After a break for the FA Cup, FPL returns this weekend with the third Double Gameweek of the season.
This time, we have two fixtures each for Manchester United and Leeds United (one of them being a match against the other).
But who are the best players to use transfers on?
Manchester United v Crystal Palace (H), Leeds United (H)
Manchester United are a side in form, collecting 13 points out of a possible 18 since the restart.
They’ve scored 12 goals in that time and have kept three clean sheets, conceding four.
There are plenty of options, with a triple-up looking sensible given the fixtures. Although, you do need to be mindful of a likely blank Gameweek 25 for United should they make the Carabao Cup final.
There’s also a chance they will have a Blank Gameweek 28, provided they progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals.
So maximise Manchester United assets for the double, but plan to move them on after Gameweek 24.
Luke Shaw (£5.2m) is the go-to defender, with one goal and eight bonus points over his last six games. But fitness may be an issue after he missed the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg and FA Cup fourth round through illness.
For those without a Manchester United defensive option right now, Lisandro Martinez (£4.5m) could be the safer choice at a budget price.
I would avoid David de Gea (£4.9m), as using transfers on goalkeepers could spell trouble down the line with the potential upcoming blanks.
If you don’t have three Manchester United players already, doubling up on the attack is far more appealing, with a higher ceiling for points.
Marcus Rashford (£7.2m) is a must-have in your team, scoring in five of his last six Premier League games. He might be on penalties too, with Bruno Fernandes (£9.9m) the other name in the frame — more on that later.
Fernandes has been impressive since Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford, delivering attacking returns in five consecutive Premier League games.
He’s now delivering the same form we saw when he first arrived at United back in 2020, having scored four goals and created 14 big chances this season already.
For outbounds, owners of Mohamed Salah (£12.8m) should be looking to make the switch. It also might be plausible to move from Kevin De Bruyne (£12.5m) to Fernandes this week, then reverse the move for Manchester City’s double in Gameweek 23, when they face Aston Villa (H) and Arsenal (A).
Anthony Martial (£6.5m) should be avoided due to his fitness concerns, so Wout Weghorst (£6.0m) could be worth a punt. However, he only scored two Premier League goals in 20 appearances for Burnley last season, so perhaps stick to United’s midfield options.
Leeds United vs Nottingham Forest (A), Manchester United (A)
Leeds arrive at this Gameweek suffering from inconsistency, but their assets look attractive in the short-term: they face Everton in Gameweek 24 and Southampton in Gameweek 25.
As they remain in the FA Cup, like United they are at risk of a blank in Gameweek 28, so players shouldn’t be seen as longer-term picks.
It’s far from essential to load up on Leeds United players this week, but bringing one in could make a difference.
Rodrigo (£6.4m) is the pick of the bunch, having scored 10 goals this season. Patrick Bamford (£7.2m) and Wilfried Gnonto (£5.0m) are also decent options in forward areas.
Gnonto has been Leeds’ talisman this season, while Bamford is back fit — and on penalties once more. He’s a big fan of FPL, by the way.
After two clean sheets in his last four Premier League appearances, Illan Meslier (£4.5m) would be the best route into this Leeds United defence, but again be mindful of future blanks.
Captain or Triple Captain?
When it comes to captaincy this week, there are two key contenders: Rashford and Fernandes.
Some managers may go into this Gameweek with just one of Rashford or Fernandes, making their decision over captain far easier.
The argument for captaining either is well-balanced, perhaps due to the uncertainty over who is Manchester United’s penalty-taker.
Marcus Rashford scored from the spot against Everton in the FA Cup in early January when Fernandes was on the pitch. It’s also worth noting that the Portuguese midfielder has failed to convert his last two penalties for Manchester United, and last scored from the spot for them in May 2021.
However, Fernandes does have a great record in Double Gameweeks, registering double digits in four of the last six — including 19 points in Double Gameweek 20 to Rashford’s 12.
The other question on FPL managers’ lips is whether to play the Triple Captain chip.
In theory, this is best played in a Double Gameweek. There are two opportunities to play Triple Captain in the next two weeks: Rashford in United’s Double Gameweek 22 or Erling Haaland (£12.2m) in City’s Double Gameweek 23.
These doubles come in a congested period of fixtures, with Rashford having the edge: midfielders (what Rashford is categorised as in FPL) are awarded more favourably on the scoring matrix.
In reality, this Triple Captain chip is frustratingly difficult to get right — but trust your gut and go for Rashford this week. I’ve already used mine, but I would have seriously considered it this week if I still had it.
(Top photo: Naomi Baker via Getty Images)