Scout Reports

Can Bruno Lage make Wolves’ attackers more appealing in FPL?

Wolverhampton Wanderers appointed Bruno Lage as their new head coach last month.

The 45-year-old most recently spent 18 months at the helm of Benfica and was the club’s top target following the surprise departure of Nuno Espírito Santo at the end of the season.

Lage will be coming in with fresh ideas and, based on what he did in Portugal, a more attacking style, but what does it mean for Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers?

Our Scout Report takes a closer look.

THE HISTORY

Lage turned to coaching at a young age and began his career in academy football at Vitoria Setubal back in 1997.

Assistant roles at Estrela Vendas Novas and Sintrense followed before the Portuguese took his first steps at Benfica, where he managed at every youth level between 2004 and 2012.

He then moved to England, when he became assistant to Carlos Carvalhal at both Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City. While at Hillsborough, he helped the Owls to two Championship play-off finishes, before experiencing the Premier League for the first time with the Swans.

After that, he returned to Benfica B, before taking charge of the first team.

Upon his appointment, the Lisbon giants were languishing in fourth place in the table, seven points off leaders Porto and looking destined to miss out on the title for the second year in a row.

Lage, however, led them on a stunning run that saw them end the season as champions and score a record-equalling 103 goals. Statistically speaking, it was the best second half of a season in Primeira Liga history.

However, the following campaign wasn’t anywhere near as fruitful. Benfica went on a run of picking up just 10 points from 10 league games, and as a result, Lage parted company with the club in 2020.

BRUNO LAGE’S PRIMEIRA LIGA RECORD AT BENFICA:

Games48
Won38
Drawn5
Lost5
Goals scored131
Goals conceded39
Win rate79%

Above figures taken from Transfermarkt

FAVOURED TACTICS

During his time at Benfica, Lage mainly opted for an attacking 4-4-2 with lots of pressing from the front.

On paper, that may sound fairly uninspiring, but there were some interesting elements that made it so successful.

The full-backs were key to the entire system and asked to get forward on the overlap at every opportunity.

La Masia graduate Álex Grimaldo and André Almeida performed the roles and registered a massive six goals and 23 assists between them in 2018/19 alone.

Two of the main beneficiaries of the tactic at Wolves next season could be Nélson Semedo (£5.0m) and Rayan Aït-Nouri then, which is something to keep an eye on during pre-season.

However, the wide players further forward were equally important. 

They were asked to drift inside and help out centrally, not unlike Ralph Hasenhüttl’s use of Stuart Armstrong (£6.0m) at Southampton.

Players like Pedro Neto (£6.5m) and new signing Francisco Trincão (£6.0m) could absolutely work here, while it may also suit Daniel Podence (£5.5m).

Explaining Lage’s tactics, A Bola journalist Rui Miguel Melo said:

He enjoys wide players, but the wide players in this tactical approach are the full-backs. He played very well with (Alex) Grimaldo on the left side and (Andre) Almeida on the right. He likes to have his wingers cut inside. His teams have a lot of interior game, and then the main advantage comes from the width. He puts the game all on one side of the pitch, and then, in a few touches, he changes the side of the match and goes to the other side. That’s one of the ideas in this tactical approach.

Lage had a very clear idea on how he wanted Benfica to play, but there is no guarantee he will use the same approach at Wolves. For instance, 4-3-3 is a system he liked in the youth teams, and he’s also known to have tinkered with a 4-2-3-1 previously.

Regardless of the formation, you suspect the philosophy will remain the same though.

THE PROSPECTS

The key takeaway from the tactics discussed above is that Lage loves to attack.

Wolves, though, were among the lowest scorers in the Premier League last term, netting only 36 times, so adding goals will surely be the new head coach’s priority.

Nuno’s attempts to evolve his side’s style and formation were less than successful, but with talents like Neto, Trincão, Adama Traoré (£6.0m) and Fabio Silva (£6.0m), plus the returning Raúl Jiménez (£7.5m) in the squad, there is no reason why they can’t adapt to a more attacking approach.

The logic behind the appointment looks sound, given Lage’s connection with the Portuguese players already at the club, and once the fixtures ease in Gameweek 4, Wolves may well throw up some interesting FPL options.

