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Wolves: Ryan Bennett ruled out of trip to Arsenal

Wolves: Ryan Bennett ruled out of trip to Arsenal

Wolves will be without defender Ryan Bennett for today’s Premier League game away to Arsenal.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed in his Friday press conference that the 29-year-old isn’t fit enough to feature at the Emirates Stadium, despite playing against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup midweek after a recent abductor injury.

Joe Edwards, Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star, tweeted quotes from Nuno about the centre-back, with the manager saying: “He’s not OK. He played at Villa, still with the problem, and he’s not OK for tomorrow. [via @JoeEdwards_Star]

Having started Wolves’ first four Premier League games this season, Bennett has had a frustrating last couple of months.

He has only played twice in the league since September and, in the most recent of those games, he lasted just 18 minutes against Southampton before being forced off with an apparent groin problem.

He featured for the full 90 minutes at Villa Park in midweek but Nuno admitted in his press briefing that the defender was playing through the pain barrier, with the consequence being his enforced absence for the trip to Arsenal this weekend.

This latest injury blow comes at a very inopportune time for both Bennett and Wolves, with fellow centre-back Willy Boly ruled out for several weeks after fracturing his fibula, as per Birmingham Live.

Can Wolves cope without Willy Boly?

Yes

Yes

No

No

The absence of that pair will likely leave Nuno needing to patch together a centre-back trio once more, having brought Matt Doherty in-field from his usual right-back position for the draw at Newcastle last week, as well as dropping Romain Saiss into the back three from his customary midfield role.

He did play two natural centre-backs along with Bennett against Aston Villa, but Jesus Vallejo hasn’t convinced a lot of Wolves fans since his summer arrival while Max Kilman has made just five senior appearances for the club.

Bennett’s injury also deprives them of a defender with a solid record for stifling opposition attacks, having won 2.7 aerial duels and made 1.3 interceptions per game this season, as per WhoScored.

Against an Arsenal team who scored five against Liverpool in midweek, even without eight-goal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the side, Bennett’s absence is likely to be a major concern for Nuno.

Having already seen Boly ruled out for the foreseeable future, the Wolves boss could be a very worried man as he now must concoct a plan to thwart the potent Gunners without two of his three main centre-backs.

Wolves fans, how worrying is Bennett’s absence for the Arsenal game on top of Boly’s injury? Who would you pick as the back three for that match? Join in the discussion by commenting below!

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