Wolves are back in Premier League action on Saturday – and it’s Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. And Fernando Marcal surely has a great chance of starting.
Wanderers are looking to bounce back from three straight 1-0 defeats in west London, with Bruno Lage desperate for a good performance after an alarming drop in standards in recent weeks.
Wolves have been toothless in attack, out-fought in midfield and shaky at the back.
Despite this, the club somehow remain in the hunt to finish in the top seven and therefore secure European football.
But that will be extremely difficult given the fixtures that are left.
It’s Chelsea up next, and Wolves held the Blues to 0-0 draw back in December at Molineux. Thomas Tuchels side have also just lost their last game against Everton.
So perhaps there’s a chance for Wolves, and it will be interesting to see what kind of team Lage picks.
Realistically, there is going to be a number of changes. There certainly needs to be.
One change that has a high chance of happening is Marcal coming in for Rayan Ait-Nouri at left wing-back.
The French youngster was uncharacteristically really poor against the Seagulls.
He often overplayed, and was rather wasteful, losing possession 27 times (the most of any player) and complting just 70% of his passes (via Sofascore).
It was a bad day at the office for the youngster, and he really can’t have any complaints if Lage dropped him to the bench.
And the manager will be tempted to do that if it means playing Marcal, who was excellent against Chelsea in the reverse fixture.
Marcal stands good chance of starting against Chelsea on Saturday
Wolves put in a solid display defensively against Chelsea last time, with Marcal having one of his best outings of the season.
The Express & Star gave him an 8/10 for his performance, stating that he had ‘showed a different side to his game and impressed’. He put in the cross for Daniel Podence’s goal that was eventually ruled out for offside.
The Birmingham Mail rated him 8.5, noting that he had handled man-of-the-moment, 10-cap England international Reece James ‘superbly’.
James saw a fair bit of the ball in the last contest, but ultimately had zero shots and only one key pass. He put in six crosses, with none of them finding a man (via Sofascore).
Lage has tended to play Marcal – who cost the club just under £2 million – every other game or two this term.
He hasn’t featured since the defeat to Newcastle, so it would be no surprise if came back in to the starting XI on Saturday.