Pro Pundits - Tom

Why unpredictable Wolves formation has me worried about their FPL assets

Tom Freeman has finished in the top 1k five times in his Fantasy Premier League career. He has been weighing up Wolves and Leicester ahead of Gameweek 31.


As we approach the business end of the season, in this week’s column, I’m going to have a look at Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have a tasty run of fixtures from Gameweek 31 to 35.

I will also pick out a few players that I’m considering for the run-in, and include my plans for Gameweek 31.

Shall we begin?

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

With eight games remaining, Wolves sit 14th in the Premier League table, nine points above the relegation zone. It looks like they are destined for a mid-table finish, and with seemingly very little to play for, it’s a tad off-putting. 

However, their next five fixtures come against teams below them in the table, and are as good as you are likely to see in FPL terms:

At the back, Jonny (£5.4m) has suffered another ACL injury, and Willy Boly (£5.4m) is self-isolating having tested positive for COVID-19. 

That raises alarm bells, especially given their performance without them earlier this week, but rather than the personnel available to Nuno Espírito Santo, I am more interested in the system he settles on for the remainder of the season.

The 4-2-3-1 formation they used against West Ham United in Gameweek 30 is naturally more attacking, and boy is it fun to watch, but it does leave them open.

Above: Wolves’ average position map in Gameweek 30.

Results like Monday’s, plus the goal-fests served up against West Bromwich Albion and Brighton and Hove Albion back in January, highlight the unpredictable nature of the setup. 

If they are to persist with it, with one eye on 2021-22, Pedro Neto (£5.7m) becomes an excellent FPL option. In Gameweek 30, the young winger provided an assist, created four chances and had five goal attempts, more than any other player on the pitch. 

The 4-2-3-1 does have implications at the other end though, and definitely makes their defensive options less appealing. The current midfielders just do not offer enough protection to a back four, which often leaves Conor Coady (£4.8m) and Romain Saïss (£4.9m) exposed.

However, in their usual 3-4-3 shape, they look more solid and tend to defend much better. In fact, in their past five games using a back-three they have conceded just six goals, and four of those were at Manchester City. In this setup, Coady becomes more appealing, especially now he is going up for set-pieces.

Frustratingly, at this stage we have no idea which formation Nuno will use in the coming weeks. Due to that uncertainty, I’m avoiding for now, but am hopeful tomorrow night’s meeting with Fulham will tell us more, and reveal if I should be targeting Coady or Neto in Gameweek 32.

JAMES MADDISON

Another player I’m eyeing up for Gameweek 32 is fit-again Leicester City midfielder James Maddison (£7.1m). The playmaker recently missed six matches through injury, but returned with an appearance off the bench against Man City last weekend.

He has already scored 11 goals this season, eight of which have come in the Premier League, and as you can see on the graphic below, he has been shooting in better locations, and closer to goal, since the turn of the year.

Above: Maddison’s shots heatmap from Gameweek 1-16 (left) and 17-30 (right).

Everything goes through him at Leicester, as he leads the way amongst team-mates for final-third touches, successful crosses and chances created, plus expected assists (xA). 

Personal motivation could be a key factor, too. The only way Maddison can force his way back into the England setup is by playing a starring role for the Foxes during the run-in, which sees Brendan Rodgers’ side take on West Brom, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle United between Gameweeks 32 and 35.

GAMEWEEK 31 + CHIP STRATEGY

Having used my second Wildcard in Gameweek 26, and Bench Boosting the week after, I’m left with the Triple Captain and Free Hit chips.

I will probably Triple Captain Harry Kane (£11.7m) in Double Gameweek 32, then FH in 33 or 35.

This week, I’m considering selling Kevin De Bruyne (£11.9m), who will probably be benched, for Mohamed Salah (£12.4m), who I will then hand the armband. I may also look at a defensive move, with Trent Alexander-Arnold (£7.3m) a likely target if I do take a hit.

So, thanks for reading all, and best of luck in Gameweek 31.

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1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. kysersosa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    A) Alonso
    or
    B) Rudiger

    till end of the season.

    TIA

    1. Balls of Steel
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      B more nailed

  2. The Colonel
    • 7 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Thoughts on this WC team?

    Lloris, Forster

    Dias, Dallas, Rudiger, Coady, Phillips

    Salah, Sterling, Son, Jota, Neto

    Kane, Iheanacho, Vydra

    1. jimbo_smells
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      It's something a little different - so I like it! Planning on a 3-5-2? No Bruno is brave but could pay off.

      1. The Colonel
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Thanks. Yes, Sterling will become Bruno or someone else next week.

    2. maratus
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      You dont have GK for 33.

      1. The Colonel
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        FH that week. I have BB and TC as well.

  3. jimbo_smells
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Hi all,

    Would you wildcard this lot: ?

    Mendy, Martínez
    Dias, Coufal, Alonso, Reguilón, Dallas
    Fernandes, Raphinha, Son, Lingard, Gündogan
    Kane, Bamford, Antonio

    (3.9m itb)

    Or can I get away with Antonio -> Ihenacho/Lacazette + maybe Raph -> Jota for this week?

