We continue our in-depth analysis of the weekend’s top-flight fixtures by looking at the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brentford.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 0-2 BRENTFORD
- Goals: Ivan Toney (£6.3m), Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m)
- Assists: Toney
- Bonus: Toney x3, Ethan Pinnock (£4.6m) x2, Kristoffer Ajer (£4.5m) x1
BEES STRONG AT THE BACK
Brentford made it three clean sheets in five Premier League games in their 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, a tally that would have been even greater had they not shipped an out-of-the-blue 89th-minute winner to Brighton in Gameweek 4.
Wolves didn’t manage a single shot on target at Molineux this weekend and had only four efforts from inside the Bees’ box, with a Raul Jimenez (£7.5m) header wide and Adama Traore (£6.0m) shot that hit the bar as close as the hosts came to scoring – even then, the close proximity of Brentford defenders partly influenced the outcomes of the goal attempts.
It’s Liverpool up next for the west London outfit and while the Season Ticker of your choice may read blue/green for Mohamed Salah (£12.6m) and co, the Bees’ defensive stats are worth a look:
|Metric||Rank v other Premier League clubs|
|Shots in the box conceded||4th|
|Shots on target conceded||=2nd|
|Efforts from set plays conceded||4th|
|Big chances conceded||=3rd|
|Expected goals (xG) conceded||2nd|
One obvious thing to point out at this stage is the calibre of opposition: Brentford haven’t yet faced any of last season’s top seven.
A free-scoring Liverpool attack will be the real acid test of Thomas Frank’s backline but similarly, this could be a trickier afternoon for the Reds than the fixture difficulty rating-makers would have us believe.
“[Pontus Jansson] is good, he’s fine, no problem. [Rico Henry] had a minor issue with his ankle plus he was also on a yellow card and he played against Traore.” – Thomas Frank on the withdrawals of two of his defenders
MBEUMO AND TONEY
“Promise, not points” was the takeaway from last week’s write-up on Ivan Toney (£6.3m) and Bryan Mbeumo (£5.5m) after the defeat to Brighton.
The pair’s positive link-up play was finally rewarded with goals on Saturday, with Toney extending his excellent penalty-taking record (18 scored from 19 attempts) before teeing up his strike partner to score from close range.
Toney found the net on a further two occasions at Molineux but was denied by first an offside flag and then a VAR call on a handball.
“That was a 10/10 performance. What an assist, by the way, to Bryan [Mbeumo]. Again, we saw Bryan and Ivan’s relationship. It’s a little bit Yorke and Cole.” – Thomas Frank on Ivan Toney
Now’s not really the time to buy either player in FPL going by the next four matches (see above), especially if Frank asks Toney to play a bit deeper to connect play – as he did in Gameweek 1 – in the tougher upcoming games.
But a more appealing set of fixtures follows from Gameweeks 10-16, whereby the Bees jump to second in our Season Ticker.
WOLVES’ OFF DAY
Wolves were hugely disappointing and delivered their worst display under Bruno Lage to date, with FPL’s most-bought defender of Gameweek 5, Marcal (£4.6m), particularly woeful.
From a defensive point of view, we should, from an owners’ perspective, not overreact and hopefully just chalk this up as an off-day, as the Wolves backline had been decent up until this point. The fixtures ahead remain appealing, too.
But the struggles up top are a recurring theme and Lage’s troops are bottom of the division for shots-to-goals conversion rate, having netted only one of their 82 attempts in 2021/22.
Lage even substituted three of his five starting defenders and switched to a 4-2-3-1 on Saturday to chase the game, ultimately to no avail.
“It’s a concern, but not just from this year, from the past the team didn’t score too many goals. They have maybe one or two per game, so the average of the goals is not big, so we’re trying to play a different way, trying to create more chances to raise that average.
“But in the end, when you look back and see we created a lot of chances, to only have three points and two goals is a little bit frustrating for us.” – Bruno Lage on the struggle for goals
Wolves XI: Sa, Semedo (Silva 81), Kilman, Coady, Saiss (Hwang 46), Marcal (Podence 72), Neves, Moutinho, Trincao, Traore, Jimenez.
Brentford XI: Raya, Ajer, Jansson (Zanka 81), Pinnock, Canos (Onyeka 68), Baptiste, Norgaard, Janelt, Henry (Roerslev 75), Mbeumo, Toney.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM GAMEWEEK 5
- Saturday summary in brief
- Sunday summary in brief
- Newcastle 1-1 Leeds: Raphinha injury latest
- Wolves 0-2 Brentford: Bees defence to give Salah a tough test
- Burnley 0-1 Arsenal: Gunners defence looking solid
- Liverpool 3-0 Crystal Palace: Why Alexander-Arnold missed GW5
- Man City 0-0 Southampton: Livramento and Saints set for favourable fixtures
- Norwich 1-3 Watford: Why £4.0m Foster started in Gameweek 5
- Aston Villa 3-0 Everton: Richarlison out for 2/3 weeks
- Brighton 2-1 Leicester: Budget asset Duffy returns again from a set play
- West Ham 1-2 Man Utd: Shaw blanks but remains creative force
- Spurs 0-3 Chelsea: The reason for Mendy’s absence as Chelsea defence excel again