As reported earlier this week, Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion will both have a Double Gameweek 25 after their previously postponed Premier League clash was re-scheduled for mid-February.
In the first instalment of our two-part Scouting the Doubles series, which is linked below, we examined the Seagulls’ prospects for Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
FURTHER READING: The Brighton players to consider for FPL Double Gameweek 25
Now, our attention turns to Ralf Rangnick’s troops, as we weigh up the pros and cons of investment in the Red Devils.
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BUYING MAN UTD PLAYERS FOR DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 25: THE PROS
GOOD FIXTURES BEFORE AND AFTER THE DOUBLE GAMEWEEK
You won’t just get a Double Gameweek with United players but also three decent fixtures either side, with the Red Devils up against Burnley (a), Leeds United (a) and Watford (h).
That suggests moving their assets on doesn’t necessarily have to be a priority, at least until March, when the schedule toughens up.
As for their Double Gameweek 25 fixtures, encouragingly, both matches are at home, with Southampton particularly leaky on their travels in recent weeks, conceding 16 goals across their last six away games.
Under Rangnick, United have won five, drawn two and lost one of their eight Premier League matches, and are up to fourth in the table.
There is room for improvement, which we’ll touch on later, but when simply looking at results, it’s been a promising start for the German tactician.
During that time, his side have scored 12 goals and conceded just six, whilst keeping clean sheets against Crystal Palace (h), Norwich City (a) and West Ham United (h). Notably, the only time they have conceded more than one, was when they let a two-goal lead slip at Aston Villa in Double Gameweek 22.
BUYING MAN UTD PLAYERS FOR DOUBLE GAMEWEEK 25: THE CONS
… BUT POOR PERFORMANCES
Whilst there have been signs of improvement in recent matches, especially since reverting to a 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 shape, performances have generally been poor for United under Rangnick, especially when you consider the forgiving fixture list: Crystal Palace, Norwich, Newcastle United, Burnley, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Brentford and West Ham.
That isn’t unexpected, given that it is never easy for any manager to come into a side midway through a season and implement new ideas, but for FPL bosses, it is a worry that they aren’t really creating enough quality chances at the minute.
Added to that, the opposition won’t simply roll over, particularly Brighton, who have conceded more than one goal on just three occasions on the road this term. Furthermore, they have only allowed 12 goals across their 11 Premier League away fixtures in 2021/22, despite facing the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City.
Above: Southampton and Brighton’s away form 2021/22
United’s February schedule (see below) is also worth factoring in, given that they play seven times in all competitions, with just under 80 hours separating their two Double Gameweek 25 fixtures.
- Friday 4 February: FA Cup fourth round – Middlesbrough (h)
- Tuesday 8 February: Gameweek 24 – Burnley (a)
- Saturday 12 February: Double Gameweek 25 – Southampton (h)
- Tuesday 15 February: Double Gameweek 25 – Brighton and Hove Albion (h)
- Sunday 20 February: Gameweek 26 – Leeds United (a)
- Wednesday 23 February: Champions League last 16 – Atletico Madrid (a)
- Saturday 26 February: Gameweek 27 – Watford (h)
As a result, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if we see a degree of rotation in the full-back and winger positions, for example, or perhaps Edinson Cavani (£8.4m) getting a run-out up front.
OTHER GOOD OPTIONS IGNORED?
Transfer activity for the majority of FPL managers will now understandably be focused on Double Gameweek 25 assets, whilst owners of Bruno Fernandes (£11.7m) and Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.5m) will be loath to move them on.
As a result, for some, the likes of Mohamed Salah (£12.7m) and Kevin De Bruyne (£12.2m) may have to wait, despite some particularly appealing single Gameweek fixtures on offer.
MAIN FPL TARGETS
DAVID DE GEA
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