Wolves (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

Another quiet week on Tyneside..

Takeover talk has intensified, we’ve got a valuable point away to Everton in a battling performance and the Magpie Group have since cancelled the boycott that was planned for this Sunday’s game on Sky.

All that side, this weekend’s clash with Wolves is another important one. We’ve put in some real good work recently to earn back to back home wins over Bournemouth and Watford and done brilliantly on the road to get 4 points from trips to Burnley and Everton, however last weekend’s 0-3 hammering when hosting West Ham was a reminder of what can happen when we’re a little below our best.

We’ve done a great job of steadying what, to some, looked like a sinking ship, however we are still just four points clear of the drop zone – and that’s not a big margin given we have some VERY tough fixtures coming our way after Christmas.

Wolves are a good side and will have a spring in their step after their huge midweek win over Chelsea at Molineux, however it is worth noting that they’d been struggling badly before that win – losing to Cardiff and Huddersfield in their two games before Chelsea on a run that included five defeats and one draw in six games.



If we get into them early and don’t allow them to build on their win on Wednesday we could quickly break their fragile confidence levels.

Preferred XI

As ever, here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with:

Either side of our 0-3 home hammering against West Ham, we’ve won pretty convincingly at Burnley and secured a great point at Everton – and in these two away games we’ve played three/five at the back in a system that seemed to suit us well at both ends.

There’s a good chance Rafa sticks to his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation (especially now Dummett could be set to return), however it feels like it’s worth sticking with a system that’s been working well – with us looking a bit one dimensional against West Ham.

The above system would also match Wolves’, with their attacking wing backs and illusive front three likely to be hard to contain if we go for a flat back four. Rafa knows better than me, but I think it’s time to give this formation a shot at St James’.

Whilst a return to 4-2-3-1 with Dummett back in at left-back looks likely, he’s shown in the past that he’s more than capable of playing as a centre-back in a three-man defence – and that is something Rafa may consider given Schar is suspended.

Ki and Diame have started several games in a row now and, although they’re doing well, I can see Shelvey coming in sooner rather than later, with Rafa likely to rotate given the festive fixture rush that we’re now entering.

Predicted NUFC team – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka – Yedlin, Lascelles, Fernandez, Dummett – Shelvey, Diame – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy – Rondon.  

 

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in this West Ham side:

Ruben Neves: The heartbeat of this Wolves side. Superb technically, devastating from free-kicks and a tenacious player who will get stuck in too. He missed their midweek game through suspension and could be at it after a much needed rest.

Matt Doherty: Probably the most attacking and most advanced wing-back I’ve seen in the league this season. He plays on the right-hand side of their five-man defence, but he looks more like a right-forward when you watch where he positions himself. He could leave gaps at the other end – and we must look to exploit this – but he’s a real threat going forward, with him weighing in with two goals and three assists already his season.

Willy Boly: Their best defender and an absolute unit who will give Rondon a real run for his money when it comes winning balls in the air. Rondon often outmuscles his man, but this will be a real physical test for him.

Adama Traore: There’s a chance he won’t start, but, if he does, he’ll be their main threat on the counter. His final ball and decision making is lacking at times, but he has frightening power and pace – being able to beat his man at will when he wants to.

Predicted Wolves XI  (3-4-3) – Rui Patricio – Boly, Coady, Bennett – Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre – Traore, Jiminez, Jota. 

Team news

Fabian Schar is ruled out through suspension (5 yellows), but Matt Ritchie is back after a one-match ban saw him miss the Everton game. Paul Dummett and Kenedy expected to be back involved IF they come through training unscathed on Saturday.

First choice left-wing back ‘Jonny’ will miss out once again, but star midfielder Ruben Neves is back after a one-match ban saw him miss their win over Chelsea in midweek.

Match Prediction

I think there might be a few goals in this one.

We both come into this with confidence after good results in midweek, which is unfortunate for us given they were seriously struggling prior to their 2-1 win over Chelsea a few days ago.

