We assess the key Fantasy Premier League (FPL) talking points from Fulham v Wolverhampton Wanderers in our first Gameweek 25 Scout Notes.
The numbers and graphics you see in this article are taken from our Premium Members Area, where you can access Opta player and team data for every single Premier League fixture.
SARABIA OFF THE MARK
Pablo Sarabia’s (£5.5m) first Premier League goal put Wolves ahead on Friday, earning his small army of FPL owners a double-figure haul after he received the maximum three bonus points.
The former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who was transferred in by just 52,141 FPL managers, was later denied an assist when teammate Raul Jimenez (£6.7m) missed a big chance from his cross.
Julen Lopetegui made two changes to the side that lost to Bournemouth last week and started in a 4-4-2 formation, with Matheus Nunes (£4.8m) on the left, Sarabia on the right and Matheus Cunha (£5.5m) playing off Jimenez up front.
However, Wolves were dealt a blow when Cunha was stretchered off after an hour with a suspected ankle injury, with his departure unsettling them. Up until that point, he and Jimenez – who had his best game for some time – had linked up nicely, with the new set-up allowing their attackers to flourish.
“The match changed after the injury to Cunha.” – Julen Lopetegui
“We don’t know about Cunha. Tomorrow he will have an MRI scan on his ankle.” – Julen Lopetegui
Despite his lack of returns, Hugo Bueno’s (£3.9m) FPL owners will have been encouraged by his display at Craven Cottage.
The Spaniard was able to get forward and deliver some dangerous crosses, with his tally of six more than any other player on the pitch. It’s also worth noting he took all of his side’s corners and was also on some free-kicks, further adding to his FPL appeal.
Whether it will be enough to secure a second Double Gameweek 25 start at Liverpool on Wednesday, however, remains to be seen.
Above: Wolves’ average position map (left) v Fulham – Bueno is no. 64 – and his touch heatmap (right)
Manor Solomon (£4.9m), who got the winner against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend, did it again on Friday, netting the equaliser with a curling shot from the edge of the box.
The 23-year-old has now scored in each of his last three matches, all from the bench.
The budget midfielder is one to monitor if he can secure a starting role, although it is worth noting Marco Silva sounded cautious when discussing the player’s fitness after full-time.
“He’s showing the quality that he has, and he’s helping the team as well. Manor is not ready for 90 minutes, but at the same time he needs minutes to play with this intensity, because this is the Premier League and when you’ve had three or four months without playing football matches week in and week out, it is always difficult for you.” – Marco Silva on Manor Solomon
“It’s not for sure that he will start next time. He needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He doesn’t have 90 minutes in his legs yet.” – Marco Silva on Manor Solomon
The hosts looked a bit leggy up until Solomon’s arrival at the start of the second half and were clearly missing a proper focal point in attack, with Aleksandar Mitrovic (£6.8m) absent again. The Serb has not featured for the club since Gameweek 23 because of a hamstring injury.
In his absence, they struggled to get Carlos Vinicius (£5.4m) as involved as much as they’d like and they weren’t attacking crosses like they do when Mitrovic is involved. Andreas Pereira (£4.4m), meanwhile, took a couple of shots from outside of the box but was generally pretty quiet. He was also booked in the second half.
“Many things were different in the second half, the dynamic of the team and the way we pressed the ball. We didn’t do that well enough from the start. We weren’t aggressive enough in the press and that allowed them to start easy attacks. On the ball we were much more dynamic after half time and that gave Pereira the chance to create. It was a reaction that I wanted but that’s how we should have started.” – Marco Silva
Fulham have now picked up 20 points in the Premier League since the World Cup, with only Manchester United (23) accruing more in that time.
However, they will have to navigate the next two Gameweeks without key defensive midfielder Palhinha (£4.9m), who picked up his tenth caution of the season on Friday.
As a result, he will now miss Fulham’s next two Premier League games against Brentford and Arsenal, an interesting development for those considering moving a week early for Ivan Toney (£7.6m). The Bees, of course, have a Double Gameweek 27 after hosting the Cottagers next week.
Palhinha has missed one Premier League game so far this season, a 4-1 loss at home to Newcastle United, although Fulham were reduced to 10 men after just eight minutes.
Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, Diop, Ream, Robinson; Reed (Lukic 45), Palhinha; De Cordova-Reid (Solomon 45), Pereira, Willian (Wilson 83); Vinicius
Wolverhampton Wanderers XI (4-4-2): Sa; Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Bueno; Sarabia (Moutinho 76), Neves, Lemina, Nunes (Podence 76); Cunha (Traore 60), Jimenez (Costa 84)