    Think then looks OK for GW32 so could WC33 to sort out blanks.

    1. The Colonel
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Don't think you need to WC. You have 3x Spurs for the double and no other major surgery required 🙂

  4. Louis Van Gaalstones
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Looking over the stats/expected points for Lacazette and Wood for this week, because statistically in the last 6 gameweeks they're pretty similar points wise.

    Wood is expected to score 4.7 against Newcastle to Lacazette's 3.0 against Sheffield United, even though Sheffield are lower down in all the xGC stats - I really don't understand how that's been calculated, can anyone enlighten me?

    1. fplking14
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Laca was dreadful last night

      1. Louis Van Gaalstones
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Yeah agreed, but those aren't taken into account for fpl stuff - no?

    2. Pompel
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I think it's due to lower expected minutes xM = 63 for vs 79 , which you will see if hovering pointer over score

  5. HIAFL (Howe to Train your D…
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Messed up the previous post

    Better combo on wc

    A) Neto Shaw
    B) Lingard Fofana

    1. g40steve
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Can you do Lingz & Shaw?

  6. g40steve
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Morning does the bench look correct & C & VC?

    Mendy,
    Rüdiger, Shaw, Dias,
    Son, Sterling C, Lingz, Jota VC, Bruno,
    Kane, Watkins,

    Martinez, Bamford, Dallas, Cresswell,

    .9

    1. HIAFL (Howe to Train your D…
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Maybe cresswell for watkins

      1. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        I though with Jack back he might spring into life, Cresswell well will be lucky to get away with a CS against Vardy & gang?

  7. wonkeydonkey
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    On WC, thinking BB35. Not sure I like the BB32 because of Forster, Vydra fixtures but open to suggestions...

    Mendy (Forster)
    Phillips, Rudiger, Holding, (Castagne, Shaw)
    Salah (C), Jota, Son, Bruno, Maddison
    Kane, Nacho, Vydra

    Fairly low TV, only £0.3m itb. Any ideas on how to improve for this week or future BB?

    1. wonkeydonkey
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I could go for Fofana & James instead of Castagne & Holding, but then that weakens the GW35 BB

  8. Bobby_Baggio
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Morning all. G2G or use FT? 1.7m ITB.

    McCarthy
    Dias - Coufal - Azpi
    Lingard - Bruno - Salah - Raphinha - Gundo
    Bamford - Kane

    (Martinez) - Antonio - Dunk - Alioski

    A) Save
    B) Raphinha > Jota
    C) Antonio > Iheanacho
    D) Raphinha + Antonio > Jota + Iheanacho (-4)

    1. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Bench Raph sell Dunk/Alioski and start replacement?

  9. Thomas Magnum
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Which combo?
    A) TAA & Lucas Moura
    B) Phillips & Son

    1. Balls of Steel
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      A

    2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I am going with A personally.

    3. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Thanks fellas

  10. fplking14
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    WC Team:

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Coady Rudiger Fofana Shaw
    Sterling Bruno Jota Lingard Neto
    Kane Nacho Watkins

    Thoughts?

    1. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Loooks good, could downgrade a defender later on if need be

  11. Ha.
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Bruno or Salah?

    1. Balls of Steel
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Surely you need both!

      1. Ha.
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Well no, that's why it's 'or'?

        1. ebb2sparky
          • 10 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Probably Salah this week but you do need both

        2. Balls of Steel
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          If you own Jota then Bruno if not Mo!

    2. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Salah if catching up Bruno if holding rank

  12. aidmata
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Start Vydra or Saka?

    1. Konstaapeli
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Saka

  13. Old Gregg
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Morning,

    Areola
    Alonso-Rudiger-Shaw-Stones
    Gundo-Mount-Son-Bruno
    Kane-Iheanancho

    Martinez-Raph-Bam-Burn

    a) Raph>Jota (-4)
    b) Gund > Jota (-4)
    c) nah

    1. Old Gregg
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      sorry, which move please

    2. Konstaapeli
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Nah

  14. CROYDON DE BRUYNE
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    G2G?

    Leno
    Coady Christensen Phillips
    Salah KDB Bruno Jota Lingard
    Kane Wood

    Forster, Iheanacho, Shaw, Mitchell

    1. rebecs
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Looks good minus Leno (Arsenal cannot keep a clean sheet) and KDB may have managed minutes.
      Could you do Mendy and Son instead?

  15. kysersosa
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Thoughts on this WC 1st Draft

    Martinez (Forster)
    TAA, Alonso, Stones, Targett, Coady
    Salah, Jota, Gund, Bruno, mount
    Kane, Iheanacho, Vydra

    01 ITB.

    Would like to see Vydra become a more prominent striker, but I think with the fixtures left - slim pickings. Maybe Watkins.

