Wolves 2-1 Chelsea
- Goals: Daniel Podence (£5.4m), Pedro Neto (£5.7m) | Olivier Giroud (£6.7m)
- Assists: Owen Otasowie (£4.5m), Vitinha (£4.8m) | Ben Chilwell (£6.2m)
- Bonus points: Podence x3, Neto x2, Chilwell x1
GIROUD NOT TO
Olivier Giroud (£6.7m) is fast becoming the key Fantasy Premier League forward at Chelsea as Timo Werner (£9.4m) continues to struggle in wide areas.
The former Arsenal striker scored the Blues’ only goal of the game as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Wolves, the second in his last three Premier League starts.
And if you go back to the beginning of Project Restart, no Chelsea player has found the net more often than Giroud (eight goals), who is working his way back to the top of the pecking order.
The Frenchman has started each of the last three Premier League matches for Frank Lampard’s side, lasting 90 minutes once and having his minutes managed around the 70-minute mark in two of them.
Any last remaining Werner owners who like the look of Chelsea’s upcoming fixtures West Ham (home), Arsenal (away), Aston Villa (home) might do well to consider his signature – especially considering the German international is without a goal since Gameweek 8 and has blanked three times in the last four matches.
Werner’s biggest problem in recent outings has been how isolated Chelsea have left him on the flanks of the front-three, whether or not Lampard stations him on the left or right-hand side.
Against Wolves, Christian Pulisic‘s (£8.2m) first start since Gameweek 11 pushed Werner onto the right, where even his most insightful of runs were regularly ignored by his team-mates.
So much of Chelsea’s play went down the left-hand side through Pulisic who did provide some cut and thrust but, very soon, it became predictable and one-dimensional.
But the nail in Werner’s FPL coffin came after Lampard switched his wingers, allowing the former RB Leipzig man some time on the left of the front-three, only for Chelsea to send everything down the right-hand side through Pulisic again.
“Pulisic provides us with some width and he’s very good at winning his one-on-ones. He’s had a few issues with the hamstring but he’s trained so he’s straight back in.” – Frank Lampard
It is certainly worth adding that Chelsea sorely miss Hakim Ziyech (£8.1m), Lampard’s side resembling the laboured outfit from the early weeks of the season during the Moroccan’s last injury.
“No (there wasn’t enough) after the goal. We didn’t hang on either. Performance (has changed). It’s what gives you results. Maybe the lads think they’re playing well and the second you think you’re playing well, anything can happen.” – Frank Lampard
CATCHING A CHILL
Despite a recent speight of clean sheets, Chelsea’s defensive credentials have taken a knock in their last two matches.
Between Gameweeks 6 and 10, the Blues conceded just one goal, letting in three since the start of Gameweek 12.
Giving up a lead at Molineux given Wolves’ current state of affairs is also rather alarming.
Before Tuesday night, they were yet to find the net in a game which Raúl Jiménez (£8.2m) had not started this season.
Not including Fantasy assists, the Mexican was involved in a significant 31% of Wolves’ 109 Premier League goals since promotion before Gameweek 13 – so he has been a huge miss.
Accordingly, when Daniel Podence (£5.4m) cut inside Reece James (£5.3m) and Ben Chilwell (£6.2m) and fired past Edouard Mendy (£5.2m) it ended Wolves’ longest run without a Premier League goal since their promotion in 2018 (296 minutes).
Wolves chose James’ flank as one to target as they wound through the gears in the final third of the match, the right-back escaping a penalty thanks to the VAR, but leaving Kurt Zouma (£5.7m) exposed to a Pedro Neto (£5.7m) run in the closing stages.
The Portuguese winger came into Gameweek 13 inside the top five best-value midfielders of the season (offering 9.6 points per million spent) and, by netting at Molineux took his attacking returns tally there to four in his last five.
Whether Chelsea’s defence can be trusted against West Ham is, of course, now under scrutiny in the Fantasy community while upcoming meetings with Aston Villa (home) and Manchester City (home) are also somewhat ominous.
Chilwell might have done enough to earn a stay of execution though, topping this game for key passes thanks to his involvement in corners and Chelsea’s persistence on playing the ball down their left-flank, producing his first attacking return since Gameweek 8.
Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (3-4-3): Patrício; Saïss, Coady, Boly; Marçal, Neves, Dendoncker (Otasowie 46′), Semedo; Podence (Vitinha 90′), F Silva (A Traoré 61′), Neto.
Chelsea XI (4-3-3): E Mendy; Chilwell, T Silva, Zouma, R James; Havertz (Havertz 71′), Kanté, Mount; Pulisic, Giroud (Abraham 71′), Werner.
Lessons learned from FPL Gameweek 13
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