Wolves (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

We really should be coming into this one on the back of our first win of the season.

For large parts we were much better at Watford, controlled the game and had enough chances to win it comfortably, but we didn’t capitalise on our early dominance, began to sit deep and couldn’t kill them off.

Play like that most weeks and our first win of 2021/22 will arrive sooner rather than later. The issue is, we very rarely control games as we did in that first half – and even then we didn’t do enough to beat a very poor Watford side.

The worry is, if we can’t beat them or a below par Leeds side, who are we going to beat this season?

Next up is Wolves; a side in transition, but one who’ve won two of their last three games after beating Southampton 1-0 over the weekend.

They’re better than Watford and have several players capable of doing damage – Jimenez will be boosted by his first goal in over 300 days and Traore could return – however I watched their win at St Mary’s and they were pretty poor.

Bruce has to stick with a back four and go to win, not match their formation and hope for a point.

We’ve drawn 1-1 with Wolves the last FIVE times we’ve met them in the Premier League, but that result won’t be enough to lift the mood on Tyneside – which would remain subdued at best if we head into the international break still without a win seven games in.

Team news

Steve Bruce is yet to give an update at the time of writing, but it seems likely that Callum Wilson (thigh) and Martin Dubravka (foot) won’t be back until after the upcoming international break.

Elsewhere, we’ll have to hope for good news on Jamaal Lascelles, Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett. The skipper missed out at Watford after liming off against Leeds, while Shelvey and Dummett have both been missing for several weeks with calf injuries.

For Wolves, Pedro Neto, Jonny, Rayan Ait-Nouri and Yerson Mosquera all look set to miss out, while Adama Traore and Ruben Neves will be hoping for a recalls after being benched at St Mary’s on Sunday.

Predicted line ups

(4-1-4-1): Darlow – Manquillo, Fernandez, Clark, Ritchie – Hayden – Almiron, Willock, S Longstaff, Joelinton – Saint-Maximin.

(3-4-2-1): Sa – Kilman, Coady, Saiss – Semedo, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Marcal – Traore, Hwang – Jimenez.

Providing there’s no change on the injury front, I don’t see us making any changes from the 1-1 draw at Watford.

It was a disappointing result in the end and game filled with missed chances from our perspective, but we must surely stick with a back four after looking much more balanced at both ends last weekend.

Ritchie did better than expected at left-back, Manquillo continues to look our most reliable option down the right, Hayden did a solid job in front of the defence, Longstaff looked more like his old self and Willock was able to make more bursting runs forward as a result.

Joelinton was also a handful down the left-hand side, with himself and Almiron able to support a previously isolated Saint-Maximin – who is causing havoc in that false number nine role, whether it be running at defences or creating chances for runners around him.

Bruce has a decision to make if one of Lascelles, Shelvey of Wilson happen to be back for this one, however I can see him going with the same side that drew at Watford if all three miss out.

After all, that would’ve been the team that won our first game of the season in pretty convincing fashion had we been able to finish our chances.

Do the same at Molineux and we might just come away with a much needed victory – even if the level of opposition will be a step up from Watford.

Match prediction

This fixture has ended 1-1 in each of our last five Premier League meetings and I can see this one ending in another draw.

I do think there could be a few goals in this if we arrive with the same approach that threatened to work at Watford, but that will require us to get support up to Saint-Maximin, seeing Willock make runs into the box and our wide men push up – not spend most of the time camped in their own half protecting the full-back behind them.

Getting the balance right with the latter could be key here. Wolves’ Marcal looked shaky at Southampton and could struggle with Almiron, yet, at the other end, we’d be asking for trouble if Joelinton gave Traore a free run at Matt Ritchie!

Saint-Maximin will cause all sorts of problems for their one-paced back three and could have a field day if he’s at it, but fit and firing Raul Jimenez could do just as much damage at the other end if he’s boosted by that brilliant solo goal against Southampton last Sunday.

I fear we’ll sit deeper, rely on infrequent counter attacks and get a scrappy point at best, but play like we did last weekend and a high scoring draw with chances at either end would be my prediction.

Prediction: Wolves 2-2 Newcastle

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.

