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, monthly subscriptions and a FREE trial are all 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/818/history”

1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Lexi2014
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 6 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Injury to Antonio has scuppered my plans for this week..

    Will be doing Antonio -> Inheancho for free.

    Should I take a -4 to do Raphina to Jota in too?

    Or should I wildcard? Was hoping to save till GW33...

    Martinez (McCarthy)
    Cresswell / Dunk / Dias / Lowton (Konsa)
    Bruno / Mount / Son / Raphina (Soucek)
    Kane / Bamford (Antonio)

    1. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 17 days ago

      I think Raphinha could do well this week.

    2. CONNERS
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      I think I'd want at least one Liverpool player for this weekend, ownership is rising rapidly.

      The hit should pay off imo. I don't see Leeds getting much from the City game.

  2. Fernandito
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Last one...i think lol

    A Castagne & Saka
    B Fofana & Neto

    1. Eat my goal!
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      B

    2. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Are you playing the defender every week? What about the midfielder.

      If the Mid is your 7th attacker and plays then B. If the defender is going to play more weeks and mid be benched then A.

  3. Eat my goal!
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Bottomed - Setup correct here?

    Pope
    Stones azpi cresswell
    (J)ota salah lingz gundo Bruno
    Kane iheanacho

    Martinez Dcl veltman dallas

    1. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      IMO yes, good team.

      1. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Thanks - pope has to come good at some point

    2. Bubbles1985
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Good team.

      Captain Jota??

      1. Eat my goal!
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Yeah - Taa starting to fire crosses in. Pinnacle of Liverpool attack.

        1. Bubbles1985
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Agreed but worried he doesn't start.
          I have him vice behind Kane...

          Maybe I need to grow a pair!

    3. JabariParkersEyelid
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 1 Year
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Side looks great.

  4. FPLMACKEM
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Which WC squad??

    A) The TAA version

    Mendy, Forster
    Coady, Holding, Rudiger, TAA, Amartey?
    Salah, Jota, Bruno, Neto, Son
    Vydra, Kane, Iheanacho

    Leaves 0.2 itb

    B) The non TAA version

    Mendy, Forster
    Coady, Holding, Rudiger, Phillips, Dias
    Salah, Jota, Bruno, Lingard, Son
    Vydra, Kane, Iheanacho

    Leaves 0.8 itb

    1. Michelle Davin
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      A I think.Similar to mine except I got Lingard instead of Neto and konsa

      1. FPLMACKEM
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I don't have the cash for Neto on A unless I downgrade elsewhere.

    2. jason_ni
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Easier to ask
      A) TAA ,Amartey, neto
      Vs
      B) Dias, Philips, Lingard

      50/50.

      Do you have bb,or why such a strong squad?

      1. FPLMACKEM
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Yes I still have my BB to play.

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

    On wildcard, which pair of defenders?

    A: Shaw and Holding

    B: Coady and Coufal

    1. RAFA THE GAFFA
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      A

    2. Lexi2014
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      A for me

  6. RAFA THE GAFFA
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    What you think guys? Still got WC & BB.

    A. Digne >> TAA (-4)
    B. Play WC
    C. G2G

    Martinez
    Dias. Alonso. Digne. Coufal
    Bruno. Son. Lingard. Jota
    Kane(C). DCL
    (McCarthy. Raph. Bamford. Dallas)

    1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
      • 9 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      I think you're good to go.
      No need to wildcard just yet.

      1. RAFA THE GAFFA
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Thanks mate. Play Coufal or Raph/Bam?

  7. George Agdgdgwngo
    • 11 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Do we reckon Gundo starts?

    Quite tempted to do Gundo > Jota

    1. avfc82
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 11 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Having been rested last weekend, I think so yes, but it’s hard to call.

  8. Mr_Barbs
    • 3 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Most important transfer this week?
    A) Raphina > Jota
    B) Antonio > inheanacho

    1. Pukki Party
      • 4 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      A

    2. Lexi2014
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 6 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      I’m in the same boat but going B

    3. Honourvolley
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      3 months, 17 days ago

      b

  9. Pukki Party
    • 4 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Gtg save ft?

    Martinez
    TAA Alonso Rudiger Shaw
    Son Bruno Gundogan Jota
    Kane DCL

    Forster Iheanacho Phillips Raphina

  10. abaalan
    • 5 Years
    3 months, 17 days ago

    Just looked at what a shambles my team is... Tierney, Odegaard, Antonio all injured. Also have triple Leeds (MCI away) who I was planning to move on.

    any chance the injured trio can play?
    1 FT, 6.4 ITB - what to prioritise?

