Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves - Everton recap
Photo by Ben Stansall/Pool via Getty Images

Wolves throttle sorry Everton

Leave a comment

Wolves overran sleepy Everton to snap a two-game losing skid with a 3-0 win at the Molineux on Sunday.

Raul Jimenez, Diogo Jota, and Leander Dendoncker scored for Wolves, who are back within four points of the top four before Manchester United and Leicester City stage their 35th matches.

 [ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Wolves face Burnley, Palace, and Chelsea, and will be considering a berth in the top four with a little help on the out-of-town scoreboard.

Everton remains 11th with 45 points and will finish the season with Villa, Sheffield United, and Bournemouth.


Three things we learned

1. Everton awakened from European dreams: Carlo Ancelotti’s 2020-21 plans officially start now. The Toffees are five points back of the Europa League with three matches left and could be seven or eight behind should there be a winner of the North London Derby later Sunday. It just hasn’t come together for the Toffees starting with the myriad injury troubles for Jean-Philippe Gbamin — out until 2021 — in his bid to take over for influential Idrissa Gana Gueye. There were other long-term injuries like Andre Gomes as well as the continued decline of Jordan Pickford, but there are too many bright spots for this side to be bottom-half. A mentality shift must be coming to Goodison, but you would’ve expected that to be cemented over the coronavirus pause.

2. Podence deputizes: January buy Daniel Podence has found it hard to find a place in Nuno Espirito Santo’s Starting XI but he’s taking his chances well. Podence forced a good save out of Jordan Pickford early, then won a penalty. He converted four of his five dribble attempts and claimed 67% of his ground duels (SofaScore).

3. Carlo needs a keeper: Carlo Ancelotti has gone out of his way to defend Jordan Pickford in the past and it’s certainly nice to have an England keeper as your No. 1 if you’re a Premier League boss, but the Toffees aren’t firing on to Europe any time soon with shot-stopping of his quality. Pickford nearly fumbled a ball over the with the score line 2-0. He’s still capable of the show-stopping saves but he’s not producing them as often and he’s not as consistent with the average to above average stuff he consistently displayed while making his name at Sunderland.

Man of the Match

Ruben Neves — He is a special, special talent. Neves’ assist on Jota’s goal was just marvelous and capped off a day of both tidy and ambitious passing. He’s been one of their best players since the restart, a physical force with technical gifts.


Wolves – Everton recap

A slow-enough start was highlighted by Lucas Digne’s sliding intervention on Raul Jimenez in the 18.

Everton keeper Jordan Pickford then had to make a low save at the near post on Daniel Podence following a slick 1v1 move.

Yerry Mina didn’t last the first half thanks to a thigh injury, replaced a half-dozen minutes before halftime by Seamus Coleman.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Podence drew a penalty off Digne in stoppage time, sending Raul Jimenez to the spot. The Mexican center forward did not miss.

Everton took off Leighton Baines and handed a PL debut to 18-year-old January signing Jarrad Branthwaite.

Wolves made it 2-0 within moments and at the expense of the debutant, Dendoncker staying in front of Branthwaite to nod Pedro Neto’s free kick on goal.

Pickford nearly fumbled a low shot into his own goal but Goal Decision System proved he rescued the ball when it was half over the line.

Sheffield United beat Wolves with last-gasp winner

Sheffield United - Wolves
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sheffield United – Wolves was a tight, tense clash at Bramall Lane but John Egan scored a stoppage time winner as the Blades won 1-0 to boost their European hopes.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Both teams canceled one another out but Egan nodded home in the 93rd minute to send the home players and staff wild in the rain in the Steel City.

With the win Sheffield United rise to seventh on 51 points, just one point and one place behind Wolves who have suffered two-straight defeats.

Three things we learned

1. Solid Sheffield United: This was more like the Blades we’ve come to know and love. Wilder’s side were resilient defensively, dangerous from wide areas and kept their positions well. They withstood plenty of Wolves pressure and scored a later winner from a set piece to seal yet another tight win. This is why they are in seventh place in the Premier League.

