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

After three straight defeats over the festive period and an unacceptable FA Cup collapse at Rochdale, this feels like a big game for Steve Bruce.

Wolves are tough opposition and one of few clubs capable of breaking the ‘big six’ this season, however it’s a essential we put in a much improved display after some worrying performances in recent weeks.

We’ve never dominated games, created a bucket load of chances or been great on the eye this season, but we built a habit of being hard to beat, staying in games and defending well – and we need to get this knack back, or we are at risk of being dragged back into a dreaded relegation battle.

Predicted XI

With several first-team players now back in contention, Steve Bruce has a slightly more healthy squad to pick from going into this one.

At the back there’s still a few issues, but it’s not all bad news. Schar, Manquillo and Lascelles are all out and Yedlin is a doubt, but with Clark, Dummett and Ritchie all back, we have plenty solid options at the back.

At centre-back, I think Lejeune needs to be eased back in and protected after being overplayed over the festive period, so a back three of Fernandez, Clark and Dummett.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Bruce played Ritchie at right wing-back, however Emil Krafth could well come in. After all, I’m not sure why we signed him if he can’t get a game even when Manquillo and Yedlin are out injured!

Willems looks likely to come back in at left wing-back, while Hayden and Sean Longstaff seem nailed on to start in midfield with Shelvey set to miss out again with a hamstring injury.

In attack, Atsu’s lively display at Rochdale could’ve earned him a start – especially if Bruce decides to take Joelinton out of the firing line.

That said, I can see a fit again Andy Carroll leading the line, with Joelinton and Almiron either side of the big man.

Preferred NUFC XI – (5-2-2-1) – Dubravka – Ritchie, Fernandez, Clark, Dummett, Willems – Hayden, S.Longstaff – Almiron, Joelinton – Carroll.

The Opposition

Here’s ‘ones to watch’ in Nuno Espírito Santo’s Wolves side:

Adama Traore –

Raul Jimenez – The Mexican striker was outstanding last season and is continuing to score and assist this term. He’s a handful, surprisingly quick for his height and has been involved in 14 Premier League goals already this season.

Adama Traore – Wolves’ most improved player this season and an unstoppable force on current form. We all know about his pace, power and dribbling ability, but his final ball has improved considerably, with him bagging 5 goals and 7 assists in all comps.

Matt Doherty – We’ll no doubt double up on Traore down Wolves’ right-hand side, but marauding wing-back Matty Doherty is another one to watch. His late runs into the box hurt us last season and he’s scored 5 goals already this term.

Predicted Wolves XI – (3-4-3) Patricio – Coady, Saiss, Bennett – Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny – Traore, Jimenez, Neto.

Team news

Where to start – although this time there’s plenty good news!

Almiron, Carroll, Ritchie, Dummett, Willems, Clark and Gayle are all available after returning to training this week, but the game will come too soon Allan Saint-Maximin.

Schar, Manquillo, Shelvey, Lascelles, Muto and Ki have been ruled out by Bruce, while Yedlin is a doubt with a ‘sore knee’.

For the hosts, Diogo Jota is out because of a dead leg suffered in a New Year’s Day defeat to Watford.

Willy Boly will miss out once again – the man who scored a controversial last gasp equaliser against us in our 1-1 draw at Molineux last season.

Prediction

I think we’ll respond after three straight league defeats and a bad draw at Rochdale, but fear that anything other than our A-game will lead to a loss here.

I don’t see it being a high scoring game and believe we’ll show more solidarity and organisation at the back, however our ability to hurt teams in attack without ASM and with Joelinton remains questionable.

Hoping for a shock win or hard fought draw, but fear they’ll have a bit too much for us and win narrowly.

Prediction: Wolves 1-0 Newcastle

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & 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.

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

  1. Stuart from the last thread.

    You listened to a Ryder podcast!!!!!

    I can barely get through 3 lines on his print inane drivel before wanting to get on a plane and strangle him.

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  2. That has to be the death of the stupid accidental hand ball rule FFS?

    Even Moyes and Rice didn’t deserve that.

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  3. I give in. If it is accidental it is accentual so how can you give it as a foul. A foul means intentional disobeyance (is that a word?) of the laws of the game. Not a fcn accident. Who makes up these rules!:?

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  4. And here I am defending Rice, and WHam and Moyes 🙂 That’s what these new rules have got me doing.

    And VAR. Offside was to stop giant men standing on the goal line, not to judge by a millimeter if a toe was ahead or behind an armpit.

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  5. We are 8-1 to win. You would think we are playing Liverpool and not Wolves. They only have 5 more points than us, although admittedly their current form is quite good.

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  6. This is a really tough team to pick because some players have been out injured and some have been overplayed and some are out of form. But then you have the full weeks rest and 2 weeks for Lejeune. I am not even going to attempt to pick the team but will make some comments on Olly’s choices:

    Yedlin – he has a bruised hand. If that keeps him out then he should give up football and lead Segway siteseeing tours.

