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HomeSportsFootballWolves and Everton played right about 5 months ago at matchday 3

Wolves and Everton played right about 5 months ago at matchday 3

Wolves and Everton faced each other in matchday 3 about 5 months ago, with Wolves winning 1-0. However, since then, there have been significant changes both on and off the pitch, especially for Everton, and Wolves have lost their key forward Neto. Despite this, both teams have displayed great resilience, and ahead of the match, earning points is crucial to end the first half of the season on a positive note.

Analyzing the Fixture last time out: Everton 0-1 Wolves


Pics 1, 2, 3, 4: Wolves and Everton playing last time out and the Lineups then

Around the end of August, Both Everton and Wolves played out a rather nail biting Fixture in the Goodison. This game was rather the start of O’Neil’s brilliant use of Neto, though the shape was a 4-5-1, which complemented Everton’s own version of same and generated an engaging game where Between the lines, Wolves made great use of outlets on the transition. In terms of what could happen this weekend, the game model shouldn’t largely change but the implementation should be a change.

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For Everton, this was the game Sean Dyche probably realized he needed a big gun upfront with Beto getting more minutes though he hasn’t been as prolific as needed and Calvert Lewin too being a outlet for the balls from deep and having Doucoure being a huge source of goals. For Wolves, this was Gary O’Neil discovering how good Pedro Neto, Cunha and Hwang Hee Chan could be moulded into a good trio and shifting into a 3-4-3 eventually. It’s funny how into December, much of these don’t matter anymore, because Everton’s fight for survival got tough after getting a points deduction and Wolves have had to dramatically change their dynamics after losing Neto.

The Matchups: Gary O’Neil vs Sean Dyche’s history and Important Player matchups


Pic 5: Head-to-Head Record between O Neil and Dyche

O’Neil and Dyche haven’t met a lot of times but both have managed to carve out a victory each in their meetings, a close shave 1-0 wins when in his defeat O’Neil was the Bournemouth manager and then getting back at Dyche with a victory in his current Wolves stint. Though they hopefully will meet more in future, for now neither coach has an upper hand over one other. But for both the English coaches, what they have been able to do with the teams they have in the situations they have been embroiled beyond their control, they have been nothing short of impressive and with O’Neil’s new make 3-4-3 vs Dyche’s classic 4-5-1, tactically it’s a great battle to look out for.

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Lemina vs Doucoure: The Battle of Midfield Engines


Pic 6: Doucoure vs Lemina this season (courtesy of WhoScored)

It’s no surprise that Doucoure has been driving a force behind Everton’s survival last season and driving towards the same goal this season. He’s their most reliable player not just because he scores a good amount of goals, but it’s that Doucoure embodies the Everton spirit, no matter how or what you would define it. It’s why Sean Dyche likes him, why Evertonians adore him and why any general football fan like myself can connect to a particular club. But that aside, Doucoure is Everton’s main source of shots on goal, at 4.57 per goal he scores, meaning he more often than not tests the keeper well. For Wolves,

And for O’Neil, None can define what it means to be an ideal midfield general for him than Mario Lemina. After a lot of debate surrounding Lemina, O’Neil’s proving right why Gabon International is a player that can bring the right consistency in the middle and again it’s not just about the goals he’s scored but that overall Wolves game in 2nd phase (post buildup ball circulation in midfield) is much better with Lemina around. He perhaps will have to contend with Doucoure a lot but he’s also the best player to match in terms of physicality with the Evertonian. This could also encourage O’Neil to think about a 4 back system, possibly a 4-2-3-1 with Lemina in a double 6 to counter Doucoure.

Conclusions: Ending the Year on a High Note

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The Battle to survive still has a long way to go and this game certainly does count in it, that’s never in doubt. But this game perhaps in my opinion is a great way to end the year on a high note for both sides. Neither Wolves nor Everton have had any smooth sailings in the season with various issues throwing a spanner in the works, but a victory here keeps both teams a bit more comfortable and ensures they end 2023 on a positive note, especially for Wolves coming off 2 consecutive victories against Chelsea and Brentford.

For O’Neil or Dyche, it’s a chance to overtake each other in their short yet interesting head-to-head record and showcase that despite all the adversity, why they still are the best men available for their respective clubs to take forward.

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