As painful as it was to learn Man City’s European ban was overturned, a top-four finish is still possible.
In fact, I think if we win our three remaining games we’ll probably do it.
That in itself is a big ask though given that we didn’t win any of the corresponding fixtures last season.
Burnley saw us off quite comfortably at Turf Moor with a goal in either half and were similarly tough opponents at Molineux earlier this season.
They could still finish high enough to qualify for the Europa League and Sean Dyche isn’t a manager to allow the drop in standards we saw from Everton on Sunday.
If ever there was a performance that typified a team it was The Clarets draw at Anfield at the weekend.
They fell behind and saw their goal peppered by the champions, but thanks to tremendous resilience and an unreal performance from Nick Pope in goal they were able to stay in the game.
That allowed them to load the box from set-pieces, score a finely taken equaliser and very nearly win it late on with a shot that rattled the top of the bar.
This is a team that rarely goes away.
They took a shellacking from Man City immediately after the restart but since then have won three and drawn two, conceding only two goals in that sequence.
With Norwich and Brighton to come after this one, they’ll know there’s a good opportunity to finish strong and push right up the table.
They’ve had to contend with injuries to key personnel at both ends the pitch with Ashley Barnes and Ben Mee both ruled out, but in Jay Rodriguez and Chris Wood they possess proven goalscorers. Both have 11 this season.
The home end
Some thoughts lifted from the match preview on a popular Burnley forum.
I have a considerable regard for Wolves. We were both Champions of England in the same era and both spiralled down through all the divisions before working their way back to the top flight. NES is one of the most likeable managers in the PL. Nevertheless I will only be truly happy with a clean sheet and a win.
Wind the clock back to March 2019 and I was in a packed Turf Moor with my granddaughters for Sean’s 300th game in charge. The match had barely begun when we were on our feet cheering what we thought was Chris Wood’s tidy finish from Dwight McNeil’s quick free kick. Only when we got home did we realise Wood’s shot had rebounded off the post and been bundled into his own net by Wolves skipper Conor Coady. McNeil really announced his presence with the killer second goal driving at the Wolves defence and firing low into the corner of the net. Tom Heaton was our keeper and captain. Roll on 16 months and Wolves are our opponents again. They come in fine form after a decisive 3-0 victory over Everton and seeking European football. Their route to Europe may well be determined by the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their two year ban. We will find out the result of that appeal later this morning. What is not in doubt is that this will be another very tough test for the Clarets as we seek our highest ever Premier League points total. Nick Pope who is still chasing the Golden Gloves award will be hoping to continue the fine form from our game at Anfield that drew some stinting praise from Jurgen Klopp. James Tarkowski will presumably continue as stand in skipper and partner Kevin Long at the heart of our defence. COYC!
Unusually for Nuno, he has a selection headache for this one. As always he can choose between two well rehearsed formations, but now has extra personnel options to contemplate.
Podence was such a live wire against Everton it would be tremendously harsh on him not to reward that performance with another start.
Neto also did well but injury may account for him and with Jota always likely to follow up a goal with another one it makes sense for him to return to the side.
With Traore to come off the bench if we’re struggling or Moutinho to help steady the ship in any scenario we’ve got great options whatever Nuno chooses to do.
What I would say is that after seeing how well the team was able to play with greater attacking ambition I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get after Burnley in similar fashion.
Nobody predicted the 3-0 scoreline over Everton last time out but plenty of people registered points by correctly guessing a Wolves win.
Iceni Wolf and MILDENHALL WOLF still lead the overall table, but vicsmith is within touching distance as we head into the final three-game weeks.
As always, if you want to join in, simply leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided.
That’s where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!