West Ham 0-2 Wolves
- Goals: Raúl Jiménez (£8.1m), Pedro Neto (£5.0m)
- Assists: Adama Traoré (£5.7m), Matt Doherty (£6.3m)
- Bonus Points: Doherty x3, Jiménez x2, Romain Saïss x1 (£4.6m)
The key Wolves players delivered as expected in Saturday’s 2-0 win over West Ham, setting themselves up as vital assets for the rest of the season.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men proved popular in the Fantasy community ahead of Double Gameweek 30+, offering the most appealing of the single Gameweek fixtures.
The routine nature of their victory at the London Stadium will have been of great encouragement to Fantasy managers, with upcoming matches against Bournemouth (home), Aston Villa (away) and Arsenal (home) on their minds.
Raúl Jiménez (£8.1m) is certain to be a near must-have option for the rest of 2019/20 as he remains the absolute model of consistency.
Spearheading Wolves’ attack on Saturday afternoon, he played 90 minutes, for the ninth time in the last 10 Gameweeks, and added his 20th attacking return of the campaign.
By comparison, Diogo Jota (£6.4m) lasted just 64 minutes before being replaced by Pedro Neto (£5.0m). For all his impressive lockdown form, the Portuguese international is yet to complete 90 minutes in the Premier League since Gameweek 17 – highlighting the worth in paying extra for Jiménez where possible.
Arguably to Jota’s detriment, it was his withdrawal from proceedings that allowed Wolves to ramp up their dominance over the Hammers.
For the opening hour, the visitors had smothered their hosts with possession but had not caused them an enormous number of issues. West Ham had largely been happy to sit deep in a compact shape considering the wealth of attacking riches they faced. This was arguably easier to execute than usual, without a vociferous home crowd to complain about a lack of venturing forth.
Wolves were comfortable if not too penetrative in their initial 3-5-2 formation, which featured Jota and Jiménez as the strike-pairing. But a switch to 3-4-3 ramped things up for Nuno’s men as the wide-forwards and wing-backs were able to support each other up and down the flanks.
Neto and Adama Traoré (£5.7m) came on for Jota and Leander Dendoncker (£4.4m), both players having a hand in the two goals.
Traoré gave Aaron Cresswell (£4.5m) a thirty-minute nightmare on the flanks, leaving him for dead in the 73rd minute, creating enough space to cross for a routine Jiménez headed goal.
Neto then slammed home a spectacular volley in the 84th minute, aided by a Matt Doherty (£6.3m) cross from the right-hand side.
While Jiménez increasingly looks head and shoulders above his attacking colleagues, there remain several assets worthy of consideration in the Wolves defence.
Doherty is the chief of those as he combined the assist for Neto’s goal with a clean sheet and maximum bonus – making for a 12-point haul.
The right wing-back went into lockdown in sensational form, averaging 6.8 points per game between Gameweeks 24 and 29 – and it already appears he is ready to continue in that vein.
It must be said that Doherty’s impact on the game came mostly after the switch to 3-4-3, so it will be interesting to see what shape Nuno will go with against Bournemouth.
Those without the funds for Doherty are still enjoying the value offered by Romain Saïss (£4.6m), who secured a seven-point score against West Ham.
The centre-back is now the go-to option in the back-three, with his propensity to pick up bonus points, finishing in the top three for BPS in three of the last four Gameweeks. He came away with one of those at the London Stadium despite not being involved in either Wolves goal.
With Nuno’s defence proving particularly productive recently, a double-up on Doherty and Saïss hardly feels out of the question either. Since Willy Boly (£4.8m) returned in Gameweek 25 they have kept five clean sheets from a possible six, conceding just twice.
Meanwhile, it is difficult to get too excited about the West Ham assets on offer, even if they were outdone by one of the most organised sides in the Premier League.
Without Sebastien Haller (£7.3m) and Angelo Ogbonna (£4.5m) out injured, they were missing some quality at both ends of the pitch against Wolves, Declan Rice (£4.7m) and Michail Antonio (£6.9m) filling in in their respective roles.
There was not much Antonio to do up against Saïss, Boly and Conor Coady (£5.1m) while the attacking midfield trio of Felipe Anderson (£6.6m), Pablo Fornals (£6.0m) and Jarrod Bowen (£6.5m) did not find enough rhythm to support him.
Up next for the Hammers are two London derbies against Spurs (away) and Chelsea (home), which could draw out their best, but it is hard to expect that from David Moyes’ men.
As already explained, it was obvious that the absence of fans allowed West Ham to sit much deeper than usual against Wolves. That perhaps indicates that the Hammers will suffer from the lack of a crowd chivvying them along. We will need some more outings before being able to confirm that though.
West Ham United XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski; Cresswell, Rice, Diop, Ngakia (Fredericks 81′); Soucek, Noble; F Anderson (Lanzini 67′), Fornals (Yarmolenko 81′), Bowen; Antonio.
Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (3-5-2): Patrício; Saïss, Coady, Boly; Jonny (Vinagre 90′), Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker (Traoré 64′), Doherty; D Jota (Neto 64′), Jiménez (Gibbs-White 90+2′).
Double Gameweek 30+ FPL Lessons Learned
- Aston Villa 0-0 Sheffield United
- Manchester City 3-0 Arsenal
- Norwich City 0-3 Southampton
- Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United
- Watford 1-1 Leicester City
- Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 Arsenal
- West Ham United 0-2 Wolves
- Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
- Newcastle United 3-0 Sheffield United
- Aston Villa 1-2 Chelsea
- Everton 0-0 Liverpool
- Manchester City 5-0 Burnley
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