There has been much debate amongst Wolves fans about the next two games. Wolves host Slovan Bratislava tonight before playing Aston Villa at Molineux on Sunday.
The short-gap between the two games makes it somewhat unlikely that Nuno Espirito Santo will play all the starters for both games. But with the international break coming up, the manager should go for broke.
Europa vs. Premier:
Although the game against Villa is undoubtedly a massive one for Wolves, it is one of 27 remaining Premier League matches this season. The Europa League, on the other hand, could be over in just three games if Wolves were to be knocked out.
The Europa offers Wolves a real opportunity to test themselves against some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Potential trips to the San Siro, Mestalla or Stadio Olimpico await in the next round, which would be an amazing experience for fans and players alike.
We’ve seen how well we can do against some of the top sides in England. So there’s a real chance for us to progress deep into the competition- all the way to Poland perhaps?
Wrap It Up Early:
One huge benefit of Nuno playing the first team against Bratislava is that a win would effectively see us through. Three points would put us on nine (five points clear of Slovan with two games to go). Wolves would then need just one more point to guarantee qualification.
Therefore, the importance of this one cannot be understated. This would take the stress out of the last two games and allow Nuno to rest players. This will be particularly important as we go into the Christmas period. It would also give opportunities to youth players such as Ashley-Seal, Sanderson and Perry to get valuable minutes against European competition.
The other thing to consider is that Nuno does not have to sacrifice either of the upcoming home games. Although the Thursday-Sunday schedule does put a lot of strain on players, the Villa game is followed by the international break. This will allow a lot of the squad (though not all) to get some much needed rest.
All members of the squad should be capable of playing 90 minutes more than once a week. With these two games both crucial for our season, Nuno should go for broke and play as strong a team as possible in both ties. We can put the Europa League to bed and quiet the Villa all in a few short days.