Wolverhampton Wanderers host Midlands rivals Leicester City this afternoon as they look to climb the Premier League table with European qualification still a very realistic target.
Bruno Lage’s side sit eighth in the top-flight after both Arsenal and Tottenham claimed victories yesterday, but can return to seventh place with victory over the Foxes.
The Portuguese manager also has a fully fit squad available for selection for the first time since he arrived at Molineux, but who will start this afternoon’s Midlands meeting?
Here is how Football FanCast thinks the Golden Boys will line up with two changes made.
As expected, there are no changes in the defence after another excellent display at the back last Sunday as Wolves secured a 2-0 away at Tottenham.
The favoured defensive trio of Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Max Kilman is back after the former’s absence due to participation in the African Cup of Nations with Morocco, something Lage will be particularly delighted about.
In the midfield comes the first change as 19-year-old Luke Cundle drops out for veteran Joao Moutinho. Cundle was impressive on his full debut last week, but the return of one of Wolves’ key players after a two-match absence means that he’ll drop out.
It could be argued that the English youngster could take the place of Leander Dendoncker, but after the Belgian scored Wolves’ second against Spurs, it would be harsh to axe the 26-year-old.
The other change comes in attack, with Lage opting to use a 3-5-2 shape once again. Daniel Podence is yet to score in the league this season, and with Lage having a full roster to choose from, the £52k per-week Portuguese may be set for a spell on the bench. In the forward’s place comes Hee-Chan Hwang, who starts his first match in two-and-a-half months.
The South Korean returned from a hamstring injury last week with a brief cameo off of the bench in north London and should be ready to start against Brendan Rodgers’ side.
However, the forward hasn’t scored since late October, with a two-month absence being the main reason. Against a leaky Leicester defence, that duck could be broken on Sunday afternoon.
Every remaining game this season will be huge for Wolves as they look to secure European football. Having a fully fit squad available will certainly boost their bid.