Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to secure back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time this season going into this evening’s clash with Crystal Palace, with the Midlands side having only recently claimed victory over Nottingham Forest at Molineux on Saturday.
That triumph saw a Ruben Neves spot-kick prove the difference as the hosts ran out 1-0 winners over their fellow strugglers, with that result seeing the Old Gold claim just their second top-flight triumph of the campaign thus far.
Despite the obvious relief of those much-needed three points, there will still be notable concern regarding the performance of a few of Wolves’ key individuals, with diminutive forward Daniel Podence once again producing an underwhelming display in attack.
The Portugal international had been “frustrating” in the loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a week earlier – in the words of The Athletic’s Steve Madeley – with his match rating of 5.9, as per SofaScore, the worst of any of his teammates on the day.
That performance against the Blues had seen the 26-year-old squander possession on 18 occasions from just 45 touches, while the 5 foot 5 playmaker also won just one of his eight ground duels, having offered little in both an attacking and defensive sense.
It was seemingly a similar story last time out against Steve Cooper’s side, with the former Olympiacos man again disappointing as he lost the ball 20 times from his 57 touches, with the Express & Star’s Liam Keen writing: ‘Podence gave possession away too often and was unable to make a big impact in attack’.
The £60k-per-week speedster also failed to record a single successful dribble while also winning only four of his 15 ground duels, having again been the worst performer for his side, as per SofaScore, as a result of his 6.2 match rating.
While the £18m-rated man is the club’s joint-top goalscorer with two goals so far this season, he hasn’t scored since the win over Southampton back in early September, having also failed to provide a single assist all season.
Ahead of tonight’s meeting at Selhurst Park, it could well be time for interim boss Steve Davis to be ruthless and ditch Podence from the starting lineup.