Wolves’ draw at Bournemouth on Saturday confirmed a theory about the team’s penalty situation.
There were also returns for their popular assets ahead of an appealing trip to Huddersfield coming up midweek.
Meanwhile, some of the latest developments in the Bournemouth midfield could be good news for those backing an Arsenal win in Gameweek 28.
Bournemouth 1-1 Wolves
Goals: Josh King (£6.4m) | Raúl Jiménez (£6.8m)
Assists: Matt Doherty (£5.4m)
Missed penalty: King
The case for owning Raúl Jiménez (£6.8m) continues to strengthen with each passing Gameweek. Not only did he score another away goal, his latest the third from the last four road trips, the Wolves striker also took another penalty for his team. Rúben Neves (£4.9m) has traditionally been the spot-kick taker for Wolves this season, but on the odd occasion, Jiménez has taken them, even while the midfielder is still on the pitch.
This instance was slightly harder to explain than the last time the Mexican took a Premier League penalty for Wolves. It was the 3-2 defeat to Spurs in Gameweek 11, his spot-kick coming after Neves had already converted one. In that match, it seems likely Jiménez took the second penalty to avoid Hugo Lloris (£5.5m) using evidence from Neves’ initial effort to decide which way to dive for a second. Against Bournemouth, there was no such dynamic as Jiménez assumed responsibility for Wolves’ first and only spot-kick of the match.
The answer may lie in an interview the forward did on Mexican television earlier this month. It was reported that Jiménez had agreed on a deal with Neves in which they alternate who takes penalties. The midfielder converted the last one awarded to Wolves, at Everton in Gameweek 25, which would explain Jiménez scoring at Bournemouth.
“I agree with him (Neves) that he will take one, me the next and so on.” – Raúl Jiménez
Unfortunately for Jiménez owners, it does mean that Neves is next up on the rotation but Gameweek 27 proved once again that his open play statistics are still good enough for him not to need penalties. None of his colleagues had as many shots as Jiménez at Bournemouth, and no player in the whole division has registered as many in the penalty box as him in the last four Gameweeks. With a trip Huddersfield up next, it looks as if his scoring run is set to continue.
Matt Doherty (£5.4m) also strengthened his case for a place in the Fantasy Football Scout end of season awards. The wing-back has now won two penalties in the last three matches for Wolves, as he continues to have a dangerous presence in advanced areas. As per usual, Doherty featured in the top three for touches in the final third among his colleagues. With attacking returns always a possibility, the fact that he is facing goal shy Huddersfield midweek could yield a first double-figure haul since Gameweek 8.
While Jiménez and Doherty were the saving grace for many Fantasy managers, it was not the same story for Diogo Jota (£6.1m). For the second time in as many matches, the Portuguese international was hauled off in the second half when Wolves were chasing the game. That will be of some discouragement to his 3.7% ownership as Wolves increasingly have to dig deep to get results. The draw at Bournemouth was not the first time this season that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side has started a game well before having their confidence knocked by conceding. It happened against Newcastle and at the Vitality Stadium and in both cases Jota was not considered an option to help Wolves to get back in the game, replaced by Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.2m) in the 66th minute.
“Until the penalty was given to Bournemouth, we were in the game. After that we lost a little bit of composure and allowed Bournemouth to control the game, so this is one particular aspect which we need to improve. We know the Vitality Stadium is not one of the easiest to come to and Eddie is doing a fantastic job, so I’m happy with the performance of the boys in such a difficult space.” – Nuno Espirito Santo
Meanwhile, Josh King (£6.4m) and his Bournemouth colleagues proved once again that they are a completely different animal at home compared on the road. The Norwegian forward added a fourth goal in his last three matches at the Vitality Stadium, having strung together seven consecutive blanks away from home.
Penalties are obviously a big part of King’s appeal as he retains responsibility for them, especially with Callum Wilson (£6.3m) still out with an injury. He scored his first spot-kick of the day against Wolves but struck the post with his second. Eddie Howe does not appear too concerned by the miss, so King should stay the designated taker.
“It’s the life of a footballer – one minute you are up and the next you are down. That’s how the job is. I thought Joshua showed moments of real quality. He’s always a threat with his pace. He took his first penalty really well. Sometimes a second penalty can be difficult due to the mind games with the goalkeeper and especially at that stage of the game. On the first penalty, you are absolutely clear on your preferred side and then the second one comes and that’s where changing which way you go probably runs through your head. It was a pressure moment and, unfortunately, he just missed. But you always want players who are prepared to take responsibility and to put themselves in those positions. Joshua has been excellent for us and I would never criticise a player for taking a penalty.” – Eddie Howe
After a slow start to life at Bournemouth, Dominic Solanke (£4.7m) drew some attention for his performance in Blank Gameweek 27. He had an impressive six shots in the opposition penalty area, with just one player managing more than that across the latest weekend of fixtures. Only two of them were on target, but none of Solanke’s colleagues were able to match that. We will obviously need to see more the former Liverpool man before pushing him as a serious candidate for inclusion though, after three appearances all six of his penalty box shots as a Bournemouth player came on Saturday afternoon.
As already mentioned, Bournemouth’s away form of late has not compared favourably to their Vitality Stadium displays. Their Gameweek 28 match takes them to the Emirates Stadium on a record of eight consecutive road trip defeats, lost by a combined score of 23-3. If that wasn’t bad enough, they will now be without central midfielder Jefferson Lerma (£4.5m), who picked up his 10th Premier League yellow card of the season against Wolves and will now miss the next two matches. With Lewis Cook (£4.7m) and David Brooks (£5.0m) both out and Junior Stanislas (£6.0m) still an injury doubt, the Cherries will continue to look light in midfield against Arsenal.
“I was disappointed because Jeff has done so well since he has been on nine bookings to not pick up another one. We know how important he is to the team and to lose him for two games is a huge blow, especially with the squad looking thin with the injuries we have. But it is what it is and we will have to get on with it. He had a lot of bookings earlier in the season while he was adjusting to the English game. Yes, he picked up a lot of bookings last season for Levante, but he is that type of midfielder. Those are the qualities we wanted from him. We don’t want him suspended so the pleasing thing is that in the past couple of months he has been very mindful and watchful but has not let it impact his performances. He is capable of making selective decisions on challenges and steering clear of future suspensions.” – Eddie Howe
Also encouraging for owners of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£11.1m) and Alexandre Lacazette (£9.5m) was a questionable full debut from centre-back Chris Mepham (£4.5m). He was called into the first XI for the first time against Wolves following a groin injury to Steve Cook (£4.4m). He could have easily caused a fourth penalty in a spot-kick-filled game when he misjudged the flight of a clearance and touched the ball with his arm in the first half. There were also a few errors from Mepham that, if not addressed before the trip to Arsenal, could cost Bournemouth dearly.
“I thought there had been a foul just before so I was caught in two minds. I didn’t know if the ref had blown up or not. I haven’t seen it back but, hopefully, the ref made the right decision.” – Chris Mepham
Bournemouth XI (4-4-1-1): Boruc; A Smith, Aké, Mepham, Clyne; Fraser, Gosling, Lerma, Ibe; King; Solanke (Mousset 90+1′).
Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (3-5-2): Patrício; Boly, Coady, Bennett; Jonny, Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker (Traoré 77′), Doherty; Jota (Cavaleiro 66′), Jiménez (Saïss 88′).