Wolves will eye their fourth successive win in all competitions when they host Newcastle United at the Molineux on Monday.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have had a mixed run of form but will look to test Nuno Espirito Santo’s side as they aim to get out of the relegation scrap.
Here are three key battles that could decide the outcome of this mouth-watering encounter.
Raul Jimenez vs Jamaal Lascelles
Raul Jimenez has been the focal point of the Wolves attack this season. The Mexican international has offered the physical presence along with some excellent hold-up play in the final third.
In fact, Jimenez has been involved in as many as 14 goals in just 25 matches this season and his work-rate could be important as the Wolves look to assert their attacking dominance over Newcastle.
The onus will be on club captain Jamaal Lascelles to prevent Jimenez from making an impact in the game.
Lascelles has suffered an indifferent run of form, and the fans will hope their captain will be more assertive come Monday.
Conor Coady vs Salomon Rondon
While Lascelles will look to prevent Jimenez from making any inroads in the final third, it will be Conor Coady, who will be tasked with the responsibility of stopping Newcastle forward Salomon Rondon.
Rondon has been the club’s top scorer this season with six goals in the top-flight, and his sheer physicality combined with his heading prowess have been big goalscoring outlets for the Magpies.
Coady, on the other hand, is a no-nonsense defender, who has already made 84 clearances this season.
And his leadership skills and doggedness in defence could be key, especially in dealing with Rondon this weekend as the Newcastle wingers are likely to put in a few testing crosses.
Matt Doherty vs Matt Ritchie
Matt Doherty has made quite an impression with his performances in the right wing-back position for Wolves this season.
The Irishman has provided a host of crosses into the box as well as delivering over one key pass per game, which is quite remarkable for someone, who has often been dealt with a lot of defensive workloads this season.
Thus, it’s a no-brainer that the 27-year-old will once again play a key role for the hosts this weekend.
But, Doherty will have to deal with the wide-threat of Matt Ritchie, who, at times, has appeared as the lone spark in a dire season for Newcastle so far.
Ritchie could play in a more advanced role for the Magpies with Antonio Barreca now at the club, and his quick feet and driving runs into the opposition defence could cause some problems for Doherty.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored