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. PogBruno
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 3 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

    So according to City fan forum predictions, almost everyone thinks Sterling will start and KDB wont

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

      To be fei that's not a hard thing to predict.

    2. Forever In Our Shadow
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      I think KDB will start but have managed minutes.

    3. In a Rush
      • 4 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      Do they think aguero will start? I’m really tempted to take the punt he’s had a week off.

  2. FPL_Hazards
    • 8 Years
    2 months, 14 days ago

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

    Team 1

    Leno - Forster
    James - TAA - Reguilon - Masuaku - Rudiger
    Salah - Son - Bruno - Jota - Lingard
    Kane - Iheanacho - Vydra

    Team. 2
    Lloris - Martinez
    Dias - Shaw - Holding - Philips
    Rudiger
    Salah - Son - Bruno - Jota - Lingard
    Kane - Iheanacho - Vydra

    1. TheBiffas
        2 months, 14 days ago

        team 1 for me

    2. fcsaltyballs
      • 5 Years
      2 months, 14 days ago

      First sub:

      1. Holding (shu)
      2. Vydra (NEW)

      Thanks

      1. TheBiffas
          2 months, 14 days ago

          1

          1. The Point About It Is
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            If your not going to even have have Vydra as 1st sub against New then you might as well go Davis and save some ££

      2. b91jh
        • 3 Years
        2 months, 14 days ago

        No fodder wc draft. Comments

        Mendy
        TAA Rudiger Holding
        Auba(c) Bruno Jota Lingard
        Wood Kane Nacho

        Forster Maddison Cresswell Castagne

        Will do Auba to Salah next week or 33. Could be Sterling instead of Auba tho.

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Looks different so I don't mind it. How confident are you in going without Son?

        2. TheBiffas
            2 months, 14 days ago

            a lot of £ in that defence

        3. La Roja
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          What to do here chaps?

          Sanchez
          Veltman Cancelo Digne
          Raphinha Son KDB Gundo Bruno
          Kane Watkins

          Martinez Dallas Tierney* Antonio*

          1 FT & 0.2m ITB

          A) Tierney Raphinha ➡ Phillips Jota -4
          B) KDB Antonio ➡ Salah Iheanacho -4
          C) Tierney KDB ➡ Rudiger Salah -4

          1. PogBruno
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            B

        4. Thomas Magnum
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Too soon to bring in C.Wilson? (on WC)
          Other than Iheanacho and say Vydra it's slim pickings in that price range

          1. Forever In Our Shadow
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Stopped at his name. Too early for next season tbh. Nacho the one to go with.

            1. Thomas Magnum
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              He's Newcastle's last hope tbh. One may be surprised to hear he's still the 6th best scoring forward even though he hasn't played for 7 weeks so he must've been doing something good pre injury

          2. Biggsy
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Not if you can happily bench him until GW37....

            Won't play this week, and after that its WHU, LIV, ARS, LEI, MCI so I wouldn't expect returns if he played all 5

          3. ebb2sparky
            • 10 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            I had Wilson in my team for large parts of the season and he did ok, ignoring price I’d prefer Wilson to vydra for sure. He has penalties so despite what others say I expect he will get some attacking returns even if fixtures aren’t great.

            I expect Vydra will be one of most transferred out players next week (amongst FFS managers at least). There’s still a chance I’ll end up with him in my WC team as my 8th mid/fwd although might just go Davis/Brewster instead.

        5. Forever In Our Shadow
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Bottomed.

          Play 2 of 3 or bench one which ever way you want it. Thanks.

          Son
          Shaw
          Nacho

          1. PogBruno
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Bench Shaw

            1. Forever In Our Shadow
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              You don’t see a 0-0?

              1. PogBruno
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Kane in the form he is and our weakness from crosses I see a Kane header

          2. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            shaw

          3. Thomas Magnum
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Agree with the others, Shaw.

        6. akhilrajau
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Who is better

          A. Cedric
          B. Holding
          C. Nothing. Leno instead of Menddy and get chealsea def

          1. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            B

          2. Forever In Our Shadow
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            How many clean sheets have Arsenal had recently?

