Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui took his second press conference yesterday to speak ahead of tonight’s Carabao Cup clash with Gillingham.
The World Cup is over, and domestic football will now finally return.
The past few weeks have been an opportunity for Lopetegui to get to know his new players and try a few things in training.
He’s been out in Marbella with the squad and overseen a couple of friendly matches against Empoli and Cadiz.
Fans will now get to see where everyone’s at under the manager, and hopes will be high for a convincing performance.
Standing in the way of Wolves and the fifth round of the Carabao Cup is a Gillingham side that has actually scored few league goals than Wolves this season.
The League Two side have really struggled so far this term, and found the net just six times in 20 games.
But as with any cup game for any club facing a side in the lower leagues, nothing can be taken for granted.
Wolves have been extremely poor so far this season, and need to show respect to the Gills.
Lopetegui has revealed that he has a mostly fully fit squad to choose from.
Jonny Castro Otto and Boubacar Traore will both be unavailable through injury though. Pedro Neto is still some weeks off returning, and Sasa Kalajdzic of course is missing for the rest of the season.
Raul Jimenez will be available for selection this evening, with Lopetegui saying: “He is working very hard with the rest of the squad. He is trying to improve his body to help us. Tomorrow is a chance for him and the rest of the squad.”
“He feels better but he can feel perfect. We are going to try to put him in the best way.”
Jimenez made three substitute appearances for Mexico at the World Cup, and featured in both games against Empoli and Cadiz.
Jimenez playing tonight would see him back in a Wolves shirt in a competitive match for the first time in nearly four months.
But it’s likely Diego Costa will start over him.
Blow as Jonny and Traore ruled out as Lopetegui delivers Wolves team news ahead of Gillingham clash
Hopefully neither of these injuries are too serious.
Express & Star journalist Liam Keen has revealed Traore went for a scan yesterday on a groin injury. So we await news on the severity and his potential return.
It’s a shame for both. Jonny just really needs a game where he just plays really well and can then kick on. His form has been really worrying this season.
And Traore likely would have been a candidate to start this game following his game-winning goal against Leeds United in the previous round.
But Wolves have good depth, and should still have more than enough to win this game comfortably.