  11. Rabb05
      3 months, 17 days ago

      Decided to rip up my template WC team and go for something a bit more adventurous. Playing 3-4-3 with Neto and Pereira vying for 4th midfield slot fixture dependent. Lloris will be sold to a cheaper option after the dgw. Any thoughts welcome!

      Lloris
      Alonso Cresswell Rudiger
      Bruno Salah (c) Jota Neto
      Kane Nacho Laca

      Sanchez Coady Pereira Philips

      1. FPL_Motty
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Personally not seeing the alonso love here. I feel he was majorly at fault in the west brom game for alot of goals, and therefore tuchel may want to avoid a repeat

        1. Rabb05
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Could switch alonso for aspi make it a little more conservative. I think if alonso plays he will get attacking returns for sure. Coady and Philips there if he doesn't play.

      2. jason_ni
        • 5 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        Tabloids are linking Aguero to Leeds.

        If he stayed fit at Leeds, he would be hitting 20goals plus.

        Would love to see it!

        1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Can't see him fitting into Bielsa way of training/playing.

          1. jason_ni
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            I thought that, but then he has adjusted at city, but maybe he's a bit too old for the Leeds press. Its kun though, give him a free pass, and make the other 9 outfield work extra hard!

            1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
              • 9 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              No free passes with Bielsa. I would be amazed if he goes to Leeds.

        2. fc_skrald
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Wow. What will Bamford do then?

          1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
            • 9 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Play and Aguero on bench if it's anything like Bielsa usually does.

            1. jason_ni
              • 5 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              Also, its tabloid press, so can be plucked from thin air. Just the thought of Raphinha et al laying on those chances for kun vs Bamford.

              1. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
                • 9 Years
                3 months, 17 days ago

                Would have been 5 years ago.

      3. DA Minnion (In Bielsa we tr…
        • 9 Years
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I did it. Got in Mitrovic for Antonio to afford grealish to Salah.Nice to have an interest in tonight's game too. Wish me luck.

        1. Alisson WondHaaland
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Hope it works for ya, he's been good lately

        2. Whazza
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Nice one

        3. teneighty
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Nice punt, hope it works for you!

      4. Ginola
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 months, 17 days ago

        I'm on wildcard and think I prefer Maddison over Lingard. Maddison extremely good fixtures coming up and West Ham without Rice and Antonio. Wise decision or not?

        1. tommo-uk-
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          I’ve got both on my draft at the moment. Even with worse fixtures, Lingards form can’t be ignored.

        2. JabariParkersEyelid
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 17 days ago

          It's defensible. Maddison costs a fair bit more than Lingard which is probably affecting his popularity.

          I think we'll see Maddison in a lot of sides come 33, not a bad shout to get in there early.

        3. Studs Up
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 1 Year
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Same boat...went Maddy

        4. Rabb05
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Agree with this. I've not been on the lingard train and I think its too late now and he is outperforming his stats which isn't sustainable. Would be maddison for me

        5. tommo-uk-
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Think I’m set on this Wildcard, any advice greatly appreciated!

          Mendy
          TAA - Azpi - Rudiger
          Salah(c) - Jota - Son - Maddison - Lingard
          Kane - Wood

          Bench: Forster - Coufal - Shaw - Davis

          1. teneighty
            • 6 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            I'm on WC as well. Not sure about the Maddison pick as I'm usually wary of pickong players just back from injuries.
            Why TAA instead of Robertson if I may ask? TAA seems to be in every WC-draft on here.
            I would not keep Coufal on WC.

            Overall I'd say it looks good.

            1. tommo-uk-
              • 8 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              Robertson could work but playing safe with Trent.

              Leicester fixtures look good and feel I will want him before he explodes.

              Coufal is really a cost move, can’t get much better for the price I don’t think?

        6. Bubbles1985
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          GTG?

          Forster
          TAA Rudiger Coady
          Bruno Son Lingard Mount Jota(vc)
          Kane(c) Vardy

          Schmeichel Davis Masuaku Mitchell

        7. teneighty
          • 6 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          On WC and trying not to be too template. Still can't look past Jota, Lingard and Nacho though because of form and price.