57 thoughts on “Wolves (A) Pre-match thoughts, team news, possible line-ups & score prediction

  1. I am certain we will go with the same team and Bruce will have convinced himself that the Watford game was a win. He usually goes with an unchanged team after a “win”.

    Remember last year when he said we had been on an unbeaten run of I think 5 or 6 games. He conveniently forgot that in that we had been beat by Palace. It seems football is played as much in Bruce’s head as on the pitch. We have been a bit better but Bruce is easily “pleased” in a loss and takes far too much pleasure and credit for the odd 20 minutes here and there of good football.

    Normally, I would say optimism is a good trait but with Bruce it is more delusional and unfounded faith in his own ability.

    Wolves are not that good. They have trouble scoring just like us and I dont think their Manager knows his formation or team yet. He certainly doesnt know what to do with Traore. I am going with 2-1 NUFC to cheer me up over the international break.

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  2. I have looked at quite a bit of what has been said about CAT and we obviously have a case. The fact that the PL were considering kicking NUFC out is disgusting. Can they even do this without a vote by their members? There was also lobbying from top clubs to block the takeover which must be against the rules since it takes 14 clubs to change things. Then, if everybody recalls, there was the fact that the PL were keeping the Govt in the loop via e-mails to Whitehall. One said, and this was before the Saudis walked, that a decision was imminent. THis goes against what the Govt have said – that they were not involved. The PL and certain member teams have been corrupt throughout and should answer for their actions.

    The problem is that the CAT may say they are not the correct forum because NUFC have, like it or not, signed up for binding PL arbitration which will be in secret. I think that gives the corrupt PL the edge along with it being incredibly difficult to prove the PIf and bin Salmon are separate.

    I am slightly more encouraged than I was yesterday but will only get on board if there is a full CAT hearing. I will certainly not be listening to Keith Patterson who cannot explain his way out of a paper bag – Wraith had him on last night and I didnt listen.

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  3. CAT case, Big Six fined pennies for trying to break the premiere league up and they try to throw us out the league for requesting a straight answer after months of sitting on their hands!
    How corrupt are the premiere league?
    What have they got to hide!

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  4. In SB’s press conference he was again talking Joelinton up. I just don’t understand. The donkey
    is probably the worst player we’ve ever had. Yet here we go again , he’s ignoring Gayle. He’s a genuinely puzzling guy is wor Steve. If only he would get lost and never find JSP again.

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  5. I know Murphy missed a chance to win the Watford game but Bruce and the coaches seem to be dwelling on it. How many other chances were there in the game? I know he probably chose the wrong option but how many times have you seen a player try to round the ‘keeper only for him to stick a big mit out and get the ball?

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  6. I think Sean Longstaff chose the wrong option when he blasted high and then wide on a free hit from the edge of the box. Bruce doesnt mention that. I am not even citicising Sean as he did score from a similar position and if you watch PL football those types of chances usually end up in the stands (especially if the fall to a certain bald bloke from Croydon).

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  7. Looking at the Big 6 it is really a big 4 now, although Arsenal have a few youngsters coming through. The problem is there is always hype about that and it never materializes. I mean there are not ever 3 or 4 stars come through together. Maybe at Barca? Not even the so called “class of 92”. That was really only Scholes and Beckham. Giggs made his debut in 1990. Phil Neville and Nicky Butt were only ever Everton standard and Gary Neville was good, but by no means a star player.

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  8. Bruce is saying that Gayle’s lack of playing time is due to the formation, the 4-3-3. He is a fibber. We only started to play that after we went behind against Leeds. And you could easily play Dwight in a 4-3-3, just have him in the advanced role and put ASM back on the wing. That would mean dropping Donkey which is the real reason Gayle is not playing.

    I think Bruce likes Joelinton’s hold up play but that has really only worked in 1 game. The ball usually bounces off him. I hope his minor upturn in form continues as from Bruce’s words in the press conference today he aint playing Gayle.

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  9. Can’t see us winning sadly, I was right with last weeks result, though gutted as we should of won it.

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  10. Viewing figures for the CAT live stream 33,000 from 50 different countries !
    Huge interest, PL should think on.

