Johnstone absent for West Brom after positive Covid-19 test as Wolves revert to back three |

West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) misses the Baggies’ first DGW19 fixture following a positive Covid-19 test.

Ahead of the Black Country derby at Molineux, Sam Allardyce explained:

Covid has kept out Sam [Johnstone] and Matt Phillips for us, as well as one or two other Under-23s that would probably have been in the squad.

Grady [Diangana] pulled or tweaked a hamstring, so we had to make a change there.

Asked by BT Sport what he has been trying to fix in training, Allardyce responded:

I’ve tried to fix the fact that we’ve got to stop conceding goals that are avoidable. Our concentration levels sometimes lapse, in split seconds and moments. It only takes the opposition a few seconds to exploit that. That is the focus when we’re out of possession.

In possession, it’s really about trying to get more quality in the final third. Create more chances in open play, which has been extremely difficult for us.

Wolves boss Nuno, speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, said of his side’s recent leaky displays:

“We (have) made big mistakes, especially in defence. We must be compact and from there can grow positives. “We have to go back to our main foundation; a clean sheet.”

The Portuguese manager has duly reverted to a tried-and-tested back three. Nuno revealed in the embargoed section of his media offering that Willy Boly (£5.4m) would start for West Brom’s visit.

Boly is joined by Conor Coady (£4.9m) and Romain Saiss (£5.1m), while the Wolves teamsheet suggests that Pedro Neto (£6.0m) will operate at left wing-back.

The winger was a doubt for this afternoon’s kick-off, as was Adama Traoré (£6.1m). The latter also starts the match in a front two alongside Fabio Silva (£5.2m).

“Adama didn’t play the last game, he had a problem. He is better, so he is ready to go. Boly had an injury for some while and [now] he’s good.” – Nuno

Daniel Podence (£5.4m) remains sidelined, along with Jonny (£5.4m) and Marcal (£4.8m).

“Let’s see. We have Adama and Boly coming and joining (training). Let’s see how they are for tomorrow. We still have Daniel out. We have work to do. Jonny, Podence, Marcal are out.” – Nuno speaking on Friday

Wolves XI: Patricio; Saiss, Coady, Boly; Neto, Neves, Dendoncker, Semedo; Moutinho; Fabio Silva, A Traoré.

West Bromwich Albion XI: Button; Gibbs, Bartley, Ajayi, O’Shea; Snodgrass, Livermore, Sawyers; Grosicki, C Robinson, M Pereira.

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