With Premier League status for next season all but secured, Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo may be tempted to try a front two against Sheffield United on Saturday night.
The manager will be forced to make changes to his attacking line following the devastating news that Pedro Neto will be out for the rest of the season.
Throw in Ruben Neves’s absence due to testing positive for Covid-19 and Daniel Podence and Joao Moutinho not being fully match fit, and suddenly Wolves are starting to look quite light in midfield.
Although the temptation for Nuno may be to try Morgan Gibbs-White or Vítinha behind either Fabio Silva or Willian Jose up top, against the league’s bottom side – who have not secured a point under caretaker manager Paul Heckingbottom – the Wolves boss should throw caution to the wind and deploy a 4-4-2.
Either option seems plausible, but with Willian Jose, 29, yet to score since arriving in January and 18-year-old Fabio Silva only scoring three this season, playing the two together may ease the creative burden on the Wolves midfielders.
A player who may relish this tactical tweak is Adama Traore. After recording his first league assist and goal in his past two games, having two options in the box may give the winger the perfect platform to add to this tally.
Saturday’s opponents, the Blades, have only scored one goal and conceded 12 in the previous four games since former manager Chris Wilder parted company. If either striker for Wolves is to get on the scoresheet this season, it could offer the perfect springboard with the Black Country derby only around the corner.
One caveat of Wolves playing a 4-4-2 is they would have limited options on the bench. That being said, one player who has been pushing for a debut is Theo Corbeanu. The youth prospect scored for Canada during the most recent international break and also found the back of the net against the Newcastle United Under 23s in midweek.
It is likely that either or both of Morgan Gibbs-White and Vitinha would feature due to Wolves’ lack of depth in midfield. Owen Otasowie could also do with minutes.
With Wolves looking lightweight in defence and midfield in particular right now, it seems a good time for Nuno to play more personnel up front.