The Opposition Opinion: Wolves (A) – “Saint-Maximin is one I’d love to see in an old gold shirt”

The Opposition Opinion is back for another week ahead of our trip to face Wolves at Molineux this Sunday.

We caught up with Dave Azzopardi (@daveazzopardi) from Talking Wolves to get some thoughts from the West Midlands in the build up to the game.

Here’s what he had to say in response to our pre-match questions:

Q1 – To start off, what short of shape are Wolves in coming into the game? Keen to know what you’ve made of your start to the season..

It’s been an intriguing start to the season for Wolves.

A lot of fans probably haven’t been too impressed with our early performances but we still see ourselves at sixth place in the league.

We aren’t looking too bad though, we had a dreadful performance at West Ham but we’ve bounced back since then with 2 wins.

Q2 – Give us your star player and ‘ones to watch’ ahead of this weekend’s match…

Got to be Raul Jimenez to start, he just knows where the net is and hasn’t stopped scoring since coming to England.

He grabbed another goal (albeit deflected) against Leeds on Monday but always seems to know where the net is.

Pedro Neto is another one who is being praised for his consistency and work rate. A very talented, young player who could cause Newcastle some problems this weekend.

Finally, Adama Traore. Hasn’t started the last couple of games but everybody knows how dangerous he can be.

Q3 – As a team, what are the strengths and weaknesses of this Wolves side?

Wolves tend to be pretty solid defensively. We’ve seen in a couple of games recently, particularly the Leeds game, where they’ve been really organised and tough to break down.

When we want to attack we can be really dangerous too.

We sat back for the first 45 minutes at Elland Road but as soon Wolves got onto the front foot, Leeds found it very difficult to deal with us.

Q4 – Five games in, what have you made of our start to the season?

Newcastle haven’t had a horrendous start to the season, could have been better but could have been a lot worse.

I think Bruce has done a decent job especially with the pressure he’s had on him since day one.

I caught part of your opening game versus West Ham and you looked far the better side. Callum Wilson could add that vital firepower that Newcastle needed.

Q5 – What do you make of this Newcastle side and which players do you see as the strengths and weaknesses in our team?

Newcastle have got a couple of really decent players. I think Alain Saint-Maximin is the pick of the players though. I think it’s great news for you that he’s signed a new long term contract at the club.

Callum Wilson is another one who could win some points for you guys. He blew hot and cold last season but on his day he is a real menace.

Defensively, I think Newcastle United are there to be got at, especially down the flanks. I’m not convinced that Jamal Lewis can keep both of Wolves’ wide men at bay and he does caught get out positionally from time to time and Wolves will be looking to exploit that with the dynamism of our front free.

Of course Joelinton has struggled since his arrival so his omission from the side is duly warranted but I can’t quite understand why Almiron has found game time so hard to come by – especially considering he played well towards in patches last season.

Q6 – What’s the Wolves XI and formation Nuno is likely to go with on Sunday?

I think Wolves will go unchanged with a 3-4-3 again…

Patricio; Boly, Coady, Kilman; Semedo, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Saiss; Neto, Jimenez, Podence.

Q7 – What sort of game are you expecting this to be and how do you see it panning out? Give us a prediction..

It’ll be an interesting game, Wolves tend to start games quite deep and allow early pressure so I’ll be intrigued to see if they do the same on Sunday.

Newcastle and Wolves tend to have pretty tight games to be honest, I think we’ve drawn 7 of the last 10 in the Premier League.

I’ll be brave though and go for a 2-1 Wolves win!

Q8 – Where do you see our two sides finishing in the 2020/21 table and which three teams are you backing to go down?

I’m hoping Wolves can get another top 7 finish and try and get back into European football in some capacity.

I think it’ll be a mid-table type season for Newcastle. As a team you’re far too good to go down but don’t think you have quite enough firepower to get into the top 10.

Q9 – Hypothetical of course, but if you could sign any one player from NUFC, who would you like to see Nuno go for?

I know I mentioned him earlier but Saint-Maximin would be one I’d love to see in an old gold shirt.

Maybe he’s too similar to Adama but I can’t even imagine what it would be like with those two on either wing!

Q10 – Finally, if you had our two squads to choose from and were asked to pick the best possible side, what would you starting 11 be?

Wow, tricky question and it might upset some!

I’ll go with a Wolves formation and say: Patricio; Semedo, Boly, Coady, Lascelles; Almiron, Neves; ASM, Jimenez, Adama.

As ever, a big thanks to Dave for answering our questions – although we’ll have to hope his wish of seeing ASM in a Wolves shirt doesn’t come true anytime soon!

Next week we’ll bring you the thoughts of an Everton fan ahead of their trip to St James’ Park next Sunday.


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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!

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