2. Traore fails to fire: He took a knock to his troublesome shoulder early on and they set the tone for a disjointed display. On the few occasions he did have a run at the Blades defense he caused problems, but it wasn’t enough. Traore has had his minutes managed since the restart and you can understand why. He and Wolves were missing their spark.

3. Fine seasons for both: Both teams had Champions League dreams for the majority of the season and they are still in the hunt. Wolves could easily finish sixth and Sheffield United seventh and they’d both be in the Europa League next season. That would be a great achievement even if they just come up short of qualifying for the Champions League.

Man of the Match

John Egan – Great defensive display to keep Raul Jimenez quiet and a threat when he strode forward as he scored the winner in stoppage time with a fine header. Sheffield United’s overlapping center backs are a joy to watch.

Sheffield United looked dangerous from a few set pieces early on but Wolves started to grow into the game as their wide players were a growing force.

Both Adama Traore and Diogo Jota raced clear on their respective wings and tried to find Raul Jimenez but the Mexican striker was crowded out by Sheffield United’s defense.

After a lovely cross from Jack O’Connell, Ollie McBurnie had a header on target but Rui Patricio saved easily. Jota had a header on goal at the other end and then won a free kick in a dangerous area which led to Ruben Neves hitting the crossbar.

Aside from that effort, both teams somewhat canceled one another out in the first half.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Wolves pushed harder for an opener but Sheffield United dealt comfortably with plenty of balls into the box.

Billy Sharp then had a goal ruled out for offside and the Blades wanted a penalty soon after as the game opened up. Enda Stevens then whipped in a cross which Sharp almost got on the end of as the hosts looked more likely to nick a win late on.

Wolves were dangerous on the counter with Traore and Jimenez linking up but Jota couldn’t get a header on target. At the other end substitute Richairo Zivkovic clipped in a great ball to the back post which George Baldock nodded wide under pressure.

Deep in stoppage time Ben Osborn flicked the ball goalwards after a scramble and Patricio saved well and from the resulting corner Sheffield United won it.

Egan rose about the entire Wolves defense to power home and grab a massive three points for the Blades.

Transfer news: Nunez to Arsenal; Traore to Man City

Unai Nunez Arsenal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

In the latest transfer news Unai Nunez has been linked with Arsenal, while Adama Traore could be heading to Manchester City.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ] 

Starting in London, Arsenal are in the market for a new defender and Athletic Bilbao star Unai Nunez has emerged as a target for plenty of Premier League clubs.

According to AS in Spain, Nunez, 23, is wanted by the Gunners, Everton and West Ham and has a release clause of $34 million.

Nunez is a talented center back who wants a move away from Athletic Bilbao and Arsenal certainly need help defensively. Mikel Arteta has made them a more solid unit but there is likely to be upgrades needed on their current center back group of Callum Chambers, Rob Holding, Sokratis, Pablo Mari, David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi.

Arsenal may not have plenty of cash to spend this summer but upgrading their defensive unit should be at the forefront of their plans. The last person at Arsenal called Unai didn’t fare too well, but Nunez is a solid, powerful defender and the Gunners certainly need more stability to help Arteta continue the positive start to his rebuild.

Adama Traore Manchester City
Getty Images

Switching to Manchester, it has been reported that Manchester City and Juventus are now the favorites to sign Adama Traore if he leaves Wolves.

According to ESPN, Traore, 24, will weigh up his options this summer and if Wolves don’t qualify for the Champions League via their Premier League finish or winning the Europa League, he will look to move on.

Wolves have Traore signed to a contract for another three years and will reportedly ask for $100 million for the speedy winger who has forged a superb partnership with Raul Jimenez in attack.

With Leroy Sane sold to Bayern Munich, it is believed Pep Guardiola wants to sign a new winger and Traore would be a perfect fit in his system. Juventus and Barcelona also remain interested in Traore, who came through the academy at Barca before joining Aston Villa as a youngster, then heading to Middlesbrough before arriving at Wolves in the summer of 2018.

Raheem Sterling and Traore on the wings. Sergio Aguero up top. Kevin de Bruyne and Phil Foden pulling the strings in midfield. My goodness, that would be something.

