Paul Simpson: Wolves have a chance at Manchester City
Tuesday night’s EFL Cup clash against Manchester City is an opportunity for Championship leaders Wolves to showcase what they can do.
That is the opinion of former Wanderers winger Paul Simpson, who spent three years at the Molineux in the late 90s, writes Chris Wildgoose.
However, the current England U20s manager believes that it will be a tough ask to overcome the early Premier League pacesetters – even if City boss Pep Guardiola opts to field a second string at the Etihad.
“Everybody’s talking about City at the moment because of their results, but the chances are that they’ll rest a few of their first choice players and put some of the other players in,” said Simpson.
“I think Wolves have had a fantastic start to the season, but it will still be a really strong side that they are coming up against.
“I saw them early on in one of their league games against Derby County and I thought they were excellent, and this now will be a really good test for them. I think, depending what sort of side City put out, it could be a really good test for City as well.”
Wolves’ only defeats this season have been against their promotion rivals – 2-1 against Cardiff back in August and 2-0 at Sheffield United last month.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has got his side playing a stylish brand of attacking football, complimented by the flair of Portuguese trio Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa and Diogo Jota.
“They’ve got some good attacking players, but they’re also well-drilled defensively too, which you’ve got to be at Championship level,” continued Simpson, who began his career at City.
“I think the way that they’re defending is excellent. They’re really controlled and patient in the way that they defend and they catch teams on the counter-attack.
“I think they’re already building, but what it will do is give them an idea – especially the manager, with Nuno being new to English football – of the levels that they’re wanting to get to.
“Obviously he’s been brought in to get Wolves back into the Premier League, so it’ll just give them an idea of where the club’s at, where the players are at and also where they’ve got to get to if they want to compete at that level week in week out.
“But if City think they can sort of take their foot off it and make a few changes to the side, which is what most top clubs do over the course of the season, then that might just open the door.
“Wolves will get a chance if City make a number of changes and if they can go and play to the top level that they’re capable of.”