‘Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.’
Gandhi apparently, but I don’t always trust the internet.
Anyway, the point is there was definitely more bite in that Wolves team on Saturday and they got their reward in the end.
Chelsea are in a bad moment in the same way Brighton were in a good one the previous week, but the difference between the two performances for Wolves was being harder in the tackle and faster to the break of the ball. Everything else followed.
I suspect effort won’t be in short supply tomorrow as the lads will realise the magnitude of the challenge.
It’s a big ask, but we normally do a good job of ruffling Pep’s feathers – even in defeat.
Results at the weekend didn’t seal the title but they did give them a tiny bit of breathing room. They can now afford a small stumble in the final three matches, which must feel like a gigantic bonus.
I’d wager at least one of the three sides they still have to play – West Ham and Villa being the other two – will cause them some pain so that small gap could make all the difference.
You can rightly point to their mega-budget, but if they do see off a Liverpool side that I view as one of the greatest in Premier League history, I would count that as a big achievement regardless of their advantages.
The thing I do admire about City is that it’s always a real squad effort. Unlike Liverpool I don’t think I could reel off their best XI because it’s always rotating and whatever version you get seems to maintain a good level of performance.
Squad depth will be tested defensively though with Kyle Walker, John Stones and Ruben Dias all ruled out of the remaining games. Nathan Ake may also miss out tomorrow according to Pep.
Whatever they do at the back, we all know they have more than enough upfront to win comfortably, but perhaps it does expose a chink in the armour.
No doubt there will be calls to start Chiquinho and possibly Trincao tomorrow after their rescue mission at Stamford Bridge, but I’d probably stick with a similar starting XI. You’ve got to respect the opposition.
I’m assuming Saiss will be out after limping off on Saturday but I wouldn’t mind another look at Toti or even Mosquera before the end of the season. A bit more pace in that back three wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
Packing the midfield and then trying to squirrel the ball up to Raul and Neto to get at their rejigged back four wouldn’t be a bad way to approach the game. Chelsea were exposed repeatedly by this tactic.
Then we’ve got attacking players with confidence in reserve to call upon if we need that extra push later in the game.
Last time out
That penalty shouldn’t have been given at The Etihad earlier in the season. It was one of those VAR wouldn’t have overturned if it hadn’t been given on the pitch. You can’t say they didn’t deserve the victory but it was a cheap way to get it in the end, particularly after Wolves defended so well with 10 men after Raul went insane. Kilman nearly salvaged a point at the end with our only meaningful attack.
We lost both games last season too, but did alright in spells. At Molineux we were 2-0 down early, but Raul got it back to 2-1 and a lot of good chances were wasted before Gabriel Jesus eventually killed the contest in injury time.
Nobody predicted 2-2 at Stamford Bridge. There were a few 1-1 forecasts though so at least some people got on the scoreboard.
Brompton Wolf still remains clear at the top of the overall table at the end of Gameweek 35.
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Up The Wolves!