Scout Notes

The FPL impact of Aït-Nouri’s debut on Saïss, Kilman and Podence

Wolves 2-0 Crystal Palace

  • Goals: Rayan Aït-Nouri (£5.0m), Daniel Podence (£5.5m)
  • Assists: Pedro Neto (£5.5m)
  • Bonus points: Aït-Nouri x3, Nelson Semedo x2 (£5.5m), Neto x1

CRY WOLF

Fantasy Premier League managers finally got a definitive clue to Nuno Espirito Santo’s long-term plans for his defence this season in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

And, much to the dismay of the 22.4% in possession of Romain Saïss (£5.3m), the top-scoring FPL defender in 2020/21, we received confirmation that his role is diminishing.

The return to fitness of Marçal (£4.9m) and the arrival of Rayan Aït-Nouri (£5.0m) had been creeping up on Saïss for the last few weeks as he stood in at left wing-back.

But the emergence of Max Kilman (£4.2m) has caught him between a rock and a hard place considering that his old job has now been taken too. Crucially, against Palace, Saïss stayed on the Wolves bench. Helpful for avoiding one-point cameos but increasing the need for nearly a quarter of managers to draw on their bench. 

Of FPL defenders, only Trent Alexander-Arnold (33.2%) and the injured Tyrick Mitchell (25.7%) came into Gameweek 7 with more owners than Saïss, who actually became the most popular in that position among the top 10,000 managers on Friday night.

The fact that he is no longer guaranteed starts could mean a large number of managers already have one transfer booked in for Gameweek 8, especially those who feel they cannot bench a non-playing asset at £5.3m. Interestingly, 8.2% of all managers own both Saïss and Mitchell, although the latter is easier to keep on the bench for a few weeks.

Accordingly, we could see a flash-sale of the Wolves man in the coming days, especially as his team’s upcoming fixtures now take a turn for the worse from a defensive perspective anyway. Wolves travel to Leicester, Arsenal and Liverpool between now and Gameweek 11.

RAYAN ADVENTURES

Meanwhile, any hope that Saïss might somehow fight his way back to either left wing-back or centre-back were dashed by fantastic performances from both Aït-Nouri and Kilman against Crystal Palace.

Considering he is a natural left wing-back, it should come as no surprise that Aït-Nouri offered a much better balance to the Wolves side than Saïss did. He was also on-hand to blast Cheikhou Kouyaté‘s (£5.0m) first-half clearance into the bottom corner of Vicente Guaita‘s (£5.0m) net to give Wolves a well-deserved lead.

Bombing forward with intent and energy, the 19-year-old matched what Nelson Semedo (£5.5m) offered on the right and, as a result, Crystal Palace struggled to cope with how wide the pitch became.

“(Aït-Nouri) is brilliant. He’s come in and learned the role inside out. He’s really sharp. Turns you inside out with his bag of tricks. Tonight, I thought he was brilliant.” – Conor Coady

“(Aït-Nouri) played good. He has a lot of talent. There is a lot to improve on the defensive aspect and the shape of the team. But to score on your debut is great.” – Nuno Espirito Santo

DEAR PODENCE

Arguably, the chief beneficiaries of the impact Aït-Nouri had on the Wolves team were for Daniel Podence (£5.5m) and Pedro Neto (£5.5m), who each got their third attacking returns of the season in Gameweek 7.

Each wing-back taking up advanced positions, and offering energy and enthusiasm to track back, although, admittedly Aït-Nouri was not as good at that part of the job as Semedo (which Nuno picked up on, based on the above quote). Generally, the extra pace in these areas allowed the two wingers much more freedom to roam forward and cause problems against Palace.

Podence was particularly lively in the early stages, as Wolves finally rediscovered how to start games on the front foot. It is telling that Aït-Nouri’s 18th-minute goal was their first scored in the first half since Gameweek 1.

Then, after teeing up Leander Dendoncker (£4.5m) for a seventh-minute headed effort and watching Guaita palm away a 10th-minute curled strike, Podence finally rewarded the patience of his 3.6% ownership with a first attacking return since Gameweek 2. 

