Wolves have been given a double boost with the news that two defenders with recent injury concerns are available for tonight’s Europa League clash at home to Slovan Bratislava.
Can Wolves cope without Willy Boly?
The Express & Star reported that Matt Doherty has “been training properly” ahead of the game at Molineux after going off with a knee injury against Arsenal last weekend.
Ryan Bennett is also in line to feature, having recovered from the groin problem which ruled him out of that 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium, as per the Express & Star.
The availability of Doherty and Bennett should ensure that the Wolves defence has a more familiar look to it than in the weekend’s draw at Arsenal.
If the Irishman wasn’t fit to feature, Adama Traore would likely have played in a right wing-back role, having started in that position in five Premier League games already this season, as per WhoScored.
With Bennett missing last weekend and Willy Boly ruled out for an indefinite period with a fractured fibula, as per Birmingham Live, midfielders Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss were shoehorned into the centre-back three against Arsenal.
Bennett’s return should ensure that Nuno Espirito Santo fields at least two regular centre-backs tonight, with the ex-Norwich man and Conor Coady likely to start.
The identity of the third centre-back appears far less certain. Dendoncker would bring plenty of composure in possession, having had a greater passing completion rate (81.5%) this season than any Wolves defender except Coady (82%).
However, Saiss has played at centre-back far more often than the Belgian this season (seven times to one), while Nuno might also want to bring in a natural centre-back in either Jesus Vallejo or Max Kilman.
Nuno will surely be glad to have Doherty and Bennett available for tonight’s clash, given the adjustments he has been forced to make at the back with the recent spate of injuries in defensive personnel.
Although he had the comfort of knowing that other players in the squad are adaptable enough to fill in at right-back or centre-back if needed, being able to call upon two of his regular defenders in their natural positions should greatly reduce the level of experimentation that has been forced on the manager of late.
Wolves fans, how important is it to have Doherty and Bennett back for tonight’s match? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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