Seven games, six in the Premier League, zero wins for Steve Bruce and Newcastle United.
It’s fair to say, after a fairly kind fixture list so far, things haven’t gone to plan for the Magpies this season.
What have you made of the start to the season at Wolves?
Indifferent, I think it’s fair to say. They’ve had games where they’ve played teams off the park and lost and then played in others where they’ve not been all that great and won. Bruno Lage is still very much a new figure around Molineux and it may take an entire season before his style is fully implemented onto the team and so I don’t think anyone can be too annoyed with the start. Football fans always want instantaneous success but I think game by game we’re seeing more and more positives develop for the Wanderers.
What are fans thoughts on Bruno Lage?
He’s proving a popular figure for the most part. Nuno Espirito Santo had a solid four years with Wolves but by the end of his tenure there were many that were sick of his style. Lage is a breath of fresh air in comparison. As touched on above, Wanderers have played teams off the park in games. They set up to win every game and they do so whilst playing an attractive style of football. We’ve seen things start to click more recently and if Raul Jimenez starts firing now that he’s bagged his first of the season, they’ll win far more than they lose under Lage.
And what do you make of the situation brewing with former boss Nuno at Spurs?
I don’t think there’s enough space on this page to go into that fully but it’s just a mess really, isn’t it? Jose Mourinho got the boot predominantly among other things, for his negative style of football. So what do they do? They hire a worse version of Mourinho? That’s not me saying the criticism Nuno is receiving is deserved. He’s been in the job for 10 minutes and there’s rumblings that they are after a replacement? Give the man a chance - he didn’t hire himself. Ultimately, though, if it boils down to style of football - what did they expect?
Is there anyone in Newcastle’s team who you feel Wolves need to be wary of?
Without stating the obvious, it has to be the front men of Newcastle. They themselves seem to be clicking more into gear recently and caused Watford all sorts of problems. Defensive mistakes have been a bit of an achilles heel for Wolves over the last few weeks (Southampton aside) so the likes of Allan Saint Maximin, Miguel Almiron and Joe Willock are bound to fancy themselves to at least get one decent chance in the game.
Any injuries / players returning?
Jonny Otto, Pedro Neto, Bruno Jordao and Meritan Shabani remain long term absentees. The former two in particular have proven big losses to Wolves so far this season. More bad news comes in the shape of Yerson Mosquera, whom it was confirmed this week that he will miss 4-5 months with a hamstring strain he picked up in the Carabao Cup defeat to Spurs. The one positive for Bruno Lage ahead of the game is the return of Rayan Ait-Nouri. The full-back missed the victory over Southampton due to the seven day concussion protocol but with that cleared, he comes back into the frame for a start.
(3-4-3) Sa; Semedo, Kilman, Coady Saiss, Ait Nouri, Moutinho, Dendoncker Traore, Hwang, Jimenez
2-1 Wolves. Despite Newcastle seemingly improving over the last few weeks, I think the victory against Southampton will give Wanderers a huge boost and Jimenez will be brimming with confidence after bagging his first goal. I think United may score but Wolves will have enough to get the three points.