Date: 17th July 2017 at 5:26pm
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There’s a limit to what fans can learn from friendly games but it’s been enlightening to see some significant differences in the Wolves set up in the opening games of the summer.

Wolves have won their first two friendlies against Werder Bremen from the Bundesliga and Viktoria Plzen who have not finished outside the top 3 in the Czech League in the last seven seasons, having won it 4 times. So those are decent results for Wolves, and they have done it playing a new set up of 343.

This style has one player at the centre of defence adopting a similar position to what used to be called a sweeper, and two other central defenders either side of them. We have seen Coady, surprisingly, in the central position in the first game, and then new signing Miranda in the second who looked highly impressive. Alongside them we have seen Batth, the new beast Boly, another new signing in Ryan Bennett.

The two wing backs are vital in this set up as they need to contribute to both the defending and attacking. And its been noticeable that the 343 when Wolves have the ball, switches to a 541 when they haven’t. New signing Douglas has impressed at left back in both games and Doherty has also looked the part on the right.

In the centre of midfield of course everyone has been looking forward to seeing record signing Neves. He has not looked a spectacular player but also has hardly given the ball away at all and looks capable of having a game built around him. Jack Price has come back into the fold and done well, while the potential of Ronan has again been there for all to see. In my eyes a pairing of Neves and Ronan would not look out of place in the top flight.

The attacking three has been hampered by the absence with injury of Costa, Graham and Marshall, but its been good to see the return from long term injury of Zyro while Cavaleiro has also looked good. And at the centre of attack Dicko has scored in both games and seems a good deal sharper than at any time last season.

One more friendly in Austria on Tuesday against another Czech side, Jablonek. Then its back home to England and games at Shrewsbury on Saturday, at Peterborough next Tuesday and then Leicester at Molineux on the 29th July. Then we will be back into the serious stuff and we will find out if the optimism building amongst Wolves supporters proves to be justified.

 

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