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

It’s rare I’ve said this recently, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one – even if it is 7th vs 17th.

Wolves may be flying, having won 4 of their last 5 in all comps and scoring 15 in the process, but it feels like we have some genuine momentum and belief for one of the first times this season.

We saw off Cardiff convincingly, were outstanding in our 2-1 win over Man City and defending superbly in our unfortunate 1-0 defeat at Spurs. Not only that, we’ve gone and finally broken our 14-year-old club record signing, with the arrival of both Almiron and Barreca giving everyone a much needed boost.

Not only that, we now have several key players finally returning from injury. Diame and Ki are back to beef up our paper thin midfield options (with Longstaff and Hayden playing practically every minute over the last month) and Dummett is also available – with he, Barreca and Almiron giving Rafa a sudden selection headache in both left-back and attacking midfield areas.

Wolves have really impressed me this season, having a system hard to contain, a defence that’s hard to crack and an attack with options left, right and centre, but impressive runs of form often come to an end sooner rather than later – especially when it’s involving sides outside the top 6.

Predicted XI

Rafa suddenly has options for this one, but I don’t see him making any changes if I’m honest.

Diame is an obvious Hayden replacement but the latter has done well of late. Dummett is usually one of the first names on the team sheet, but I struggle to see how he fits into the above formation as a wing-back.

Atsu was the clear weak link at Spurs for me, with his final ball often letting us down on the counter, but I can’t see Almiron starting just yet. It wouldn’t be Rafa’s style – especially in a game where he’d have a huge job to do at both ends, with Wolves’ wing-backs Doherty and Jonny practically playing as attacking wingers whenever I’ve watched them at Molineux this season.

I’d like to see the below team start, but I think there’ll be no changes made:

Prefered NUFC XI – (3-4–2-1) – Dubravka– Schar, Lascelles, Lejeune – Yedlin, Longstaff, Diame, Ritchie – Perez, Almiron – Rondon.

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in the Wolves side:

Raul Jimenez – He’s been hugely impressive in his first season in England. With 11 goals and 6 assists in all comps he’s been heavily involved in so many of Wolves’ goals this season, but his general play, surprise burst of pace and work rate is equally impressive.

Doherty and Jonny – The pair are Wolves’ wing-backs, but if I told you they played as attacking wingers you’d believe me. Considering they are classified as ‘defenders’ you would not believe how many times they find themselves arriving in the box.

Willy Boly – He’s another who’s impressed me this season, but as good as he’s been, he’s had a few moments of madness – with him seeing red at City a few weeks ago and being very lucky to get away with his reckless elbow on Perez late last year. Nevertheless, it will be a big challenge for Rondon, with Boldy being a mountain of a man and a solid defender.

Predicted Wolves XI – (3-5-2) – Patricio – Bennett, Coady, Boly – Doherty, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Neves, Jonny – Jimenez, Jota.

Team news

Diame, Ki and Dummett have all been passed fit for this one, with Almiron and Barreca also available after training over the last few days.

Benitez confirmed that Shelvey is ‘close’ but this one will come too soon for him, while Muto is back after returning from the Asian Cup.

For Wolves, star centre-back Willy Boly is back from a ban.

Match Prediction

Looking at league position and Wolves’ form some would say there’s only one winner here, but I have a good feeling about this one.

IF he can defend as well as we have done in our last two games then we could frustrate them and come away with a result, but the difference between a potential draw and surprise victory will all come down to our final ball on the break. Perez and Rondon did well at Spurs but Atsu frustrated, meaning the introduction of Almiron could just be the missing ingredient if he can hit the ground running.

No result would surprise me in this one, however I do have a good feeling that we’ll come away with at least a point.

Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Newcastle

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.

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

  1. I’d start Almiron in this one but maybe just for an hour. The guy will be bursting with excitement and energy, match fit or not.
    Dubravka, Yedlin,Schar, Lacelles, Lejeune, Barreca, Diame, Longstaff, Perez, Rondon, Almiron.



  2. Our last two games of the season looking very important, Liverpool may need to beat us to win the league and then Fulham could define where we finish.


  3. Will be really surprised if Rafa starts Almiron. He rarely ever starts a new player straight away, even after being away on international duty.

    As for the game if we play like we did against Spurs we will get something. I’d take a drAw now given our next two games.


  4. I see that at Colchester Roberts in the first game of his loan came on for the last ten minutes and won a penalty. The second game he remained on the bench. Colchester are doing very well so it is understandable that they don’t want to make many changes to a successful team. However if Roberts is not going to get game time he would be better off playing more regularly for our U23s


  5. The Keys and Gray Show doesn’t get broadcast in the UK does it? It was shown in the US until this year and the quality of guest explains just about where the 2 Fatboys stand now. In studio they will have the odd ex-manager who is in between jobs like Big Fat Sam or Pards. Looking for a bit of sun in Qatar and a free game of golf.

    They give John Cross of The Daily Mirror 10 minutes every show. He is probably the most boring sports reporter ever and spends about 9 of those minutes on Arsenal (who he supports). I wish someone would tell him not to point his laptop camera up his nose.

    Then they will interview some lower league manager or player via skype. Even worse, they will often interview some 4th division or non-league Chairman. They need to get a better guest booker. One time they had an interview with the Chairman of a startup company that was bringing out a new version of a boot that was cancelled 30 years ago. I wish I had that 10 minutes of my life back. I continued watching it for pure curiosity value.


  6. Better end to the half. Thought Eondon has ****ed up there but it was on target.

    Almiron for Atsu would be my half time change.


  7. Eric Sykes:
    That’s usually given as a foul though. I think it probably was a foul.

    Agree, he’s a ****er that Boly, if that was Lascelles on their keeper they would be up in arms too.


  8. Gutted, absolutely gutted. Watched in a Norwegian bar with some colleagues. 4 mins extra time and scores in 95th minute! 😡😱. Dubravka has cost us again. That’s 2 games in a row now. I know it’s still a point but that feels like a loss and a huge kick in the nuts. We always bring pressure on ourselves in the dying minutes of a game. Gutted.


  9. On reflection I think he was maybe fouled a bit but should he be stronger?

    Two things pissed me off. No 1 – I believe we should have had a free kick in the corner before this and second why where we into 95th minute?


  10. Dubravka blew it I think.. needed to make that catch. No excuses he messed up again. Sad really as he’s been outstanding… trouble is when a goalie makes an error it costs points.


  11. Dubs made a lot of excellent saves tonight. Boly’s hands were obstructing his face and his arms were on Dubs shoulders before the ball was won thus preventing Dubs from getting up properly. It’s a foul all day long. And stu is right there was a foul in the corner that should of been dealt with before and then they wouldn’t of even had the damn corner.
    And all the extra time ffs, even allowing for Manquillo coming on it didn’t take over a minute ffs.

    Positive, a point away and Miggy is bloody fast.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green