Results breed confidence and Wolves haven’t gone four undefeated in the Premier League for a few years.
They’ve pushed the top sides at Molineux in a ridiculous early sequence of home matches and shown they can collect points from lesser sides on their travels. Both of those things bode well.
I enjoyed seeing Gary O’Neil explain some of his tactical approach to recent victories on Monday Night Football. He’s got good energy and communicates well – two hallmarks of a top coach.
This weekend the theme of tough home fixtures continues for his side. After this one is done we’ll already have played five of the top seven on our own patch with just over a quarter of the season contested.
Newcastle haven’t won at Molineux since we returned to the top flight, so let’s hope we can continue our solid form in this fixture and shift focus up the table.
I’m very impressed with the team Eddie Howe has built. It’s not just personnel, it’s their tactical setup, their style of play, their tempo, their aggression, their physicality. A lot of that comes from the coach.
You know they’re a top side because they can change a number of players around and still execute a certain level of performance.
And that’s just as well because they have some problems.
Barnes and Botman were already sitting on the sidelines and Isak and Murphy both went off injured in their defeat to Dortmund in the week.
There’s still confusion over whether Tonali can play tomorrow after getting a 10-month ban for betting. Much like Ivan Toney, I think when players plead guilty they should be pulled out immediately, but that’s not Newcastle’s problem and I suspect every club would act in the same way.
With or without him, it will be a big challenge for Wolves. They’re the league’s top scorers with 24 and have only conceded 9, which also gives them one of the better defences.
Some decisions for Gary O’Neil to ponder and I think he’s shown that he will choose the XI he feels is best suited to the opposition, making it harder to second-guess the likely team, but he may well go for the tried and tested.
If he does, Traore, Doyle and Doherty can all count themselves unlucky. Sasa too, but it would be a big call to tinker with that front three on current form.
I think we’ve got to stick with a back three to combat Trippier’s excellent delivery and some of the battering rams in their side.
Hopefully, Bellegarde is fit enough to return to the bench because he allows us to operate in a more attacking midfield shape. Sarabia is the other option, but he still looks leggy and off the pace to me. He wasn’t great when he came on against Bournemouth.
Well done to Liz, DebenhamWolf, Aquilador, Steppenwolfe, Wokingham Welsh Wolf, Prawny, Wolves Fan Across the Pond, AveburyWolf, Franski, The Witley Wanderer, vicsmith, Formerly Sir Fred of Paisley, CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH and Happy Claptrap who all got the 2-1 scoreline correct against Bournemouth.
I’ve been saying to people all week that I fancy us tomorrow so I have to now back that up with a bold prediction. I’m saying 2-1 Wolves. That’s based on our own form and Newcastle being stretched by injuries and fixture congestion. Sometimes a fixture comes at the right time and I think that could be the case here. They’ll still have more than enough to sort us out if we’re not up to scratch, but I’m confident.
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Up The Wolves!