            1. Forever In Our Shadow
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Sorry. D avoid all Arsenal defenders.

              1. akhilrajau
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Yea understood but for the fixy looking for that and also double up chelease ( gk + def ) is thinking one.

              2. akhilrajau
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                May be coady is better right? Also thinking ait Nouri

          3. St Pauli Walnuts
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 13 days ago

            I've gone A to replace Tierney, can't say I feel great about it but hoping for the best!

        7. Prison Mike
          • 5 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Is there any playing 4m defenders bar Phillips?

          1. Zladan
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Amartey 3.9

            1. Tonyawesome69
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Will only play until Soy is back. Keep an eye on LEI presser

          2. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Maybe Jagielka

        8. Tonyawesome69
          • 2 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Close to locking my WC. Dallas, holding and Davis on the bench.

          How does it look?

          0.0itb and FH left
          Mendy Forster
          Rudiger TAA Alonso Dallas Holding
          Son Lingard Bruno Jota Salah
          Kane Nacho Davis

        9. Dark Side Of The Loon!
          • 4 Years
          2 months, 14 days ago

          Does it look ok? Who do I captain? TAA an option?

          Forster
          TAA Rudiger Coady
          Salah Bruno Maddison Gundo Raphinha
          Kane DCL

          Martinez Bamford Konsa Struijk

          Thanks!

          1. La Roja
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 9 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Captain salah imo

            Not entirely sure if Maddison starts

            1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Maddison looked fine when he came on and almost grabbed a goal. I think he will start. Salah captain is a good call. Just that he has failed me the most this season.

          2. Tonyawesome69
            • 2 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            GTG, Salah (C) even though they have poor form at home and Villa away are good at keeping CS

            1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Exactly my thought. That coupled with the fact that he has failed me the most makes me so hesitant.

              1. Tonyawesome69
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Gundo is a decent shout if he starts. But if he doesn't he may get some mins from the bench which is a risk. For the other premiums, I prefer Bruno over Kane. Utd have good form against top teams. Spurs def is poor all round

                1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                  • 4 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  True. But I think I will take your suggestion and put it on Salah. No clear favourite this GW. Thanks a lot!

        10. FantasyClub
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Lacazette is nailed right?

            1. Tonyawesome69
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Not when he started last night

          • JakeTheRed
            • 6 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            A) Maddison / Lacazette / Iheanacho
            B) Lingard / Vardy / Vydra

            Thanks in advance!

            1. tommo-uk-
              • 8 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              A

            2. Tonyawesome69
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              B

          • Weeb Kakashi
            • 5 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Save WC here for next week? Will have more info next week.

            Forster
            Alonso Reece Cresswell
            Salah Auba(C) Mount Rapinha
            Kane Bam Wood

            Areola AWB Lookman Dallas

          • tommo-uk-
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            What’s the likelihood on an Aguero haul this weekend?

            1. Weeb Kakashi
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              5%

          • G Banger
            • 3 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            Not the best TV and up top in mini leagues so playing it safe:

            Mendy Forster
            TAA Rudiger Shaw Holding Fofana
            Salah Bruno Son Lindgard Raph
            Kane Nacho Vydra

            Only 0.1 ITB

            Anyone need downgrade / upgrade? 🙂

            1. Forever In Our Shadow
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 7 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Raph to Jota. Vydra to Davis.

          • Forever In Our Shadow
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            GTG?

            Forster
            Cancelo TAA Azpi Shaw
            KDB (c) Bruno Son Lingard Jota (vc)
            Kane

            Martinez Nacho Coufal Davis. 1.3 ITB. 0FT. FH & TC left.

            1. Tonyawesome69
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              gtg

            2. La Roja
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 9 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              U reckon KDB starts?

              1. Forever In Our Shadow
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 7 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Yes. Managed minutes though but enough to hurt Leeds before hand.

            3. FPL_Motty
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Risky kdb c and jota vc. Id make someone nailed vc, that could actually be a 1pt or 0pt cap fail. I'd stick vc on kane or bruno

            4. Bury94
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              I'd be starting Ihenacho

          • tommo-uk-
            • 8 Years
            2 months, 14 days ago

            This wildcard tinkering is killing me!

