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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avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/818/history”

1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. fcsaltyballs
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    So with Lascelles looking like he’s out for a few weeks, who is the best replacement??

    It would be my 3rd sub, already have Holding and can’t have Phillips as have 3 Liverpool already.

    Cheers

    1. Biggsy
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      This is such a bummer, thought Lascelles was a great pick.

      Kilman could be a good shout - likely to be in contention with Wolves' injuries. Masuaku probably best choice for likelihood of starting

      1. XX SMICER XX
        • 3 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Wolves injuries? Coady / Saiss Ok?

        1. Biggsy
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          Boly and Jony - Kilman could be in with a shout if Nuno plays three at the back

      2. Biggsy
        • 6 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Just to clarify - great pick as a cheap permanently benched player nailed on to start to bring in whilst on a WC - clearly Newcastle defence not one to target...

    2. Jamb0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Probably wouldn't waste a transfer on that tbh

    3. XX SMICER XX
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Not worth the transfer if 3rd sub

    4. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      If you prefer someone who plays then I’d go Masuaku/Diop at 4.3.

      If not then:
      Kilman 3.9
      Mitchell 3.8

    5. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Probably Masuaku, Cooper, Alioski (if you think he starts) Burnley/Brighton defender if you can afford. Slim pickings though

    6. GreennRed
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      More than thanks for update Salty. Had Lascelles to start and benched Shaw on WC knowing he's a slight doubt. Need a rejig now but thankfully not hearing about Lascelles after deadline. Nice one 🙂

      1. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        No worries at all big man.

        I think Shaw will start tbh mate

  2. Jamb0
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    What to do with this lot? 2FT's, 1.0itb:

    Areola
    Alonso Dias Rudiger
    Gundo Bruno Salah Lingard Raphinha
    Kane Antonio

    Martinez Watkins Shaw Veltman

    Was thinking Gundo -> Jota for free? yay or nay?

  3. Shark Team
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Guys pls help me with this headache:
    Who to start?
    1) Sanchez or Martinez?
    2) Dunk or Watkins?
    3) Raphinha or Bamford?

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Sanchez
      Dunk
      Raph

  4. KANTEnders
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    On WC best 1 week punt for a £9.7m mid or below? Looking to bring in son instead of him for GW32. Already got salah,lingard,Mahrez & Jota.

    1. boroie
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Torres

    2. XX SMICER XX
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      I like Pereira

      1. Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        This is a shout

    3. Jamb0
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Sterling would've been ideal.. maybe Mount

  5. Terry Tibbs: Top Pundit
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Think I'm settled on my WC.
    Any glaring mistakes?
    Mendy (Forster)
    TTA, Azpi, Holding (Coady, Reguilon)
    Salah, Son, Jota, Saka (Neto)
    Kane, Lacazette, Nacho.

    1. Lallana
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Looks really strong. I like the Lacazette pick. Not sure about Saka though. Also no Fernandes against Burnley(H)?

      1. Terry Tibbs: Top Pundit
        • 4 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        Saka to rotate with Neto and Nacho.
        Wanted Fernandes but couldn't have everyone.
        Went mostly with fixtures.

  6. boroie
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    A: Sterling(C) Vardy Christiansen(1st sub) Smith Rowe(third sub)

    B: Aguero(C) Sob Reguillon(1st sub) Jorginho(third sub)

    1. Big Al Stankovic
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      A

  7. unitednations
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    3 months, 23 days ago

    Best defence on a WC?

    Mendy Forster
    TAA Rudi XXX XXX XXX

    A: Shaw Holding Masuaku
    B: James Holding Coufal
    C: James Veltman Dawson

    1. Bennyboy1907
        3 months, 23 days ago

        A probably

        1. unitednations
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          thanks mate

    2. Lallana
      • 7 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      WC good to go? Not sure when I will use bench boost but thinking of downgrading Son to Maddison after DGW so I can upgrade Davis later on. Was also considering having Lloris over Mendy but will only go with 2 Spurs. I'm very tempted for Lingard, Iheanacho or Kane captain but will play it safe I feel.

      Mendy Forster
      TAA Holding Rudiger Coady Shaw
      Fernandes Lingard Salah (C) Son Jota
      Iheanacho Kane (v) 4.2

    3. b91jh
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      Down to the final 2 drafts. Who wins?