Above: Wolves’ fixture run from Gameweeks 1-8

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74 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Jacky boy
    • 5 Years
    23 days, 22 hours ago

    Good news is we can watch them in first 3 and pick the right one(s) for gw4 fixture turn. No hurry. Hope neto is nailed up front

    1. chocolove
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 10 Years
      23 days, 21 hours ago

      Same like last season. When we all fall into podence or neto coming to gw 3. This time with a new manager. I rather wait and see longer

    2. Bushwhacker
      • 2 Years
      23 days, 21 hours ago

      Nuno set that team up around Jimi and Jota and it fell apart with both gone. I think its basically a blank slate and very wait and see.

  2. Fiqz Fariss
    • 4 Years
    23 days, 22 hours ago

    Literally a team based on most selected:

    Sanchez • Foster
    TAA • Shaw • Lamptey • Fofana • Manquillo
    Salah • Fernandes • Grealish • Raphinha • Bissouma
    Watkins • DCL • Toney

    Best team?

    1. Pjanić! at the Džeko
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 2 Years
      23 days, 21 hours ago

      If it's made up of the most selected players, then I suppose that most people would say yes to your question.

      I see two picks I don't like, but I feel like I've spent a ton of time looking for the "best" options at 4.0 D and 4.5 M. I just don't think that Manquillo and Bissouma are optimal choices.

    2. Bushwhacker
      • 2 Years
      23 days, 21 hours ago

      The template is defined!

    3. Freshy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 11 Years
      23 days, 20 hours ago

      Less than 1 million entered so you are most likely polling serious players

  3. Wild Guus Chase
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    23 days, 22 hours ago

    Anyone noticed that the old Brentford B-M-W will be reacquainted in the Prem this year (Benrahma, Mbeumo and Watkins). Proper reunion!

    1. 3 A
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 5 Years
      23 days, 21 hours ago

      Yeah.. BMW's att result is awesome in Championship. Benrahma looks mediocre tough in EPL.

      1. FALSE PROFIT
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 7 Years
        23 days, 11 hours ago

        For me, Moyes had a great season but one of his failings was how he used Buendia

  4. Pjanić! at the Džeko
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 2 Years
    23 days, 19 hours ago

    Assuming you have committed to spending 9.0 on goalkeepers, would you . . .

    (A) Meslier and a 4.0 as a set and forget
    (B) Sanchez and Bachmann (home and away fixtures complement each other the entire season)

    1. RichRover
      • 9 Years
      23 days, 19 hours ago

      B

    2. RogDog_jimmy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      23 days, 18 hours ago

      I feel like I have no interest in trying to pick the “right” keeper each week.

      So probably would do a 5.0 and a 4.0. But having said that I’ll likely do a 4.5 and a 4.0.

    3. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      23 days, 15 hours ago

      Sanchez and 4.0 is what I end up doing. I will almost certainly WC before gw9, but if that is not necessary, I should be able to have luxury transfer before he plays vs MCI. And if they don't have Kane as pen taker, well... 😉

  5. ★Kuntheman★
    • 5 Years
    23 days, 18 hours ago

    Had an original draft that was super template and basically only had Robertson as a differential, trying to be a bit more differential with some picks:

    Sanchez (Foster)
    TAA Shaw Fofana Lamptey (Ayling)
    Salah Fernandes Son Pepe Raphinha
    Watkins (4.5, 4.5)

    I back Son to have a really good season, potentially OOP if Kane leaves and stellar regardless if he stays. Fixture proof player and had more than 200 pts in a mostly Mourinho season. Pepe started to light it up at the end of the campaign, he was a real talent in Ligue 1 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him improve in form without European rotation. Also could see him running riot vs Brentford GW1 and becoming a popular pick.

    1. RogDog_jimmy
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      23 days, 16 hours ago

      Like the idea of Pepe. Hopefully he’s in form for the preseason. Son I’m interested to see what happens with Kane but also the new manager in general. Think the midfield structure will be telling for him - the difference between an 8m or 10m value player.

      1. Baps hunter
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        23 days, 15 hours ago

        So do I. Son is decent option, but he is expensive if not in form. Downgrading him to 4.5 gives (almost) two decent forwards. I expect that we are going to see mid priced forward or two as first bandwagons and that team structure may force to play early WC.

