We continue our Fantasy Premier League (FPL) Gameweek 12 Scout Notes with analysis of Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United.
For a briefer summary of Saturday’s action, click here, while you can read up on Liverpool v Arsenal, Manchester City v Everton and Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United in more detail below.
- READ MORE: What Klopp said about Jota’s injury – and is Mane being unfairly overlooked in FPL?
- READ MORE: Richarlison to miss Gameweek 13 as Cancelo keeps up fine FPL form
- READ MORE: How Spurs’ FPL assets fared in Gameweek 12
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 1-0 WEST HAM UNITED
- Goals: Raul Jimenez (£7.8m)
- Assists: Daniel Podence (£5.5m)
- Bonus: Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.3m) x3, Jimenez x2, Romain Saiss (£5.0m) x1, Jose Sa (£5.0m) x1
JIMENEZ SECURES WIN
Raul Jimenez (£7.8m) scored the only goal of the game on Saturday, as Wolverhampton Wanderers beat in-form West Ham United 1-0 at Molineux.
The Mexican has now produced six attacking returns in his last six starts, and sits fifth in the forward standings on 51 FPL points, only behind Michail Antonio (£8.2m), Jamie Vardy (£10.6m), Allan Saint-Maximin (£6.8m) and Emannuel Dennis (£5.2m).
Elsewhere, Daniel Podence (£5.5m) grabbed the assist for Jimenez’s goal and went close to finding the net himself with two shots that were saved by Lukasz Fabianski (£5.0m). The attacking midfielder was a surprise inclusion on the day at the expense of Adama Traore (£5.8m) and Francisco Trincao (£5.7m), both of whom were benched.
After the game, Bruno Lage explained why he opted for Podence in his usual 3-4-2-1 system:
“We looked at the opponent. When you look at the four defenders, especially the two central defenders from West Ham, they are big guys so we need to put guys with agility in these one against one situations. I think he’s one of the best guys we have in our squad to do that.
I think it’s been difficult for everyone. Even Adama, he came into the team and did very well, also Daniel, when he’s played he’s helped us, also Trincao – I think Trincao has played more than the others. He (Trincao) can link the game and create chances. He missed a lot of chances. He needs one goal to be solid.
I’m very happy with the four guys, they are giving me a lot of solutions in each moment.”
As for Wolves, they are now up to sixth in the table, having won five of their past seven Premier League games. Encouragingly, they have been steadily improving since losing their opening three matches, and now have a chance to kick on with appealing fixtures against Norwich City (a) and Burnley (h) up next, before the schedule then toughens up over the Christmas period.
Wolves’ schedule right up until the end of the year
£4.3M AIT NOURI RETAINS PLACE DESPITE MARCAL RETURN
Since making his first start of the campaign in Gameweek 9, budget defender Rayan Ait-Nouri (£4.3m) has impressed and deservedly kept his place ahead of Marcal (£4.4m) on Saturday.
What’s notable is how he offers a different level of attacking threat to Marcal, whose underwhelming 343 minutes per chance created total is way behind Ait-Nouri’s 60 minutes. That figure stacks up well against other defenders, too, and is superior to the likes of Andrew Robertson (£7.0m) and Joao Cancelo (£6.6m).
Meanwhile, during his last four matches, Ait-Nouri is averaging an impressive five points per match. During that time, amongst all defenders, he ranks amongst the top 10 for final-third touches, passes received in the final third and successful take-ons, while his total of 27 crosses – albeit aided by corner-taking duties – is only bettered by James Ward-Prowse (£6.3m), Phil Foden (£8.3m) and Matt Ritchie (£4.9m).
Saturday’s defeat was West Ham’s first loss on the road in 12 matches, dating back to mid-April, while it also ended a run of four straight Premier League wins.
It was an unusually flat performance by the Hammers, who registered just 0.25 expected goals (xG) from open-play, though Kurt Zouma (£5.4m) did have a goal disallowed from a Jarrod Bowen £6.4m) corner.
As for Antonio, it was a largely anonymous display, as he failed to register a single shot inside the box. The forward started the campaign in promising form but has now scored just two goals in his last eight appearances, and as a result, has seen more sales than any other player ahead of Gameweek 13.
The fixtures don’t get any easier for a while either, with Man City (a), Brighton and Hove Albion (h) and Chelsea (h) up next.
After the match, David Moyes discussed Antonio and what he needs to do to get back to form:
“I think he needs to get himself into a really good condition because he thrives when he is physically in top condition. We have tried to protect him, we have not used him too many times in European games so we have tried to do that because we are trying to keep him fit for Premier League games especially. But we will find a way. Centre-forwards often go through spells with no goals but we hope there are a few to come soon. He is fit but for Mic he always needs to be super fit really. I think Mic will know that when he is really on it he is a real handful but today he was not really as good as he has been.”
The manager also touched on the possibility of shifting to a back-three formation, in light of Angelo Ogbonna’s (£5.0m) long-term injury:
“To the naked eye we’ve been using a bit of it without it looking too obvious but we have to have the right personnel to do it. Arthur (Masuaku) is someone who could possibly do it for us but it is something we have to consider. They played three at the back and caused us problems with their width and wing-backs but we knew it was coming, so it wasn’t something we weren’t aware of.”
Wolves XI: Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri, Podence (Traore 76), Hwang (Dendoncker 87), Jimenez
West Ham XI: Fabianski, Johnson, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen (Yarmolenko 71), Benrahma (Vlasic 71), Fornals (Lanzini 59), Antonio
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