Recap of the Wolves vs. Nottingham Forest game: Wolves won 1-0 at Molineux Stadium on Saturday to end their three-game losing streak thanks to a penalty kick goal from Ruben Neves.
Wolves presently sit in 17th place in the Premier League standings with 9 points, two points ahead of Southampton, who dropped into the relegation zone before their match against West Ham United on Sunday. Forest (5 points), on the other hand, is still at the bottom of the standings after eight losses (0W-2D-6L).
Lessons from the Wolves vs. Nottingham Forest game
Goals (and points) in any way possible
Adama Traore won the game for Wolves by cutting inside from the right flank and shooting the ball as hard as he could at an opponent’s hand, but never on target or even close to it. Prior to the penalty kick, Wolves produced 0.43 xG; following the penalty kick, they produced 0.01. Lacking both is a hard truth that Wolves (and whoever replaces Bruno Lage on a permanent basis) must deal with. It is difficult to generate chances without a midfield or wide playmaker, just as it is difficult to convert chances without a dependable striker.
Nottingham Forest was even worse on the offensive side, only managing 0.40 xG before their penalty kick. When trailing by a goal in the next and last 11 minutes, Forest produced 0.28 xG. (0.27 during stoppage time).
Important plots & leading actors
Wolves are averaging three goals per game in nine games this season. Thanks to the Premier League’s poorest scoring record, Bruno Lage’s side is no longer Bruno Lage’s side (four goals fewer than anyone else). Wolves haven’t been an offensive powerhouse since being promoted to the Premier League, but their goal total has dropped dramatically in recent years, from 47 to 51, then to 36 and 38. It’s not surprising that Wolves are already five goals behind their projected goal total for the season given that summer signing Sasa Kalajdzic suffered a torn ACL on his debut and Raul Jimenez (groin – out until after the World Cup) has played just 211 minutes in three Premier League appearances this year.
After 22 new players came in the summer, (un)familiarity has led to bad, disjointed performances for Forest. Despite the bad start, Steve Cooper accepted a new contract to stay as head coach (with increased security), as owner Evangelos Marinakis preferred familiarity and consistency over getting rid of the coach who secured Forest promotion after a few games in the Premier League. Undoubtedly, if Cooper stays in charge, Nottingham Forest will eventually become a better team, but will it be too late by then?
Wolves roster options, injuries, and team news
Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Raul Jimenez (groin), Pedro Neto (ankle), Nathan Collins (suspension), and Chiquinho (knee) are all out. Boubacar Traore is questionable (illness)
Team news, injuries, and lineup choices for Nottingham Forest
OUT: Jack Colback, Moussa Niakhate, and Omar Richards (calf) (back)