Wolves manager Bruno Lage will have some changes to ring when selecting his team for this afternoon’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa at Molineux.
The Old Gold have lacked consistency across the last five games, picking up just six points out of a possible 15, in a spell which has also seen them rather uncharacteristically leak a plethora of goals.
Two wins out of five may have had Lage pondering over his team selection anyway, though in this case he will be forced to make changes after Ruben Neves sustained a knee injury and Raul Jimenez received a red card against Leeds United last time out.
With four injuries and one suspension, Lage will need to delve deep into his squad to find the right blend in order to secure a win, with the manager underlining the importance of the result in Friday’s press conference as he said that his players “know the meaning of derbies and they know the importance of these games, so we don’t need to do anything special because they already know.”
We know that the 45-year-old will be forced to replace Neves and Jimenez, but will he make any further changes to the line-up from the defeat to Leeds? Here is our predicted Wolves XI ahead of the clash with Aston Villa today:
Sa; Kilman, Coady, Saiss; Jonny, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Ait-Nouri; Trincao, Podence; Hwang
We are predicting Lage to make three changes for today’s game, with Trincao – who despite scoring against Leeds has shown signs of “struggling” this season – and Hwang replacing Neves and Jimenez. As such, Dendoncker will resume his more central role in midfield alongside Portuguese veteran; Joao Moutinho, having played in a two just behind Jimenez last time out.
Max Kilman completes the trio of expected changes, replacing the £46k-p/w Willy Boly, who has only recently returned from a long spell on the sidelines and might not yet be ready for a sustained run of starts.
In terms of system, we expect Wolves to be stubborn in their approach and stick with their 3-4-2-1 set-up from the match against Leeds 15 days ago.
Last time out it was an intense affair between the two teams, with Wolves coming from 2-0 down after 80 minutes to win 3-2. They will be hoping to complete the league double over Aston Villa today, and this is the line-up that we believe Lage will entrust to try and do just that.