    TIA

    1. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      It looks good, the mid range forwards are killer, none stand out. Also hav Vydra but not totally convinced either. Let me know if you find a better forward option for him though haha

  16. Baines on Toast...
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Would folks consider DCL > Nacho for free this week? XGI numbers are insane, Rice is out and Leicester will want to avenge the 3-0 last time. DCL missed two 1-1s last time but I'm not sure if that's good (he's getting them) or bad (he's missing them).

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Since the game is away to Brighton, where the chances are likely to be low, I would go for Dom to Nacho move...

  17. FPL_Hazards
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Just need to decide on defence, which team is best lads?

    Team 1

    Leno - Forster
    James - TAA - Reguilon - Masuaku - Rudiger

    Team. 2
    Lloris - Martinez
    Dias - Shaw - Holding - Philips - Rudiger

    Rest of squad is just the new template:-

    Salah - Son - Bruno - Jota - Lingard
    Kane - Iheanacho - Vydra

    1. Balls of Steel
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      2

  18. rebecs
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Thoughts on my wildcard?

    Mendy - Forster
    TAA - Rudiger - Shaw - Phillips - Lowton
    Salah - Gundo - Lingard - Fernandes - Jorginho
    Kane - Vardy - Vydra

    Chips left: FH & BB
    0.3 ITB with this team

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

      WC but only Kane for TOT players?

  19. TeddiPonza
    • 10 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Play one of:

    A. Shaw
    B. Raphinha
    C. Watkins

    Thanks

  20. fcsaltyballs
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    On a WC, would you go, 4.2 budget:

    1. Lascelles
    2. Burn
    3. Other ?

    1. Herman Toothrot
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Do you have Holding already?

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Yes I do sorry should’ve said, and have 3 pool so can’t do Phillips

    2. Balls of Steel
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Holding?

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Yes I do sorry should’ve said, and have 3 pool so can’t do Phillips.

    3. Pukkipartyy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Holding?

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Yes I do sorry should’ve said, and have 3 pool so can’t do Phillips..

    4. Danno - Emre Canada
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Burn hasnt played the last few has he? Phillips? Holding?

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Yes I do sorry should’ve said, and have 3 pool so can’t do Phillips...

    5. fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Sorry already have Holding, and can’t have Phillips as have 3 pool

  21. Eastman
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Chris wood for a week?

  22. No end product
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Probably similar dilemmas but which way to go on WC?

    A. TAA, Laca, Shaw
    B. Bruno, Phillips, Vydra

    I'm bringing in Salah regardless but can fit him in with either scenario.

    1. ebb2sparky
      • 10 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Out of those 6 Bruno is most important but unless Phillips and Vydra are bench fodder then hard to recommend B

  23. Balls of Steel
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 11 days ago

    Who's most likely to fill the striker role at West Ham now that Antonio is out?

    1. Pukkipartyy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Lingz or Bowen?

      1. Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Yeah most likely this, probably Bowen starts higher but they might change during the game

        1. Balls of Steel
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Thought that was most likely scenario, cheers

  24. Hitthewall
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Pick 2 on WC:
      A) Rüdiger
      B) Coady
      C) Castagne

      GK is Mendy

      1. ZAMUNDA
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Castagne and Rudiger

    • KeepCalm
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Any Brighton supporters help me predict whether Burn will start?

    • Ha.
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      I think I'm settled on my WC - thoughts?

      Leno
      Azpi, TAA, Dias
      Salah, Gundo, Bruno, Son, Jota
      Kane, Iheanacho

      Forster, Coady, Holding, Vydra

      1. drughi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        solid

    • Maddamotha
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Would you do one of these? I've got both Kane and Bruno too btw.
      I'd probably go with Son, but he has a double next game week..

      A) Rashford > KDB
      B) Son > KDB

    • Taegugk Warrior
      • 3 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Why there is so much love for leno...? are ARS defence & he really good..?

      1. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Fixtures, thats about it

      2. Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        I think it's purely fixtures based, only explanation I could muster up

    • drughi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Lingard or Neto on wildcard ? Worried that lingards output without antonio wont be so great

      1. Pukkipartyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Lingard 100%

      2. Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Still Lingard, easier to downgrade to Neto after than upgrade from Neto if say Lingard starts as striker or keeps his form up or something and you'll want him.

      3. Baines on Toast...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Neto is brilliant but needs a better striker to convert chances. JLingz will outscore him and get more bonus by winning games.

      4. drughi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 11 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        cheers all

    • -GK22-
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      2 months, 11 days ago

      Gtg, shaw flagged

      Mendy
      Shaw, TAA, Mendy
      Sterling, Jota, Lingard, Bruno
      Kane, Wood, Nacho

      Forster, Phillips, Raphinha, Dallas

      1. Pukkipartyy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        Very nice! Is this Wc?

        1. -GK22-
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Yes WC team

      2. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 11 days ago

        G2G

        Mendy?

        1. -GK22-
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 11 days ago

          Yeah punt against Leeds and can move on in a week of fail?