TAA Cancelo
                          Mahrez son Kulu Maddison saka
                          Richarlison watkins

                        • _Ninja_
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 11 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Sam Martin who leaks the Leicester teams said he had a run in with Rodgers at the poty awards midweek about leaking teams so don't think we'll get Lei team this week sadly.

                          1. Magic Zico
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 3 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            I like fairness in this game 😛

                          2. g40steve
                            • 4 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Not good, any other team leaks?

                        • Magic Zico
                          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                          • 3 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Play Rich or Laporte?

                          1. Birdman77
                            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                            • 7 Years
                            2 months, 26 days ago

                            Laporte. Rich may not start

                        • No Kane No Gain
                          • 3 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Since it’s the last gameweek and first sub might matter…

                          Who should I have first sub, Myko or Coutinho?!

                        • Taegugk Warrior
                          • 4 Years
                          2 months, 26 days ago

                          Zaha+Gordon to Barnes+Kulu for -4…?