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. Whats the Mata?
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Which ONE of these transfers looks the best on paper? Will have to take a hit for each of them.

    A. Che Adams to Toney (-4) : Will play 343
    Or
    B. Gordon to Mount/Maddison (-4) : Will play 352
    Or
    C. Dias to Robertson/Sessegnon (-4) : Will play 442 (Will start James and have Doherty on the bench too, so if James doesn't turn up - with Dias and Doherty I might end up with 10 players)

    Cheers.

    1. iveseenitall
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B in my opinion

    2. Twisted Saltergater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B, can see Gordon being given a rest, and usually not worth a -4 on a defender.

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

      B

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

      B

    5. S6 Owl
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B

  2. Tsparkes10
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    41 ahead in ML…

    Him: James, Salah, Mount, Foden
    Me: Matip, Madi, KDB, Rich

    Squeaky bum time

    1. Twisted Saltergater
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      It really isn’t, Tony!

    2. dshv
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I had a nightmare where Toney socring 6 goals today..

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

      I think you’re in a lot of trouble. Sluice gates open at both ends stuff.

    4. Paulo67
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Well if I was him I’d be going salah to son so you might need to block that move

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

        Hello mine friend

        1. Paulo67
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Hey dude all set for the last day?

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

            All ready to go. Any magic up your sleeve?

            1. Paulo67
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              1 month, 14 days ago

              Mulling it over all week and still haven’t decided. Few moves to make alright. How about you? All ready to go?

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

                Worried about Jota.

  3. iveseenitall
    • 8 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Chasing 20 points in my mini league, we have quite similar teams.

    Is it madness to swap kdb to mount (-4) which will enable me to afford kane?

    Dont think my rival can afford kane without losing a big hitter. He is a fan of taking hits though.

    1. European Bob
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Worth a punt, you've gotta do something bold by the sounds of it

    2. Londongeezaa
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Does your rival have KDB?

      Would be a huge risk to lose him if so. But I guess risks are needed.

      I would only take a hit in your case for a player that I’m going to captain as a differential.

      1. iveseenitall
        • 8 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        He does have kdb and son so I'm guessing he captains one of them. I also have son but if I made the above move I'd captain kane

  4. Londongeezaa
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Not taking a hit so need to get rid of one Villa player

    A) Cash to Sess

    B) Coutinho to Foden/Mount (have Madd)

    C) Watkins to Jesus

    1. sinbad
      • 11 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B Mount

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

        This

    2. iveseenitall
      • 8 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      B

  5. teddy.
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 12 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    I love a bit of pre-match preamble. Perfect for a Saturday (or final-day Sunday) morning read. A final thought before deadline. A calm before the storm. A dose of humanity amid the stats, chats and Twitter rats. Fears to be evaporated, hopes to be dashed. Definitely a great one to resurrect.

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

    Fh

    A) Mount + Sessegnon + mid fodder (Bissoima)
    B) Saka + Kulu + def fodder (Amartey)

    Schmeichel
    Taa Robbo/Cancelo Alonso Henry *
    Son Maddison Diaz * *
    Kane Toney

    B: Foster, Nketiah

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

      B

  7. dshv
    • 4 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Guys what happened to Wan bissaka? Why this lad stopped playing?

    1. The Senate
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      even worse than Dalot

    2. el polako
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Wan season wonder.

  8. Pointless
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    I always liked the Pre-Match Preamble. Great idea to revive it! Well done to all the FFS for the excellent content this season. Top team!

  9. The Senate
    • 3 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    What are the chances of a reliable city lineup leak before deadline?

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

      10 ^

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

        %

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

    Repost Current Team

    Schmeichel
    Taa-Cancelo-Rjames-Alonso
    Son-Kulu-Saka-Salah-Raphina
    NKetiah

    Ramsdale-Pukki-Amartey Dennis

    1.Hold Salah
    Yes or No

    2. Kane or Vardy

    3. Maddison or Diaz

    4. Leading ML by 3pts
    -4 or -8

  11. RamaJama
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 14 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

    1. The Senate
      • 3 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      D or B depending on whether Jesus plays

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

        Could also do Salah/Richa to Son/Jesus for -4

    2. European Bob
      • 10 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      C

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

        Chances of Jesus playing?

