Wolves face Cardiff City on Friday night with many fans hoping for a repeat of last April’s result in the Championship which was also on a Friday night.
Although I think we could all do without a repeat of those last 5 minutes. Cardiff had an injury-time penalty saved by John Ruddy and then missed a 2nd penalty seconds later when Junior Hoilett smashed the bar. Wolves went on to win 1-0 and basically had promotion in the bag leaving the Cardiff City Stadium buoyant.
Winless in 5, Wolves are desperate to secure a victory after last weekends shock defeat to Huddersfield Town. In fact, maybe it wasn’t a shock, but many fans turned up expecting to beat Huddersfield and perhaps the players also expected the same. Yet they were outclassed and out-thought by a tough and tireless Huddersfield.
Nuno very rarely changes his team and it seems like some of the players have become slightly complacent and expect to be in the team every week. The two subs who joined the field at half time, Adama Traore and Morgan Gibbs White were the two that showed the most effort, probably because they aren’t current starters and they want a regular place in the team.
We know how Nuno likes to play and we know what formation and system he believes in. It may not always work but it’s got us to where we are now. For those reasons, Nuno will likely shuffle the team around rather than changing formations. Having an extra man in midfield may have helped us over the last few games but we can almost certainly say the formation won’t change.
A few fans online have said how we lack a certain physical box to box midfielder… Alfred N’Diaye was that player. He probably isn’t good enough for the top division so someone should have been brought in to replace him, it was rumored Wolves had Victor Wanyama on their shortlist.
Wolves will have to make do with what they have, let’s not forget how talented some of these players are.
Matt Doherty hasn’t been at his best lately, the Irishman has been at fault for a number of goals most notably against Spurs and Huddersfield last time out. He needs to show a willingness to track back and stay with his man, it’s good he’s up the other end of the pitch contributing to attacking play but part of his role is to get back and help the team defend.
We resume the infamous grudge match between Nuno and Neil Warnock, those who remember April’s fixture will also remember Warnock’s pitch outburst and resulting interview. Apparently they’re friends now, we’ll see on Friday, won’t we.
Cardiff sit 19th with 2 wins this season. A win against Wolves could move them as high as 15th.
Those 2 wins have come in their last 5 games as they beat Brighton and Fulham however they have lost 3 out of their last 4 losing to Liverpool, Leicester and Everton.
Wolves really need to win and what better way to do it than against Neil Warnock and Cardiff City. You have a feeling Cardiff will try and execute their usual aggressive style and assert some early dominance, as they did last year. Let’s hope referee Andre Marriner knows what he’s doing.
It’s going to be extremely hard to predict Friday nights team, i’ve given it a go below.
Prediction: 1-0 Wolves.
Predicted lineup (3-4-3)
Patricio, Dendoncker, Coady(C), Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre; Traore, Jimenez, Cavaleiro.