The nine changes Nuno could make to Wolves XI for Reading clash
Nuno Espirito Santo is expected to ring the changes for Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Carabao Cup tie with Reading on Wednesday.
Wolves have suffered a poor start to the Premier League season and begin a huge week of fixtures against Watford on Saturday. A Europa League clash at Besiktas follows Watford before Wolves head to The Etihad to take on the champions.
If there is a time to give the likes of Raul Jimenez a much-needed breather, it’s against the Royals.
Nuno made nine changes in each of last season’s Carabao Cup clashes and opted for something similar in the previous campaign.
Having said that, the Portuguese is protecting a proud record in the Carabao Cup which has seen his team keep clean sheets in all six of their previous fixtures in the competition.
So, how will Wolves line up against Reading?
Romain Saiss is the only confirmed absentee at this stage after his red card against Crystal Palace on Sunday. The Moroccan will be back in the mix for Watford on Saturday.
Other than Saiss, every Wolves player is believed to be fit.
How Wolves could line up
John Ruddy has waited patiently for his chances this season and Nuno’s No.2 goalkeeper is set to resume responsibilities against Reading.
Ruddy kept two clean sheets against the Royals in the 2017/18 Championship winning season as Wolves beat Wednesday’s opponents twice.
The make up of Nuno’s defence will be interesting with Ryan Bennett and Jesus Vallejo both overlooked on Sunday. They could play either side of captain Conor Coady who hasn’t missed a single minute of action since January 2018.
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As Nuno recently pointed out, Coady ‘always plays’, so it would be a shock if the Liverpudlian didn’t start against Reading. Young defenders Max Kilman and Dion Sanderson are Nuno’s alternatives.
Sanderson is also an option at right wing-back if Nuno decides to rest Matt Doherty and Adama Traore. Doherty hasn’t played many games so Nuno could give the Irishman a chance to improve his fitness levels. Ruben Vinagre seems certain to start on the left flank.
Saiss’s suspension has given Nuno a mini problem in midfield. Ordinarily, Ruben Neves is given Carabao Cup nights off but Nuno may well have to select the Portugal international. Another option for Nuno is youngster Elliot Watt, who started last season’s match with Sheffield Wednesday. The 19-year-old has enjoyed an excellent start to the season with the under-23s but, if he plays, Wolves could have a midfield with an average age under 20.
In front of the anchorman Morgan Gibbs-White is expected to make his fifth start of the season. And there could be a place for Bruno Jordao, who has made a big impression with the second string since his summer move from Lazio.
(3-5-2): Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Vallejo; Doherty, Jordao, Neves, Gibbs-White, Vinagre; Neto, Cutrone
Team vs Palace (3-4-3): Patricio; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Jonny; Traore, Jimenez, Jota