The wait for Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Romain Saiss to return to action is set to be extended by another game, as the Moroccan is likely to be rested for today’s FA Cup clash against Norwich City.
According to journalist Tim Spiers, the defender will be given until Sunday to have time off after competing at the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), with Wolves manager Bruno Lage saying: “Even Maldini needs to rest.”
Romain Saiss will miss the Norwich game, he's been given until Sunday off after the African Cup of Nations.
Lage: "Even Maldini needs to rest."
— Tim Spiers (@TimSpiers) February 4, 2022
Saiss hasn’t featured for his club since their 1-0 win at Manchester United in early January before departing for AFCON with his native Morocco.
However, the 31-year-old’s nation were eliminated from the tournament last weekend, losing 2-1 to Egypt in extra-time at the quarter-final stage.
Although he has been out of action for just under a week, the Moroccan will be given extra time off before returning to action over the next few days.
As suggested by his team selection for the 3-0 win over Sheffield United in the third round, Lage will be taking the FA Cup very seriously this season.
The Wolves manager fielded a very strong starting line-up against the Blades and is expected to do so again on Saturday when Norwich come to Molineux. Therefore, there almost certainly would’ve been a place for Saiss should he have been ready.
Despite winning both of their Premier League matches after the 31-year-old’s departure against Southampton and Brentford, Wolves failed to keep a clean sheet on either occasion.
With Saiss in the team, Wolves have kept eight clean sheets from 19 league matches, emphasising how significant the Moroccan’s presence is to the side. Indeed, he had started all of their top-flight games this season prior to departing for AFCON, illustrating how central he is to Lage’s plans.
Also, WhoScored rank him as the squad’s third-best performer so far in 2021/22, so the Molineux faithful could be gutted to hear that the 31-year-old won’t be involved today. Lage best hope that the decision to allow Saiss some additional time off doesn’t prove costly this afternoon.