Wolves resume their European push this weekend when they travel to Brentford in the Premier League.
Bruno Lage’s Wolves side have been a tough nut to crack in the top flight this season, with only league leaders Manchester City boasting a tighter defence than Wanderers.
They reside in 8th spot, 4 points behind Manchester United and Arsenal, and are in a healthy position when it comes to qualifying for European football next term.
As for Brentford, they’ve taken to the Premier League well in what is their first top flight campaign since the late 1940s.
Thomas Frank’s Bees are 14th in the standings and level on points with Aston Villa, an admirable effort thus far considering many were tipping them for an immediate return to the Championship.
Wolves may have the fitness advantage on Saturday afternoon, with their last outing coming a week ago at home to Southampton, whereas Brentford were in midweek action against Manchester United.
The West London club were beaten 3-1 by United on that night, but Thomas Frank was under no illusions that his side deserved more from the game following an excellent first half display.
The Bees’ Danish boss claimed his team ‘destroyed’ Manchester United in the opening 45 minutes, but ultimately, they had nothing to show for their efforts.
Survival will have been the key aim for Brentford at the start of the season, so despite the defeat, causing problems to a side like Manchester United will have pleased those involved with the club.
Ironically, Wolves are so far the only side to have beaten the Red Devils since Ralf Rangnick became their new interim coach – one of a number of impressive performances from Bruno Lage’s side this season.
Wanderers now embark on an interesting fixture run which sees them host struggling Norwich at Molineux in the FA Cup 4th Round, before consecutive Premier League games against Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester and West Ham.
If Wolves can pick up positive results in those four matches through February, they may well emerge as surprise contenders for a coveted Champions League position.
Wolves’ form has been even more admirable considering the number of injuries they have, whilst speculation has surrounded Adama Traore’s future for a number of weeks now amidst a possible switch to Spurs.
At least 8 players are ruled out for the game at Brentford; Romain Saiss is away at the Africa Cup of Nations and Pedro Neto, Hwang Hee-Chan, Yerson Mosquera, Ruben Neves, Fernando Marcal, Willy Boly and Jonny Otto are all missing with injury or illness.
Brentford have also had recent injury woes, with Thomas Frank still missing Josh Dasilva, Zanka, Frank Onyeka, David Raya, Tariq Fosu, Charlie Goode and Julian Jeanvier with knocks.
Brentford v Wolves kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 22nd January.