Wolves midfielder Romain Saiss has emerged as an injury doubt for his team’s Premier League clash against Chelsea on Saturday.
Birmingham Live reported that the 29-year-old withdrew from international duty with Morocco through injury, although no clarification was given as to the type of knock he has received.
Birmingham Live noted that the midfielder was not in his national team’s squad for their 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso on Friday and could also miss their clash against Niger this evening.
Saiss featured in all six of Wolves’ Europa League qualifying matches and started the last four, being given the full 90 minutes in each. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
However, game time in the Premier League has been harder to come by for the midfielder, with only one start and one substitute appearance encompassing 68 minutes of action. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Fellow defensive midfielder Leander Dendoncker has started three of Wolves’ four league games so far this season and recovered from a knock he picked up on international duty with Belgium to take his place in the starting line-up for last night’s 4-0 win away to Scotland in Euro 2020 qualifying.
Saiss was one of Wolves’ most reliable ball winners in the air in 2018/19, with 3.2 successful aerial duels per game the highest in the squad when defenders are excluded. Dendoncker, who like Saiss is 6 ft 3 (1.88m), won 2.9 aerial duels per game. [via WhoScored.com]
The Morocco man recorded more interceptions per game last season than Dendoncker, with 1.4 to 1.2, but the Belgium midfielder won 2.8 tackles per game to Saiss’ 2.1. By way of comparison, Ruben Neves averaged 2.1 tackles and interceptions per game from defensive midfield, having made 34 Premier League starts in 2018/19. [via WhoScored.com]
In terms of using the ball, Dendoncker also comes out on top over Saiss for multiple metrics, with a better passing accuracy rate (79.4% to 77.1%) and more key passes per game (0.4 to 0.2). while both players scored twice for Wolves last season and once so far this term. [via WhoScored.com]
Statistically, Saiss is not far behind Dendoncker for several key metrics, but the Belgium man appears to have the upper hand on his defensive midfield colleague across the board.
Dendoncker’s recovery from his knock last week leaves him in line to start again on Saturday, even if Saiss manages to shake off the injury that curtailed his involvement for Morocco during the current international break.
However, if the 29-year-old is still out of action by Saturday, that would deprive Nuno Espirito Santo of one committed, ball-winning defensive midfield option for the visit of Chelsea to Molineux.
Wolves fans, how damaging would Saiss’ possible absence be if he fails to recover for the Chelsea game? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!
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