Wolves are finishing 2022 with a home game in the Premier League against Manchester United.
Fans are feeling optimistic as the calendar year comes to an end, with Julen Lopetegui winning his first two games in charge as Wolves head coach.
The Spaniard oversaw victories over Gillingham in the Carabao Cup, and then Everton in the Premier League on Boxing Day.
While the level of performance was not particularly good in both games, the fact that it’s two wins from two is very encouraging.
At this point, results are all that matter.
And fans will be hopeful of another positive one as United come to Molineux today.
Erik ten Hag’s side have been going well this season, and it will be a tough game.
But with Lopetegui at the helm, and confidence high from the win over Everton, Wolves might be able to pull off a shock and finish 2022 on a high.
Here’s a team Lopetegui might go with…
Predicted Wolves XI to face Manchester United – Lopetegui to switch to a back three
It would be no surprise if Lopetegui decided to go with a back three for this game.
Wolves looked pretty comfortable in that system in the late stages against Everton, and it could be the way to go against United.
So in front of Jose Sa, it could be Nathan Collins, Toti Gomes and Maximilian Kilman. Toti did well against the Toffees and Lopetegui might draft him into the backline against the Red Devils.
Since a back three would mean wing-backs, it could mean Rayan Ait-Nouri comes back into the starting XI. Hugo Bueno has been great, but Ait-Nouri could be better suited to this system and he’s also scored in each of his last two games.
Nelson Semedo is surely going to play on the right.
In midfield, a midfield two of Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes might be the one.
Nunes often played in a two at Sporting CP, and it’s a role he suits much more than as an attacking midfielder.
And then in attack, Daniel Podence should start on the left providing he’s OK after going off against Everton.
On the right, Adama Traore might come back in to provide a big threat on the counter.
And through the middle, Raul Jimenez might come in to start after Diego Costa got 90 minutes against Everton.
Jimenez probably isn’t yet near peak fitness levels. But Costa was largely ineffective against the Toffees and it’s a quick turnaround. It might just be time for the Mexican to come back in.
Wolves fans have really been buoyed by that win over Everton.
There is new-found belief now, and Molineux will be absolutely rocking.
There is every chance the players can pull something out of the bag against United in the final fixture of 2022.
Wolves (3-4-3): Sa/Collins, Toti, Kilman/Semedo, Neves, Nunes, Ait-Nouri/A.Traore, Jimenez, Podence.