Nuno: We deserved draw

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo thought justice was done when his side snatched a last-gasp equaliser to draw 1-1 with Newcastle United.

Rafa Benitez's side looked set to clinch three much-needed points at Molineux on Monday until Willy Boly headed home Wolves' equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Isaac Hayden had given the Magpies lead but Boly's late equaliser means they are only one point above the relegation zone with 12 matches of the campaign remaining. Newcastle are 7/1 to be relegated this season.

After watching his team extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to six games, Nuno said: "The last minute showed the character of the team and belief of our fans here in Molineux, so I'm pleased for the late moment of joy. Once again, it's a last-minute goal that I think puts some justice in the game, honestly.

"We keep on going. The boys know until the final whistle is there everybody fights. We went until the end, a big effort from the boys and a point here in Molineux I think was good.

"In the last minute we started putting the ball in the box and got a moment we deserved. The last minute gave us the joy in the end, I think it was well-deserved, I think we didn't deserve to lose this game."

Wolves are 17/20 to beat Bristol City in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday and 8/1 to win the competition outright this season.

Nuno makes improvement demand

Nuno Espirito Santo has warned his Wolves side they will have to improve after they scraped past Shrewsbury to reach the FA Cup fifth round.

The Premier League side needed two late goals in the initial tie to force a fourth-round replay against the League One strugglers at Molineux on Tuesday night.

And, while Matt Doherty handed Wolves a dream start after two minutes, the Shrews stormed back to take the lead thanks to James Bolton's header and Josh Laurent's strike, after goalkeeper John Ruddy's error.

However, Doherty levelled with his second of the night before the break and Ivan Cavaleiro spared Wolves' blushes with what proved to be the winning goal on 62 minutes.

Wolves will travel to in-form Championship promotion-chasers Bristol City in round five and Nuno has told his players that they have have to do a lot better at Ashton Gate to keep their cup hopes alive.

"I'm not happy with the performance but happy because we got to the fifth round," Nuno said. "This is the most important (thing) but we have to look at the game and see it was not one of the best performances.

"Everybody is aware of that. It's job done. Football has these things and you can't always control them, you have to react to them. There are a lot of things we have to work on on the training ground and get better at.

"We pick always a strong XI. The idea is always to have a good XI. Today some players did well but I expect more from them. We have to improve a lot of things. We have to work on the training ground."

Wolves are priced at 10/1 to win the FA Cup ths season.

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Neves injury worries Nuno

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is unsure how seriously Ruben Neves was injured during Saturday's impressive 3-1 victory at Everton.

The 21-year-old Portugal international had to be substituted in the opening minutes of the second half at Goodison Park.

Nuno said: "He had to go off. He was in pain and was not able to continue, so let's assess him now. It was a kick."

Wolves' triumph at Everton was their third top-flight win in a row and they can now turn their attention towards Tuesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay against League One side Shrewsbury Town.

Nuno said of his side's impressive progress this season: "It's the same people, the same players, trying to always find solutions and improve, and grow in our game.

"The team that played at Everton, 70 per cent of them were with us in the Championship and we don't forget where we came from.

"If you have the desire and the hunger, you are always able to fight. If not, you wish and expect things. We go by work."

Wolves are seventh in the Premier League table and 14/1 to clinch a top-six spot this term. They are 11/2 to beat Shrewsbury 3-0 in the FA Cup at Molinuex on Tuesday and 10/1 to win the competition outright this season.

Nuno sees room for improvement

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo thought his side were a little fortunate to beat Leicester City 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at Molineux.

Goals by Diogo Jota and Ryan Bennett had put the home side in control at the break but the Foxes hit back after the interval and made it 2-2 through Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes.

Jota restored Wolves' lead but Wes Morgan's header three minutes from time made it 3-3.

However, Jota completed his hat-trick and finally ended Leicester's hopes when he grabbed the winner in stoppage time.

Nuno said afterwards: "It was a very good game and a game that everybody enjoyed. Both teams were trying to win it.

"We started well, but once we went in front we should have managed the game better, especially at the beginning of the second half. It is something we have to look at, but we have to do better. But we knew Leicester were going to react and they did so brilliantly.

"But this is football, it's lovely to have finished this way and we were happy to get the win, but if we had not won, we would have been blaming ourselves, because we wouldn't have achieved what we wanted to achieve.

"It was very important because we've bounced back from two bad results in the Premier League. Now we have the FA Cup. But we have to improve."

Wolves are 14/1 to win the FA Cup this season.

Premier League: City Go in Search of Another Goal Glut

Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Here’s a quiz question for us fans.

Has a team ever come into a Premier League match after scoring 16 goals in two matches?

I don’t know the answer for sure, but I seriously doubt it.

Yes, Manchester City’s demolitions have come against lower league opposition in both domestic cup competitions.