      A)
      Mendy Forster
      TAA Rudiger Holding Cresswell CASTAGNE
      Salah Bruno Jota Lingard MADDISON
      Kane Nacho WOOD

      B)
      Mendy Forster
      TAA Rudiger Holding Cresswell COADY
      Salah Bruno Jota Lingard ESR
      Kane Nacho VARDY

    4. Please Answer Me
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 23 days ago

      people still going for Shaw on a WC?

      1. Bennyboy1907
          3 months, 23 days ago

          Why not?

      2. fcsaltyballs
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 23 days ago

        So with Lascelles looking like he’s out for a few weeks, who is the best replacement??

        It would be my 3rd sub, already have Holding and can’t have Phillips as have 3 Liverpool already.

        Cheers

        Sorry further note, only have 4.2 to spend and I’m on WC so don’t need to use FT

        Thanks 🙂

        1. Biggsy
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 23 days ago

          Responded above

      3. Bennyboy1907
          3 months, 23 days ago

          On wc, anyone else considering Gundogan for this week and switch to Son for the double?

          Can’t stretch funds to do sterling

          1. AC/DC AFC
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Gundo won't start will he.

          2. Bennyboy1907
              3 months, 23 days ago

              Was rested last prem game

              1. Christina.
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Was rested last 2 prem games, but played 2 games in between...make of that what you want....

          3. Podorsky
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 11 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Final Piece of the puzzle: Play Raphinia or Watkins. Leaning Watkins remembering the previous game against Pool but Grealish is out and maybe City actually let in a few goals.

            1. Keeptrying
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              No Grealish is a huge factor. Raphinha more in form

            2. Big Al Stankovic
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              Actually raph. Think both teams will score in an open match, and raph is essential for their attack.

              1. Podorsky
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 11 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Thanks, I tend to agree-probably see Raph at City next season-amazing player!

          4. Big Al Stankovic
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Any Leicester supporters out there who have an opinion on How castagne have looked recently?

            Struggling to choose between him or Fofana.

          5. Thomas Magnum
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Better duo?
            A) Lucas Moura & Vardy
            B) Son & DCL (anyone in that price range)

            1. Biggsy
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              A - but don't really rate either Forwards as options (Nacho has similar underlying stats for much less, DCL well off the boil)

              1. Thomas Magnum
                • 5 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Yeah I'd just be hoping that Vardy gets a few counter attack goals and gets his scoring boots back. Not keen on DCL but needed someone for an example

          6. DannyDrinkVodka
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Final draft.....deeper bench to account for City rotation threat:

            Mendy
            TAA Stones Rudiger
            Salah(vc) Sterling(c) Son Jota Lingard
            Kane Nacho

            Vydra Shaw Holding Forster 0.4 ITB for Sterling>Bruno next week

            G2G?

            1. Keeptrying
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              G2G

          7. Taff
            • 12 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Any input on this WC draft much appreciated. Plan to hold Bamford as a reliable first sub. Do you think Holding and Matsuaka offer enough security of starts to cover rotation risk for other defenders?

            Mendy (Forster)
            TAA, Shaw, Rudi, (Holding, Matsuaka)
            Mo, Jota, Son, Bruno, Lindgard
            Kane, Nacho, (Bamford)

            1. AC/DC AFC
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              I'm not convinced by Holding recently.

              I'm moving him out when I wildcard next week.

            2. Keeptrying
              • 7 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              I think Masuaka is pretty much nailed.
              Not sure about Holding, he could be while David Luiz is injured (not sure for how long)

            3. Thomas Magnum
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              Might have to go with Cooper cause you'd think he starts every week as C

              1. Taff
                • 12 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Thanks all for responses. May look at Cooper as am just wanting to have a guaranteed 11 if Rudi, TAA or Shaw get rotated.

          8. Perthite
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Are all the WC teams on here doing it this week in order to BB next week?

            1. Biggsy
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              No, because I want to shift out three Leeds, two Villa as their fixtures all turn and also some City due to rotation risks only getting worse

          9. AD2110
            • 3 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Really stuck on what to do....would you WC this team or save it for GW33?

            Mendy, (Forster)
            Shaw, Cancelo, Veltmann, (Dallas, Targett)
            KDB, Gundo, Bruno, Jota, Son
            Kane, Watkins, (Bamford)

          10. Hryszko
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Think I'm finally settled on my WC, any thoughts or improvements?

