Key player: Raul Jimenez
Both Matt Doherty and Raul Jimenez came on as second-half substitutes at the weekend against Burnley as they were rested, but while the former deserves a shout out and plenty of plaudits for his role in their season, it’s Jimenez who has proven indispensable for them this term.
That’s especially been the case recently, as the Mexican forward has six goals in his past eight matches, while he’s caused us plenty of problems with an assist at Old Trafford back in September and the opener just before the international break in the FA Cup at Molineux.
His record against ‘Big Six’ sides has been excellent, with six strikes and three assists from 11 such encounters across all competitions this term, working out at a goal or an assist every 84 minutes he’s been on the pitch.
Weak Link: Conor Coady’s lack of pace and set-piece woes
Captain Conor Coady may be enjoying an excellent campaign like many of his teammates, but while the back three employed by Nuno Espirito Santo protects his severe lack of pace, there are few teams that can match our jet-heeled attackers in a foot race.
There’s also a weakness to be exploited at set-pieces with Wolves conceding 11 times via that method this season (West Ham and Everton lead the way with 14), while they’ve also conceded a league-high of four own goals.
Three of those were bundled in by Conor Coady himself, most recently against Burnley as the Clarets won 2-0 despite only registering a single shot on target. With ‘squeaky bum time’ fast approaching, goals via ricochets will be just as welcome as a screamer and Liverpool fan Coady has the potential one way or another to do us a favour.
Stunning record versus the ‘Big Six’
Wolves are a fantastic W4-D4-L3 against ‘Big Six’ sides across all competitions this term, winning four of their last seven such games since the start of December including three from four at home over this period.
The latest was of course the 2-1 FA Cup win over our boys just prior to the international break in their last outing at Molineux, but with the rest afforded to players on the mend from injury, this should be a different encounter this time around.
The margins have been consistently tight in their 11 meetings with the ‘Big Six’ to date, with only three of them settled one way or the other by more than one goal, and only a fool would have this down as an easy three points.
*all odds are subject to change