A popular Nunoism is the old ‘we take every game as it comes’ but I suspect he’s had at least one eye on Leicester this week.
With all due respect to Pyunik, I can’t imagine a deep-dive forensic analysis of their tactics was necessary to secure the result.
This, however, is a proper early doors examination against one of the sides mooted for a top-six assault.
It might be a Sunday lunchtime kick-off but the King Power will be bouncing and in true Brendan Rodgers style they’ll be hitting hard right from the start.
Emerging with a victory would be an early statement of intent in a season that’s bound to ask plenty of questions.
I’m surprised the Foxes didn’t bring in a center half after Harry Maguire made his way up to Manchester.
They were linked with Lewis Dunk all summer and it seemed like one transfer would trigger the other, but their only deadline day addition was Dennis Praet – an attacking midfielder from Sampdoria.
Looking at their squad that does seem to leave a gap, albeit with the experienced Jonny Evans and/or Turkish international Ça?lar Söyüncü ready to deputise in the meantime.
They did add highly-rated midfielder Youri Tielemans to their squad on a permanent basis earlier in the summer as well promising young full-back James Justin from Luton and Newcastle’s Ayoze Perez.
That gives Rodgers more options in a squad already littered with plenty of talent.
It still seems like they’re relying on the goals of Jamie Vardy to propel them up the table though, which is an increasingly big ask of a striker (albeit a very good one) who turns 33 in January.
James Maddison is another key performer and always produces something against Wolves, so hopefully he can be nullified this time.
The home end
Some thoughts from the pre-match thread on the Foxes Talk forum:
Gotta win and start the season off well if we want to make any challenge into the Top 6/7. Won’t get a better chance of beating Wolves just days after they have travelled a long way to Armenia to play 90 minutes. We have had a good pre-season so let’s hope we can build on that.Would be disappointed with anything but 3 points. 2-1 edgy win.
I honestly think this is going to be a real challenge. Despite Harry’s departure, I’ve come out of the transfer window and pre-season brimming with confidence, like everyone else i guess, but the reality is that Wolves are one of most direct competitors to challenge for top 6, and while our current team is extraordinarily promising, the Atalanta game suggested that they haven’t quite gelled yet (despite the fact that I enjoyed it, I thought we played well, the result was great). I think it’ll take a few more games for this squad to really start firing on all cylinders. I so desperately want Leicester to win this and make a statement, especially against Wolves, but i’m not sure we are there yet. Weeks away, perhaps, no more. I think I’m more nervous about this than if we were playing Man City.
It will be a tight game. early season nerves etc. we should have enough to win it 2-1 Vardy and youri for us jota for them
Wolves will be a very stiff test for us, a solid team who have improved over the Summer. We need to beat teams that are challenging for that 7th spot such as Everton, Wolves & West Ham if we are going to challenge for Europe
Will be a tough game which I’m hoping we will edge, but after last season, I think they will do well again.
I don’t think it matters whether we’re playing 38 games or 300 – Nuno wants 18 first team players and some youngsters to fill the gaps.
In that sense, mission accomplished.
Costa and Cav were the obvious departures. Nuno increasingly marginalised both as they no longer fitted the picture.
Cutrone and Vallejo are genuine options and as the head coach himself said ‘offer more solutions’.
Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao could also turn out to be ‘here and now’ players once they’re properly integrated. I’m excited to see what they can do.
In the meantime, I don’t think anyone is turning their nose up at our well established first XI and for good reason.
Right wing-back is the only position that could still be up for grabs Sunday but after Doherty’s return and Traore forgetting his passport, I think the former will retain his place.
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Up The Wolves!