February 24, 2024

 

Wolves suffered a poor defeat to Sheffield Utd on the weekend and changes must be made

Matheus-Cunha-Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers suffered an agonising late defeat to Sheffield United over the weekend, despite equalising with just a few minutes to go.

 

Their Jekyll and Hyde campaign continues. So far this season, Wolves have defeated Manchester City and drawn with Newcastle United, yet they have lost to Ipswich Town in the EFL Cup and drew with Luton Town, ensuring that consistency is their biggest weakness at the moment.

 

gary-o-neil-wolves-premier-league

With a clash against in-form Tottenham Hotspur coming up this weekend, Gary O’Neil must look to make a few changes to his starting XI if he has any ambitions of securing a vital win against Ange Postecoglou’s men.

 

This could mean a few players who were disappointing against Sheffield Utd drop to the bench – Matheus Cunha being one name who failed to perform well.

 

Matheus Cunha’s game vs Sheffield Utd in numbers

The Brazilian was deployed in a number ten role just behind main striker Sasa Kalajdzic as O’Neil was looking for him to have a strong impact.

 

cunha-wolves-premier-league-old-old-oneil-iheanacho

The former Atletico Madrid gem struggled to really get involved much throughout his spell on the pitch, having just one shot on target while failing to make a key pass or register a goal contribution. It was hardly a surprise, therefore, to see Express & Star journalist Liam Keen lament his “no real goalscoring threat” post-match.

 

Cunha did attempt six dribbles during the encounter, yet he succeeded with only one while the player won just three of his nine ground duels contested, indicating that he struggled to impose himself with regard to one-on-one duels.

 

Matheus Cunha in numbers vs Sheffield Utd

 

Touches

 

60

 

Accurate Passes

 

28/40 (70%)

 

Expected Goals (xG)

 

0.05

 

Dribble Success

 

1/6

 

Duels Won

 

4/11

 

Possession Lost

 

22x

 

Fouled by an opponent

 

2x

 

Stats via Sofascore.

 

The 24-year-old was also rather sloppy on the ball, losing possession a grand total of 22 times, which was three more times than the second-highest player on the pitch, and it is evident change is needed against Spurs.

 

The players who could replace Matheus Cunha

Much will depend on the formation O’Neil goes with against the morth Londoners, but ditching Cunha could mean he operates with two players leading the line, and he has a few options to choose from.

 

[FBCharts] Matheus Cunha

Hee-chan Hwang could move into a more advanced role, and he has been on fire so far this term, scoring seven goals across just 12 games, grabbing two assists too, while it appears as though O’Neil has rejuvenated him following a poor season in 2022/23 where he only netted four times.

 

If Cunha does drop out of the starting XI against Spurs, the manager may also utilise Fabio Silva in the team, although he hasn’t been as prolific as the South Korean star this term.

 

Indeed, Silva has scored only once, yet he has started just three Premier League matches, averaging 35 minutes per game and perhaps a more regular run in the starting XI would boost his confidence.

 

O’Neil has a few options to choose from and with a little bit more luck, Wolves would be occupying a place much higher than the 14th position they currently find themselves in at the moment.

 

Cunha has been impressive this term – registering three goal involvements – yet his display against the Blades lacked any sort of attacking intent and O’Neil could certainly freshen up his team by dropping the £60k-per-week player to the bench and unleashing someone else in his place.

 

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