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

    Chasing 8 points in ML after he has done a -8.

    He has Son but no Kane.

    Ramsdale
    James, Davies, Robbo
    Mount, Coutinho, Jota, Zaha
    Kane, Watkins, Mateta

    Shall I go Coutinho to Son abs (c) Kane? Or take a -4 and replace Watkins too?

    1. TheTinman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I thought you couldn't see how many transfers opponents had made predeadline anymore

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

        Think you can on the desktop site

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

          are you looking at last weeks?

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

        his buddy could be bluffing in chat

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

      no hit. so tight

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

      Yes to the coutinho to son move. No to the hit. Captain Son too to block and let the Kane points take you over the line. His -8 has lost the league

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

        Thanks for the opinion. Kane feels a risk with illness but he also has 4 of my players so worried we might just cancel, especially if one of his 3 was to bring in Kane

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

    boring Q, start 1

    A: Mitchell (MUN)
    B: Mykolenko (ars)

    1. TheTinman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Mitchell

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

        A

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

        cheers. i was on that

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

    Captain

    Kane
    Son
    Kevin De Bruyne
    Mount

    Cheers and good luck

    1. TheTinman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Definitely not Mount. There's a 0-20% risk of a benching.

      The fact you're putting in Kane and KDB makes me think you must be chasing.

      I would go for Kane

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

        I'm winning a few mini leagues and second in one I'd like to go back top of.

        20 points but he doesn't have a FH.

        1. n14mul
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Ehats your FH like

          1. n14mul
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 4 Years
            1 month, 16 days ago

            Whats

    2. n14mul
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Imo if the team is pretty template then go kane

      If its pretty differential...go son

      Good luck!

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

    Salah –> Son (FT) the only obvious move here?

    Schmeichel
    Robertson - Cancelo - Alonso - Matip
    Salah* - KDB - Mount - Coutinho - Saka
    Nketiah

    (Foster - (Cash - Pukki - Dennis) – 0.3 ITB

    Cheers

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

      And Coutinho –> Diaz worth a hit?

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

      Yes

      And why not go for it with Diaz

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

      Wouldn't take the hit. I'd play pukki and bench coutinho

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

    Maddy to start???????

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

      That is the question.

      Probably

    2. n14mul
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      On maddi on a fh...but very tempted with Barnes...who was rested

  6. how now brown cow
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A - watkins -> kane
    B - richarlison->kane

    1 - bench zaha, play richarlison/watkins
    2 - bench richarlison/ watkins, play zaha
    3 - sell zaha for a hit
    4 - sell rich/wat for a hit
    3-

  7. Jässi
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A) Play Weghorst
    B) Take -4 and replace Dias, put Weghorst 1st on bench

  8. IL Fantasista
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A. Vardy+Bowen
    B. Kulusevki+Diaz

  9. jason_ni
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Start
    A) Bavies
    B) Pukki
    C) Elanga
    D1) -4 James ( bavies to james)
    D2) -4 Toney ( dennis to toney)

    Have 2.2 m itb

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

      2.1 even.

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

      A or D2

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

        Cheers

    3. TheTinman
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      A

  10. Goodnight Kiwi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Ramsdale or Schmeichel?

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

      kasper

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

    Bernardo + schar > alonso + bowen -4 worth it?

    1. Hawk Eye
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      no brainer

  12. Hawk Eye
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Bring back The Pre-Match Preamble!
    To read that my FPL insanity is so wide spread is so calming...

    Playing FPL is like being bi-polar, Its awesome and I hate it!

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

    Do the people who think Villa will get something at City only think that because of Gerrard? Just wondering as been thinking about my potential moves this morning, and Villa haven't been in great form recently, lost 5 of their last 10, have only beaten Norwich and Burnley and drawn the other 3. I was all for moving KDB out but thinking against it now.

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

      Tbf

      Manchester City have drawn 6 and lost 3 so it's possible,

      If unlikely.

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

        Fair call, just curious to understand people's mindset as if it wasn't Gerrard in charge would they still think the same.

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

      Personally can't see us winning, but a draw is plausible.

    3. n14mul
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      I have said this for a few weeks now and I think it also applies today....

      If city don't score on first 30 min....things will get interesting. They don't have the calmness to take their time and wait for the chance...

      If they score early....well it could be 3 or 4

    4. The Pesci challenge
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      City will try and wrap it up by halftime so I would stick with him as it’ll be goals galore in that game

    5. Better off with a pin and a…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      It's easy to think of City (and Liverpool) as machines, but they will both be under pressure today while Villa under Gerrard have nothing to lose, but will be motivated and could pull something off.

      I don't think it's likely, though, particularly not at the Etihad.

