Wolverhampton Wanderers make their second trip to London in four days as they take on West Ham United at The London Stadium for what is set to be a crucial clash in the race for European football.
However, it appears likely that Bruno Lage will be without one of his key performers in Nelson Semedo, who was forced off at The Emirates on Thursday evening as a last-minute winner from Alexandre Lacazette succumbed Wolves to a crushing 2-1 defeat.
The Portuguese right wing-back was replaced by Jonny Otto around the hour mark on Thursday, having pulled up after a sprint. However, Bruno Lage didn’t have a particularly promising update on the 28-year-old’s fitness.
“I don’t have any information for now, so let’s and see [on the injury],” said Lage on Thursday.
“My mind is every time to replace men in front. When this kind of situation happened, we had just two changes. They put a lot of people between the lines and if I have one more sub, I manage the game in a different way.
“The fans, a big support from them, I think they were proud of our players. We didn’t win today but we recover and go again.”
The injury against the Gunners didn’t look good for Semedo and it appears as though only a miracle will have the right wing-back starting this afternoon in East London.
It’s a major and worrying blow for Lage who has entrusted his fellow countryman heavily this season, handing the former Barcelona man 26 appearances across all competitions so far this season.
Although playing high up the pitch on numerous occasions as a wing-back, the 28-year-old has certainly contributed to Wolves’ excellent defensive record, with the West Midlands outfit the Premier League’s joint-second best defenders alongside Liverpool having shipped just 20 goals in 25 games.
Moreover, Semedo averages 63.6 touches per game in the top-flight, as well as 0.7 key passes, a 77% passing accuracy as well as completing almost two-thirds of his attempted dribbles at 62%.
From a defensive perspective, the wing-back is currently making 0.8 interceptions each match alongside a whopping 2.3 tackles whilst also yet to commit an error leading to a goal.
No Wolves wing-back has featured more than Semedo this season with the Portuguese the only one who is right-sided at Molineux, which enlarges the predicament Lage now faces.
It appears likely that left wing-back Jonny Otto will start against the Hammers having come on against Arsenal, with the Spaniard recently returning from a lengthy injury spell.
The situation is far from ideal for Wolves, particularly going into a major game for their season, with David Moyes’ side just two points ahead of them in sixth. Although there’s currently no time frame on Semedo’s layoff, his side have suffered injury blows already this season and have been able to cope well.