Wolves’ second match of pre-season has ended in a 1-0 win against La Liga outfit Real Betis.
It’s not wise to read too much into the result of a game which is mainly for fitness.
But here are five things we learned from the match…
Lage can mix it up
Bruno Lage played a 4-4-2 at Crewe last week and he used the same system with plenty of success at Benfica.
That meant some might have expected him to use it all through pre-season and into the Premier League.
But he mixed it up here, going with a 4-2-3-1 with Morgan Gibbs-White pushed into the number ten role behind Raul Jimenez.
That means we’re no closer to knowing what Lage’s first choice system is. It also means he’s already shown he’s adaptable.
Jimenez is ready for more
Jimenez was taken off after a shade more than half an hour at Crewe and 45 minutes here would have been the natural progression.
But he lasted longer than that, playing for 60 minutes before being removed as one of five substitutions on the hour mark.
He was also leading the line alone here – he had a partner at Crewe – which made it a more taxing shift.
But the Mexican international is clearly ready to ramp up his recovery. Getting a goal is the next step in boosting his confidence, but that won’t take long.
Ait-Nouri impresses out wide
For the second game running, Lage deployed Rayan Ait-Nouri on the left hand side of midfield.
He made numerous darts forward from that flank during a game where very few players on either side offered a spark.
Whether he’s seen as a genuine left wing option for Premier League matches or just a stop-gap remains to be seen.
But his performance attracted the attention of some Wolves fans on Twitter, who were full of praise.
Lage sweating on Boly
Willy Boly was forced off with an injury after just 17 minutes here.
Bruno Lage will hope the problem isn’t too serious and Wolves fans will hope he was only taken off as a precaution.
Wolves are already without Conor Coady until they get back from Spain, although that might create an opportunity for new-boy Yerson Mosquera, who made his debut here, playing for 30 minutes as a substitute.
Pre-season is about fitness and any injuries are a cause for concern. Let’s hope for a positive update on Boly soon.
Wolves step it up
Wolves looked a bit disjointed at Crewe. Their pressing game wasn’t cohesive and the 4-4-2 looked awkward at times.
Against a much better opponent here, Wolves stepped it up and deserved to win.
They looked solid and comfortable in possession against a very decent Betis side.
As well as Mosquera, Jose Sa, Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves, Marcal and Nelson Semedo each made their first appearances of pre-season.
It was a step up in intensity from their first pre-season game and the performance reflected that, even if it wasn’t the most thrilling match.
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