    2. Sanchit
      • 6 Years
      23 days, 14 hours ago

      The only concern I have with Pepe is Saka.
      Saka will definitely play in the team, and many matches on the RW. How do you see both of them fitting in together?

    3. RichardNixon
      • 4 Years
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      All the talk on this site of 'template' is rubbish imo.

      Besides the likes of Salah, Fernandes, Toney, Watkins and Martinez all other popular players on this site are about 20 to 25 per cent owned.

      The irony is that Grealish is 37 per cent owned atm and I've hardly seen him in drafts on ffs.

      1. RUN DCL
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        23 days, 12 hours ago

        Template as in FFS template not as in overall game template is what is referred to.

        1. RichardNixon
          • 4 Years
          23 days, 12 hours ago

          But even then who cares? There's more than one way to skin a cat but people are overthinking things I reckon and looking for differentials just for the sake of it.

          1. RUN DCL
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            23 days, 12 hours ago

            One should always go with ones gut at the end of the day

            1. RUN DCL
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              23 days, 12 hours ago

              Personally I won’t be making a team until a week before we start. I know it’s only a bit of fun but sometimes I think you can get too set on something and won’t change it later. There are so many variables still to happen. Transfers for a start, players returning late to pre season and not being available gw1. Theee see things will change any early template

      2. Vertigo
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 3 Years
        23 days, 12 hours ago

        It's practical to gauge other teams though. If you think the cash tied up in Salah or Bruno, for example, can be used more effectively elsewhere then it's handy to gather opinion.

        It's generally the non-'casuals' that post here - as dubious as that term is.

  6. The Knights Template
    • 7 Years
    23 days, 18 hours ago

    Podence to anyone!

    1. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      23 days, 15 hours ago

      I had him for some weeks last season. Lesson learned, no thx.

  7. RogDog_jimmy
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    23 days, 16 hours ago

    Current draft

    Sanchez, 4.0
    TAA, Coufal, Lamptey, Ayling, 4.5(not sure who)
    Fernandes, Salah, Raphinha, Pepe, Torres
    Watkins, Iheanacho, 4.5

    Defense is super template.

    Have 0.5 itb
    Could move a 4.5 defender to a 5.0
    Or could move Iheanacho to DCL/Bamford

    Hoping to get good vibes on Torres and Pepe in the preseason.

    1. Baps hunter
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      23 days, 15 hours ago

      Yea. It is difficult to pick good differentials. I fear 1 pt cameo for Torres while MU keeps cs and you are in trouble. I think I've learned my lession and won't try to win this season too early. Perhaps one differential like Pepe is the way to go.

      1. RogDog_jimmy
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        23 days, 15 hours ago

        You’re probably right about Torres. I do like his price with Raphinha and Pepe too. 6.5, 7.0, 7.5 feel like good values if you find the right one. Part of all having 3 is hoping 1 or 2 hit and pivoting to the others that prove better.
        Think I’d rather go for the midfield value than downgrading one to a 4.5 and punting with the forwards.

        But a lot to learn still. Jota, Greenwood, Ziyech, Barnes, Foden, Grealish, Maddison…so many around there that could be awesome.

  8. S.Kuqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    23 days, 14 hours ago

    Does Toney take pens fro Brentford?

      1. Little Red Lacazette
        • 4 Years
        23 days, 14 hours ago

        Hey, what is the league code for LMS™?

        1. TorresMagic™ - 6dcode
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 12 Years
          23 days, 14 hours ago

          Good joke.

          1. Holmes
            • 7 Years
            23 days, 14 hours ago

            😀

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      23 days, 14 hours ago

      Yes. Everything about Brentford : https://twitter.com/FPLDummyTom/status/1407389074487402505

    2. S.Kuqi
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      23 days, 14 hours ago

      Thanks

  9. Boothy
    • 6 Years
    23 days, 14 hours ago

    Thoughts on Ashley Young?

    And what’s the minutes looking like for Smith-Rowe? At 5.5 might be a good punt..

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      23 days, 13 hours ago

      Young is too old to play every game. I guess he will be used as a backup.

      Dont think Smith Rowe will play regularly, good pick if incase he gets gametime.

  10. S.Kuqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    23 days, 13 hours ago

    Thoughts about Mahrez? Tempted to get him for first few gws.