          • Hitthewall
              2 months, 14 days ago

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

            • Atimis
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Any changes to that WC team?

              Mendy/Forster
              TAA/Fofana/Shaw/Rudiger/Holding*
              Salah/Bruno/Mount*/Jota/Lingard
              Kane/Nacho/Vydra

              Holding or maybe Masuaku?

              Mount before I get Son for DGW32.

              1. Biggsy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                I like it - very similar to mine. I guess question is are you going to play Fofana over TAA, Rudiger, Shaw each week? If not, maybe get a cheaper starter

            • Biggsy
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Lucas Moura is a better bet than Son for the double

              Bring him in on WC and bench for MNU (play Vydra)

              Means I can bring in Salah without having to pre-plan transfers and have much better balance elsewhere

              1. waltzingmatildas
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 10 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                I'm on that. Gundo this week, then Moura then decide on a mid price mid

              2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Helps give a better balance for sure. Any idea how they compare when they have started together?

                1. Biggsy
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 6 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  No idea, I haven't looked quite in that depth. Son definitely not kept up his early season form when I didn't have him and I still managed to hang around top 20k - so figured I can go without a little longer.

                  1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 14 days ago

                    I haven't had him too and climbed to 55k from 1.5 million during that time. And Moura might be decent option for me because I have two options for next week:

                    A) Gundo to Moura with 1 FT
                    B) Gundo + Bamford to Son + Davis for -4

            • Sho-kun
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              A)
              Mendy
              TAA/Rüdiger/Coady
              Lingz/Bruno/Son/Jota/Saka
              Kane/DCL

              Forster/I-Nacho/Shaw/Coufal

              B)
              Mendy
              TAA/Rüdiger/Holding
              Lingz/Bruno/Salah/Jota/Saka
              Kane//I-Nacho

              Forster/Shaw/Coufal/Vydra

            • Oggle22
              • 4 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Do u need Jlingz on my wildcard does Antonio possibly being out and rice out make him more dangerous or less if a risk?

              1. Biggsy
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                You'd think that not only are JLIngz numbers unsustainable, but losing Antonio and Rice would impact WHU performance. That said, brave to go without him given some tasty fixtures.

                Maybe wait for Moyes presser - if Antonio not out for long he might be worth having

              2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                • 4 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                I will wait on Antonio news. And get Antonio instead of Lingard.

                1. theplayer
                  • 7 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  All the rumours is that Antonio is out for at least a month so I wouldn't be risking him

                  1. Dark Side Of The Loon!
                    • 4 Years
                    2 months, 14 days ago

                    Exactly my point. I would first like to see how Lingard performs in absence of Antonio before bringing I consider him.

            • dbeck
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              A) Neto and Davis (fodder), 352
              B) nacho and Burke (fodder) 343

              Mo jota sterling Lingard xxxx
              Vardy Kane xxx

            • Zladan
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Jota will be rested for RM and Firmino starts this weekend right?

            • waltzingmatildas
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              • 10 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Thoughts on going with Sanchez over Mendy in goal?

              1. dbeck
                • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                • 3 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                I’m going Johnstone over Mendy

                1. waltzingmatildas
                  • Fantasy Football Scout Member
                  • 10 Years
                  2 months, 14 days ago

                  Hmm, hadn't considered Johnstone. Will take a look, thanks

              2. Thomas Magnum
                • 5 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                I'll be doing that I think, rather spend the money up the field, already have Rudiger and Chelsea aren't impenetrable as many believe

            • BrutalLogiC
              • 5 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Chances of kdb starting?
              Chances of gundo starting?

              1. fplking14
                • 6 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                KDB - 0
                Gundogan- 50/50

            • ManUtdFan977
              • 2 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Gundo, Bernardo silva or mahrez for this week as a one week punt

            • fplking14
              • 6 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Is Fofana or Soyuncu more nailed?

              1. ManUtdFan977
                • 2 Years
                2 months, 14 days ago

                Fofana

            • Shark Team
              • 3 Years
              2 months, 14 days ago

              Which 2 to play?
              A) Dunk
              B) Raphinha
              C) Bamford
              D) Watkins