The 2-1 triumph over Chelsea in December was a crucial turning point in the season.
Wolves had gone two months without a win and questions were rightly being asked about whether Nuno and the squad had the tactical dexterity to compete in the Premier League.
Plan A wasn’t working and Plan B had yet to be presented, but a fine comeback victory under the Molineux floodlights restored belief and showed the team could find a different way
It’s testament to the head coach and his players that we now head to Stamford Bridge knowing the lowest we’ll sink this weekend is 8th (and even that relies on Watford getting a result at the Etihad).
A big win over Spurs and a hard-fought victory over Fulham have afforded Maurizio Sarri much-needed respite.
It remains difficult to imagine him keeping his job though should they fail to make the top four or go all the way in the Europa League.
A transfer ban has come at the wrong time as their talented squad looks like it could do with refreshing in the summer to keep pace with the other juggernauts.
Eden Hazard seems certain to leave, which is a blow to their immediate aspirations (not to mention the Premier League) should he make the anticipated switch to Real Madrid.
He’s a wonderful talent and even in defeat at Molineux was the one player who continually looked dangerous every time he had possession.
Even with the Belgian though, 49 goals scored isn’t really enough to compete with the elite and that’s something they’ll need to address next season. Higuain looks a good immediate solution though.
The home end
Some comments lifted from the match thread on a popular Chelsea forum:
If all goes our way ManU and Arse draw and we get 3 points. Wolves are definitely no pushover and I think the boys will need to play their best.
Need to be at our best to beat Wolves tbh, they have been sensational this season and probably the best team outside the top 6.
It is crucial we take this one very seriously, especially with
Most of our remaining away fixtures look tricky so we really need to make sure we pick up wins in our home games to give ourselves a chance of top 4. Wolves have had a very good season but we really need to win games like this if we have any hope of finishing top 4. That being said it comes after a tough trip to Kiev so no doubt our players will be weary, especially towards the last 30 minutes of the game. I hope we rotate sensibly over the next couple of weeks as we really need to keep the players as fresh as possible. I ca see this being another close game. If we manage to win it will probably be another case where we have to grind out a result.
There’s some serious guesswork involved now with who will play this weekend ahead of the quarter final next Saturday.
We know Bennett is out and I believe it’s been confirmed Patricio is back in goal, but there are other decisions to be made.
With Saiss likely to drop into the back three, I think Neves will get a start after being rested against Cardiff. I don’t think Gibbs-White will be trusted at Stamford Bridge so Moutinho may also come back into the team.
Traore did well but it’s a big ask for him to go and play wing-back against Hazard so I think he might get a turn up front with Jota saved for next weekend.
Vinagre deserves to keep his place but we’ll see what happens there. Honestly, I have no idea what the thinking will be from our illustrious leader but as always, I trust his judgement.
No surprise that it was a points bonanza in the Prediction League after seeing off Cardiff with most people correctly forecasting victory.
With his 3 point haul, WolvoDave opens up a 2 point lead at the top of the overall table so extra well
As always you can join in by leaving your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll also find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!