Key Player: Raul Jimenez
Raul Jimenez put in an excellent display as Wolves earned a point at Old Trafford back in September, and the 27-year-old Mexican has adapted to English football with ease since a summer loan move from Benfica, with his ability to hold the ball up with his back to goal particularly useful for his team.
He’s Wolves’ top scorer this term with 14 goals from 34 appearances across all competitions and has hit a particularly rich vein of form with seven goals from his last 10, while his record against the ‘Big Six’ has been nothing short of excellent.
Over a third of his strikes this term have come against such teams as he’s also provided assists against ourselves, Spurs and Arsenal, so it’s no surprise that Wolves want to smash their transfer record in order to tie him down to a permanent move after the impact he’s had on their season to date.
Weak Link: Ruben Neves’ lack of form
It’s hard to pinpoint an obvious weak link in the chain as this Wolves side have good balance and there’s no slacker who won’t put in the yards where necessary. However, Helder Costa hasn’t quite hit the heights he’s capable of, though he probably won’t start here anyway and it’s Ruben Neves that we’d focus on instead.
He was unarguably their player of the season as they got promoted from the Championship, but he’s been off the pace this term and has been particularly poor of late, especially in the recent defeat to Huddersfield.
The form of strike partner Raul Jimenez has hidden his lack of output from criticism to a certain degree as he’s managed just four goals and two assists from 30 appearances across all competitions.
However, the 22-year-old Portuguese midfielder should hardly be written off with his four strikes this term coming against Everton (twice), Spurs and Liverpool, while his two assists were versus Everton and Leicester, and he’s more than capable of a bolt from the blue – even if his finishing has been somewhat wayward this term.
Impossible to ignore Wolves’ record against the top sides
Wolves are only W7-D4-L5 against bottom-half sides in the league this term, with even Huddersfield doing the double over them, losing away in Cardiff and being held to a stalemate at Fulham.
However, they’ve been phenomenal against the ‘Big Six’ this term and are W3-D4-L3 in such encounters this term across all competitions, even if one of the victories came in this tournament versus a second-string Liverpool.
That’s a fantastic record nonetheless, with no other side picking up more points against that cluster of teams, and it’s their ability to stay organised without the ball that his given them the platform to compete against the more illustrious sides.
*all odds are subject to change