With the international break done and dusted, Wolverhampton Wanderers will aim to continue their stupendous run of form in the Championship and they are due to make a trip to the Riverside Stadium tomorrow to face Middlesbrough.
The Smoggies are no pushovers and under the tutelage of Tony Pulis, they have fared really well lately. With Diogo Jota out with an ankle injury and not much of concern for the Wolves apart from that, here is how we expect Nuno Espirito Santo to roll out his starting line-up against Middlesbrough.
John Ruddy is expected to operate as the custodian yet again in the league fixture. The 31-year-old shot-stopper has notched up 19 clean sheets from 38 appearances, making 1.82 saves per game on an average, and has been one of the best players for Wolverhampton Wanderers this season.
Espirito Santo is likely to roll out a three-man defensive wall yet again comprising of Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady and Willy Boly. These three defenders have been really resilient this campaign and have developed excellent chemistry amongst themselves and their strong performances have been one of the reasons for Wolves’ growth in stature.
While Matt Doherty is expected to be given the nod to start as the right-wingback, Barry Douglas is likely to operate as the left-wingback once again. Doherty and Douglas have knit a fine balance between their offensive and defensive endeavours and both of them made debuts for their countries during the international break.
Although Alfred N’Diaye has hardly done anything wrong this season in the opportunities he received, Romain Saiss might be preferred once again to operate from the middle of the park. Alongside Saiss, we expect Ruben Neves to start once again to dictate the tempo of the game and to shield the back line in a meticulous fashion.
Prior to the international break, Benik Afobe smashed a brace against Burton Albion and he is likely to be chalked up front. He is a clinical striker who troubles the opposition defence with his movements and given that he holds the ball well in the final third, his teammates get the chance to get into the equation.
Helder Costa is anticipated to start from the right-wing to showcase his attacking prowess. From the left-wing, we expect Ivan Cavaleiro to start and he will look to add to his tally of 8 goals and 12 assists.
Statistics Credits: WhoScored