Wolverhampton Wanderers v Sheffield United: Pre-match Analysis
SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Joao Moutinho of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Oliver Norwood of Sheffield United during the Premier League match between Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Bramall Lane on September 14, 2020 in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

A win in the Premier League will be the minimum requirement for Wolverhampton Wanderers as they host bottom club Sheffield United with hopes securing consecutive victories.

Wolves beat Fulham in their last outing through a last-gasp winner after the talented Adama Traore combined with Fabio Silva, ending a run of five league matches without a win. 

United almost certainly face relegation from the division after surpassing expectations and finishing ninth on their commendable return last season. 

Defeat for the Yorkshire outfit could prove conclusive for their tenure in the Premier League if Newcastle United defeat West Ham United in their fixture this match week.

Both teams have been dealt a calamitous hand in terms of injuries this season, with setbacks to a number of influential first-team members disrupting and hindering their respective campaigns. 

  • A chance for a credible finish

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After achieving successive seventh place finishes and enjoying a Europa League campaign since returning to the top-flight in 2019, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has achieved acclaim for his exemplary work in England.

This season’s canvas has painted a contrasting picture, with the coronavirus pandemic and injuries heavily affecting proceedings for Wolves; a finish in the bottom-half grows increasingly likely as the season reaches its culmination.        

Wolves have only recorded back-to-back league victories twice this term, such inconsistency has played a defining role and has prevented any sort of momentum from being accrued. To achieve the feat for the third time would provide a welcome boost, especially with key players unavailable.    

Despite a largely lacklustre year relegation looks an unlikely prospect and a chance to build some momentum heading into a fresh campaign would instil optimism back into the club, helping them find their guile and resolve. 

  • Traore back to his mesmeric best?

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Traore has suffered an extremely disappointing season after emerging as one of Europe’s most dazzling players across the last few seasons – the Spaniard has scored and assisted one apiece in his last two matches after drawing consistent blanks in the league beforehand. 

His return to form comes at the perfect time after the prodigious Pedro Neto suffered a significant knee injury and joined an extensive injury list, seeing his season ended prematurely.

Make no mistake about it, Traore has been underwhelming by his standards, but the quality and physical prowess that he possesses is a weapon that any manager would be enticed by. It now remains to be seen if Traore can indeed build on his recent performances and rekindle the best of his captivating form.

  • Potentially the end of a wonderful story

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When United’s beloved manager Chris Wilder parted ways with the club in March after a disastrous campaign the news was met with shock and disbelief. 

Granted, Wilder had faced a battle to better the lowest ever points tally in Premier League history, but the work that he had done in bringing the club from the depths of League One to the narrow miss of European qualification last campaign is nothing short of remarkable. 

Paul Heckingbottom has replaced Wilder until the end of the season on an interim basis, and will hope to stabilise the club as they prepare for another season in the Championship.

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