With Bruno Lage’s Wolverhampton Wanderers side heading into Saturday’s Premier League clash in much-improved form, picking up six points from their last three top-flight fixtures, the 45-year-old will undoubtedly be hoping for yet another positive result and performance when they welcome Newcastle United to Molineux.
With Steve Bruce’s side yet to taste victory in Premier League this season, the visit of the Magpies could well present Wolves with an ideal opportunity to send the rest of the league a message by putting on an attacking, exciting and dominant display against the 17th-placed Tynesiders.
As such, should Lage indeed wish to go down this route, there would appear to be one player in his squad who he simply must start this weekend – Francisco Trincao.
Having impressed for Wolves since joining the club on a season-long loan deal back in July, the 21-year-old winger was a surprise absence from Lage’s starting XI in the 1-0 win over Southampton last weekend, with Hwang Hee-chan and Daniel Podence lining up either side of Raul Jimenez in the front three.
However, with Hwang offering little in the way of attacking impetus over his 88 minutes on the pitch against Saints – managing just one shot at goal, making no key passes and failing with his one attempted dribble, as well as earning a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.5 – the South Korea international’s performance will not have done much to convince Lage that he is once again deserving of a start against Newcastle.
In comparison, over Trincao’s five Premier League appearances so far this season, the £19.8m-rated forward has taken 2.4 shots, made 1.2 key passes and completed three dribbles per game. These metrics have seen the Portugal international averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.00, ranking him as Wolves’ fifth-best performer in the top flight.
As such, with Lage undoubtedly hoping for a convincing victory against the Magpies to finally kickstart his side’s Premier League campaign, starting the man who John Ruddy dubbed a “smooth” player would certainly appear to increase Wolves’ chances of doing so. The winger clearly has the ability to terrify a Newcastle defence which has already shipped 14 league goals this term.