    Lejeune – had 2 weeks rest but I think he will be given more time.

    Hayden and Fernandez – are we making the same mistake as we did with Lejeune if we play them?

    Dummett, Ritchie, Clark – do we really want more than half of our defense coming back from injury?

    Joelinton – do we take him out of the firing line or “show faith”? I have no idea on this one.

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  7. From Daily Mail:

    Newcastle are prepared to allow Dwight Gayle to leave on loan but with a £20million obligation to buy.
    Championship clubs including Nottingham Forest are keen on the 29-year-old.
    Gayle hit 23 goals in the Championship last season while on loan at West Brom and is highly-rated as a goalscorer in the second tier.

    Aren’t we priceless?! We aren’t prepared to spend any money on anybody over 26 but expect every other team to spend £20m on a 29 year old. 😂😂😂

    No wonder they don’t believe anybody can or will match their price. Morons.

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  8. And Chancer Donald has not put Sunderland up for sale because of pressure from fan groups like The Chronic are saying. No, he has realized that his desperate deal with the Yanks is unlikely to pay off. It was to get him through this year with him thinking they would get promoted and someone would then fund the repayment. Promotion looks like a 1 in 4 shot at best so he is scrambling to save his skin/investment. He is a conman and he is still conning the Mackems.

    I have worked with a lot of insurance salesman shysters and can spot their lies a mile off.

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  9. Looking at the fixtures this weekend it could be “as you were” on Monday morning. I don’t see any of the bottom teams winning.

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  10. Just seen the teams and I have no idea what formation it is or who’s playing where. There’s no right back or wing back so at a loss. Gayle is in but so too is Joelinton and Almiron with both Longstaffs.

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  11. Ritchie played most of his games as a right winger so he could fill in as right wing back.

    Time for Gayle and Sean Longstaff to step up.

    And obviously JoeLinton.

    Actually, time for the whole team to step up bar Dubravka, Ferdinand, Dummett and Almiron.

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  12. 1 good game against Man U and a 1st half against Rochdale doesn’t make Matty immune from criticism. Nor does the fact he is only 19, nnnn…nineteen, nineteen.

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  13. Pleased to see Gayle get a start. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I think he is a good player. Clark is a good defender if slow. Dummett a very good defender. Clark and Dummett together a poor combination. Neither good on the ball and from past experience will spend time passing the ball back to each other and eventually back to Dubravka or blindly lumping it forward. Either player without the other I would be happy with.

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  14. Yes Groucho. We have been shorn of our 3 best players to take it out from the back – Lejeune, Schar and Shelvey. Got a suspicion it might be a bit of hoofball today.

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  15. Ferking Ando. Only has good things to say about the opposition players and never anything good about our players. You would think we were playing Liverpool or Real Madrid every week the way he talks.

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  16. Has he found his confidence and more importantly his touch in the box ?
    Almost scored a minute or two before that too
    Well done Miggy 🙂

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  17. Jon Anderson is driving me mad. I have to turn the radio off. He NEVER has a good word to say and moans all of the time.

    I realise I am moaning about him moaning.

    Stat Attack: No NUFC penalties awarded or given this season by NUFC.

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  18. I’m sorry but Gayles injury is not and can not be because of too many games. He’s not played. We really need to ask why all these injuries are happening. It now means Joelinton up front… 😯

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  19. Why is it so hard for us to keep the ball? Every time we have it in midfield or attack we look panic stricken and just give it away. It’s absolutely horrendous to watch. Yes I know we’re drawing but good grief this is wretched

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  20. Deja vu … 2 injuries in the first half. Again…! Both Miggy and Joe moving gingerly. Great goal by Miggy, then awful awful defending to destroy the good work… 🤬🤬🤬🤬

    If we make that third sub at half time you can just see us ending with 10 men again can’t you…

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  21. Burnley getting hammered. The more down at the bottom with us the merrier.

    Score all of your goals this week Chelsea so you run out of steam for us. They are really inconsistent.

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  22. How many times do we get in half decent positions and then Almiron or Atsu or even Joelinton look up and there’s just one in the box?! It’s a joke. No wonder we don’t score goals.

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  23. Southampton eh?! Amazing what a decent striker can do. Ing’s is another we wouldn’t pay the cash for…

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  24. Well a welcome point but yet more on the injury list.
    Jabba really needs to spend this month , THIS CANNOT GO ON

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  25. Well I’ll take that point away to a team up in 7th. We played rubbish though… surprise, surprise… Miggy outstanding again, he works so hard. Dubravka played a blinder once again. MotM between those two for me…

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  26. Dubai Toon:
    Well I’ll take that point away to a team up in 7th. We played rubbish though… surprise, surprise… Miggy outstanding again, he works so hard. Dubravka played a blinder once again. MotM between those two for me…

    Agree

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