How To Beat & Predict “Pep Roulette” In FPL

Team Selection

August 30, 2023

How To Beat & Predict “Pep Roulette” In FPL

In the world of Fantasy Premier League (FPL), few things are as unpredictable and anxiety-inducing as the infamous “Pep Roulette.” Coined after Manchester City’s enigmatic manager Pep Guardiola, the term refers to the ever-changing and often puzzling player rotations that occur in his starting lineups. For FPL managers, trying to predict and beat Pep Roulette can be a maddening challenge. In this guide, we’ll delve into strategies that can help you navigate this unpredictable territory and maximise your FPL success.

What Is “Pep Roulette”?

Pep Roulette, in the context of football (soccer), refers to the unpredictable and sometimes frustrating tactical decisions made by Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola when selecting his starting lineup for matches. Guardiola is known for his innovative and fluid playing style, often employing intricate formations and player rotations to keep opponents guessing. This approach, while strategic, can lead to uncertainty among fans and fantasy football players alike, as they try to predict which players will be chosen for a particular game. The term “Pep Roulette” encapsulates the element of unpredictability associated with Guardiola’s lineup choices, reflecting the challenges faced by those attempting to anticipate his selections.

Understanding Pep Guardiola’s Rotation Tendencies

Before diving into predictions and strategies, it’s crucial to understand the factors that influence Pep Guardiola’s rotation decisions:

Squad Depth:

Manchester City boasts an exceptional squad with multiple quality players in every position. Guardiola often rotates to keep players fresh and maintain healthy competition within the team.

Fixture Congestion:

During periods of heavy fixture congestion, such as when there are multiple matches in a short time span, Guardiola is more likely to rotate to prevent player fatigue and injuries.

Tactical Adaptation:

Guardiola’s tactical approach can vary based on the opponent. He may opt for different formations and player combinations to exploit the weaknesses of specific opponents.


Injuries can force Guardiola’s hand when it comes to selecting his starting XI. Unexpected injuries can lead to changes in the lineup.

Strategies to Predict and Beat Pep Roulette

Study Press Conferences:

Guardiola often provides clues about his lineup decisions during press conferences. Listen carefully to his comments on players’ fitness, tactical plans, and potential rotation. However, take his words with a grain of skepticism, as he’s known for mind games.

Analyse Previous Patterns:

While Guardiola is known for rotation, he also tends to maintain some consistency in key positions. Analyse historical data to identify patterns in positions that are less prone to rotation, such as goalkeeper and central defence.

Monitor U23 Games:

Guardiola occasionally gives young talents a chance to shine in cup games or less critical fixtures. Keep an eye on Manchester City’s U23 performances to identify potential players who might get first-team opportunities.

Fixture Analysis:

Before selecting City players for your FPL squad, assess the fixture schedule. During easier stretches of matches, Guardiola may be more inclined to rotate. Conversely, during tough matches, he might opt for a more stable lineup.

Midfield Rotation:

Midfielders are often the most susceptible to rotation. Prioritise players who are more versatile and can adapt to different roles within Guardiola’s system.

Double Up on Defence:

Investing in Manchester City’s defence can be a wise choice, as they are more likely to have stable selections in defence compared to midfield and attack.

Mitigating the Impact

While predicting and beating Pep Roulette is a challenge, there are ways to minimise its impact on your FPL team:

Have a Deep Squad:

Maintain a well-rounded squad with capable substitutes to cover unexpected benchings.

Avoid Overloading:

While having a Manchester City triple-up might seem tempting, diversify your team to include players from other teams as well. This way, a surprise benching won’t hurt your overall score as much.

Captaincy Strategy:

Be cautious when selecting your captain from Manchester City. Opt for players who are more likely to start, especially during uncertain game weeks.

Stay Flexible:

Be prepared to make last-minute transfers or substitutions based on confirmed lineups. Utilise your chips wisely during double game weeks to maximise points.


Pep Roulette might be a formidable challenge for FPL managers, but with careful analysis, strategic planning, and a touch of luck, you can navigate this uncertain terrain and thrive in the fantasy football world. Understanding Guardiola’s tendencies, staying updated on team news, and having a well-structured squad are key elements in beating and predicting the enigmatic Pep Roulette. Remember, while there’s no foolproof method, a mix of research and prudent decision-making will increase your odds of success in the long FPL season.



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