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.

1,126 Comments Post a Comment
  1. FPL_Motty
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 1 Year
    1 year, 4 months ago

    Just to put it out there, I see many similar WC templates with TAA, and kane + nacho + fodder. I can see the appeal of trent, really can, but when it makes your team have so little up front and no money itb, is it worth it? I can easily see a scenario in the future of nacho being dropped, and then some cheap forwards coming back into form, and those teams will be in a very tricky situation to do anything about it. Just my 2p. I think it's better to have better playing backups and a nailed forward line. Easier to move around when dgws come around and people want dcl, Watkins etc back in again

    1. Eleven Hag
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      DCL being not in form and Villas tricky fixtures are the reason imo for the template, have 2FTs in hand for the DGW and G2g with a hit

    2. Snooze ya lose
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Valid point

    3. Tonyawesome69
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      At this moment, the strikers I would be interested in is Kane, Nacho and Vardy. Vardy is overpriced and difficult to fit in with other premiums. If the cheap strikers pick up form again, it isn't that difficult to downgrade TAA to Phillips for funds to upgrade fodder. We can only make decisions based on the info we have now.

    4. Thomas Magnum
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      I am also cautious of Iheanacho so trying to stay away. Will have TAA but like you said he'll leave my attack pretty weak. My thinking is get through to say week 35 where I can downgrade Son and upgrade a forward but that's a while off yet

    5. TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 4 months ago

      can bring in another forward when i swap son for maddison in the blank

    6. Biggsy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      As long as you have an exit strategy, I don't see an issue. It is why I don't want to "plan" any transfers (e.g. bringing in a one week City punt on the WC). Nacho can be Watkins, Wilson, Antonio, Bamford without too much trouble.

      You need to bench a forward or mid each week - and that player should ideally be fodder, and in a season where midfielders are generally outperforming forwards then it makes sense to make it the forward player.

    7. Dark Side Of The Loon!
      • 6 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      I have transferred in TAA and Maddison this GW. Don't want to keep wasting my transfers on players who are not nailed on. And gives me excellent balance and playing options.

    8. Shattered Dreams
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      It's a game of compromises isn't it, even at this late stage when money is less of an issue.

      One thing that amuses me is how people seem to coalesce around a very narrow set of players and end up being blinded to other possibilities.

    9. Rasping Drive
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 13 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      I think that those that have Trent and Nacho believe (and they have a strong case) that the fixtures and form of both is a short-term risk worth taking until such a time when Barnes returns and threatens Nacho's starting berth (that seems to still be some way off).

      You may well be right that Nacho will be dropped, but if this doesn't happen until after GW35, then the march gained on those that go without could be the difference between a top 10k finish and one of 50k, the difference between winning and losing a mini-league. Now is the time to take calculated risks, and I see far more upside than downside with this example.

      1. FPL_Motty
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        True true, good points

  2. Party time
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Ful vs Wol friday kick off. Yuck!

      1. Snooze ya lose
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Lol

    • tommo-uk-
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Anybody else considering Laporte as a way into the city defence? Pep seems to play him in EPL as oppose to CL.

      1. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        dias is barely more expensive

      2. Snooze ya lose
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 13 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Dias

      3. Eleven Hag
        • 4 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Without Dias city's CS potential is lower anyways, wouldn't bother myself

    • Riggs
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      WC GW 31 + BB GW 32:
      TEAM A:
      Mendy Forster
      TAA Coady Rudiger Dawson Holding
      Salah Bruno Son Jota Neto
      Kane Wood Iheanacho

      0.0 ITB -> Dawson because I have only 4.5 and only for the BB

      TEAM B:
      Mendy Forster
      Coady Rudiger Shaw Coufal Phillips
      Salah Bruno Son Jota Lingard
      Kane DCLIheanacho

      0.2 IBT -> Coufal only for the BB

      1. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        B

    • TheBiffas
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 4 months ago

      will kilman get minutes with wolves injuries?