I genuinely haven’t a clue how this one will pan out, so it may come down to which side has recovered best after two big efforts in the week – especially when both managers don’t tend to rotate much.

Prediction: Newcastle 2-2 Wolves 

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

120 thoughts on “Wolves (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. I don’t know which game the pundits over here have been witching but they are saying Wolves by far the better team. How many shots have they had!!! I think it has been quite even.

    They are complaining we are going long ball. That’s the personnel we have on the field. We are not going be bringing it out of the back without Lejeune and Schar.

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  2. Eric Sykes:
    I don’t know which game the pundits over here have been witching but they are saying Wolves by far the better team. How many shots have they had!!! I think it has been quite even.

    They are complaining we are going long ball. That’s the personnel we have on the field. We are not going be bringing it out of the back without Lejeune and Schar.

    3 shots to our 10 Eric so **** nows what they watching.

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  3. Said before the game that Mike Dean would give penalty but it is a red instead. Was Yedlin the last man?

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  4. What are the rules? Clear goal stopping opportunity? And has to be last defender and I think Lascelles was level. Probably was the right decision but it is typical of Mike Dean who will always make himself the centre of attention.

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  5. If that’s a red card my area is a fire engine! Wasn’t deliberately denying a clear goal scoring opportunity.

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  6. Eric Sykes:
    Said before the game that Mike Dean would give penalty but it is a red instead. Was Yedlin the last man?

    no mate but he was through on goal Lascelles was never gonna get there to clear it

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  7. Kimtoon: that’s what I thought as soon as I saw Dean was the Ref but I thought it would be a penalty. Still time though 🙂

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  8. Defo deserve something from this game like.
    I get the impression Wolves don’t like it physical, load of pussies.

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  9. Rafa better be quiet about Mike Dean or he could be short another 60k. Klopp was only fined 6,000 for running on the pitch to celebrate with the goalie.

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  10. Fuck off!!!

    What the **** was Perez playing at there – just take it into the ****ing corner man for ****s sake

    Fucking put a tackle in, bring him down if you need to – that’s so ****ing sloppy!!!!

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  11. Didn’t deserve that at all there like.

    Naive stupid play at the end has cost us – stupid play really, just needed to kill time in the corner.

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  12. Just f.ucking knew it… clear penalty for us on Perez not given… f.ucking twa.t of a referee. And.. we played fu.cking sh.ite… give the ball away at every opportunity… this Wolves for Fu.cks sake. 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡

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  13. Kenedy, fresh as a ****ing daisy yet lets Doherty sail past him having been level, to ghost in and score mind.
    And don’t get me started on Lascelles, awful today as was Yedlin who I don’t rate anyway.

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  14. DT. I didn’t think there was anything between the teams. We attacked too much after the red card but also should have had a penalty. As usual with Mike Dean he changes games and usually for the worse with us.

    I said it yesterday but it is not hard to predict because he is a biased [email protected] Always has been. Not sure how many titles him and Howard Webb secured for Man U.

    The joke in some circles is that Man U are doing so badly now because Howard Webb retired.

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  15. I’ve got no issue with Yedlin red card, without VAR it was probably the right call.
    But VAR would have also seen Perez took an elbow in the mouth and a penalty. I get that the ref missed it coz it wasn’t totally obvious – but it was a clear elbow on replay – don’t know how the pundits didn’t think so like 🙄

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  16. I think I would have brought Longstaff on to shore up midfield rather than Kennedy. I also believe Dummett would have been a better centre half than Yedlin who is a poor defender anyway.

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  17. I think I would have brought Longstaff on to shore up midfield rather than Kennedy. I also believe Dummett would have been a better centre half than Yedlin who is a poor defender anyway. What do I know?

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  18. Sharpy: Dean had a clear view of that elbow on Ayoze. I thought Yedlin was probably a red but with another Ref it could have been a free kick and a yellow for pulling him back and because Lascelles was close enough to at least put the player off a shot.

