In Defence of Wolves

01/03/2019 Planet FPL

Owning Wolves defensive assets at the moment feels akin to being a lonely singleton, glumly sat in a restaurant, constantly telling the waiter “I’ll just give them another 5 minutes”. With there seemingly more chance of a clean sheet coming from a Tracey Emin art installation many managers will have been looking at an exit strategy and Tuesday’s injury time clean sheet wipeout away at Huddersfield may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Most will be planning to hold for a plum home game against Cardiff before a mass exodus prior to the GW30 trip to Chelsea and a GW31 blank. It’s hard to argue with this strategy for those planning to FH32 but for those without an abundance of chips remaining it may prove fruitful to hold.

After a promising start which saw 4 clean sheets in the first 8 gameweeks Wolves have recorded just 2 in the following 20. However they have the 4th lowest expected goals against for this period behind only Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea. This would suggest they’ve possibly been unlucky with the number of clean sheets they’ve had recently and their impressive defensive stats may start to translate into clean sheets and FPL points soon. Chelsea away would usually be one of the toughest fixtures of the season but with the ongoing uncertainty over Sarri’s future and The Blues having failed to score in 3 of their previous 5 Premier League games it may not be the worst time to face them. Everton, Leicester and Southampton have all successfully shut out Chelsea at Stamford Bridge so far this season so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Wolves did too. Wolves face Burnley, Southampton, Brighton, Watford and Fulham before the end of the season, fixtures which could easily see them fulfil their clean sheet potential. FPL managers with a wildcard still available may well look elsewhere given the lack of recent returns so for managers without a wildcard holding onto Wolves defensive assets could be a good source of differential points. They also offer decent attacking threat with the Wolves defence providing 10 goals and 7 assists so far this season and contributing an attacking return in 15 of the 28 gameweeks.

The urge to rage transfer Wolves defenders out on Tuesday night was pretty strong and will only increase if they fail to keep Cardiff out at home this weekend but for anyone following an unconventional chip strategy resisting that urge might be the way to go. Shipping them out ahead of Chelsea and a blank seems a sound strategy for those of us on a Chunky Chips (Planet #FPL ep. 46) strategy but I would still keep Wolves defenders in mind for the doubles and a future wildcard. Their league position and defensive stats reflect the fact that they are far better quality players/FPL assets then their recent returns and FPL prices might suggest.