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3 things that now need to happen if Wolves are to secure European football

There are just six games remaining for Wolves this season and, remarkably, the club are still in with a chance of playing European football next season.

A top four finish is beyond Wolves now.

But there is still hope of Wanderers getting into either the Europa League or the Europa Conference League for 2022/23.

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It is an amazing achievement for the team to still be in contention at this point.

If you would have asked any Wolves supporter at the start of the season if they would have taken this current predicament, they would have snapped your hand off.

Bruno Lage has done a brilliant job in his first season, but can he actually deliver European football when it’s all said and done?

Here’s a few things that need to happen if Wolves are to do it.

Defensive solidity must return

Wolves remain one of the best defensive outfits in Europe this season, but things haven’t been quite as tight as they were compared to a few months ago.

Since beating Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford back in January, Wolves have only kept three clean sheets in 13 Premier League games.

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The team have shipped 14 goals in the league since victory over United, which is half of Wolves’ current ‘goals conceded’ total of 28.

The backline has seen a bit of change here and there in 2022. Previously, Conor Coady, Max Kilman and Romain Saiss had been the staple picks for Lage.

If Wolves are to secure European football, keeping the ball out of Jose Sa’s net will be paramount.

That will give the attacking players a good platform to go and do their thing and win games.

Ruben Neves needs to return ASAP

Wolves fans had their hearts in their mouths as Ruben Neves made his way off the pitch midway through the the first-half against Leeds United.

It would transpire that he had suffered MCL damage, and he is set to return to action in May.

Encouragingly, Neves is actually already back on the grass at Compton Park.

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He probably has a couple of weeks to go at least before he’s available again. Hopefully, Wolves can have Neves back in time for the Chelsea game on May 7.

He has been absolutely exceptional this season. So if Wolves are to stand a genuine chance of playing in Europe next season, they need Neves back and performing as he had been.

Wolves need Raul Jimenez to fire

Goalscoring has been a slight issue again this season.

It was perhaps always going to be a tricky campaign for Jimenez, after the horrendous injury he suffered last season.

He’s had some great performances, but it’s been difficult for Jimenez to be consistent in 2021/22.

It is completely understandable, and the 30-year-old really should be commended for getting up to 10 goal contributions across all competitions so far.

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But if Wolves are to play in a European competition next season, Lage now needs his main man to come in clutch.

It may not be possible, but hopefully Jimenez can rediscover the level he was at before his injury and make Wolves serious outfit in the remaining games.