In his preparations for Tuesday evening’s key clash with Manchester United at Molineux, Nuno Espirito Santo must revisit his team’s last encounter with those opponents for inspiration.
Whilst it’s rather tricky to put a finger on what’s gone wrong for Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent times as they’ve slipped to just one win in five Premier League matches, it’s not hard to work out what the problem was last Saturday afternoon.
A misfire in team selection hugely hampered the Midlanders away at Burnley and led them to an embarrassing result, a 2-0 defeat to Sean Dyche’s men at Turf Moor.
Key figures Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez were relegated to the substitutes’ bench in favour of Adama Traore and Ivan Cavaleiro as captain Conor Coady put through his own net and Dwight McNeil sealed the deal for the hosts late on.
The disastrous starting Xl changes cost Wolves dearly with the weakened team dominating possession but lacking any real cutting edge, which is evidenced by 62.8 percent possession and just one shot on target throughout the whole match.
Funnily enough, Wanderers’ last match before the international break was against the Red Devils, a 2-0 triumph that booked their place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
On that night in Wolverhampton, there were only two outfield differences in the starting team from that of Saturday – yes you guessed it, Doherty and Jimenez were involved over Traore and Cavaleiro.
This not only offered Wolves more protection on the right wing, pivotal against a “Big Six” team, but more firepower in the final third in the form of a born finisher to play up-front alongside Diogo Jota.
West Brom fans will want to cover their ears for the video below…
In this match, Nuno’s men, the hosts like they were in mid-March, will be hoping for a replica performance from their last home game and they can only do that with the same side – especially when the necessary alterations are needed anyway.
Ahead of the biggest matchup of their season at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, there will be an obvious temptation to rest key players. But the Midlands side desperately need to find some form and momentum for the weekend by winning for the first time in the Premier League since early last month.