Deja Vu… 

If I am being totally honest, before penning this drivel I seriously considered copying and pasting my preview of the Watford game and simply replacing the names Sarr, Dennis and King with Podence, Traore and Jiminez.

However, that would have been wholly unfair on a Newcastle United team who despite not winning at Vicarage Road, put in a hugely improved performance, albeit against (extremely) limited opposition.

Unfortunately, that is where my positivity ends.

Despite the improved performances and the plethora of chances created, we still didn’t win – and I simply cannot see a scenario where we are presented with even half the number of opportunities at Molineux on Saturday PM, in a game that I firmly believe could be Steve Bruce’s last in the Newcastle United dugout. 

After a shocking start to the season for Bruno Lage, the form of his team has improved of late with two wins (Watford, Southampton) and a draw (Spurs, EFL Cup) in their previous four games and in Moutinho, Jiminez, Podence and Traore they have the attacking talent to hurt us in our defensive 3rd of the pitch. 

Any shred of hope I retain of getting a result, will disappear quicker than spare steak bake at Darsley Park if Bruce reverts to any formation that begins with the number 5 come 2pm on Saturday – any formation that doesn’t incorporate a back four is not a viable option if we are to come away from the Black Country with anything to show for our efforts.

Therein lies the danger.

I fear that Steve Bruce will revert to type at the weekend because he will undoubtedly see an away point, at a team that have lost all three of their home league games without registering a single goal, as an achievement – a vindication of his approach, that may just keep the Wolves from the door (pardon the pun) in the coming 2 week international break.

A defensive line up that deploys 5 at the back in an attempt to nick a result is a false economy, because it doesn’t work.

Reverting to such a formation will likely see United concede in the first 30 minutes, and then have to chase a game with no recognised goalscorer on the pitch – and with the craft and guile at the disposal of the home team I would expect them to pick us off.

Don’t do it Steve. Your job may just depend on it.

Dangerman: Joao Moutinho

Prediction: A 2-0 defeat followed by a crescendo of calls for his head that might, just might prove too much for our thin skinned, 99 paced Head Coach 

Lee Forster @LeeDForster

On the road again…

Newcastle travel to Molineux on Saturday for the next round of fixtures in the Premier League before the international break. Wolverhampton come into this game on the back of a victory against Southampton thanks to a second half goal from Raul Jiminez whereas the Magpies hope to end their winless streak after a draw against Watford which perhaps they should have won given the number of chances they had.

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce is hoping to tighten up the back four by using the likes of Fernandez and Clark to cover for Lascelles who will be back after the international period. He will also be glad that local lad Sean Longstaff is back firing on all cylinders after his wondergoal against Watford. Longstaff and Isaac Hayden have seemed to form a perfect partnership in recent weeks, and they will hope to continue that as the season progresses.

The thoughts amongst the manager, coaching staff and other playersis that playing the likes of ASM, Almiron and Willock are frightening teams to death with their sheer pace and when Callum Wilson is back to full fitness, they will have one of the quickest forward lines in the Premier League which should guarantee exciting times for the club.

My prediction for the match? I think it will be a close game given two teams will be giving it their all, but I believe Newcastle will come away with the victory. Wolverhampton don’t look as dangerous as what they did under their previous manager NunosEspirito Santo which is why I believe that the magpies will be travelling back up north after the game with the 3 points.

Prediction: Wolverhampton 0  Newcastle United 2

Jack Sutton @jssutton21

Brace yourself…

This is it. This is the one, lads, where we finally chalk up a win. Accumulation of points imminent. We’re going to turn Bruno Lage’s beautiful big brown eyes red with tears of humiliation. As ASM fires home the third, Bruce is going to take off his top and run onto the pitch even faster than he does in FIFA 22.

Just kidding! It’s much more likely to be another tight, low-quality game which, all things being equal, will probably end up in being our fourth draw in seven games.

While Wolves languish in 14th, they have already seen off both Southampton and Watford – something NUFC couldn’t manage. Their last three defeats came against Brentford, Man Utd and Spurs, so no real shame in those losses. And last weekend their talismanic striker, Raul Jimenez, showed glimmers of the form that once made him feared by Premier League defenders, fashioning his chance and taking his goal extremely well.  Traore remains a headless chicken that even Ritchie should be able to keep quiet, and hopefully Wolves won’t be able to create too many chances.

Newcastle’s 4-1-4-1 is a vast improvement on five at the back and it felt last week like there is still more to come, as the players settle into this formation. It certainly suits Joelinton, who has been arguably in his finest form since shifting to the left of a four-man midfield.

In any sane, functioning, normal football club, Bruce would be sacked if he loses this game. But we could quite easily go down 2-1 and see his ruddy face back in the dugout to welcome Nuno’s Spurs to SJP in mid-October.

Is there any hope of us nicking a win? Stranger things have happened, and a lot depends on how well Miggy, Willock and Saint Maximin perform. The new formation brings more players in and around ASM rather than just hoofing the ball vaguely in his direction and hoping he can beat five men to score. So, if Wolves are not on their game defensively, who knows?

Prediction: 1-1

Danger man: Jimenez

Dan Jenkins / @PlumsGinger