I’m looking forward to seeing how Wolves perform in the next couple of games.
Having started with three difficult fixtures and followed up with four more winnable ones, this little back-to-back against mid-range Villa and Leeds is another interesting barometer.
Maybe after their lavish summer spending, some Villa fans might class themselves as being better than mid-range, but despite some good performances, I don’t think they’ve shown enough just yet.
Wolves are similar in the respect it’s tough to quantify where they sit based on what we’ve seen so far. There’s some nice football in patches, but clear vulnerabilities in certain areas of the pitch.
It’s nicely poised and all outcomes feel possible.
What perhaps gives Dean Smith’s side the edge is firepower. Watkins, Ings, Traore, El Ghazi, Buendia, McGinn – they’ve got players with goals in them. Their centre-halves also get on the end of things.
I noticed at Spurs they were hurling a lot of long throws into the box too and they’ve employed a specialist to work on their dead ball tactics, so that’s something to look out for tomorrow.
They’ve scored twice as many goals as Wolves and given the personnel at their disposal it doesn’t feel like it’ll dry up for them either.
That said, I didn’t think they played great in that defeat to Tottenham and certainly weren’t as fluid as I’ve seen previously. I get the sense Smith is still trying to find a combination that works with all those fancy summer recruits.
A back three has been employed recently and Kortney Hause has been given some game time. I always thought he had the raw attributes to be a decent Premier League defender, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can hold down a place in the longer term.
There seem to be some doubts for tomorrow over key players like Emi Martinez and Douglas Luiz (travelling back late from internationals) and Leon Bailey (injury).
The home end
Some comments from the pre-match thread on the Villa Talk forum:
Tough game, ive seen a few Wolves games this season and they’ve impressed me. We’ll need a big performance to beat them, they’ll be coming into this one off the back of 2 wins. Jiminez, Hwang, Trincao all looking dangerous for them, Adama of course can always exploit the likes of Targett. They dont have the most mobile of midfields, Ramsey and McGinn will be key to us getting any success. Hopefully we’ll have Bailey back fit, possibly Sanson too. They’d go above us with a win; this is the first game between the sides at Villa Park where we’ll have fans in so hopefully that can swing it for us.
Pray that Smith ditches the 5 at the back for this and goes 4-3-3. Wolves have some decent attacking players and have looked alright this season but we also have very good attacking players that can hurt them if Smith actually unleashes them. Could really do with a win here and a dominant performance.
We’re capable of beating Wolves, but also just as capable of not showing up and losing or drawing. Not having our key players available doesn’t help. I wonder when we’ll ever see Dean Smith’s first choice team fit and available. These international breaks are doing my head in.
Will be interesting. Wolves is a completely different outfit post Nuno. They are actually a front foot team now so we won’t have as hard of a time creating chances against them. Adama against Targett always a concern though. Think I would consider Ash.
If Trincao is indeed ruled out because of Covid, I really hope Traore is unleashed.
I suppose there could be a question mark over Raul with his extensive travelling, but he seems pretty robust and I’d expect him to start.
Podence is the other option, but he wasn’t great at Southampton and really needs to find some consistency if he’s to be an integral player and not just a support act. He’s very good in moments and his output per minute he actually gets on the pitch is good, but in-between he’s not doing enough.
Boly could come into the back three, but Bruno hasn’t really wobbled on his choice back there and it would be odd to change it after back-to-back wins. Dendoncker in the midfield is also possible.
Last time out
It was a bit of a snore draw last season, but both sides had chances to win it. Wolves were typically slow to get going but did better in the second half and Romain Saiss missed an absolute sitter.
We lost in the dying seconds at Molineux, somehow contriving to give it away despite playing with an extra man for the final 10 minutes. It was a bonehead bit of defending from Semedo that allowed them to win it from the penalty spot.
Well done to Steppenwolfe, Prawny, PeteRobbo, Graham from Horsham, Dek, Wolfstroker, Liz, robc306, Adrian, vicsmith, Rich, Cannock Wolf, St.Kitts Wolves, London wolves loyal, Marnhull Wolves, Paul AD67, Telford Wolf, Dallas Bob, Ash K, basherbaz, Border Wolf, Tipton Exile, KENDAL WOLVES and DeptfordWolf for all scoring a maximum by correctly predicting the 2-1 scoreline against Newcastle.
AveburyWolf leads the way at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 7.
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You can read my prediction for the game in the comment section below.
Up The Wolves!