Fantasy managers now have a tough decision to make on their Wolves assets for the final Gameweek of the season.
A selection of them got returns in the 1-0 win over Fulham but a trip to Anfield next weekend may not prove as fruitful.
We’ve assessed how Nuno Espirito Santo’s men got on in Gameweek 37 and what clues we spotted for their prospects on the last day of the campaign.
Wolves 1-0 Fulham
Goals: Leander Dendoncker (£4.3m)
Assists: Matt Doherty (£5.4m)
Bonus: Doherty x3, Joao Moutinho x2 (£5.2m), Jonny x1 (£4.3m)
Owners of Diogo Jota (£6.3m) can consider themselves unfortunate not to have got any attacking returns on Saturday afternoon. The Wolves man enjoyed a hatful of chances against Fulham, registering more than double the number of shots in the box than any other player, but could not put any of them in the back of the net. It was one of those performances that certainly indicated it wasn’t to be his day with the opportunities that he missed.
In the first half, Jota dragged several shots wide of the far post and in the second half, he had his best chance. The ball came out to him following a cleared cross and he produced a rasping half-volley effort at goal which forced an incredible save out of Sergio Rico (£4.4m) to tip it over the bar. Perhaps the fact that Jota was booked for diving in the early exchanges of the match truly set the tone for his outing.
“I was worried all the game because we were facing Fulham, a very difficult, well-organised team. They have good players and Scott is doing a good job there. We created good chances in the first half, but Fulham also played well and made it hard for us.” – Nuno Espirito Santo
Owners of Raúl Jiménez (£7.0m) have slightly more cause for concern. While Jota had plenty of chances to get attacking returns, the Mexican was quiet once again, just as he was against Brighton and Arsenal. He had just one effort in the box against Fulham and is now without a goal at home since Gameweek 29.
Despite all their success in the Premier League this season, Jiménez and Jota may well find themselves on Fantasy chopping blocks for Gameweek 38. The Mexican, in particular, has looked peripheral in recent weeks, and his owners might not fancy him to score away at Liverpool. Wolves may have a good record against the top six but the Reds’ quest to win a first-ever Premier League title, and their ruthless home form, could override that.
Furthermore, both Jiménez and Jota have generally struggled to match output levels at Molineux on their travels this season. The Mexican has averaged 0.4 goals per home game in 2018/19 and 0.3 on the road, while Jota compares even less favourably. He has also recorded 0.4 goals per home game this year as well as 0.2 assists – which is better than 0.1 goals per away game and 0.1 assists. Considering that Liverpool have the best defensive record in front of their own fans this season, there are plenty of reasons to be worried about Wolves’ attacking assets.
Matt Doherty (£5.4m) is probably in a similar position in the minds of his owners, despite another impressive performance against Fulham. He was his usual attacking self, enjoying two textbook back post opportunities on Saturday afternoon, putting one of them in the net before being flagged offside. In the end, he came away with an assist for an emerging asset in the Wolves midfield.
Leander Dendoncker (£4.3m) finally got on the scoresheet after offering some serious threat in recent weeks. His role alongside Joao Moutinho (£5.2m) and Rúben Neves (£4.9m) has allowed him to make insightful runs into the box recently, which is how he was able to convert Doherty’s cross against Fulham. The Belgian midfielder had earlier hit the crossbar too so offered plenty of threat. While there doesn’t look to be an opportunity to invest Dendoncker between now and the end of the season, the fact that Jiménez and Jota are the only Wolves players with higher xG in the last four matches suggests he could be looked at for 2019/20.
“We had to stay focused and continue to create chances, but the moment of the goal was so well played, and it was worth the wait. We broke with the movement of Leander and I’m so happy for him, happy for the boys, because it’s not only about today, but about the season.” – Nuno Espirito Santo
As it turned out, rotation was less of a problem for Fantasy managers than some had feared. Nuno had hinted that he would use this game as an opportunity to ensure all of his squad had earned a taste of Premier League football this season, but he only did so after securing the result he wanted. He named the strongest possible side and brought Max Kilman (£4.0m) and Will Norris (£3.9m) on for Willy Boly (£4.7m) and Rui Patrício (£4.5m) respectively only for the dying embers of stoppage time.
Fulham did not offer a huge deal for Fantasy managers to consider ahead of a Gameweek 38 meeting with Newcastle. They had just three shots in the box all afternoon and rarely troubled Patrício’s net. Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.3m) may well be turned to as an eleventh-hour differential on the final day of the season given his strength in the air and Newcastle’s vulnerability to headers although he was a little off his game at Molineux. His best chance was admittedly not put in the air for him but was still a decent chance. Cyrus Christie (£4.2m) threaded an excellent ball inside full-back Jonny, which put Ryan Sessegnon (£6.0m) through with enough space to square it to Mitrovic. However, the Fulham forward could only blaze over from close range when he really should have scored.
Wolves XI (3-5-2): Patricio (Norris 90+3′); Boly (Kilman 90+3′), Coady, Bennett; Jonny (Vinagre 90+4′), Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker, Doherty; Jota, Jiménez.
Fulham XI (5-3-2): S Rico; Bryan, Ream, Le Marchand, Christie, R Sessegnon (Ayité 82′); Zambo Anguissa (Elliot 88′), Chambers, Cairney; Babel, Mitrovic.