Three who will be aiming to step up for Wolves in Black Country derby

The onus is on stepping things up massively as Wolves head to fierce rivals Albion on Monday.

Daniel Podence of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)
Daniel Podence of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)

All of Nuno Espirito Santo’s players will be desperate to improve after the worst outing of 2020/21 against Burnley.

That level of display cannot be repeated. But here, we go over three in particular who could do with performing positively at The Hawthorns.

Daniel Podence

Since coming back from a two-month injury lay-off, Podence has not played well.

The Portuguese has been deployed as a No.10 but found himself brushed off the ball on far too many occasions.

He cut a very frustrated figure against the Clarets and was eventually, unsurprisingly, taken off in the eventual 4-0 thrashing.

Podence’s edge could well be vital against the Baggies, though.

At his best, his willingness to get on the ball and drive at defenders makes for great viewing.

We just have not seen anywhere near enough of that from him as of late.

You could argue Podence’s best work comes from out wide – beating his marker and getting crosses in – rather than through the middle where he has less time and space.

But either way, especially with compatriot Pedro Neto out of the picture for quite a while, he has to start showing some consistency now.

Not only to help Wolves end the season on a brighter note, but to also prove he can be relied upon to play a prominent role next campaign.

Leander Dendoncker

In a similar situation to Podence is Belgian utility man Dendoncker.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Leander Dendoncker (PA)

Having prided himself on an excellent work rate many times in the past, he will have been hurt by the fact Burnley outran Wolves by a whopping six kilometres last weekend.

In that game, the 26-year-old was well off the pace – giving away possession in dangerous areas, losing several duels and offering no attacking threat.

If Joao Moutinho is back fit, Dendoncker could well miss out on a starting berth.

But if he does get the nod again, he has to grab the opportunity by the scruff of the neck.

Wolves have been found wanting when it comes to nastiness on a fair few occasions this term and they must show far more grit against Sam Allardyce’s side.

Dendoncker, as well, still has to prove whether he is a long-term answer in the middle of the park.

His versatility has been extremely useful over the past couple of years, but he needs to get going in his preferred position. Time is of the essence.

Willy Boly

Of course, all of Wolves’ defenders have to sharpen up after their abject efforts against Burnley.

Conor Coady was run ragged by Chris Wood while Romain Saiss inexplicably gifted the ball to Jay Rodriguez in the run-up to the Clarets’ fourth. No player did themselves justice.

But Boly – having been so solid over the past few years – put in what was his worst 90 minutes in old gold.

There was nothing Boly-esque about his performance. Usually so cool, everything was hurried. Usually so dominant in the air, he continually misjudged flighted through-balls.

So, hopefully, he can soon return to the Boly of old.

Willy Boly of Wolverhampton Wanderers (AMA)

It has been a stop-start season for the Ivorian, picking up a few injury problems along the way.

It has been a while since we have seen a colossal performance from the 30-year-old as well

His display against Albion in the loss at Molineux was up and down – setting up Fabio Silva and scoring himself, but also giving away an early penalty.

Monday would be the perfect time to remind everyone of his prowess.

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