Wolves Under 18 manager Steve Davis says his side have been working on two new formations in training.

He told the club website: “In training we’ve been working on new systems, going to a 4-2-3-1 and 4-3-3 system.

“We’ve tried to spend a bit of time on that during the last week to see how that works.

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“But we can always jump back to a three at the back if we need to, so the versatility is there if we need to change shape during matches or for different games.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Celta Vigo - Pre-Season Friendly
(Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Dropped a hint?

Maybe we’re looking too much into this, but has Davis dropped a hint about two formations Bruno Lage wants the first team to play?

Where Nuno Espirito Santo was apparently mainly focused on the first team, Lage wants to unite the entire club.

If the Under 18s are working on new formations and moving away from a five-man backline, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that instruction has come from the top of the club; Lage.


Lage has utilised a four-man backline at times during pre-season, but has opted for a back five in recent friendlies, which has frustrated fans at times.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Pre-Season Training Session
(Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

When will the first team play a back four?

We wrote back in July that Lage might play it cagey for the first three games of the Premier League season.

Those opening fixtures, against Leicester, Tottenham and Manchester United, are tricky and Lage often tried to keep it tight against top opponents during his time at Benfica.

After that, we might see a more expansive system and a back four when the difficulty of the fixtures has eased up slightly. Lage could be using a back three now to ensure a smoother transition from Nuno’s methods as well.

But the longer-term plan night be for all Wolves teams – from the seniors through to the Under 18s – to play a back four.

There is an EFL Cup tie against Nottingham Forest between the Spurs and United games. Perhaps a back four will be on show there, as Lage’s plan comes together.

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