          Nipples (Martinez)
          Robertson, Fofana, Goalonso (Holding, Phillips)
          Jota, Lingard, Son, Fernandes (Jorginho)
          Ings, Nacho, Kane(C)

          How's she looking?

          1. JabariParkersEyelid
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 17 days ago

            It's alright. I think the Robbo pick is just being different for the sake of it though, Trent has got far better recent underlyings.

            1. teneighty
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              I just thought I read about TAA looking tired and unmotivated but I haven't looked at the stats. Perhaps TAA is the way to go. The extra 0.2 fits within my budget.

          2. olidooley
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Template WC teams are not template if you know what I mean....The template WC is a real differential when they add up together

            1. teneighty
              • 6 Years
              3 months, 17 days ago

              Fair point. Easy to be blinded by all the teams posted on here but forget about all the other 8 million teams.

        8. DROP IT LIKE IT'S HART
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          If Son drops again I'll have lost 0.4m on him. I really hope he hauls this week to at least repay my patience. I find it crazy though that people are selling ahead of a DGW and a very favorable run of fixtures LEI in GW38

        9. Erez Avni
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          start:

          A. Martinez
          B. Areola

          1. OptimusBlack
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            B

        10. olidooley
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          WC gtg?

          Mendy
          TAA Rudiger Coady
          Salah(c) Bruno Son Jota Lingard
          Kane Iheanacho

          Forster Shaw Veltman Davis

        11. Stimps
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          On a WC

          Gundo or Mount this GW?

          Will be upgrading to Son for 32

          1. OptimusBlack
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Mount

          2. Super Saints
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Mount

        12. thepirates
          • 3 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Martinez
          Shaw - Dallas - Stones
          Raph - Son - Fernandes - Salah
          Kane - Watkins - Bamford
          Forster - Gundogan - Tierny - Veltman

          Raphina, Tierny, Watkins, Dallas —> TTA, Jota, Rudiger, Vydra (-8). Y/N? Got no WC left.

        13. Starskyb
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          3 months, 17 days ago

          What is the community's opinion when it comes to booking transfers in?

          I'm on WC and I can't decide if to just get Son now ready for 32 and bench him this week or attack this week with someone like Saka or Mount for one week punt - especially as I can buy son cheaper next week!

          1. olidooley
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Don’t book anything in

          2. JabariParkersEyelid
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 1 Year
            3 months, 17 days ago

            There's no guarantee Son drops tonight, and he will be heavily transferred in next week.

            I see the merit in it, but booking in transfers is always a risk that leaves you open to hits. I'll be playing Son this week.

          3. CONNERS
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            I'd just get him now. The game is predicted to be high-scoring apparently.

        14. vova
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Captain Jota over Kane right?

          1. olidooley
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Jota benched I think as a Pool fan

        15. Atimis
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Thoughts on that WC team ?

          Mendy/Forster
          TAA/Castagne/Shaw/Coufal/4.5
          Salah/Bruno/Son/Jota/Lingard
          Kane/Nacho/Davis

          Should I get some City or Chelsea attack ?

          Too much in def ?

          1. Atimis
            • 4 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Or maybe try and get Vydra instead of Davis?

            1. JabariParkersEyelid
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 1 Year
              3 months, 17 days ago

              Not necessary imo. I like it.

          2. olidooley
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Gtg....I have chosen different defenders but

        16. Bobby_Baggio
          • 10 Years
          3 months, 17 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

        17. Balls of Steel
          • 5 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Has Holding regained his spot in the Arsenal defence now?

        18. Super Saints
          • 4 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Who scores more this week?

          A. Sterling Bruno
          B. Salah Son

          1. olidooley
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            B

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

            A

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

          Last spot in midfield for long term
          A. Gundo
          B. Raphinha

          1. Balls of Steel
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Gundo

        20. OptimusBlack
          • 8 Years
          3 months, 17 days ago

          Get Sterling and C him ?
          Yaaaay
          No

          1. cruzex
            • 8 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            i am thinking the same..

          2. Balls of Steel
            • 5 Years
            3 months, 17 days ago

            Risky but almost guaranteed to start v Leeds and very low ownership. Don't think I'd like to have him long term though.