Wolves v Everton: Blues face midlands test

The games come thick and fast these days and Everton fans have barely had time to digest the 1-1 draw with Southampton, as the Toffees next face Wolves at Molineux tomorrow lunchtime.

After two dreadful efforts against Tottenham and Southampton in their last two matches, this game is a real test of whether Everton have the commitment and mental strength to produce a strong performance against a team that will provide a real test of the Blues team.

Wolves have been excellent all season long.  Despite playing in the Europa League and making consistent progress in the competition, the Midlands club have also produced solid, sometimes excellent performances in the Premier League and maintained a strong challenge again for the European places all season long.

In fact qualifying for the Champions League isn’t completely out of the question, although it’s unlikely that they will eventually finish in the top four.

All this has been achieved despite not having spent anything like the kind of money the Blues have splashed out on a host of mediocre and underachieving players.

The midlands club have an outstanding coach in Nuno Espirito Santo. The Portuguese manager has instilled organisation and a terrific work rate into his team and laced it with some outstanding attacking talent and match-winners.

Players such as Raul Jimenez, Jota and Adama Traore have become very effective players who are attracting attention from top Premier League and European clubs.

Key to his approach, is how economical his tactics are. Very often, especially away from home,  Wolves will be set up to defend in numbers and counter-attack very quickly and effectively with the pace and quality they have up front. They are also strong at coming back from a deficit to win.

This maintains the energy and reserves the team have, and enables Santo to play a similar side in the Europa League and take a much more offensive strategy.

Having said all that, Wolves have in fact hit a bit of a slump in form recently losing their last two Premier League matches.

Even so, given the Blues terrible performances in their last two games and the lack of effort, commitment and energy from the players, its hard to be optimistic about the Toffees’ chances of anything other than a defeat.

There seem to be so many problems with this Everton team. If Mason Holgate doesn’t return from injury then the defence will be vulnerable and midfield is just a wasteland of selection headaches.

I don’t know what team Carlo Ancelotti will pick or whether it will make any difference anyway. These players don’t seem to have much will to compete in, let alone win, football matches.

I’m not going to pick a team then but I really hope to be proven wrong tomorrow in my gloomy predictions, as it’s getting very depressing having to write articles like this each week!

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