Wolves looking to consolidate at the top
With that sparkling performance against Villa fresh in the mind, Wolves have another home game this Saturday when 5th placed Preston come to Molineux. It's a chance for Wolves to consolidate their place at the top of the table and pull another three points ahead of another team that have made a promising start to the season.
Wolves have a lot to live up to after that Villa game that not only saw them beat their local rivals but on the day look a class above a team that had won their previous four games. And what continues to impress is that so many of the players are performing well, and that gives them an all round strength that it's hard to imagine many teams in this division matching over the course of the season. The brilliance that the foreign imports have been showing is what has caught the eye but it's the strength in depth of the squad that will be at least as important as the season moves on.
In goal Ruddy has looked a safe pair of hands but those that have seen the Carabao cup games couldn't fail to have been impressed with Will Norris. And if Ruddy were to get injured he may well have a fight on his hands to get his place back. And third in line young Harry Burgoyne impressed when he got his chance last season.
In defence Willy Boly made a big impression early season before picking up a hamstring injury, but Danny Batth then came into the team and has been excellent. Coady is yet to have a poor game in the centre of the back three, while Miranda had some dodgy games early in the season but has now adapted to the English game and looks another good signing. Ryan Bennett has just had one chance in the league so far but had a faultless game at Burton.
The wing back positions have been another strength so far with Doherty as consistent as anyone on the right. Ben Marshall would probably be called on if he got injured. On the other side Barry Douglas has been excellent but when he missed a few games with injury Vinagre stepped in and was equally impressive. So much so that a number of Premier League clubs are looking to steal him from his parent club Sporting Lisbon if Wolves fail to secure him permanently. Everton and Arsenal are evidently watching that situation.
In the centre of midfield it's hard to believe that record signing Neves is still only 20 years old. So composed on the ball with a wide range of passing skills and he is the architect of the attractive style Wolves have adopted this season. Alongside him Saiss has finally added consistency to his performances and is a solid figure in the centre of the park. And N'Diaye would walk into any other team in the Championship and will doubtless get plenty of chances before the end of May. And Jack Price and Ronan are talented players to have in the squad.
Up front Jota has been sensational, scoring 7 goals and his ability to run with the ball would put the best of defenders on the back foot. Cavaleiro is showing more than last season and has come up with 7 assists already. And Bonatini is an intelligent centre forward who has scored 5 and has 4 assists and his link up play with Jota is a joy to watch. And last season's star man Costa is still edging back to match sharpness and when he gets there the forward line will be even more lethal.
Wolves have only lost once at Molineux this season and that was when Cardiff adopted 'Rough em up' tactics that destroyed their rhythm with plenty of off and on the ball fouls. You have to wonder if Preston will adopt a similar approach as the Lancashire team have committed more fouls, and received more yellow cards than any club in the division this season. They have only lost once in the league so far and Wolves will have to show their attacking flair again to secure three more points, as the lilywhites have the best defensive record in the division.
But anyone that saw the game against Villa will believe Wolves will have enough to see off the challenge and take another step towards their promotion ambitions. It's an exciting time to be a Wolves supporter and the results and style of football are giving their fans the best of both worlds at the moment.