  12. 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. Just salah to son or also swap werner to someone like vardy for -4 and play them instead of nketiah.

    1. S6 Owl
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      I’d fancy the second option.

  13. The_FF_King
    • 9 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Son or Kane captain??

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

      Kane if chasing

  14. jay01
    • 7 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Chasing 10 points

    A) Salah to Mane
    B) Salah, Dennis to Kane, Bowen (-4)

    Which do you prefer? B gives me depth that may be needed

  15. tryf88
    • 1 Year
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Richarlison & Zaha to
    A: Toney and Foden or
    B: Toney and Madisson? For -4
    C: or keep Richarlison but get Toney- selling Mateta/Weggy

    Chasing ML
    Thanks!

  16. ZAWAd25
    • 5 Years
    1 month, 14 days ago

    Best 4.5 defender? (Have sessegnon)

    1. Mozumbus
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Jansson

    2. AXE17
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Play Nketiah or take a -4 to play Toney instead?

    3. Ohh1454
      • 4 Years
      1 month, 14 days ago

      Which trio ?
      A. Trent Rudiger Kulu
      B. White B.Davies Kdb

      1. Mozumbus
          1 month, 14 days ago

          A

      2. Lionac
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Who scores more:

        1
        A) Son
        B) Kane

        2
        A) Vardy
        B) Maddison

        3
        A) Saka
        B) Jesus

        1. iveseenitall
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          B for all

      3. tibollom
        • 5 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Hey guys, Im 11 pts ahead in my ML... 1 FT 1.5 ITB.. thinking salah to son and C..

        His team
        rams foster
        taa cancelo alonso fofana myko
        salah kdb son brownhill gordon
        richa nketia dennis

        my team
        Sch,meicel Foster
        taa cancelo matip laporte alonso
        kdb salah kulu saka kdh
        nketia pukki dennis

      4. Kun Tozser
        • 6 Years
        1 month, 14 days ago

        Roberts > Matip or equivalent worth a -4?

        1. iveseenitall
          • 8 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Not for a defender

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

        sa
        taa alonso cancelo tavares
        raphinha salah kulusevski
        jesus kane nketiah

        foster white coutinho gordon

        thoughts ? and salah -> kdb or son?

      6. Mozumbus
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Who will score more, different formations:
          A. Kane + Bruno Guimarães
          B. Mount + Cancelo
          Have Son and KDB, if that matters

        • Jamb0
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 4 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Last move of the season:

          A) Richarlison -> Toney
          B) Coutinho -> Bowen / Maddison

          1. Koolswan
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            B

          2. Hits from the Bong
            • 3 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            B

        • LLoris
          • 3 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          What's the news on Moh?

        • IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          make transfers now or worth waiting until last minute for leaked lineups?

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

            Worth waiting but have your team and captain set up in case all crashes.

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

            System will crash if you leave it to last minute. Do it now and accept your fate, like all good Stoics do.

          3. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            cheers fellas!

        • Danstoke82
          • 7 Years
          1 month, 14 days ago

          Hi all

          Am really stuck on this last decision. Need to downgrade Salah to afford Kane by bringing in one of these three but honestly cannot decide, I won’t have any Liv attack when I drop Mo. Which one?

          Salah >

          A) Diaz
          B) Jota
          C) Mount

          1. IN SANE IN DE BRUYNE
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 5 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            C

          2. Gon Freecss
              1 month, 14 days ago

              C

            • iveseenitall
              • 8 Years
              1 month, 14 days ago

              C with A in a close second

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

              C

              1. Danstoke82
                • 7 Years
                1 month, 14 days ago

                Unanimous! Thanks all, really appreciated.

          3. mr messi
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            Play White or Pukki to Toney for - 4

            1. Neo-Viper
              • 7 Years
              1 month, 14 days ago

              I like Toney plus hit more. Arsenal are shambles at the back.

          4. Neo-Viper
            • 7 Years
            1 month, 14 days ago

            Sess or Mount?

            Have Kulu and Alonso from. both the teams.

            Will be 5 at the back with Sess in
            TAA Cancelo Robbo Alonso Sess

            or 4 at the back with 5 mids of

            Dias KDB Saka Kulu Mount

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

              Mount

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

            Excellent article!Have a good summer!