      1. Puyol Pants Up
        • 7 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Who's injured?

        1. TheBiffas
          • 1 Year
          1 year, 4 months ago

          johnny and boly has covid

      2. Balls of Steel
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Possibly

    • akhilrajau
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Who to selct if salah and taa in team
      A. Jota
      B. Lingard

      1. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        still A imo

      2. Dark Side Of The Loon!
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        I would not triple up on Pool.

    • KbJay5
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      One free transfer. Which one will you choose for GW31? TAA, Coady and Holding.

      1. aardvark22
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 10 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        TAA

    • tommo-uk-
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Wood or Iheanacho

      1. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        iheanacho

      2. Rabb05
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Nacho longer term as he has great fixtures. Wood more like a 1 week punt

      3. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Wood, at least you know he'll start

    • Rabb05
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Aspi or Alonso or Chilwell? Need to make up some ground and Alonso has a higher ceiling but how many of the last 8 games will he play?

      1. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Azpi most nailed.

        Alonso was a horror show against West Brom, and Chilwell was quality mid-week.

        Think Alonso won't start this week.

    • FPL ZB
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      James or Alonso? Could go Rudiger but doesn’t seem that exciting

      1. #Swish41
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Haha Alonso was pretty much up front last week...if you don’t mind rotation

      2. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        I've gone James.

        Seems to have nailed down that RWB spot.

    • #Swish41
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Need to find 0.4 for this on WC. BB next week.

      Mendy (Forster)
      Rudiger Dias Coady (Phillips Shaw)
      Son Bruno Salah Jota Lingz
      Kane(c) nacho (Bamford)

      1. Dias > 5.6m (Stones, Keane, Fofana)
      2. Shaw > 4.8m (Holding, Coufal)

      Leaning towards 1 and Fofana as Dias looks like being rested and then blanks in 33...

      PLEASE SEND HELP

      1. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Either 1 as you suggested or downgrade an attacker. Benching one of Bamford, Nacho or Lingard each week will get annoying

        1. #Swish41
          • 12 Years
          1 year, 4 months ago

          All good points, thank you. I’ve got ££ in Bam and want him in a few weeks (and as. Leeds fan am probably blinkered!). Happy to bench Nacho time to time (if he stays a starter). Prob go with 1 and can reassess in 34!

    • KeepCalm
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      I need help making these decisions:

      Play Burn (EVE), Dallas (mci) or Konsa (liv)

      Play Raph (mci) or Watkins (liv)

      1. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        I don’t see a CS for any of this defenders so I guess Dallas has the most attacking threat?

        Raphina

      2. #Swish41
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Konsa and Raph for me

      3. KeepCalm
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Im thinking raph is the better attacker but city is the better defence. Such an impossible decision

      4. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Burn if you think he starts if not Konsa and Watkins and hope for a penalty

    • Milkman Bruno
      • 1 Year
      1 year, 4 months ago

      No idea what to do with this lot. Any advice ? 1ft .7 itb.

      Mendy
      Digne, Rudiger, Cancelo
      Salah, Bruno, Mahrez, Jota, Gundogan
      Dcl, Werner

      Martinez, Shaw, King, Struijk

    • Puyol Pants Up
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Okay boys, wildcard and team set.

      Mendy
      Rudiger, Christensen, Holding
      Salah, Bruno, Son, Jota, Lingard
      Vardy (C), Kane

      Forster, Phillips, Amartey, Davis

      1. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        different, i like it.

    • Zladan
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      WC Draft:

      Mendy Forster
      James Fofana Rüdiger Holding Philips
      Salah Bruno Son Jota ESR
      Kane Laca Iheanacho

      1. Zladan
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Or Laca & Fofana to Vardy & Amartey

    • Fernandito
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Schmeichel
      TAA Coady Rudiger
      Lingard Neto Salah Sterling Jota
      Kane Vardy

      Button Holding Shaw Davis

      Think im finally settled on this for my WC...GTG?

      Good luck guys!

      1. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        I’d skip the Wolves defence myself but looks good

      2. Rabb05
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Not sure about sterling unless you are doing a 1 week punt then over to Son for the dgw?

    • #Swish41
      • 12 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Hmm Konsa and Raph for me

      1. #Swish41
        • 12 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Reply fail...!

