While things have started to look on the up for Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent weeks, having picked up 13 points from a possible 18 over their last six fixtures, Bruno Lage will nevertheless be hoping that his side turn in a much better performance than their last outing against West Ham United this weekend.
Indeed, prior to the international break, Wolves were comfortably brushed aside by Crystal Palace, with the 45-year-old’s men managing a mere two shots on target, as well as failing to create a single big chance, in the 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.
As such, considering their lack of cutting edge in the final third, it would seem highly advisable for the Portuguese boss to shake things up in his attacking lineup this weekend, with one player in particular looking to be an excellent candidate to step into the starting XI against the Hammers – in the shape of Daniel Podence.
Despite having been handed only one Premier League start by Lage so far this season, Podence has nevertheless proven on a number of occasions that he would be more than deserving of a starting spot this weekend.
Indeed, over his 84 minutes on the pitch against a very strong Tottenham Hotspur side in the League Cup, the £22.5m-rated man was arguably Wolves’ star performer, scoring his side’s only goal of the game and earning a SofaScore match rating of 7.3 – the second-highest score of any Wolves player.
Furthermore, the 26-year-old’s introduction in the comeback victory against Aston Villa last month proved crucial to Wolves sealing all three points against their Midland rivals, with the £60k-per-week forward registering one assist, making one key pass and receiving a SofaScore match rating of 7.3 – despite only featuring for 16 minutes of the match.
As such, with Lage’s side having lacked any real attacking impetus against Palace, the 45-year-old simply must unleash the man Conor Coady dubbed “absolutely fantastic” this weekend, as Podence has already shown he is something of a game-changer.