Wolverhampton Wanderers will be hoping to continue their good run of form as they travel to Anfield tomorrow evening on Super Sunday. Coming off the back of a good win against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium, who will Nuno Espirito Santo pick to try and dethrone the champions of England?
Wolverhampton Wanderers currently sit seventh in the Premier League, only four points off the top of the table. Tomorrow they face a Liverpool side who have only lost once this season, despite being riddled with injuries all season.
Last time out in the Premier League, Liverpool were held to a score draw by Brighton and Hove Albion, who clinched a point with a last minute penalty from Pascal Groß. However in the Champions League they scraped a win against Ajax mostly thanks to stand in goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher who made a couple of very good saves, especially denying Klass-Jan Huntelaar in the dying embers of the game.
The most notable misses for Liverpool are Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago, Milner and Allison who will all be big misses, which will help the midlands side out very much. Liverpool’s depth, which has been questioned throughout this season, will be tested especially as they played only five days ago.
Diogo Jota, who moved from Wolves in the summer for £45 million will most likely start for Liverpool as he has hit the ground running and really made a huge impact at Anfield. Jota has five goals in eight games for Liverpool and is the main threat for Liverpool against his former club and his former teammates, who will know him and his strengths well.
Tactics and formation
We have become accustomed to seeing Nuno Espirito Santo’s side play with a five at the back; playing counter attacking, quick football but recently we have seen a change. When Conor Coady was forced to the side-lines due to Coivd-19 against Southampton, Wolves switched to a four at the back formation, something that we haven’t ever seen under Nuno.
Nuno stuck with these tactics against Arsenal and was rewarded for his bravery with three very valuable points. This 4-2-3-1 formation allows Wolves to play controlling, fast and free flowing football with the quality and pace that they have on the pitch going forward. This formation allows Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence, Adama Traore and Raúl Jimenez (or Fabio Silva) which is much more fire power than the previous 5-2-3 formation did, one extra player to be exact.
When Wolves played Arsenal, Neto and Podence linked up very well and looked very dangerous, causing the defence of the Gunners to crumble. Pedro Neto has been a shining light since Diogo Jota left the Molineux for Anfield and has been a ready-made replacement for him. Daniel Podence down the centre of the pitch was also brilliant and caused the Arsenal defence a lot of trouble with Neto and Traore either side of him. Podence also scored a magnificent goal to win the game for Wolves, a goal that should have been on a highlight reel.
Wolverhampton Wanderers will be without their main man Raúl Jimenez for the foreseeable future as he suffered a fractured skull against Arsenal and will be out for probably the rest of the season. He contested a header from a corner with David Luiz who collided with him which resulted in a nasty clash of heads. Not only will Raúl be a big miss for Wolves due to his goals, he will also be a miss in the way that Wolves play as he is usually so influential in linking up the play. Fabio Silva is going to be his replacement up front, who has big boots to fill and a lot to learn.
Against Arsenal, Silva was okay, he didn’t do anything outstanding but that isn’t expected of an 18 year old who hasn’t started a senior game of football yet. However, despite not scoring, Fabio Silva made some effective runs and helped Neto, Podence and Traore hurt the Arsenal defence. All Fabio Silva needs is a few more games under his belt, to learn the way that the senior team plays and the intensity that they play at and he will be scoring goals, as he was finding himself in good positions against Arsenal, but he just couldn’t quite get on the end of the majority of balls played through to him.
Predicted Line Up
Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Wily Boly, Conor Coady, Fernando Marçal, Joao Moutinho, Leander Dendonker, Pedro Neto, Adama Traore, Daniel Podence, Fabio Silva.