Wolverhampton Wanderers secured a 1-0 win at the Cardiff City Stadium against Cardiff in their last league game, thanks to Ruben Neves’ strike in the second half. Thus, Nuno Espirito Santo’s men took another big step towards the Championship title.
On Wednesday, they are due to host Derby County at the Molineux Stadium and at the onset, the fixture promises to be a crunch one as both the sides have been quite superb this season in the English second division.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Team News
Espirito Santo has all his key players at his disposal to be used against Rowett’s side.
Here is how we expect the Wolves to start against Gary Rowett’s entourage in the midweek fixture.
John Ruddy proved to be the hero against the Bluebirds as he saved a penalty in injury time and there is hardly any doubt that he will be much more confident now between the sticks.
The 31-year-old shot-stopper has notched up 20 clean sheets in 41 appearances in the Championship this season, making 1.85 saves per game on an average.
Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady and Willy Boly have churned an excellent camaraderie amongst themselves at the back and Espirito Santo has put ample amount of trust on them.
The resilience showcased by the trio in particular has been one of the reasons why the Wolves are comfortably placed at the top of the league table and these three should start once again in the upcoming fixture.
Matt Doherty and Barry Douglas should keep their places in the starting line-up once again, in the right and left-wingback slots, respectively. Doherty is a brilliant attacker and the manner he gallops forward to create chances with his crosses has been quite spectacular to watch this season.
Douglas struggled to get forward against Neil Warnock’s men in the last league fixture but he did offer his defensive solidity to a significant extent. Against Rowett’s troops, he must be keen to help his teammates in their attacking endeavours as well.
Romain Saiss and Neves not only shield the back line meticulously together but they also have an astute vision which makes them threatening commodities while going forward.
Although Espirito Santo also has Alfred N’Diaye on his books, he might go with his preferred midfield pairing as they have been thoroughly productive. Besides, Derby County are no pushovers and the Portuguese gaffer will want his main men on the pitch.
Leo Bonatini is expected to lead the line once again in the league fixture. With Benik Afobe on the right-wing and Diogo Jota on the left flank, Wolverhampton Wanderers should be able to test the visiting side’s back line on a regular basis.