Swansea City Vs Wolves Preview

The cup competitions have highlighted just how much Wolves have progressed this season.

Without using hardly any of his key performers, Nuno has routinely taken on Premier League opposition and emerged in credit every time.

Yes, you can point to a good FA Cup run last year, but that was real backs to the wall stuff. Wolves have taken the game to the opposition more this time.

Swansea were lucky to get this replay on the balance of chances created, despite enjoying a numerical advantage for a good chunk of the game at Molineux.

Tonight’s winner is rewarded with a fourth round tie at Notts County.

Swansea

The Swans took a useful point away to Newcastle on Saturday, but left disappointed it wasn’t two wins in two league matches for Carlos Carvalhal.

They should been given a penalty that would have also resulted in a straight red for Mo Diame, but the handball was missed by the officials. VAR anyone?

But having taken the lead anyway in the final third of the game, they can only blame themselves for not hanging on.

With West Brom and Bournmouth both winning, they’re still rooted to the bottom and four points from safety. It’s a tall order for them to stay up. Not impossible, but very tough.

After this game they’ve got home games against Liverpool and Arsenal, so all the more reason to rest their best and brightest. I don’t think they’ll be overly disappointed if they’re eliminated.

Wolves

Looking back at the highlights on Saturday, Wolves did enough to get the win. Having watched the game, it was a scrappy old affair, but when you see the chances back-to-back you realise we were the dominant force.

Still, it’s going to be all change tonight. Batth is back from his suspension so will likely start. Miranda has been frozen out lately too so might get some game time in a second-string back three.

Wing-backs are tricky with Vinagre out and no immediate cover for Doherty. Marshall is an option but he looks like he’s heading for the exit. Our first choice picks may have to fill in.

Jordan Graham is back from the wilderness of Fulham reserves, so must be another contender. Not sure where he slots in though. Perhaps down the left instead of Costa in the above lineup.

Mir should get a start. Why not?

Predictions

This one could go in any direction, but based on the first match I’ll back us for a win.

2-1.

Impossible to say with any certainty given that both teams will use their squad and it then just becomes a case of who gels better. Hopefully it’s us as victory here opens up a good opportunity to make it into round five.

Up The Wolves!

Wolves Vs Swansea City Preview

For years I’ve bleated on about putting together a cup run to see Wolves play at Wembley.

But that was before the age of Nuno.

Now the easiest route is finishing the job in the league and waiting for Chelsea to take up temporary residence in the national stadium.

It would be nice to get there the old fashioned way of course. However, our promotion push is so intoxicating I’m struggling to summon the appetite for anything else.

This will be battle of the reserves and I doubt either set of fans will be too distraught whatever the result, beyond the 20,000 or so who are going along.

Swansea

I liked Carlos Carvalhal’s thoughts on their January transfer business – ‘We have money for sardines and I’m thinking lobster. I will look to the lobsters and sea bass, but if not we must buy sardines. But sometimes the sardines can win games.’

The sardines he inherited after replacing Paul Clement won him his first game at Vicarage Road to temporarily lift them off the bottom of the table.

They were then comfortably beaten by Tottenham, but I doubt that fixture was part of his master escape plan.

Scoring goals has been their problem. With only 13 in 22 matches, it’s little surprise they’ve only managed 4 victories.

Losing Llorente and Sigurdsson was the catalyst for another tough campaign. They brought in the highly rated Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich (who should have been a lobster) but the youngster simply hasn’t performed.

Wolves

I was trying to put together a completely different eleven to the win over Brentford, but I think Batth’s suspension might have scuppered that.

Someone has to play at the back. It might as well be Coady as he looks like he’s coasting through every game.

I’m also assuming new signing Rafael Mir is eligible. If he is, he might as well play and get a soft introduction.

Price, Marshall and Hause have been out in the wilderness lately but are all very handy. It’s not impossible to imagine they could all leave in January depending on who else comes in.

I think Costa has been lucky to get the minutes he’s been given lately. Bright should have shared some of those opportunities. Both should get a start this time.

Predictions

No PL points up for grabs in the cup, so all just for fun.

I’m assuming both teams will play the second string and I think our second string is pretty useful.

Swansea left players like Routledge, Fer and Bartley out of their team against Spurs so they’ve also got a bit in reserve.

But as we’re at home and tails are up, I think we might dig it out.

2-1.

Up The Wolves!

West Ham Utd 1 Wolves 0

If you’re still thinking about the defeat at Upton Park, you’re in the minority.

Edwards West Ham

Even without the news Benik Afobe was heading for the exit, this was a tedious cup tie of few chances that won’t hang about long in the old grey matter.

Unless you’re Bjorn Sigurdarson of course, who suffered what looks like a serious re-occurance of the troublesome back injury that’s kept him sidelined for months.

That must be considered a serious blow to our immediate fortunes, given that our talisman is off to Bournemouth and Adam Le Fondre hasn’t looked up to leading the line all season.

On a more positive note, Michal Zyro impressed on his debut and with Kenny Jackett stating he can play in any of the forward positions, he’s certain to be consistently involved.

With injuries and outgoing transfers, yesterday’s squad was bolstered by the return of a few forgotten faces.

Along with the unfortunate Sigurdarson, Rajiv van La Parra was also thrown straight back into the action and George Saville made an appearance on the bench.

With Afobe’s exit imminent and Jed Wallace loaned out to Millwall, it seems likely those loaned out players will get a chance to play themselves back into contention.

But there will surely be fresh blood added and a level of re-investment through January to support the head coach for the remainder of the season?

Many are rightly skeptical that sizable sums will be spent, but with the spectre of early bird sales on the horizon, the club know they need to galvanise the support.

That must count for something.

If nothing else, yesterday’s performance was another strong rearguard action with the team defending manfully throughout and restricting a Premier League side to limited opportunities.

That solid platform will continue to serve us well, but I don’t think anyone believes we have adequate artillery to be consistently successful.

An experienced head at the back to further improve our defensive options and and preferably two good forwards must be added.

Anything less and this will be another transfer window the fans most certainly won’t forget.