Wolves are taking on Fulham on Friday, with the pressure back on after the disappointing 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth – and Julen Lopetegui has surely got to get Daniel Podence back into his starting XI.
The team produced arguably their worst performance so far under Julen Lopetegui against the Cherries.
Bournemouth got their goal against the run of play having offered very little offensively in the game.
They then got men behind the ball, knowing that would likely be very effective against a team like Wolves, whose goalscoring issues are well documented.
Wolves have now been dragged back into the relegation battle, and the game with Fulham is huge.
The Cottagers are flying high this season, and it will be a hard game.
Lopetegui needs to find a way of getting the goals to flow.
And one potential way of doing that will be to restore Daniel Podence to the starting XI.
He was back on the bench against Bournemouth, and managed to get half an hour or so at Molineux.
Presuming he comes through training all fine this week, then he surely has to play from the beginning against Fulham.
This season, Podence has really improved in the final third.
The £60,000-a-week star is Wolves’ best creator, and is actually the joint-top scorer with Ruben Neves.
It is a no-brainer to pick him after the struggles against Bournemouth.
Daniel Podence must start for Wolves against Fulham on Friday
Podence is probably having his best season since joining the club from Olympiacos for £17 million.
The star still has a lot of room to improve. But there’s no doubt he has been one of Wolves’ better players in 2022/23.
Wanderers managed well without him against Liverpool (he did get on for the closing stages) and Southampton.
But Wolves are just better with him in the team. They are certainly more of a threat.
Fulham have kept three clean sheets in a row and have been proving difficult to break down of late. So Lopetegui needs his best attackers in from the start.