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Brentford v Wolves preview: Bruno Lage eyes capital gains in goals scored column

Bruno Lage hopes the goals will start to flow for Wolves’ forward stars as they prepare for a revenge mission away at Brentford.

Wolves will make their first ever trip to the new Brentford Community Stadium tomorrow and arrive in fine form having gone unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions – winning four of them.

They have even overcome goalscoring struggles after scoring three in each of their last two games.

Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore both notched against Southampton last week and Lage hopes the confidence that breeds can help his side in upcoming clashes.

“The goals are so important for Raul, Coady and Adama,” he said. “We talked before and I was worried that we didn’t create chances, but we did create a lot of chances.

“When you don’t score goals – if you’re creating chances the goals will come and here we are. After two games we’ve scored six goals.

“Raul and the other players haven’t scored too many goals in the last games, but they are working hard to improve and score goals.

“I am not putting pressure on the players to score goals. We are working hard every day to improve that and to give confidence to the players.

“But the most important thing is the teamwork and we are creating a lot of chances.

“It’s a process. Continue to give a lot of confidence to the players.”

Traore’s strike last week was his first of the season and he looked visibly relieved to get over that hump.

The winger came off the bench in that game and has been in and out of the team this season, but Lage insists he is pleased with the Spaniard and his forward options.

“It’s not about his scoring, but sometimes the strategy,” he added. “That’s why it’s good I have the four wingers and they give me different ways to play, because the four are different.

“Adama can play both sides. With Adama, Daniel, Trincao and Hwang I can prepare games in different ways.

“He needs to continue to work. I am happy with him because he scored, but also because he always go with the ambition to help the team.”

Wolves are set to be given a selection boost for the Brentford game, as Ruben Neves and Ki-Jana Hoever returned from Covid-19 isolation this week and rejoined training.

Neves is likely to come straight into the starting XI, as Lage is faced with a decision on who to play at centre-back.

Leander Dendoncker could move there from midfield after a good second half on the right of the back three in the FA Cup against Sheffield United.

But after Toti Gomes’ surprising but impressive debut last week, the youngster may retain his place in the team.

Willy Boly, Yerson Mosquera, Jonny Castro Otto, Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-chan are are still expected to be sidelined from their injuries.

Opposition view

Brentford have now slipped to three consecutive Premier League losses – their worst run of form of the season.

But manager Thomas Frank still has his side playing some impressive football as they created several big chances in the first half against Manchester United on Wednesday night.

In the end, United’s quality shone through and they left the capital with a 3-1 victory, condemning Brentford to a third consecutive top flight loss and their fifth loss in six games.

Following that game a bullish Frank was pleased with his side’s display.

“Unbelievably proud of my team. We are the smallest club in the Premier League, Manchester United the biggest,” Frank said.

“We destroyed them in the first half, they didn’t have a sniff, three huge chances and there could only have been one winner of this game. They are unbelievably lucky. I know all the stuff about taking chances. They changed the system against little Brentford.”

Now, Brentford welcome in-form Wolves to West London.

They will be eager to replicate their performance at Molineux in September when their high-pressing tactics demolished Wolves on their own turf and led to a dominant 2-0 win.

Ahead of the game they are expected to have no new injury concerns.

The Bees continue to be without a number of players, including David Raya (knee), Charlie Goode (hamstring), Mathias Jorgensen (thigh), Julian Jeanvier (knee) and Josh Dasilva (hip).

Midfielder Frank Onyeka is also away on international duty with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

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