The best teams – more often than not – find a way to win.
Whether it’s through quality, resilience or outrageous good fortune, coming out on top becomes second nature.
Wolves are rediscovering the habit having delivered the goods without being at their best so many times last season, including this very fixture.
We didn’t play well at St. James’ Park, even against 10 men, but ultimately forced the mistake that turned the game and eventually capitalised on the advantage.
I expect the margins will be similarly narrow on Sunday.
Steve Bruce has been at pains to stress his side have started the season with a particularly difficult run of fixtures.
And while it’s true they’ve played all the big guns minus Man City, they’ve also failed to beat Watford, Brighton and Norwich in three of their more presentable opportunities for point accumulation.
Two wins against Spurs and Man Utd have counterbalanced those disappointments though and despite being in the bottom three, they’re very much up and running.
Scoring goals has been a major problem and the 5 they’ve netted so far (all from different scorers) is the joint lowest with Watford.
Aside from the 5 they shipped at Leicester, they’ve been reasonably disciplined defensively so maybe there’s evidence Bruce is trying to build from the back.
In Almiron, Saint-Maximin and £40 million record signing Joelinton they should have the players to do more damage, but as a completely new forward line, that understanding might require some time and patience.
The home end
Some comments lifted from the pre-match thread on a Newcastle fan forum.
I just wanted to mention that I said Wolves would come good about 6 weeks ago when they were 19th! I said this because they had also had tough opening fixtures and I have been proved correct and they now sit in 11th with a game they will be favourites to win next week. I have heard people saying we have to win this game, but imo that is not the case!! we need to pick up around 6-9 points out of the next 4 games is the way I see it and we will be in a very good position! wolves are a better side and can play a bit, so I expect we will struggle to get anything in the game.
Hayden still suspended but bar Ritchie and Lejenue there doesn’t appear to be any additional injury worries. With the formation Wolves play and the players at their disposal I think we have to try something different against them. If Hayden was fit I’d try matching their formation with a 3-5-2 and try and win the midfield battle which will be crucial in this game but without Hayden I’d go 4-3-3 with Schar moving into a DM role just behind the Longstaff’s because the other CB’s we have aren’t mobile enough or good enough with the ball and play a bit longer up to the front three.
no need to change anything wolves are a well drilled until and we won’t see the ball, so makes no sense to change anything! I don’t like almiron on the right because you can see he’s not comfortable there like he does on the left! with max being a lefty too i’d swap the two around for a trial , but nothing drastic. I don’t see any other option but to counter because we cannot keep the ball and there’s no point dropping anyone for players that can’t run fast enough to break.
the problem is we don’t create many chances maybe 1 or 2 a game so even if we had good finishers we aren’t likely to score enough .. rondon was a clinical finisher with both his head and feet and Ritchie and perez were feeding him … he could also score from free kicks and joelinton does none of that as well… zero!!! he can’t hold it up aswel either. last season we were effective because we played this system and had a sting in our tail and now weve lost that aspect.. People can say drop almiron , drop joelinton all they want it’s not going to be better if we play carrol and atsu is it. we have no ability to pass and move in our squad , so why any thinks removing pace and adding another striker will make a **** of a difference is beyond me.
Assuming fitness and availability of all of the below, this is the team for me.
If Bennett remains out injured, Saiss is the only choice for me in that back three after Vallejo’s antics against Southampton.
I think they’ve got injuries at the back so makes sense to really try and test them with Traore and Jota either side of Jimenez.
Nuno normally does the opposite of what I’m expecting these days, so more likely is a 352 with two or three changes in personnel to the above.
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Well done to AgentCyan and Sea Pigeon who were the only two to collect a maximum with a 1-1 forecast against Southampton last time out. View the full PL table here.
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That’s where you’ll also find my best guess for this one.
Up The Wolves!