In this Triple Gameweek 35 edition of his regular article series, with the expected deployment of remaining wildcards and free hit chips @Hibbo_FPL chooses a select side for this week and beyond. This article will provide FPL tips to help managers to break the template and make a late charge towards the top 10k.
The fabled “triple gameweek” is as legendary as the mythical unicorn – often talked about but rarely if ever seen. It has been fifteen years since one was last spotted by the fantasy community but in a season of Covid and curveballs should we have expected anything less?
Who remembers this? (I don't)
A triple Gameweek for Middlesbrough in 2006 pic.twitter.com/b9yOkpQDoW
— FPL General (@FPLGeneral) January 28, 2019
The Premier League duly obliged announcing that Manchester United’s postponed clash with Liverpool will be played next Thursday. Three matches (avl, LEI, LIV) in the space of five days before a blank Gameweek 36 ensures that this select side is very Manchester United centric.
Following yesterday’s announcement the lure of three fixtures make big hitting Bruno Fernandes (£11.5m) the default captaincy option. In terms of underlying numbers Bruno has lacked his trademark shot volume ranking amongst midfielders since Gameweek 29, sixth for shots (14) and seventh for shots on target (6) as per our OPTA Stats tool below.
While the Portuguese midfielder domestically has returned just one assist and 12pts since Gameweek 29 he has saved his vintage best for the European stage. Amazingly, in all competitions this season Bruno Fernandes boasts 42 goal involvements in just 45 starts this season.
Mason Greenwood (£7.1m) is very much man of the moment for Manchester United with four goals and an assist in his last six matches. Boasting just under 13% ownership amongst elite teams the England starlet fits the template busting bill and has the underlying numbers in tow.
Since Gameweek 27 Greenwood ranks amongst midfielders second for shots (21), second for shots on target (10), and second for shots in the box (17) as per our OPTA Stats tool below. Whilst rotation is inevitable given Man United’s tight schedule it’s hard to oppose Greenwood on current form.
In defence, I have opted for Harry Maguire (£5.5m) for the security of starts having played 90 minutes in every league game this season. Ultra-differential Maguire has sub 1% elite ownership certainly and ranks first amongst defenders on season data for shots inside the box (32).
Liverpool are a side of particular interest ranking top of the Hub’s overall fixture ticker between now and Gameweek 38. Next opponents Southampton are without a clean sheet in their last six matches and it’s possible Man United could be jaded by Thursday.
Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) has notched three goals in his last three league starts bringing the Egyptian to twenty league goals for the season. In terms of underlying numbers, Salah is back to his volume shooting best ranking first amongst midfielders since Gameweek 27 for shots (23) and shots inside the box (18).
Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.6m) has notched a goal and two assists in his last six league matches scoring 43pts points in the process. In terms of underlying numbers since Gameweek 27 Alexander-Arnold ranks amongst defenders first for key passes (16), big chances created (4), and bonus points (12) as per our OPTA Stats tool below.
The fixtures for the Eagles look ripe for attacking returns with immediate opponents Sheffield United and Southampton defensively ranking among the worst in the division. In their last six matches combined, they have managed one clean sheet conceding 30 goals in the process.
Wilfried Zaha (£7.1m) sits in just 1% of elite teams and despite reduced minutes this term has notched ten league goals. Zaha will relish the prospect of his upcoming opposition given that 10 of his 14 attacking returns this season have come against teams outside the traditional “big six”.
Vincent Guiata (£4.8m) gets the nod largely due to Sheffield United managing a paltry nine shots on target in the last six matches. However, Southampton will represent a tougher test for the Eagles rear guard having failed to score in just one of their last six in the league.
The Toffees embark on a fantastic run of fixtures over the next three which sees them rank top of the Hub’s overall fixture ticker. Immediate opponents Aston Villa and West Ham are both without a clean sheet in their last six matches conceding a combined 22 goals.
Since Gameweek 27 Lucas Digne (£6.1m) ranks amongst defenders third for key passes (12) and first for big chances created (4). Over the period the Frenchman ranks amongst defenders second for xGI (27%) making him one to watch.
Ahead of an appealing run of fixtures early-season hero Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.5m) sits in just 6% of elite teams. On season data Calvert-Lewin ranks amongst forwards fourth for shots on target (38) and third for big chances (29) despite injury reducing his minutes as per our OPTA Stats tool below.
Leicester rank 17th on the Hub’s overall fixture ticker courtesy of a difficult run with includes three matches against big-six opposition in their next four. While the immediate Newcastle fixture has appeal FPL managers will likely move to reduce their Foxes investment as early as Gameweek 36.
Very much the league’s form player while Kelechi Iheanacho (£6.3m) represents such value at his price that he simply cannot be ignored. In terms of underlying numbers the Nigerian international ranks since Gameweek 27 second for shots (27), shots on target (14), and shots in the box (18) as per our OPTA Stats tool below.
Over the last four matches, Jamie Vardy (£10.3m) ranks joint top amongst forwards for big chances received (4). In terms of the eye-test, he has lacked accuracy but can consider himself unfortunate not to have scored against Palace.
I’m backing a long overdue Vardy party against a Newcastle side which haven’t kept a clean sheet in the last six matches. Furthermore, at his price Vardy represents a nice placeholder for those looking for a move back to Harry Kane (£11.9m) when Leicester blank in Gameweek 36.
In conclusion, for Manchester United players legitimate doubts remain over the prospects of game-time and the likelihood of playing all three games are slim. However, it would be rude not to play only the second TGW in Premier League history with a strong hand.
FPL managers will await Man United’s Europa League line up for clues as to which assets will likely play three games in the triple. However, optimistic FPL managers should take solace that United have a bonafide double at the very least.
It is crunch time in the FPL season with managers honing in on their targeted season goal or mini-league glory. I feel this select side have the right mix of big hitters with a smattering of differential players required to go big for the historic Triple Gameweek 35.
For those that have read, thank you. Keep an eye for more articles in the near future and good luck for the coming Gameweeks. Drop me a follow on Twitter @Hibbo_FPL.