Stick or twist for Nuno? Predicted Wolves lineup to face Arsenal

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on November 3, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United...

The Portuguese manager has said he will not be compromising his footballing principles in spite of recent poor form.

Ivan Cavaleiro of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on November 3, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United...

Wolverhampton Wanderers announced themselves back on the scene of top-flight English football with some excellent early-season performances. Wolves won at West Ham, held Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at Molineux and got the same result when they travelled to play Jose Mourinho's Manchester United team at Old Trafford a few weeks later.

We were surprised, yet Nuno Espirito Santo wasn't. He had watched his side amass 99 points, scoring 82 goals en route to last season's Championship title win. Add to that the busy transfer window they engaged in over the summer and it becomes clear why Wolves already look like they belong back in the Premier League and not just as a bottom-half side, either.

 

After reiterating his stance on tactics recently, Nuno will certainly be sticking with the 3-4-3 shape he has played all season. He seems to already have his trusted first-choice players and we don't expect any knee-jerk reactions from Nuno when it comes to his team selection for Sunday - although, is it still a knee-jerk reaction after three defeats in a row?

A banner in tribute to Nuno Espirito Santo, Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers is seen in the stands prior to the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur...

One of the most significant advantages of Wolves' 3-4-3 formation is the ability to quickly become a compact defensive unit when your team has lost possession. Matt Doherty and Jonny Castro are adventurous wing-backs for Nuno's side but at Arsenal they will certainly be chipping in with more of a defensive contribution than normal.

Diogo Jota is Nuno's only injury concern ahead of his side's trip to the Emirates Stadium. Ivan Cavaleiro should be Jota's replacement on the left side of the Wolves attack.

Cavaleiro and Helder Costa are up front to make runs off of centre-forward, Raul Jimenez, but they will also be tasked with providing extra support to Doherty and Castro when Arsenal are attacking.

Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho have worked well as a midfield partnership so far for Wolves but they will certainly be up against it on Sunday and risk being outnumbered in the centre of the pitch. That is a danger for Wolves.

At the back, Rui Patricio will keep his place in goal with the regular back three of Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady and Willy Boly in front of him.

Midfield is where Wolves could run into some serious issues at Arsenal with Unai Emery's side playing some fantastic, fluid football over the last few months. Nuno will be hoping his side can get a foothold in the game and put Arsenal on the defensive to prevent The Gunners' onslaught.

Wolves' predicted XI vs Arsenal

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