    Both could have gone the other way but it is not conspiracy when you know the day before he will make decisions against us that will change the game.

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  19. Eric Sykes:
    Sharpy: Dean had a clear view of that elbow on Ayoze. I thought Yedlin was probably a red but with another Ref it could have been a free kick and a yellow for pulling him back and because Lascelles was close enough to at least put the player off a shot.

    Both could have gone the other way but it is not conspiracy when you know the day before he will make decisions against us that will change the game.

    Eric – Perez just been interviewed and Dean told him he thought the ball hit him in the face – to be fair, I didn’t see the elbow in real time either. Deans gave him what he saw and he’s only human – it just enforces the need for VAR.

    I can’t slaughter Dean for missing it coz it wasn’t totally obvious and also, none of the Newcastle players appealed for it either – refs tend to react to player reaction too and there was nothing really.

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  20. It is not even sour grapes because I knew that if there was a marginal call then Mike Dean would make it AGAINST us. I said it yesterday but thought it would be a penalty. In a way I was right because he DENIED a clear penalty.

    Saw Ayoze interviewed after the game and he was constantly rubbing his nose. There is a dent in it but that might have been there before, or it could be broken.

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  21. Sharpy: Perez went down like a ton of bricks. It seemed obvious on first viewing to me he had been clattered.

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  22. Sharpy: are you saying that Dean is not a [email protected] who always favours the big teams and makes it about himself? I know I am biased but I have always thought if he could make a call against us he would.

    Obviously Wolves not a big team but you get what I am getting at.

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  23. My heart sank when I read the Chronic yesterday and I saw the Ref was Mike Dean. I thought immediately we would be playing against 12 men. Who decides on extra time as well because there were no bloody stoppages in either half?

    You normally get 1-2 minutes in the first half and then they add a bit extra on to the 2nd but there was no time wasted or anything.

    I know it is a minor point. The commentators over here said “we have been told there will be 5 extra minutes and the NUFC fans won’t be happy”. So they saw it as well.

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  24. The problem with Perez is he goes down so frequently then moans to the ref that the refs have marked his cards so that when he is genuinely fouled he gets nothing.

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  25. Eric Sykes:
    DT. I didn’t think there was anything between the teams. We attacked too much after the red card but also should have had a penalty. As usual with Mike Dean he changes games and usually for the worse with us.

    I said it yesterday but it is not hard to predict because he is a biased [email protected] Always has been. Not sure how many titles him and Howard Webb secured for Man U.

    The joke in some circles is that Man U are doing so badly now because Howard Webb retired.

    Yeah Eric I agree we were pretty even.. the difference was the ref and his decisions… after Yedlin’s red, it was only going to go one way sadly. I thought we would hold out but as usual we shot ourselves in the foot once again.

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  26. Eric – I cant say I like Dean at all. Yes Perez went down like a ton of brick but real time I thought it was a fair challenge for the ball and I’m just saying I can understand why Dean thought the ball hit him in the face rather than Boly elbowing him.
    Like I say, player reaction didn’t suggest it was a foul either imo.
    But when it showed the replay it was clear as crystal.
    I’m just saying that VAR is desperately needed in football and has been for so long.

    I don’t think Dean saw it and intentionally mugged us. I’m not sure anyone really saw it and Perez didn’t make a big deal of it either.

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  27. Sharpy17:
    Eric – I cant say I like Dean at all.Yes Perez went down like a ton of brick but real time I thought it was a fair challenge for the ball and I’m just saying I can understand why Dean thought the ball hit him in the face rather than Boly elbowing him.
    Like I say, player reaction didn’t suggest it was a foul either imo.
    But when it showed the replay it was clear as crystal.
    I’m just saying that VAR is desperately needed in football and has been for so long.

    I don’t think Dean saw it and intentionally mugged us.I’m not sure anyone really saw it and Perez didn’t make a big deal of it either.

    Perez didn’t make a big deal because he was polaxed and lying in a heap on the ground with potentially a broken nose.

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