International break could give Wolves the edge

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With the international break upon us so early in the season, Wolves will be pretty pleased that a large majority of their squad will be have more of a rest whilst other team's superstars will be putting in hard graft across Europe.

The only potential problem Mick McCarthy could face once the Premier League resumes next weekend is the possibility that his international players could pick up injuries, which in turn would seriously hamper what is already a tough month ahead.

Of McCarthy's chosen 25, only eight players will be involved with their national sides: Jelle Van Damme, David Edwards, Wayne Hennessey, Christophe Berra, Nenad Milijas, Kevin Doyle, Steven Fletcher and Kevin Foley.

Most of them are players McCarthy will be relying on to secure survival this season; and it is of vital importance that they return unscathed for the trip to Craven Cottage.

But eight out of 25 isn't so bad; it shows that Wolves can attract international quality players but at the same time leaves McCarthy with a majority of his squad to train with whilst others are away.

By way of comparison, Fulham have a total of 11 players away on international duty and the two games between now and the Wolves game may be a large factor in the team's performance.

Wolves have been on the road only once this season so far, but they proved themselves more than capable of competing and taking points at Goodison Park.

Last season, this fixture brought a pretty uneventful 0-0 draw that saw Fulham very much in control; but that game came after a 1-0 loss away at Arsenal and a 0-0 home draw with Stoke. Going into next weekend's game, the mood is entirely different and the player will not want to blemish their unbeaten streak.

Three points would be most useful. Looking past the Fulham game, things don't get any easier with a visit to Tottenham Hotspur - who will be buoyed by their last-minute deadline day signing of Rafael Van Der Vaart.

There is room for optimism here, however, and it's two fold. Firstly, Wigan managed to turn them over just last weekend in what must have been a shock result and secondly, Wolves did the double over the north Londoners last season; Kevin Doyle's third minute effort sealing the points at The Lane last December.

So, things are looking bright for Wolves as we head into September; but McCarthy and his players will need all their guile, and a bit of luck, to be feeling the same come the start of October.

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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