      2. KeepCalm
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Lol thanks!

    • FPL ZB
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Madness not going Salah on WC? Got Sterling (c) and 0.1 extra for the transfer to Salah next week

      Can see Salah off early this week if Liverpool are winning

      1. Zladan
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        How many goals will he have scored before he comes off?

        1. FPL ZB
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 5 Years
          1 year, 4 months ago

          Judging on recent home form, none

      2. Lallana
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Pep roulette annoying tbh

      3. Biggsy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        For me, easier to have Salah and remember he is playing pretty badly and then ship out than to try and rip up a new team to bring him in.

    • Nightcrawler
      • 3 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Will jota start??

      A) oh yes he will

      B) oh no he won't

      1. Zladan
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        B. Firmino surely starts.

      2. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        A

      3. TheBiffas
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        B but he'll score off the bench

      4. Biggsy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Keep brining this out, but Jota has as many goals in the last 10 GW as Salah, Mane and Firmino combined.

        You think Klopp, languishing in 7th place, will bench his only form striker?

    • dbeck
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

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

      Mo jota sterling Lingard xxxx
      Vardy Kane xxx

      1. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        A

        Wouldn’t double on Leicester attack with Vardy and Nacho myself

    • Ha.
      • 7 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      On WC

      A. Holding, Neto and Vardy
      B. TAA, Maddison (or Neto) and Nacho

      1. RichRover
        • 10 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        A

      2. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Tough. I like the Trent and Maddison picks but nacho could be benched again soon.

    • Tinmen
      • 9 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Morning folks, with this team what option is better for me?

      Johnston
      Holding Stones Azpil
      Salah KDB Son Gundy
      Nacho Watkins Kane
      Mart Raph Dallas Strijik

      A) KDB to Sterling
      B) Raphinia to Lingard(bench Watkins)

      1. Milkman Bruno
        • 1 Year
        1 year, 4 months ago

        A

    • linkafu
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Help

      A Ederson Soucek
      B Mendy Gundo

    • camarozz
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Hi all.

      Need to get rid of Havertz..

      A) Lingard
      B) Maddison

      Also have Antonio who might be injured which in turn will effect Lingards output and also I may need to sell for a hit for Nacho possibly which means Maddison might not be an option.

      Do u get my dilemma? 🙂

      1. NETFLIX & CHILWELL
        • 5 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        Maddison.

    • sarnshawn
      • 10 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Thoughts? Not feeling confident...

      Areola (Martinez)
      Cancelo Stones Mings Maguire
      Mount Jota Fernandes Gundogan
      Kane Bamford
      Bench - Dallas Antonio Barnes

    • Bury94
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 4 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Thinking of playing Raphina instead of DCL, what do you reckon?

      1. Invincibles
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        I wouldn't this week. DCL much more likely for a double digit haul imo.

    • Steve The Spud
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      madness to consider starting areola over Mendy? have azpi also

    • Jimjam
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Martinez (Forster)
      Cancelo, Shaw, Rudiger (Dallas, Dunk)
      Salah, Bruno, Bale, Gundogan (Raphinha)
      Kane, Antonio, Bamford

      2FT, 0.5 in bank

      Bale, Gundogan, Bamford ---> Jota, Lingard, Iheanacho (-4)?

    • CMIUK (Catch Me If U Kane)
      • 5 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      On wc better combo:

      A) Neto Fofana
      B) Lingard Shaw

      1. Bobby_Baggio
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        b

        1. Thomas Magnum
          • 6 Years
          1 year, 4 months ago

          This

      2. Invincibles
        • 8 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        B for JLingz

    • Invincibles
      • 8 Years
      1 year, 4 months ago

      Bench one:
      A) Mount
      B) Gundo
      C) DCL
      D) Bruno

      Also have:
      Salah Jota
      Iheanacho Kane

      1. Thomas Magnum
        • 6 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        C (First bench though)

        1. Invincibles
          • 8 Years
          1 year, 4 months ago

          Yeah although for differential value I'm debating benching bruno, must be mad.

      2. Bobby_Baggio
        • 11 Years
        1 year, 4 months ago

        C