But, fresh after their key league victory over league leaders Liverpool, City are a team in form regardless of the standard of opponents.

Talking Points

They will need to be, too, as they trail the Merseysiders by seven points going into this encounter after they extended their lead with a victory at Brighton.

That means City know anything other than victory against a side which held them earlier in the campaign will not suffice.

This is a fourth consecutive home match for the reigning champions, and Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will be on a high themselves after seeing off Liverpool in the FA Cup.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo hopes to defy the odds and beat Manchester City in upcoming Premier League match

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo celebrates with Ruben Neves following their FA Cup victory against Liverpool

That result, ultimately, could give Liverpool a big advantage in the title race as City have a much more heavily congested run of fixtures over the next month.

The Citizens could be without two of their most influential figures in this one with Sergio Aguero, who has scored 14 goals in 22 appearances this season, suffering from illness over the past 10 days, while skipper Vincent Kompany struggling with a muscle problem.

Wolves, meanwhile, appear to have a near full-strength side, not that home boss Pep Guardiola can complain at any of his own possible absences given the depth of the squad at his disposal.

City naturally are firm favourites and they have actually won five of their last six home top-flight meetings with Wolves (drawn one) since a 2-3 defeat in December 1979.

In contrast, Wolves have picked up one win in their last 10 matches with City in all competitions (drawn three, lost six) and that was a 2-1 win at Molineux in the top flight in October 2010.

With the January transfer window in full swing, both clubs are being linked to a number of targets this month, even if there seems little substance in many of the rumours.

That also includes a far-fetched Premier League 2019 news which suggests City could snap up Barcelona frontman Ousmane Dembele while, in the same report, they are linked to Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who netted the FA Cup winner against Liverpool.

Santo says he won’t be rushed into signing new players. Fresh from success against the second-best team in the country, he probably has enough on his plate as he prepares his side for a trip to the top team in the country.

History

Historically, these sides can’t be separated.

City have triumphed in 47 of their meetings, with Wolves successful in 46 of the contests and the other 25 ending as draws.

As well as their league draw in August, the sides drew in the League Cup last season when City needed a penalty shoot-out to progress at the expense of the then-Championship outfit.

The last time they met at the Etihad Stadium in the top flight was in October 2011 when Edin Dzeko, Aleksandar Kolarov and Adam Johnson were on target in a 3-1 win.

City had triumphed 5-2 at Molineux days earlier, too, when Dzeko and Johnson again found the net in the League Cup.

You have to go back to August 1999 for the last time Wolves won on City turf.

It was Division One (now Championship) and a 1-0 win at Maine Road.

The scorer that day – a young Irishman by the name of Robbie Keane as he ruined City’s first game back in the division after they had spent one season in the third tier of English football.

How times have changed!

Betting Tip

??
Manchester City vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Total Goal 4-6 @ 2.53
January 15, 04:00 (GMT+8)

The Premier League 2019 betting odds are as firmly entrenched towards one side as you’d expect.

City are overwhelming favourites to see off the spirited Wolves with 1X2 odds @ 1.19 and Wolves are far out @ 16.50. A repeat of the draw earlier in the season attracts odds of @ 5.80.

Asian Handicap odds also point to a home success with something to spare.

The price on City -2.25 @ 2.21 compares to Wolves +1.75 @ 2.29.

Likewise, over 3.50 goals @ 2.31 is not as generous as you may expect.

If the correct score is your preferred route, then a second 1-1 draw of the campaign would pay out @ 14.50.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Nuno wants Traore improvement

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is looking to see an improvement in record signing Adama Traore, starting in the FA Cup at home to Liverpool.

The two Premier League teams meet in the third round of the cup at Molineux on Monday night and Traore is likely to feature after a disappointing start to his time with Wolves.

Signed from Middlesbrough for £18m at the start of the season, Traore has scored one goal and is yet to provide an assist during his time with the club and overall, in his time in the Premier League with Aston Villa, Boro and now Wolves he has two assists to his name with just nine shots on target.

Nuno has played Traore in 18 Premier League games so far in what has generally been a good first season back in the top flight for Wolves.

However, they are looking to strengthen in the January transfer window with Tammy Abraham possibly joining from Chelsea on loan.

Nuno says he and his staff believe in Traore but want to see more from him.

He said: "Adama must improve, of course he has good things and given us good moments but he has to be consistent through all the performances. This is something we are really focused on because we truly believe in his qualities.

"I think he is focused, he is working hard and we are helping him to achieve what we want. He needs to improve on a lot of things, like all the players.

"He brings an element of speed, unpredictability, quality and at the same time he must improve in all the aspects of the game."

Wolves are 3/1 to win Monday's game with Liverpool 19/20. Wolves are 10/1 to win the game 1-0.