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  11. Didnt Bruce bring one of the U21 teenagers up to 1st team training this week? I would really like him to play ahead of Donkey so I can see the headline:

    Bruce Springs Teen Surprise.

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  12. So, what about Sting then? he played just north of Chicago about 5 years ago. I thought about going. The venue has an amphitheatre and a giant lawn where you can picnic. Posh suburb, but you can take your own booze.

    Gordon Sumner wanted $300 a ticket though.

    I thought about it and wondered when was the last decent piece of music he had made?

    It was 30 years prior when I was finishing college and even then my girfriend’s at the time’s MOTHER was listening to it and thinking it was cool.

    I gave it a pass.

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  13. Kimtoon: I think you have to be a certain age to know much about Laurel and Hardy. It was the BBC showing them on school holidays and there was plenty of time to stay in and watch with it raining outside. I am sure not soon after the kids were playing video games instead, The Yanks dont really know them either but an ex-girlfiend got me a box set of their movies when she saw me killing myself laughing at a Youtube video of “Laughing Gravy”.

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  14. I am not one to dwell on Rafa but he does seem to have Andros firing again. That was a great break by Everton to stun Man U. They reminded me of us sometimes last year where we would have everybody up for a corner and the opposition would break and score.

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  15. Andros was funny as well. He ALMOST did a Ronaldo celebration and partially stopped himself. Christiano was watching and was clapping. In the end, I think Townsend was worried about winding him up and Ronny looking for revenge.

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  16. Unchanged team which was very easy to predict after last weeks “win” (in Bruce’s mind).

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  17. Woodman not on the bench again. He was out with an “illness” when Darlow replaced him. Sounds like Covid.

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  18. Townsend left Newcastle claiming it was to benefit his career & strengthen his England chances – didn’t go too well at Palace, but under Rafa at Everton he has 5 goals in 9 games so far … I wonder what his Newcastle career might have looked like had he stuck round?!.

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  19. Eric+Sykes:
    Bruce is saying that Gayle’s lack of playing time is due to the formation, the 4-3-3. He is a fibber. We only started to play that after we went behind against Leeds. And you could easily play Dwight in a 4-3-3, just have him in the advanced role and put ASM back on the wing. That would mean dropping Donkey which is the real reason Gayle is not playing.

    I think Bruce likes Joelinton’s hold up play but that has really only worked in 1 game. The ball usually bounces off him. I hope his minor upturn in form continues as from Bruce’s words in the press conference today he aint playing Gayle.

    If Bruce cannot disturb the formation to play Gaye then what is he going to do when Wilson is fit? I think ASM is more effective on the left and Gayle could play centre forward. On the other hand if we are losing bring Gayle on for the last minute or 30 seconds.

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  20. Eric+Sykes:
    Kimtoon: I think you have to be a certain age to know much about Laurel and Hardy. It was the BBC showing them on school holidays and there was plenty of time to stay in and watch with it raining outside. I am sure not soon after the kids were playing video games instead, The Yanks dont really know them either but an ex-girlfiend got me a box set of their movies whenshe saw me killing myself laughing at a Youtube video of “Laughing Gravy”.

    Eric & Kim – Laurel & Hardy is timeless slap stick comedy 😂.

    I have educated my 12yr old son on it already & he loves it!!. Way out West was my first taste thanks to my Gdad & I was hooked. My personal favourite is Towed in a hole – Stan Laurel is just brilliant & it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen it & know exactly what’s coming, he has me crying with laughter every time.

    Eric – I really hope you knock a ‘commence your dancing’ dance out while you’re out there mate 😂😂😂

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  21. Groucho: If Bruce cannot disturb the formation to play Gaye then what is he going to do when Wilson is fit?I think ASM is more effective on the left and Gayle could play centre forward. On the other hand if we are losing bring Gayle on for the last minute or 30 seconds.

    Grouch – if anyone makes way it’s Almiron for me mate. He doesn’t bring enough to the team for me.
    I’d leave Joelinton on the left coz I think he provides more cover for the full back out there – and as we don’t have a decent LB we need that right now. ASM is better drifting and finding space – he’s harder to mark that way imo.