Netting his first goal since this same fixture last season, the former Olympiacos man ghosted in at the back post to slot under Guaita after Neto had found space behind Patrick van Aanholt (£5.4m) for a cross.

ON THE SPOT

The 482,570 Fantasy managers who signed Wilfried Zaha (£7.3m) for Gameweek 7 were, naturally, disappointed to see him pick up just one point at Wolves.

The fact that Nuno’s men have kept four clean sheets from a possible seven now arguably makes his rather quiet display feel like more of an anomaly, considering he averaged 10 points per away game before Friday night.

With Leeds (home), Burnley (away), Newcastle (home) and West Bromwich Albion (away) up next, there is still plenty of reasons to be positive about Zaha’s credentials.

Not least because he might be back on penalties again after Luka Milivojevic‘s (£5.7m) short-lived return to the Crystal Palace side.

During the club captain’s absence, Zaha has taken on responsibility for spot-kicks. But, when the Eagles were awarded one in the first half at Molineux, it was, unsurprisingly, Milivojevic who prepared to take it.

In the end, the penalty was ruled out for an offside in the build-up but the fact the Serbian collected the ball and stood over it spoke volumes.

However, Zaha owners were handed something of a reprieve as Milivojevic was sent off for violent conduct in the closing stages. At present, his ban lasts three matches, which would, of course, be ideal for anyone wanting Zaha to take some more penalties.

That said, it would be worth keeping an eye on whether or not Palace decide to appeal the decision and try to shorten the suspension.

“I’m disappointed about the red card. I personally thought it was a fair challenge from Luka Milivojević. But the referee, unfortunately, had a different opinion.” – Roy Hodgson

Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (3-4-3): Patrício; Kilman, Coady, Boly; Aït-Nouri, Neves, Dendoncker, Semedo; Neto (Moutinho 76′), Jiménez (F Silva 90+1′), Podence (Traoré 76′).

Crystal Palace XI (4-4-2): Guaita; van Aanholt, Dann, Kouyaté, Clyne; Schlupp (Eze 65′), Riedewald, Milivojevic, Townsend (Ayew 72′); Zaha, Batshuayi (Benteke 84′).

LESSONS LEARNED FROM FPL GAMEWEEK 7

Become a Member and get unrestricted access to our data and articles

Full-year memberships are now available for the price of £19.99. Monthly subscriptions also cost just £2.99. A FREE trial is now available during December.

Join now to get the following:

  • Plot your transfer strategies using the fully interactive Season Ticker.
  • Get projections for every Premier League player provided by the Rate My Team statistical model.
  • Use Rate My Team throughout the season to guide your selections and transfers.
  • Get access to over 150+ exclusive members articles over the season.
  • Analyse our OPTA-powered statistic tables specifically tailored for Fantasy Football Managers.
  • Use our exclusive tool to build custom stats tables from over 100 OPTA player and team stats.
  • Enjoy our brand NEW Flat-Track Bully feature which introduces an opposition filter to your tables.
  • View heatmaps and expected goals data for every player.
  • Use our powerful comparison tool to analyse players head-to-head.

ALREADY A USER? CLICK HERE TO UPGRADE YOUR FREE ACCOUNT

NEW TO SCOUT? CLICK HERE TO START A MEMBERSHIP ACCOUNT

761 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Steirish
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Foden benched

  2. Captain Vantastic™
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Lol no Foden. Dodged a bullet

  3. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Foden benched!

    Season over

  4. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Foden benched again sigh

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Will score when subbed in

  5. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Yes Cancelo starts!

  6. Sim Simma 🤷 🔑 🚘
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    ⚽ Team News 📰
    SHU: Ramsdale, Stevens, Basham, Egan, Berge, Baldock, Osborn, Lowe, Ampadu, Brewster, McBurnie
    Subs: Verrips, Jack Robinson, Lundstram, Norwood, Burke, McGoldrick, Sharp

    MCI: Ederson, Dias, Walker, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Mahrez, Torres, Sterling
    Subs: Scott Carson, Eric García, Zinchenko, Aké, Stones, Gündogan, Foden

  7. KGFC
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Damn it, Foden benched.
    Bald fraud strikes again 😡 😡

  8. AC/DC AFC
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Goals at Bramall Lane?

    Only 1 for Sheffield United in the last 8 but 3 draws against Man City.