Wolves – Arsenal stream: How to watch, start time, odds, prediction

Wolves - Arsenal
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wolves – Arsenal should be an absolute belter on Saturday (start time, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as both teams are in the hunt for Champions League qualification.


Nuno Espirito Santo and Wolves continue to upset the odds as they are the only Premier League team to win all three of their games since the restart and are now three points off third-place and have momentum in the race for Champions League.

As for Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, they’ve bounced back after a rough start to the restart and Mikel Arteta now has plenty of options and his team look hungry.

Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore will lead Wolves’ charge, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to be the talisman for Arsenal.

Stream Wolves – Arsenal by clicking on the link above and here is everything you need to know ahead of the clash.

Team news

Wolves aren’t being impacted by injuries and they are fit and hungry with Santo resting Traore for moments during their first three games of the restart.

Arsenal are still without Bernd Leno, Callum Chambers, Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli but Lucas Torreira and Sokratis are back on the bench. Nicolas Pepe misses out as his wife’s giving birth while Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nkeitah both start.

What they’re saying

Raul Jimenez on his partnership with Adama Traore: “Every striker wants a teammate with his conditions. He can cross from anywhere, you know he’s going to be at the final line and he’s going to cross, so you have to be there at the right time to score. We train on it in the week. We talk to each other before the games, or in the training sessions, so we know where we’re going to be, his crossing and where I have to move. It’s not a coincidence, it’s something we train and work for.”

Mikel Arteta on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: “A player that is able to score as many goals as he’s done in that short space of time tells you everything about the importance that he has for us. We need players that can make the difference at any moment in the game every three days, in different competitions, and that’s a big test for him. He’s done that at different clubs, he’s willing to stay with him, he’s really happy where he is and can see what we’re trying to do. Hopefully he can evolve as well in some parts of his game that in my opinion he can improve. We are pushing him every day towards that.”

Odds and ends

Wolves are the clear favorites for this game via DraftKings (+125) but Arsenal are dangerous and could be good value at +235 for the win. +225 for the draw seems like a very good bet too, as both teams are well matched with similar attacking units but Wolves have the edge when it comes to defensive players.


This will be a tight, tense clash and the star attackers for both teams will be key. If Jimenez and Traore are firing on all cylinders then you have to fancy Wolves, if Aubameyang and Saka are on form for Arsenal, they could edge it. With both teams hopeful of Champions League qualification, the stakes are high and I think this will be a draw. Let’s say 1-1.

Europa League tournament confirmed

Europa League
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The dates and details have been confirmed for a UEFA Europa League straight-knockout tournament held in Germany in August to conclude the 2019-20 competition.

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin announced the news Wednesday, as the tournament will take place from August 10-21. The Europa League was halted on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The quarterfinals and semifinals will be one-off games instead of the usual two-legged format, while the remaining Round of 16 games will be played on August 5-6 either at home stadiums or in Germany if that isn’t possible.

Venues to be used in Germany are Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen, as Premier League teams Man United and Wolves remain in the competition and among the favorites to win it all. UEFA also revealed details for a Champions League tournament in Portugal at the same time as the Europa League, as the two will dovetail in August.

Below are the Europa League dates, schedule and venue details for how the tournament will work, as UEFA also said they will make a decision in early July about whether or not fans will be allowed to attend. Ceferin said the coronavirus pandemic in Europe is ‘changing rapidly’ and UEFA will adjust accordingly in the coming weeks.

UEFA Europa League tournament schedule

August 5-6: Round of 16 second legs

Man United v. LASK (5-0)
Wolves v. Olympiacos (1-1)
Bayer Leverkusen v. Glasgow Rangers (3-1)
Wolfsburg v. Shakhtar Donetsk (1-2)
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Basel (0-3)
Sevilla v. AS Roma* first leg wasn’t played, one-off game will decide winner
Inter Milan v. Getafe* first leg wasn’t played, one-off game will decide winner

August 10-11: Quarterfinals

August 16-17: Semifinals

August 21: Final

Venues to be used