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  22. Eric+Sykes:
    Bruce is saying that Gayle’s lack of playing time is due to the formation, the 4-3-3. He is a fibber. We only started to play that after we went behind against Leeds. And you could easily play Dwight in a 4-3-3, just have him in the advanced role and put ASM back on the wing. That would mean dropping Donkey which is the real reason Gayle is not playing
    I think Bruce likes Joelinton’s hold up play but that has really only worked in 1 game. The ball usually bounces off him. I hope his minor upturn in form continues as from Bruce’s words in the press conference today he aint playing Gayle.

    If Bruce cannot disturb the formation to play Gayle what’s he gong to do when Wilson is fit.? If we are losing I suggest he brings Gayle on for the last 30 seconds. Bruce’s use of substitutions sits well with his tactics. Useless.

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  23. How many of these headers that Donkey supposedly wins actually make it to a NUFC player? The other thing is that they take a stat from 1 game, last week, that Jolinton won most headers of any PL player and presume he does that every week. HE DOESN’T. The ball bounces off him whether it be feet or head.

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  24. That was actually a handball from the St Max “shot” in the box. The Wolves player moved his arm towards the ball.

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  25. 32 mins – about as toothless as Albert Steptoe so far (continuing my trip down memory lane).

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  26. Getinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
    Hendrick !!!!!!! 😆 😆 😆 😆
    Well done lad

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  27. That’s Hendricks’ one skill, he can shoot.

    But that Wolves miss, he will have nightmares about that.

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  28. Commentators over here are saying Wolves played well last time out. No they didnt. They could easily have lost and it was one of those games where the result colours the commetators recollection of the game.

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  29. Sorry about the repeated posting. Thought the first one had gone into the ether. Still long delays on postings.

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  30. I thought Wolves were pretty crap but they still managed to beat us. St Max was not on form today and Miggy was definately off the pace.

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  31. What does this mean fpr Bruce? Probably nothing. He will not resign and the Fatman will not sack him. I think the fans will have 2 weeks to really get worked up though so I expect rants on social media and Youtube. Maybe even the Chronic will call for his head?

    In any normal club he would be sacked today to give a new Manager the International Break where we dont have too many players going away.

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  32. You can see we dont have too much quality in the side. We need Willock, Wilson and St Max to be firing on all cylinders and some back up from Miggy and Longstaff.

    I have no clue what Ritchie was doing with set pieces today and I dont think he did either. He may as well have just handed the ball back to Wolves. If Olly does a player ratings, he should get a 4 just for that.

    I dont think any of our players deserve above a 5 today.

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  33. Oh well, I’ll watch Brighton/Arsenal. Should be a good test to see if Arsenal have turned a corner or will prove that Spurs are just THAT crap after Arsenal took them apart in the 1st half last week.

    Weather looks crap in the UK.

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  34. I was in a Tropical Storm in New Orleans a few months ago (not the Huricane). It broke my umbrella. Brighton looks just as bad today. I wouldnt be wanting an Autumn break there today.

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  35. That was truly awful. We have just ended a run of games where points were there to be had .. and just about to start one where points will be few and far between.

    This squad is not as bad as the result we are getting week in, week out.

    But I have no doubt at all that Ashley will continue to sit back and do nothing at all.

    We will do well to get 6 points between now and the 1st of December if he does not use this international break to change things – but he’s more likely to jump on a plane for a lads holiday back to Portugal with Bruce than sack him.

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  36. Sharpy17:
    That was truly awful.We have just ended a run of games where points were there to be had .. and just about to start one where points will be few and far between.

    This squad is not as bad as the result we are getting week in, week out.

    But I have no doubt at all that Ashley will continue to sit back and do nothing at all.

    We will do well to get 6 points between now and the 1st of December if he does not use this international break to change things – but he’s more likely to jump on a plane for a lads holiday back to Portugal with Bruce than sack him.

    Agree, walking to the fizzy pop lge , or is it ticking along .

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  37. How much of a B*** do you think Ashley is.
    Bruce has 999 games as a ,manager and obviously would want to get to 1000.
    Does Ashley threaten to sack him to stop that or say you can manage one last game so long as I have your resignation letter in my pocket

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