  9. dansmusen
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Yes Brewster in for Saiss...brilliant

    1. Cruyff's Eleven
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      How'd you do that?!

      My app won't let me...

    2. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      I started him 🙂

  10. Gudjohnsen
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Think I need to get rid of Foden

  11. Steve The Spud
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Foden > puli trigger loaded

    1. El Magico5
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Bowen

  12. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Foden benched

  13. S.Kuqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Foden is the new Dilva they said.

    Gtfo of my team

  14. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
    • 8 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Now raheem. Do your thing.

    1. Salan
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Potential HT.

  15. Magic Zico
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Pep is consistent

    1. Magic Zico
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Trolling

  16. AC Yew
    • 2 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Its gonna be one of those weeks where a full bench is paramount

  17. Sir Alex Telles.
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    foden out to who?

    1. Firminoooo
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      KdB

  18. _Ninja_
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Glad i sold Foden over Podence.

  19. Firmino
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Hopefully Foden owners have finally learned their lesson.

    1. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      What do you mean ? I know what to expect with foden.

    2. Keep Calm and Play On
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      He scored from the bench last time...remember?

    3. Pumpy Pro
      • 11 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      They won't. Like James and Saiss owners.

  20. Pompel
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Ollie Burpe has been a mistake. Who's the goto replacemnt?

    1. KAPTAIN KANE
      • 4 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Bissouma or if money allows Soucek

      1. Pompel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        5 months, 17 days ago

        Already maxed out on Brighton 😛

    2. Old Man
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Soucek

  21. abaalan
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Should i get rid of Saiss or Mitchell first, or just do both (free)?

    Was Mitchell out because of injury or dropped?

    1. Ajax Hamsterdam
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Both I think injured and dropped

  22. KAPTAIN KANE
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Brewster haul incoming leading to benchwankery

    1. Nanoelektronicar
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      My first sub.

  23. Keep Calm and Play On
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    I hope City get smashed this season and Guardiola gets sacked...what he deserves for playing with that lineup week in week out

  24. Babit1967
    • 4 Years
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Cmon Captain Sterling, do me proud

    1. Danno - Emre Canada
      • 6 Years
      5 months, 17 days ago

      Same here. ATB

      1. Babit1967
        • 4 Years
        5 months, 17 days ago

        Good luck

  25. Flair
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    5 months, 17 days ago

    Damn you Pep, he's been one of your best players ffs

  26. Joey Tribbiani
      5 months, 17 days ago

      oh nooo John Stones benched, season over

      1. Bennerman
        • 2 Years
        5 months, 17 days ago

        Hilarious. And you still have hundreds of games to make such brilliant jokes.

        1. Joey Tribbiani
            5 months, 17 days ago

            found the Foden owner, get mad over pixels lol

            1. Bennerman
              • 2 Years
              5 months, 17 days ago

              No, it's just tedious and adds zero

              1. Joey Tribbiani
                  5 months, 17 days ago

                  could be said about hundreds of other messages daily, make sure you point out their hilariousness aswell 😉

                  1. Bennerman
                    • 2 Years
                    5 months, 17 days ago

                    I just happened go be on here at this time.

        2. Wild Rover
          • 10 Years
          5 months, 17 days ago

          Lundstram paying the price for refusing new contract.

        3. Firminoooo
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          5 months, 17 days ago

          Kept KdB because he always hauls if I sell. A big haul now Kevin to save my season.

        4. Sun Jihai
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          5 months, 17 days ago

          KDB could be a huge differential here, not sure many have him

        5. Pumpy Pro
          • 11 Years
          5 months, 17 days ago

          people suprised that Foden is benched . Were you alive last week when he also started on the bench