Unless you’re Man City or Chelsea or Watford, it’s hard to build any sort of momentum in the Premier League, so the two week break came at an inopportune moment.
Still, beating West Ham in their own back yard and taking a point off Man City in our last home fixture – coupled with serene League Cup progress – should have put some wind in the sails.
With no disrespect to Burnley and Southampton, our next two opponents at Molineux, Wolves should be viewing these games as an opportunity to keep the good vibes going a while longer yet.
1.30pm on a Sunday is probably the worst TV assignment you can be handed, but with spirits high in the home camp and Burnley looking to getting their league season properly up and running it should be a good contest.
I wonder if Sean Dyche has already reached the pinnacle of his managerial career?
Guiding the Clarets to a 7th place finish last season and bringing European football to Turf Moor (albeit momentarily) is a spectacular achievement.
Yet, when the likes of Everton and West Ham were shopping for new coaches over the summer I don’t ever recall hearing his name linked.
It’s almost nigh on impossible for him to do any better with Burnley and any clubs where he could potentially take his ideas to another level seem beyond his reach. It seems unfair somehow.
In the immediate though, his only concern will be moving his team up the table. They’re second bottom going into this game, with only a single point at Southampton on the opening day to show for their efforts.
They relied on a stingy defence to amass their hefty points total last season, so shipping 4 goals at Fulham and 3 at home to Watford will have been cause for concern. They were routinely beaten by Man Utd last time out too.
The away end
‘I don’t like saying it but I’m going to. We’re so short of ideas, slow from back to front and unfortunately far too predictable. Teams have done their research and this year we are going to be found out. No plan B doesn’t help. Until we get a some real pace (in several positions) in the squad, especially the centre forward postion we are going to struggle. Wolves in the flesh will be an eye opener, especially the way they shift the ball through the units. 3.0 Wolves.’
‘Wolves are very good going forward but have weaknesses at the back – so expect us to play 5 in the middle and then snatch it at the end with a Barnes goal’
‘We know how to win in the Premier League and are now on a level playing field, as our Euro adventure has sadly ended. Wolves will be okay this season having basically bought a Premier league squad to get promoted in the first place. So it’s a good test and we’ll come out with 1-1 draw, or an exciting 1-2 win. Or we may lose.’
‘Wolves haven’t impressed me so far to be honest. They should have lost against 10 men Everton and were very lucky against Man City. But they’re a decent team and Dyche is right in that we will really have to get back to basics to have a chance of getting anything from the game. That means, defending as a team, cutting out the errors and being clinical with the few chances that we are likely to get.’
‘They look really good, they have spent a lot of money on new players but they have spent it wisely, they could finish the season in a European place if they can keep up the pace they’ve set so far, alas, i cant see us getting anything on sunday. i will be there watching but not with much optimism, we should go 4 4 2 and go at them from the start, whether that will happen is doubtful, i fear for our survival this season and a heavy defeat this weekend will only add to my pessimism. i know i sound glum but i know im not on my own.’
I wonder if we might see some rotation from Nuno to give the players who jetted off around the globe to represent their country a bit more recovery time?
The above XI is the team I think he’d have picked right after the conclusion of the West Ham game, but with Jimenez collecting a fair few air miles it may open the door for someone like Bonatini or even Traore if the coach considers playing Jota through the middle.
Hopefully Neves and Patricio return unscathed having both started for Portugal in their two international fixtures. Similarly Jota who captained the U21s.
If they are ruled out expect Nuno to stay tight lipped about it in his press conference. He rarely gives anything away and I like that approach. Never understood why coaches say who is and isn’t available.
Dr.Phil is still sitting proudly at the top of the Prediction League table, with 7 points from 3 predictions. LukeW and Shready have the same tally but are joint second having both made 4 predictions.
Amber Wolf, Ed Farley, Exiledwolf, spikeboy and erm, me all have the distinction of having scored zero from 4 predictions. Gulp!
As always, simply leave your predictions for the game in the comment section below to take part. That’s what I’ll be doing if you want to copy.
Up The Wolves!