            Mendy
            TAA - Rudiger - Dias
            Gundo - Bruno - Salah - Maddison - Jlingz
            Nacho - Kane

            Bench: Martinez - Vydra - Coufal - Veltman

            Have 1.4m in the bank so could always swap Nacho for someone like Bamford, Watkins, Adams, Maupay etc..

            1. PP6
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              WC and you don’t have Jota!? Are you high

              1. Hryszko
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Hahah, So Jota over who? Maddison?

          11. Fernandito
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            A Schmeichel & Shaw
            B Mendy & Fofana (have Rudiger)

            1. Chandler Bing
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              A for me

          12. waltzingmatildas
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 10 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Any last thoughts on this wc team?

            Sanchez Forster
            TAA Alonso Shaw Rudiger Coufal
            Salah Bruno Jota Gundo Raph
            Kane Nacho Diagne

            1. PP6
              • 2 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              Why Diagne and Raph?

          13. Chandler Bing
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 23 days ago

            Are we expecting Iheanacho to start even after Barnes and Maddison are back?

            1. Biggsy
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 23 days ago

              If Nacho keeps up the form, it'll be hard for Rodgers.

              Barnes is not due back anytime soon I believe and I think Maddi playing behind Nacho and Vardy is the likely line-up. Probably targeting Nacho to Bamford when the Leeds fixtures come good again.

          14. Zlatan F.C
              3 months, 23 days ago

              Plan is to do Gundo to Son next GW. I've gone for Fofana as a differential

              Rate my WC team out of 10 please. 3.4m in the bank to do Son next GW

              Mendy (Forster)
              Rudiger TAA Holding (Fofana) (Coufal)
              Salah Lingard Fernandes Guno Jota
              Nacho Kane (Vydra)

              1. PP6
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                I like it

                1. Zlatan F.C
                    3 months, 23 days ago

                    Cheers

              2. thomashl
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                On WC – at my wit's end here:

                Mendy
                Dias Azpi Shaw Holding
                Salah(c) Bruno Jota Son
                Kane Wood
                (Forster - Nacho Phillips Raphinha) 1.5itb

                Help appreciated!

                1. Biggsy
                  • 6 Years
                  3 months, 23 days ago

                  Upgrade Raphina with the ITB funds to play 3-5-2?

                  Otherwise what are your worries?

                  1. thomashl
                    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                    • 4 Years
                    3 months, 23 days ago

                    Cheers mate. A bit of Lingard FOMO, perhaps?

                    But I think I'll just upgrade Raphinha to Lingard, despite the underlying stats being better for Raph. I'd have probably benched R the next games anyways, whereas I'd play Lingard

              3. boroie
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                In last chance saloon territory. 2nd in my ML but 60 points behind the leader.

                Opponent is very standard template: Martinez, Areloa, Cancelo, Stones, Dallas, Digne, Perreira, Son, Salah, Bruno, Lingard, Raphinha, Kane, Watkins, Davis

                On WC so need risks are required. How is this looking?

                Leno
                TAA(VC) Semedo Rudiger
                Sterling(C) Salah Jota Neto
                Kane Ihenacho Vardy

                Forster; Christiansen Holding ESR

                Then I’ll switch Sterling out for Son next week.

              4. Lallana
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Thoughts on this WC? Plan to bench boost next week. Big flaw? No Bruno.

                Mendy Forster
                TAA Shaw Holding Rudiger Coady
                Salah Lingard Maddison Son Jota
                Lacazette Iheanacho Kane

              5. Michu 9
                • 2 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Martinez Areola

                Cresswell Dias Rudiger Dallas Struijk

                Bruno Son Lingard Gundogan Anguissa

                Kane Bamford DCL

                1 FT 6.6 in the bank

                A) Gundogan- Salah
                B) Gundogan- Jota
                C) Save
                D) Something else

              6. Jim's Janglies
                • 7 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                Does anyone have a link to the top 10k any season league?.... It has been a few years but in theory I qualify

              7. Oggle22
                • 4 Years
                3 months, 23 days ago

                G2G or need Chelsea? Not sure on 3 wolves!
                Leno
                TAA Coady Holding
                Salah Jota Son Bruno Neto
                Iheanaco Kane

                Forster Fabio Silva Amartey Mitchell

                Cheers