'They'll be alright' – the Wolverhampton Wanderers view on Newcastle United ahead of today's Premier League clash
Newcastle United head to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Molineux this afternoon looking to banish the damaging memories of their recent Manchester United capitulation.
To get the inside track on what Steve Bruce's men face today the Gazette has spoken to Express and Star Wolves correspondent Joe Edwards and taken down his views on all things Wolves, as well as getting his view on goings on at St James’s Park.
What is the state of play at Wolves - content at the start to the season?
There is a slight bit of frustration over performances as they're yet to put it together for a full 90 minutes but, ultimately, they've won three of five games. That's their best start to a top-flight season since 1979. They've also kept two clean sheets after a defensive horror show at West Ham and look a lot more robust again. It's just a case of hoping it fully clicks in attack soon as well.
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Who are Wolves' in-form dangermen?
Raul Jimenez is always good for a goal and made it three for the season, albeit with a slice of luck, against Leeds. Conor Coady, meanwhile, is not so much a danger man but has been buoyed at the back by his England performances. You'll hear him constantly organising Wolves throughout the game. Pedro Neto has also been playing well, but I have a feeling Adama Traore will take his place for this one.
Systems and formations have been the topic of conversation at Newcastle this season, what can we expect from Wolves?
They've been a topic of conversation at Wolves, too. It is still 3-4-3, but with a bit of a twist. The front three is a lot more fluid rather than just two wingers either side of Jimenez. There's a lot of dropping deep to get on the ball and it almost becomes a 3-4-1-2, if you like, at times. It hasn't worked seamlessly so far, but they've still won two on the bounce.
Some high profile departures as well as signings at Wolves in the summer, was it a positive or negative window for the club?
Time will tell, really. Nelson Semedo has replaced Matt Doherty, of course, and looked a bit shaky against Leeds. He's still finding his way in a gold and black shirt. Diogo Jota left too and it's a case of recouping the goals lost through those departures. Others, like Traore and Daniel Podence, need to step up on the goal front soon.
What's your predicted XI for the game and are there any injury worries?
Nuno alluded to a few knocks in his press conference but didn't go into specifics and it didn't sound like anything major. Got a feeling Max Kilman will carry on at the back, with Romain Saiss as a makeshift left-wing-back.
XI (3-4-3): Patricio; Boly, Coady, Kilman; Semedo, Dendoncker, Neves, Saiss; Traore, Jimenez, Podence
What have you made of NUFC and Steve Bruce from afar? And what are their prospects for the season?
They've perhaps been slightly like Wolves in some games in that they've sat back and picked their spots, so it will be interesting to see which side takes the bull by the horns at Molineux. I think they'll be alright, probably finishing between 15th and 10th I'd imagine.
Hoping it can start to gel properly for Wolves in attack. I'll go 2-0 Wolves but probably a tight first half.