The anatomy of a bad Wolves performance has always been the same under Nuno, particularly this season.
Huddersfield (home and away), Watford, Burnley – they were all quite similar in the concession of a soft goal and the lack of decisiveness in the final third.
But it’s never ‘that bad’ when you compare to some of the dross we’ve suffered in the last 30 odd years, so I’m still counting my lucky stars even after an afternoon to forget at Turf Moor.
Regardless of the result tomorrow, it would be good to see a more effervescent performance ahead of the big one on Sunday.
By all Utd lucky to beat our semi-final opponents at the weekend. Watford peppered their goal with 20 shots and should have got something.
But the result was all important and moved them temporarily back into the top four.
Looking down their remaining fixtures, they’ve got some horrible ones to come against Man City and Chelsea before finishing with more hospitable games at Cardiff and Huddersfield.
On paper, Arsenal and Chelsea probably have it easier but it would be foolish to count out Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team given their form since he took over.
After tomorrow’s game they’ve got a week to prepare for Barcelona’s visit to Old Trafford so they themselves could be guilty of looking ahead.
Romelu Lukaku could be a key addition to their attacking lineup. He was sorely missed in the FA Cup defeat.
The away end
Some comments from the match thread on The Red Cafe forum:
Did Wolves play their full strength team at Burnley? Wouldn’t surprise me if they rested a few given they have Cup semi on the weekend. Cup is probably once in a lifetime opportunity for them while if they keep this group together they can have another top half finish next season. One of the toughest fixtures left in Man. United run in but I do think them just before the helps as I don’t think they’ll quite play with the same intensity they did a few weeks back. 1-2.
Must win. Can’t afford to drop points if we want to make top 4. Wolves are good but we are better if we play as well as we know we can. Just hope the players are up for this one.
Really think they will be focused on the at the weekend. We need to use the width much better this time. I would start Fred, Dalot and maybe even Periera. We need real energy and zip in our play. Herrera and Matic are too slow at the moment.
The same way I knew we’d lose when we went to West Ham in 2016 for a crucial top 4 game because we had beaten them in the cup a couple of weeks earlier, I’m confident of winning this as we lost to them in the cup a couple of weeks earlier. That’s the way it has always worked for us.
We have been extremely poor in the two games we have played against them this season. The midfield been bossed by both Neves & Moutinho. Need to take the game to them and don’t allow them to settle down and start controlling the game like we have done in the previous two encounters.
I think Nuno will play something close to his best team, but maybe swap another few out.
Probably worth giving Bennett an opportunity to stake his claim for a place in the semi-final and I’d rest Dendoncker given his exploits for Belgium last week.
Vinagre is always worth a go and I’m a bit surprised he wasn’t used at Burnley anyway.
As the semi-final isn’t until Sunday, there’s plenty of recovery time so no real reason to make major changes.
I really enjoyed Traore’s performance at the weekend, but different ball game against Utd and wouldn’t fancy him defensively tomorrow.
Only Mildenhall Wolf and AshK correctly predicted defeat at Burnley so not much change at the top of the Prediction League table.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!