    1. Holmes
      • 7 Years
      23 days, 13 hours ago

      Good pick imo, I would like to add him but cant afford.

      1. S.Kuqi
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        23 days, 13 hours ago

        I managed to fit him for ffs template withouth compromising much 🙂

        Sarr and Toney instead of Dcl and Raphinha.

    2. RUN DCL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      I will probably start with him. No summer competition suggests he’s almost a guaranteed starter although you never know with Pep.

  11. S.Kuqi
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    23 days, 13 hours ago

    Not sure if I should pay ffs membership this year. 20 pounds is not much but I get the same key stats for free on twitter and the community isn't the same here anymore.

    Altough I might pay membership just to support this site.

    1. bitm2007
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      23 days, 13 hours ago

      Yes price has jumped from £12.50 to £20 in three years. I'm thinking of buying every other year now it's a full 12 months from point of purchase and I only tend to use it to select my initial squad. Time correctly I could do two years with one membership (one week before the start of season in even numbered years, two weeks in odd numbers years)

      1. The Knights Template
        • 7 Years
        23 days, 13 hours ago

        Can you do my tax please?

        1. bitm2007
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 7 Years
          23 days, 13 hours ago

          It's the accountant coming out in me, it's what I studied to become.

    2. Jacky boy
      • 5 Years
      23 days, 13 hours ago

      Which twitter accounts? 😀

    3. The Knights Template
      • 7 Years
      23 days, 13 hours ago

      I did that once, was very happy to support the site. Before the Mammon-worshippers took over.

    4. RUN DCL
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      Do you know where I can find a decent season ticker?

  12. DAZZ
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    23 days, 13 hours ago

    In Euro fantasy, would you punt on Barella
    Or Jorginho? Im favouring Italy as slightly chasing 6 points. My midfield will be Mount Saka Chiesa Insigne and 1 more italian.

    1. LegendMoon
      • 4 Years
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      Barella, Jorginho is nothing but a penalty machine

  13. FPLGOOD
    • 1 Year
    23 days, 13 hours ago

    Hmm, again feel like going for big at the back. It has worked for me often, but for some reason I always tend to switch for more attacking options at one point in the season.

    Key take aways for me with this line up are:
    - Every player can have a double digit haul.
    - Many 'set and forget' options here as I am hoping to cut down the hits this season. Basically I'm aiming for players with minimum 6 gw runs.

    Thougts? Of course I am missing many that I like, as in any draft. 5-4-1 can come 5-3-2 later on.

    Bachmann (Foster)
    TAA, Robertson, VVD, Shaw, Digne
    Bruno, Son, Grealish, Raphinha (Sarr)
    DCL (4.5, 4.5)

  14. pundit of punts
    • 8 Years
    23 days, 13 hours ago

    Have not tinkered for a long time now.

    Sanchez - 4m
    TAA - Digne - Fofana - Holding - Manquilo
    Salah - Bruno - Barnes - Saka - Bissouma
    DCL - Watkins - Antonio

    Thoughts? 🙂

    1. LegendMoon
      • 4 Years
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      Saka just doesn’t do it FPL wise, Barnes is great but I think there are better 4.5 than Holding, is he a starter maybe a gunners fan could let us know

    2. EmreCan Hustle
      • 9 Years
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      The core of your team(5-6 players) is solid. But the fringe players don't seem to be reliable or possess points potential.

  15. LegendMoon
    • 4 Years
    23 days, 13 hours ago

    It’s nice to see something a little different, though I do think triple pool defense and no Salah is dangerous and for me DCl is too hot and miss, double pool and downgrade digne and dcl in order to get Salah but then we are back to template ish ,,,

    1. LegendMoon
      • 4 Years
      23 days, 13 hours ago

      Reply fail to FPLGOOD

    2. FPLGOOD
      • 1 Year
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      Appreciate it, thanks!

      1. Ooh Ah Cantona
          23 days, 11 hours ago

          Three Liverpool defenders could easily work out seeing as they're all nailed to play every game bar injury. It avoids the rotation dilemma of Chilwell and Stones etc

    3. EmreCan Hustle
      • 9 Years
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      Very excited about Rashica at Norwich. Listed as a mid @ 5.5m expect him to do well.

