Wolves defender Matt Doherty has been given the green light to feature in tonight’s Europa League play-off first leg against Torino in Italy, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo having a full squad from which to select.
Tim Spiers, Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star, tweeted a quote from Nuno in the pre-match press conference saying: “Everyone is fit, Matt Doherty is OK.”
Doherty enjoyed a wonderfully prolific campaign from right-back last season, scoring eight goals and providing 10 assists in 45 appearances, an average of one goal per 5.62 games and an assist every 4.5 games.
That made him Wolves’ third-highest scorer in 2018/19 behind Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, while he had more assists during the season than any of his team-mates.
However, the 27-year-old has not been in his best form in the early weeks of the new campaign, with the summer’s knee injury possibly hindering him.
In Wolves’ Premier League opener against Leicester, he had a poor passing success rate of just 61.5% (with 10 out of his 26 passes misplaced), was beaten in three of his five aerial duels, won just one tackle and committed four fouls. [via WhoScored.com]
He was more accurate with his ball distribution against Manchester United, with an 81.3% success rate from 13 completed passes out of 16, but he was beaten in all three of his aerial duels and did not make any tackles or embark on any dribbles. [via WhoScored.com]
When Adama Traore came on in his place, he matched Doherty’s passing statistics and had three successful dribbles, with Joe Edwards of the Express & Star calling it “his best display for Wolves so far” and adding that he “barely put a foot wrong after coming on“.
By contrast, he wrote that Doherty “was often caught out of position as he seemed out of sorts in the first half”. [via Express & Star].
Doherty should have plenty of credit in the bank from last season for his current form to be deemed a mere blip, given his frequent goal involvements and his 2018/19 figures of 71.6% passing accuracy and 1.8 tackles, 1.6 interceptions and 0.5 dribbles per game.
However, given the impact that Traore made when replacing him on Monday night, Nuno could select the Spaniard from the start against Torino tonight and include Doherty among the substitutes to give him a better chance of recovering fully.
Wolves fans, who would you choose between Traore and Doherty to start at right-back tonight? Join in the discussion by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!