  14. simong1
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Ramsdale
    TAA - Matip - James - Laporte - Cancelo
    Salah - Son - Kuluveski - Saka
    Jesus

    Dubravka - Gordon - Weghorst - Kamara

    Best option from below?

    A) Salah > Mane
    B) Salah & Jesus > Mount & Kane (-4)
    B) Salah & Weghorst > Bowen & Kane (-4) (bench Laporte?)

    1. Werner Bros
      • 6 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      B Bowen and yes Laporte

  15. Mo Mane No Problems
    • 2 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A. Raph to Mount (-4)
    B. Raph to Diaz (-4)
    C. Keep Raph

    Currently have no Chelsea or Liverpool attackers.

  16. Konnamoi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Play rich or zaha?

    Or would you swap either:
    A) Rich>Toney for -4
    B) Zaha>Maddison -4

    Thx!

    1. n14mul
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Zaha all the way

  17. Etern007
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Richarlison to:
    A) Toney
    B) Jesus
    It's a -4 but I don't think he starts for Everton today.

    Leading by about 25 points in my league.

  18. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Son Rich or Kane Diaz -4?

  19. -GK22-
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Morning all, very nervous Leeds fan not looking forward to today!

    Team GTG?

    Ramsdale
    Taa, Robbo, James
    Diaz, Kulu, Saka, Mahrez
    Kane, vardy(c), nketiah

    Foster, royal, Schar, Ramsey

  20. Better off with a pin and a…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    The preambles were always my favourite reads of the week. A lot of the articles through the week are (rightly) formulaic, but this was always more free-form, less predictable and more readable as a result. A bit like the difference between news at 10 and Alastair Cooks Letter From America - which probably dates me well.

    Would be good to have it back.

  21. paulfantham
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Make my decision for me because I have no brain:

    A. Richarlison > Kane
    B. Saka > KDB

    1. trafalgarlaw
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      B

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

      A

  22. Baron Saturday
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 11 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    ML opponent has Mount, Maddi and Son.

    If I do Salah to Son I have to lose a Spurs player: July or Royal (not Kane).

    If I lose Lulu do I bring in Mount or Maddi?

    Cheers

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

      Kulu! NOT July or Lulu haha

      1. G-Whizz
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        I hate auto-correct too 😆

  23. john25
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Hey guys, what do you think of Weghorst chances of starting today?

    Cheers

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

      Low

  24. trafalgarlaw
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Chasing 26pts, who to diferential Captain

    A. Kane
    B. KDB
    C. Bowen
    D. Son

    Rival could C Son/Kane so currently on Kev

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

      B then A

      1. trafalgarlaw
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Think so, cheers mate

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

      Kev for me. But I reckon he's got you in this instance...

      1. trafalgarlaw
        • 3 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Yes maybe, he can buy one of KDB or Kane to cover me. So its very gamble to C one of them

  25. Teomi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Leading ML with 13 points and also doing my best season so far (8000 atm) and would like to climb a bit more.

    My rival has son and cancelo (will most likely (C) son) so what would you do with below?

    A hit to bring in son and block his points or just play my game and hoping that Kane will match him?

    Maybe just bring in cancelo instead of Robbo to block his points?

    Or something else?

    1 ft 0,6 itb
    Ramsdale
    Robbo TAA James
    Kdb Mount Maddison saka kulu
    (K)ane nketiah

    Dubravka dier Schar Broja

  26. Luggy10
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    A. Sessegnon and Rudiger.

    B. Matip and Eriksson

    ???

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

    Schmeichel
    Matip, Rudiger, Sessegnon
    KDB, Mount, Diaz, Bowen, Son
    Kane, Toney

    Gunn, Jansson, Gelhardt, Tsimikas.

    Any final changes?

    1. n14mul
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 16 days ago

      Fh I assume?

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

        Yep

        1. n14mul
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 16 days ago

          Good team sir,

          I'm also on a FH...hoping for some scores today.

          Good luck!

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

            Who are your selections?

            1. n14mul
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 4 Years
              1 month, 16 days ago

              Raya
              Trent sess cucu alonso
              Mane Diaz son mount maddi
              Kane

              Fodder on bench

              Probably going maddi to Barnes....

  28. Podorsky
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    I do so enjoy the preamble and have missed them sorely.

  29. GE
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Predicted points:

    1) Diaz
    2) Maddison
    3) Barnes
    4) Kulu
    5) Bowen
    6) Zaha
    7) Toney

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

      I think Maddison will get more than 2.

  30. chaser123
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 16 days ago

    Best way to make up 36 points? Keep my players with low expected points as differentials? 😉

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

      Probably better to end up with the higher point players.

      1. chaser123
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 4 Years
        1 month, 16 days ago

        Probably. But it’s about taking a risk. Probably ends up with lower points but if goes well, will end up with the most possible points