Wolverhampton Wanderers are back in action this afternoon, as the Old Gold travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in their sixth fixture of the 2023/24 Premier League season.
In their previous game, Gary O’Neil’s side lost 3-1 to Liverpool in what was an impressive first-half display before the Reds hit top form and the hosts’ hard work was undone.
With just one win on the board so far for the Midlands club, it’s imperative that they take their chances against Luton, who are the only team remaining in the league without a single point.
The Hatters have had a tough start to life in the top flight, form that Wolves must exploit in order to begin to work their way up the table after an equally as disappointing start.
What is the latest Wolves team news?
Speaking ahead of the game, O’Neil revealed that he expects Rayan Ait-Nouri to feature against Luton, despite leaving the pitch during the Liverpool defeat limping.
The Algerian had an impressive game against the Merseyside outfit, and could be a useful player for Wolves to have fit against today’s opponents due to his devastating link-up play with Pedro Neto.
Playing 90 minutes against Jurgen Klopp’s side, the 23-year-old continued his impressive form this season with an assist, earning himself a 7.4 Sofascore ranking, higher than anyone else in his team on the day.
The Portuguese ace continually threatened Liverpool’s defence with his searing pace and ball-carrying skills, as highlighted by him completing four out of six of his dribble attempts in the game.
While Neto could hurt Luton from the wide areas, he wasn’t the only player that stood out for the Old Gold against the Merseysiders, with one player showing he has all the tools to leave Rob Edwards’ side with another upset to swallow.
How did Jean-Ricner Bellegarde play against Liverpool?
After signing for Wolves on deadline day from Strasbourg for £12.8m, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde was handed his Premier League debut against the Reds at his new home last weekend.
Lauded as being “incredibly direct and uncomplicated” when in possession by The Athletic’s Thom Harris, the 25-year-old maintained an 85% passing accuracy rate in central attacking midfield against Liverpool’s high-profile personnel.
As per Sofascore, the £35k-per-week Frenchman recorded one key pass and attempted five dribbles in the middle of the park, showing energy and skill that could damage this afternoon’s opposition if he’s given the room to roam.
Prior to his move to the Midlands, Bellegarde was in fine form for Strasbourg, having claimed two goals and two assists in just three appearances in the 2023/24 Ligue 1 season.
His numbers in his homeland reinforce just how dangerous he can be in the final third, supported by his general gameplay against Jurgen Klopp’s men on his first appearance, having done “very well” on the day – according to his manager.
After a difficult start to this season, this afternoon could be the perfect opportunity for O’Neil’s side to build some form, against a Luton squad that looks far from being at the level required to compete in the top-flight.
With Neto and Bellegard in tow, Wolves’ hopes of victory are only set to be bolstered even further…