Newcastle only took two games to really announce their arrival back in the Premier League. A solid 45 minutes against United at Old Trafford and a shock 6-0 hammering of Aston Villa last Sunday will have the Geordies on a high; and they'll be looking for three more points on Saturday.
In an ideal world, Mick McCarthy would have liked Newcastle to have taken only one point from their first two fixtures. If that were the case he may feel that his team could command the game from the centre of the park and take advantage of any nervousness in the away side.
But football's never that simple, and Wolves will know they have a battle on their hands. The biggest thing they have in their favour is the fact they're playing at home. Molineux is a tough place to go - not just because of the home support, but because of the way the team sets out to frustrate opponents and nick a goal on the counter.
We have already seen Wolves achieve this against Everton, and Chris Hughton will be well aware that his side will have to play their best to take three points back to Tyneside.
Another boost for Wolves is the resigning of Michael Mancienne from Chelsea on loan; especially as he has expressed his delight at ‘coming home’ to Wolves. The lad has had a couple of promising loan spells at the club already and he clearly loves playing for Wolves and McCarthy; plus, it's great to see a young English defender gaining invaluable experience at the top level.
Despite it being the early stages of the season, McCarthy will realise the need for a result here. September is not a kind month for Wolves with consecutive away days at Fulham and Spurs followed by the visit of Aston Villa. They might hope to take a maximum of four points from these games; the optimistic amongst you might say six, at a push. So if they can take seven points from their opening three games, the pressure isn't so strong for next month.
I think McCarthy could mastermind a win on Saturday IF Hahnemann is on the same form he was against Everton, his defenders can deal with Carroll, his midfield can keep Nolan and Barton at bay and his strikers can take their chances. Not a big ask, then!
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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