      1. LegendMoon
        • 4 Years
        23 days, 12 hours ago

        3 goals and 1 assist last year hardly sounds like FPL magic but hopefully I’m wrong it would be great to have a 5.5 option

        1. EmreCan Hustle
          • 9 Years
          23 days, 9 hours ago

          I feel you have to look at his 2019-20 season to fully appreciate his abilities.
          Having watched a lot of Bundesliga games the past 2 seasons I really like the kind of player he is.

          Very similar to Trossard.

      2. Dogs Of War
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        23 days, 12 hours ago

        If you are going for a Norwich player it would be Pukki at 6.0m surely?

        1. RUN DCL
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          23 days, 12 hours ago

          I quite fancy Kieran Dowell for a little punt early doors

        2. EmreCan Hustle
          • 9 Years
          23 days, 9 hours ago

          I wouldn't waste one of only 3 forward slots on Pukki unless he becomes essential.
          But I wouldn't mind experimenting with my 4th midfielder if he can score well and serve as a budget enabler.

      3. pingissimus
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 2 Years
        23 days, 12 hours ago

        Can't look past Cantwell there at that price point

        Slotted him into my instant side as a playing makeweight with prospects and may yet hold.

    4. Zen Arcade
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 3 Years
      23 days, 12 hours ago

      Last season’s disastrous GW3 WC will live long in the memory. Jiménez, Podence and Saïss in for that heavy defeat at West Ham which saw Jimi score an OG!

    5. Ooh Ah Cantona
        23 days, 11 hours ago

        Hoping AitNouri is priced at 4.5 but expecting him at 5.0

        1. Inazuma X1
          • 3 Years
          23 days, 11 hours ago

          Has he signed?

      • Ooh Ah Cantona
          23 days, 11 hours ago

          Yeah I think so. Wolves have said yesterday he Ait going anywhere

        • pingissimus
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 2 Years
          23 days, 11 hours ago

          First proper draft - couldn't resist. This one is all dependent on KdB not being crocked. Could slot Bruno in there. Generally suspicious of premium defence early on. Generally aiming for settled sides early on to hit the ground running. Kane at Spurs? Wasn't poor last time 🙂

          Dubravka
          AWB Lamptey Godfrey*
          Mo KdB Barnes Sarr
          Kane Wilson Welbeck**

          4.0 Ayling Gilmour Johnson

          * I have an extremely poor relationship with Digne but quite fancy Everton defence and having a 5.0 in there.
          ** Might end up with Toney ahead of Welbeck but do like the idea of Brighton attack.

          Godfey to Fofana and then Sarr to Raph is clearly an option.

          1. FALSE PROFIT
            • Fantasy Football Scout Member
            • 7 Years
            23 days, 11 hours ago

            I,like you, always had issues with Dign last season. This season:
            Everton were poor last half of the season, especially eye test.
            Digne injury?
            New manager?
            No incoming players so far.
            DCL is as good as his supply in the 6 yard box only. (A plus for Digme)
            Everton mids too slow.
            Richa and James could leave (or sulk)
            Crowd could be toxic.
            Good fixtures (Second plus point)
            Avoiding the noise and all the narratives, would you still pick Digne as it stands at the moment?

            1. Sigurdnor
              • Fantasy Football Scout Member
              23 days, 8 hours ago

              As a southampton fan, Saints is not an easy fixture. They conceded tons of goals when there were injuries (which most midtable teams does with injuries at the back), but with Romeu, Bertrand, KWP etc. and no injuries, Southampton was an absolute force last season. Dont target them as whipping boys. And with improving Leeds, solid Brighton, Huge centre backs at Burnley, and Villa, do Everton have good opening fixtures? Decent, but not amazing by any means, to such a degree, that you must own Everton players. Isnt ridicolous to target Welbeck instead of DCL for saving funds for example.

        • Sigurdnor
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          23 days, 9 hours ago

          Jimenez is a great differential from GW 4 and onwards, where lots will jump from Watkins to Bamford i assume. He is on penalties, and Lage is more attacking than Nuno. Also, Semedo should be worth the extra 0.5 opposed to Coady as well after reading this article. Make sure to have 0.5m left in your starting draft, so you can jump on bandwagons, without having to worry about the +0.1 and -0.1 price jumps being too much of a factor.