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FPL tips: Wolves ready to bite as data hints at lack of luck

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United – Premier League – Molineux Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

While Wolves may be without a point or a goal after three games of Premier League action, the underlying data suggests their performances have warranted more.

The FPL’s Threat metric measures the quality of chances in front of goal, with around 100 Threat equating to a goal’s worth of chances.

By analysing a team’s Threat scored and conceded during a game, then, FPL managers can work out whether a team have overperformed, underperformed, or were deserving of their result.

A graphic showing the amount of Threat scored by Premier League teams in the third gameweek of the FPL season

According to the Threat data at least, Wolves have outperformed their opponents in each of their league games this season.

Bruno Lage’s side have notched 687 Threat so far – the fourth highest in the league – but have lost 1-0 to Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester United.

Meanwhile their opponents scored 101, 168 and 116 Threat in those games respectively – combined, that is the fifth lowest total for Threat allowed so far of any club.

While the single goal Wolves conceded in each of those games was warranted then, their performances suggest they could reasonably have expected to score five or six goals themselves in that time.

Manchester United’s Diogo Dalot (left) and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Marcal battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Sunday August 29, 2021

Wolves defender Marcal, right, in action against Manchester United (Nick Potts/PA)

Whether poor finishing, poor fortune, or a combination of the two was to blame, what FPL bosses can conclude is that if Wolves continue to perform at the same level, the goals and wins will return soon enough.

That argument looks stronger when you consider Lage’s side face Watford, Brentford, Southampton and Newcastle next – all games rated two out of five for difficulty by the FPL’s Fixture Difficulty Rating system.

If the good times come back to Molineux in that period, Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore stand out as the men to back.

Jimenez has so far racked up 158 Threat, the fourth highest total of any forward, while at £7.4m he will represent good value if he can find his pre-injury form again.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Raul Jimenez after the final whistle during the Premier League match at Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Sunday August 29, 2021

Raul Jimenez, centre, is greeted by Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Nick Potts/PA)

The Mexican scored 17 goals and notched seven assists in his last full season in the Premier League, scoring 194 FPL points in the process.

Meanwhile team mate Traore has the highest individual Threat total at Wolves and the third highest of all midfielders in the league.

The Spaniard scored four goals and registered nine assists in 2019-20, but followed that up with a lacklustre 2020-21 campaign.

At just £6m however, could now be the time to take a chance on a return to form?

Last but not least, while Wolves’ forward line looks to bounce back, its defence only conceded three goals against Leicester, Tottenham and United.

Lage’s three most used defenders after three games – Fernando Marcal, Max Kilman and Conor Coady – all cost just £4.5m and would represent excellent value if the clean sheets begin to flow.