Wolves face Brighton in the Premier League today at 15:00, and the only question surrounding Nuno Espirito Santo’s starting XI is whether Ryan Bennett or Romain Saïss starts in defense.
Nuno’s side has lost their last two matches.
The Wanderers were the catalysts of their own demise in a cruel loss to Watford at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-finals, and the pack’s performance at St. Mary’s was “Very, very poor”.
Wolves must bounce back with a win against the Seagulls, but it won’t be easy.
Brighton are still in a relegation scrap, and Wolves have been prone to taking points from the rich and giving them to the poor.
However, after a successful week in Marbella, Spain, Nuno’s side should provide a crowd-pleasing performance while attaining the 3 points.
Question is, does Saïss or Bennett start?
Wolves Vs. Brighton Preview; Should Nuno drop Saïss for Bennett?
In their last two matches, Wolves have conceded six goals. Watford secured an invitation to the FA Cup final with a 3-2 comeback, and Southampton battered a toothless Wolves 3-1.
This prompted club legend Steve Bull to suggest in his Express & Star column that Nuno should drop Saïss for Bennett.
“Ryan Bennett had formed a solid trio with Conor Coady and Willy Boly,” says Bull. “No disrespect to Romain Saiss, who’s done a great job at times, but after shipping six goals in two games, Nuno may shuffle his pack.”
As a makeshift defender, Saïss has done a commendable job for Wolves.
Yes, Ruddy and Patricio have had to pick the ball out of their net three times each in the last two weeks, but Saïss was only to blame for Nathan Redmond’s opener in the loss to Southampton.
Saïss has made 19 appearances this Premier League campaign (10 less than Bennett), and he has contributed 2 goals.
He’s won 109 duels (76 lost), he has a tackle success rate of 67%, he’s made 58 clearances, and he’s achieved 61 accurate long balls.
In comparison, Bennett has won 164 duels (130 lost) with a tackle success rate of 55%. Bennett has also made 102 clearances with 53 accurate long balls.
The comparison is distorted thanks to Saïss and Bennett not sharing the same amount of minutes on the pitch, but the statistics point to them being similar and equal.
Regardless of who Nuno chooses to start with, both are very capable at the back.