Wolves are taking on Newcastle United this weekend – and it could be that Julen Lopetegui is considering leaving Ruben Neves out of the game.
Wanderers are looking to build on the brilliant 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur last weekend.
Adama Traore’s goal at Molineux led to three huge points.
The mood has lifted again following the defeat to Liverpool, and fans are hoping Wolves will now be able to put together a run.
Newcastle will be a test. The Magpies have had a great season so far under Eddie Howe.
They’ve stuttered a bit lately, but Lopetegui will see potential for points for his side.
The manager will be carefully considering what kind of team to put out – and it’s possible he might actually leave Neves out of this game.
Neves received his ninth yellow card of the season against Spurs.
If he picks up one more between now and the game with Leicester City on April 22, he will have to serve a two-game suspension.
It is not something Lopetegui would want to do, of course.
But the manager has to consider the ramifications of Neves getting booked against Newcastle.
The maestro would then be unable to face Leeds United and Nottingham Forest in Wolves’ next two games.
Of course at the moment, they are two teams that are close to Wolves in the Premier League table, and it is essential that Neves is available to play in both.
Julen Lopetegui may be considering big risk of leaving Ruben Neves out against Newcastle
It is frustrating that Neves is in this position.
He is Wolves’ best player, but he is walking a tightrope with a two-game ban looming over him.
As amazing as he is, he is a magnet for yellow cards.
To be fair, Neves did go from the Manchester United game on New Year’s Eve to the clash with Fulham on February 24 without getting booked – a run of eight games.
But Lopetegui might not want to run the risk. Neves has been very combative this season.
The manager has Mario Lemina who can play as a holding midfielder. And then, there’s options in the form of Joao Moutinho, Matheus Nunes, Joao Gomes and Joe Hodge. Boubacar Traore could also return.