Liverpool lost their first league match of the season in midweek, at title rivals Manchester City.

Wolves, by contrast, have lost five of their last seven home games including a defeat to Liverpool in December.

Nuno has a fully fit squad available for the game including Diogo Jota, back in full training while Romain Saiss suffered a knee injury against Crystal Palace in midweek but is fit again.

Wolves are 1/4 to finish the season in the top half of the Premier League.

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Nuno hints at new arrivals

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has admitted that he could be tempted to bring at least one new player to Molineux this month.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham has been linked with a loan switch to Wolves but as yet nothing has been confirmed.

The 21-year-old has scored 16 goals during a loan spell at Championship side Aston Villa so far this season.

Nuno said: "If someone comes who can bring different characteristics to our squad, if they can help us, then we have a view regarding transfers.

"We are always looking for an opportunity, but he has to be able to help us. We have to look at what we have, what we want and see if there is an opportunity.

"You have to make the balance of who you have and what you want to build for in the future. Who has done things well and who we can keep counting on. There are no numbers, there are no names. It's not about the system, it's about the quality of the player."

Wolves are 7/2 to beat Liverpool on Monday in the third round of the FA Cup while the current Premier League leaders can be backed at 13/2 to beat Nuno's team 1-0.

Jimenez: Wolves will keep pushing

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has vowed that there will be no let-up from he and his team-mates during the second half of the Premier League season.

The men from Molineux have made a fine start to life back in the top-flight, with Wolves standing in eighth place ahead of the current round of games.

However, Mexico international Jimenez, who has scored six times in the Premier League since his arrival on loan from Benfica, is confident that no-one will be resting on their laurels in the coming months.

Ahead of a Wednesday evening visit from Crystal Palace, he told his club's official website: "We know that we are in a good position, but I think we always want more.

"For a team who has just come up from the Championship we have done well, but we want to be as high as we can be in the table.

"We know we have made some mistakes in the first half of the season, but we now have to see how we can improve on it.

"For the rest of the season we want to do a good job, play good matches and be (high) up in the table."

Wolves go into the game against the Eagles on the back of a superb 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley last weekend.

The Midlanders are 1/1 to defeat Palace on Wednesday evening and are 5/4 to keep a clean sheet against the Londoners, with Wolves 8/1 to complete a 2-0 victory.

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Nuno calls for more composure

Nuno Espirito Santo told his Wolves players not to be too downhearted after suffering a 2-0 home reverse at the hands of Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The hosts at Molineux were undone by goals from Mo Salah and Virgil van Dijk, with the Wolves boss accepting that his side had not been clinical enough in the final third of the pitch.

However, the Portuguese was pleased with the effort and commitment shown by his team, who had won their three previous Premier League games.

Nuno told reporters: "This one is about final decisions and composure that sometimes the game requires, but I have nothing bad to say about the boys, they worked very hard and kept up the intensity.

"It is very hard to play against teams like Liverpool, especially when they are in front of goal – their counter-attacks are very dangerous – but we were able to stay in the game for quite a while and we created chances.

"The boys worked very hard, it was a good game, and we keep on going. We have to now rest and prepare for the next game."

Wolves can now be backed at 2/7 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table come the end of the season, with West Ham 1/2 and Watford 4/5.

Nuno's men are back in action on Boxing Day when they head to the capital to take on lowly Fulham at Craven Cottage.

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Nuno confims absence of Jota

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo has ruled Wolves forward Diogo Jota out of the visit of Liverpool to Molineux, with the Portuguese sidelined by a hamstring problem.

Jota, who has scored in two of his last three appearances, was forced off at half-time of the 2-0 victory at home to Bournemouth last weekend and his compatriot says Wolves are awaiting a final prognosis on the problem.

He told reporters: "It's hamstring, I don't know the extent of the injury because he has a big oedema, so the diagnosis cannot be totally accurate because of the blood, you cannot see from the images what to expect.

"We have to wait a couple days more until the blood goes away so the doctor does a new exam and we have the exact diagnosis. Hopefully he'll be back soon."

Meanwhile, Nuno has described the Friday evening visitors as 'one of the best teams in Europe'.

He added: "It's a big challenge for us, but we are okay, we are prepared. They are top of the league so that says a lot.

"We are going to face one of the best teams in Europe and we look forward to it. We look to compete to the maximum of our efforts, beliefs and trying everything we can.

"Our spirit will never go away from us, the way we work and believe and the way we support each other.

"That's what makes you proud when you have a bad moment and you come out of it. It doesn't mean it can't happen again, but we are ready."

Wolves can be backed at 16/5 to earn a draw against the Reds, with a 1-1 final scoreline available at 7/1, while the men from Molineux are 2/7 to secure a finish in the top half of the Premier League table.

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