Bournemouth travel to Molineux on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, which leaves them marred in the relegation scrap. The home side enjoyed a much more successful return to the campaign, brushing aside West Ham United 2-0 at the London Stadium.
Eddie Howe’s side have been inconsistent this season and have struggled for goals with injuries keeping out key players such as David Brooks, and Callum Wilson and with Ryan Fraser not wanting to play due to contract issues.
Wolves on the other hand have enjoyed another stellar season and are pushing for the Champions League places. Favourable results have put them right into contention and against an underperforming Bournemouth side it would be difficult to see them drop points. Subsequently, both sides are desperate to compete in their own battles, so, this could provide an entertaining contest.
Wolves come into this game with no injury issues to worry about. Despite having such a small squad they seem to have coped magnificently with the commitments they’ve had this season and the enforced break has given them time to relax and recover. Adama Traore was brought off the bench in the last game to great effect and you wonder whether that strong performance will warrant him a place in the starting 11. Pedro Neto also proved to be a productive substitute with that stunning volley he scored last time out.
Nuno Espirito Santo stated after the West Ham game:
“In the first half, we were organised. We didn’t finish too many actions but we kept West Ham – a good team with good players – away from our goal.
“In the second half, we started and introduced some speed. We were more accurate and were able to create more danger.”
You would expect the back three to remain the same having put in a solid display and depending on whether Nuno goes with the 3-4-3, the midfield could see Leander Dendoncker drop out. Daniel Podence was an unused substitute and so he could get some game time as Wolves look to rotate and utilise their squad in this packed schedule.
Bournemouth are of course without their star winger Fraser after Howe announced last Friday that he wouldn’t take part in any of their remaining games due to his ongoing contract issues. Brooks has of course made a welcome return to the squad after a long time out with an ACL injury and he will be crucial in the Cherries’ survival bid.
However, defensive issues have plagued Bournemouth for some time now, and despite them having key men fit like Nathan Ake and Steve Cook, they still seem to struggle keeping a compact shape.
Howe also seem displeased with his team’s performance last time out as he stated:
“We know now we have one game less to achieve our objective.
“The table is still so tight, the difference is so tight and we could look at back-to-back wins as being the difference for us. We have to believe that is going to happen but we have to play better than we did in the first half an hour in this game.”
You could expect him to make some changes and potentially match Wolves with a back five. Due to the amount of pace and creative flair Wolves possess, particularly on the counter attack, you would think Bournemouth would need to utilise a lower defensive block. This change could enforce Howe into switching around his defence.
Score Prediction: Wolves 2-0 Bournemouth
The form of both these sides makes it tough to look past Wolves and with their attacking players starting well with the return. I could see them closing out another 2-0 victory.