Wolves face Liverpool in the replay of the FA Cup third round tonight, but new signing Mario Lemina can’t play in the match.
Julen Lopetegui is seeking to beat the Reds at Molineux, after narrowly failing to do so at Anfield nearly two weeks ago now.
Wolves came close to dumping the holders out. But they were stung by a terrible decision to disallow Toti Gomes’ late goal to make it 3-2.
The two teams must now do it all again.
And it should be a really good game, with Liverpool struggling right now.
But one man who will not be involved is Wolves’ newest signing Lemina.
After completing a move to Molineux from Nice for just under £10 million, the midfielder made his debut at the weekend against West Ham United, getting around 20 minutes.
But he won’t have the chance to make his first start for the club against the Reds.
He cannot feature, because he wasn’t registered to participate in the first match. FA rules state (via Birmingham Mail): “All players must have been eligible to play in the original tie in order to play in a match which is replayed, postponed or ordered to be replayed.”
So Lopetegui will instead need to decide who to plump for out of Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes, Joao Moutinho, Joe Hodge and Connor Ronan. Boubacar Traore is still recovering from his injury.
Mario Lemina can’t play for Wolves against Liverpool, but a potential chance for Joe Hodge
Lemina would have been firmly in contention to start against Liverpool. He put in assured cameo against West Ham at the weekend.
But the rules are the rules and he’ll be forced to watch on from the stands.
But it does potentially present another opportunity for Hodge to play.
We know that Lopetegui really likes the youngster, and he might just put his faith in him again, as he did for the game at Anfield.
And it would be deserved. Hodge is a brilliant talent, and would be a great option to rotate in for Moutinho who got 73 minutes at the weekend.