Manchester United v Wolves preview: Trio give Nuno’s squad a healthier look

Daniel Podence is expected to join centre-half Willy Boly on Wolves’ bench at Manchester United tomorrow.

Podence with chairman Jeff Shi (Credit: Wolves)
Podence with chairman Jeff Shi (Credit: Wolves)

Podence, 24, completed his transfer from Olympiakos on Thursday and goes straight into contention for the Old Trafford clash, writes Rosie Swarbrick.

Diogo Jota is in contention for a return to the starting XI, but must oust in-form Pedro Neto from a front three that should also contain Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore.

Due to the form of that trio, Podence is expected to be eased in by boss Nuno Espirito Santo.

And the Wolves chief will not rush defender Boly back as he ups his recovery from his broken fibula in October.

The Frenchman made his return to the bench for the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool last week, but is still working on his fitness.

Romain Saiss, Conor Coady and Leander Dendoncker are expected to retain their spots in the back three.

But Coady says Boly’s impact is felt off the pitch, too, as the well-loved member of Wolves’ squad makes an impact in the dressing room too.

Coady said: “It is huge. Not just that (being back on the bench), but for him to be in the hotel the night before and get a smell of being back around the lads.

“It is huge for us. He is a huge part of this football club, he always has been and always will be. To have him back involved is absolutely amazing.

“Hopefully he can get himself fit as soon as possible and help us moving forward.”

Wolves are level on points with fifth-placed United going into the game. But Coady will not set any targets, other than improving.

Willy Boly of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

He said: “I think it is possible to look towards Man United now and get better.

“It is as simple as that.

“We speak all the time about not setting targets and putting things on where we want to be and what we want to do.

“It is not something we have ever done since the manager has come in.

“We are certainly not going to start now.

“We want to improve.”

Wolves have had a rare nine-day break going into this clash, but Coady is eager to get back on the pitch. He said: “We cannot wait because we want to put the Liverpool result to bed as quickly as possible.

“You hate getting beat. It does not matter who it is against, it is something were we will take the positives from the game and look at the negatives to improve.

“We want another game as quickly as possible.

“It has been a real busy season.We are looking towards that game, want to improve and get back on the horse.

“We’ve got to take the positives (from Liverpool) and learn from the negatives.

“We’re conceding too many at the minute, which is disappointing, but we’ve matched them in spells, the formation and the way we played hurt them.”

Coady admitted that Wolves are conceding too many goals at the moment.

The side last kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 FA Cup third round draw with United at the start of this month, their last league blank slate came in the 2-0 win over West Ham at the start of December.

Boss and ex-keeper Nuno is keen to add more.

He said: “Of course this is something we have to improve (keep clean sheets), a clean sheet is always our aim.”

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