Phil Russell emails on Wolves:
“For all the talk of Wolves missing Doherty and Jota its probably the injured Jonny they’ve missed most this season. Goes under the radar but provides width and balance down the left. Semedo looks like he could be an upgrade on Doherty and in Podence, Neto and Traore, with the new signing Silva as well, the front line is well stocked. Left wing-back seems to be picked out of a hat at the moment though, and the lack of quality there reduces the attacking options. Anyway should be a belting game, one where you really miss not having a crowd to watch it.”
Before the show starts you can squeeze in a very decent chunk of the new Football Weekly – reviewing the controversial, sublime, ridiculous weekend that was.
So, Joao Moutinho replaces Ruben Neves in Wolves’ starting lineup. Adama Traore remains on the bench. Rodrigo and Harrison return for Leeds, who contested that ragingly fun draw with Man City last time out.
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Costa, Klich, Harrison, Rodrigo, Bamford. Subs: Casilla, Alioski, Struijk, Roberts, Hernandez, Poveda, Raphinha.
Wolves: Patricio, Semedo, Boly, Coady, Kilman, Saïss, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neto, Podence, Jiménez. Subs: Ruddy, Hoever, Marcal, Neves, Silva, Traore, Otasowie.
Grab something from the fridge and I’ll be back in a bit to digest all that.
Revitalised old power meet … revitalised old power. Time was, and not so long ago, when Leeds and Wolves met regularly in the Championship. They faced off at that level 10 times earlier this decade and only missed each other by a whisker in League One, too. But it always felt like a matter of when and how, rather than if, these two got their acts together. They’ve done it – and in style!
We’ve seen Leeds this season. It’s Bielsaball as you always dreamed it: ambitious, flawed, rattling good fun. It will be enough to carry them to a good league finish, I’m sure of that, and perhaps even better given the brain-scrambling start to the season we’re all enjoying.
Can they perform with their usual gusto against tactically-savvy Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves, who have shown the way for well-resourced sides that come up from the second tier over the past two years. Wolves haven’t quite hit it off so far, and I do wonder if selling *both* Diogo Jota and Matt Doherty was a good idea by whoever deals with the transfers there even if you allow that a team always needs some sort of evolution. They don’t want the kind of drubbing they took at West Ham, that’s for sure.
Feels like a close one though, this, between two genuinely fine sides. Leeds will climb as high as third if they win; Wolves would go fourth if they won by, errrm, eight but would probably settle for the kind of result that would suggest they are back in business.
Should be fun. Could be *very* fun. Enjoy!