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.

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

Full-year memberships are now available, as are monthly subscriptions. A FREE trial is now available.

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

avfc82 https://fantasy.premierleague.com/entry/894/history”

1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Newms
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Why is everyone going Rudiger over Christensen?

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Silva will replace Christensen (apparently)

    2. boroie
      • 2 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Rudiger is up against Zouma for his position

      Christiansen is up against Silva for his

      Pretty sure that when everyone is fit Tuchel’s preferred 5 is:

      James Azpi Silva Rudiger Alonso

      And his preferred 4 is:

      Azpi Silva Rudiger Chilwell

    3. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Not sure really haha. Think due to past starts and threat of Silva even though he must be in the bad books after his red

  2. Sterling Archer
    • 4 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    most indecisive ive been all season!

    Wish i had Salah, a haul will be rank killing as he will be captained by the mass, unless KDB plays, in which case i would want him captain but i doubt he'll play!!

    it would be a -4 to do the swap

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      I'm not sure if he will be captained "mass", he was owned by less than 40% last week.

  3. boroie
    • 2 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    A - Coady and Burke
    B - Christiansen and ESR

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      A

    2. Thomas Magnum
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      A just

    3. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      A for the defender, but not a fan of Burke - would try and find 0.1m elsewhere if you can for ESR and Coady

  4. Thomas Magnum
    • 5 Years
    2 months, 8 days ago

    Sorry for all the Q's but which defender to complete the defense
    TAA Dias Rudiger Phillips x
    Up to 5 million

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Coady

    2. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      You want cheap - can't see a situation you won't play TAA, Dias and Rudiger as first choice and Phillips seems nailed.

      Coady for me (have same except Masuaku for Phillips)

      1. Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Thanks, I agree with that. Do want to keep options open for a 4 defender formation but can't see whomever starting every week. Coady makes the most sense thanks to fixtures but worry what will come of the change in tactics due to Jonny injury

    3. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Coady?

    4. Zlatan F.C
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Fofana

      • Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Thanks all, looks like Coady is the popular choice. Will have a look

    5. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      2 months, 8 days ago

      Feel like I'm settled pending anything from this afternoon's pressers

      Midfield slot

      Salah, Bruno, Jota, Lucas Moura & ........

      a. Mount
      b. Lingard
      c. Gundo

      Probably will keep them for a few weeks and do Lucas to Maddison after 32

      1. Thomas Magnum
        • 5 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        B I think, most nailed and in form

      2. Holmes
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        B

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

        B

      4. artvandelay316
          2 months, 8 days ago

          C, because although the other two are on form, if Gundo plays he could rake in massive points.

      5. g40steve
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Can Lingard keep up these double digit scores, Capt the previous week & only took it off him just before deadline to Son - horror show ?
        Bought in Sterling to C but keep switching to Lingz.

        1. St Pauli Walnuts
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Lack of Antonio may be a hinderance, he holds it up and makes a lot of space for Ling the merciless.

      6. Bobby_Baggio
        • 10 Years
        2 months, 8 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)
        E) Dunk/Alioski > 6.7m def

        1. Killitzer
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          I have a similar team except I went for Jota instead of Salah.

          Think you can save an 2FT might be helpful next week if you want to bring in Son

      7. Newms
        • 4 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Which player would you punt on for one week before bringing Son in for 32?
        Value less than Son's.

        1. Killitzer
          • 11 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Jota?

        2. Hy liverpool
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 8 days ago

          Sterling

      8. Hryszko
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Okay, final draft.. how's she looking?

        Mendy
        TAA - Rudiger - Dias
        Salah (c) - Bruno - Jota - Lingaard - Gundo
        Kane - Nacho

        Bench: Martinez - Vydra - Coufal - Veltman

        1.4m in the bank.

      9. Bavarian
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        WC Team, am I G2G?

        Mendy
        TAA-Shaw-Rudiger
        Salah-Son-Gundogan-Lingard-Jota
        Kane-Vardy

        Forster-Coady-Coufal-Brewster
        0.1 itb

      10. Lallana
        • 7 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Which wildcard?

        Mendy Forster
        TAA Shaw Holding Rudiger Coady
        MADDISON Lingard Salah (C) Son Jota
        LACAZETTE Iheanacho Kane

        Bench Boost next week...

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

      11. Bavarian
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Any info about Shaw's knock?

      12. maratus
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Will Amartey keep his starting spot?

      13. kysersosa
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        WC Draft 2

        Thoughts - predominantly a 352

        Martinez
        TAA, Ruduger, Stones
        Salah, Maddison, Bruno, Mount, Gund
        Kane, Nacho

        Forster, Targett Coady

        0.5 ITB

        TIA

      14. Gizzachance
        • 6 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        w/c thoughts appreciated
        ederson
        rudiger castagne phillips
        salah(C) bruno son ling jota
        kane ineacho

        foster vydra shaw coady
        cheers

      15. Eh, just one more thing ...
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 9 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Do we think Mount and Maddison both start this weekend?

        Maddy just back from injury ... and mount playing 80 mins in Europe midweek .. with FA cup and Euro 2nd leg on horizon?

      16. LloristheHounds
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        WC team

        Mendy(Forster)
        TAA, Alonso, rudiger, holding(Mitchell)
        Salah(C), sterling, jota, (Smith rowe, raphina)
        Kane, vardy, ihenacho

        Sterlo to son gw32
        Son to Bruno gw33

        Thoughts??

      17. EltonCPT1
        • 1 Year
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Play JWP vs WBA
        -4 transfer Sterling in for JWP plus captain?

        Thanks

      18. LloristheHounds
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        A) vardy, (Smith rowe) ,(Mitchell)
        Or
        B) (vydra), son, (veltman)

        (bench)

      19. LloristheHounds
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 8 days ago

        Vardy or son on WC?