Wolves’ festive period has been a bumpy rollercoaster of a ride, one where they’ve rarely been able to string results together.
Fortunately, a New Year often means new results and for Nuno Santo, he’ll be hoping that’s exactly the case.
Nuno has been tinkering with his side over the last month or so, switching between a three-man and four-man backline.
It’s worked on a few occasions but like their results, it’s been an inconsistent method for the manager.
They have drawn with Spurs and beaten both Arsenal and Chelsea, but defeats have come against Burnley, Aston Villa and Manchester United.
Therefore, Wolves could do with some familiarity to their line-up, and that starts by keeping the vast majority of the side that lost to United the same.
Yes, they tasted defeat, but they held one of the title challengers for 93 minutes before finally conceding.
Wolves have moved their midfield around somewhat over the last month with the likes of Owen Otasowie and Vitinha being handed their first Premier League starts.
However, it was the latter who impressed the most and must now be unleashed on a regular basis. That starts with their clash against Brighton on Saturday evening.
The Portuguese is a vibrant midfielder who possesses a whole host of qualities that could frighten the Seagulls. Vitinha is capable defensively and crucially, he’s a thorn in the opposition going forward.
Against Man United last time out, the 20-year-old won 100% of his duels and completed 100% of his dribbles. Furthermore, the youngster was successful with 76% of his passes. Considering he was making his first top-flight start against such high-class opponents, it was a superb display and he now has to play more often.
Forget their current crop, this is their star of the future. You only need to look at quotes from Jornal de Notícias reporter, Nuno Barbosa. He said last year: “You’ll realise he knows what to do at every moment of the game, he’s very similar to Joao Moutinho.”
This is a huge appraisal, but it only gets better. After signing for Wolves, Jeff Shi labelled him a “special” talent.
We saw that shine through at Old Trafford – Vitinha now needs to establish himself in the senior team properly and build on his two starts in all competitions.