Wolverhampton Wanderers had a poor start to the English Premier League 2020/21 campaign. The team changed their manager and had only one win in the first five games. They have recovered since then, and the Wolves have earned 11 points in the last six games. Bruno Lage has relied on the Portuguese partnership in the central midfield position. Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves have partnered with each other in nine matches, and both players have featured in every league game. Moutinho has started every game and Neves has started in nine games. Neves has scored a goal and that is the only goal contribution by both these players this season.
Moutinho has attempted the most number of passes towards Neves. He has attempted 77 passes, but the passes have created a very less threat rate. Moutinho, in return, has received 57 passes from Neves. The passes from Neves have created an expected threat rate of 0.135. Moutinho has created the highest threat rate from passes towards striker Raul Jimenez. The midfielder has attempted 33 passes towards the Mexican. Neves has created the most threat from passes towards the wing-back Nelson Semedo and Marcal. Neves has shared most of his passes with the defenders.
The above viz shows the pass map of Moutinho this season in the league. The midfielder has attempted 457 passes in 11 games. These passes include four crosses and 31 long passes. He has also attempted six smart passes and five through passes. Moutinho has created an expected assist rate of 1.51, and his 13 passes have landed in the opposition’s box. One pass has landed in the opposition’s 6-yard box, and the passes into the opposition’s box have created the highest threat rate.
Neves has attempted 573 passes and 12 crosses (eight more than his midfield partner) in 11 games. The midfielder has also attempted 75 long passes, of which 17 were attempted against Brentford. Neves has attempted 12 smart passes and 23 through passes. His pass map shows that he has been a good distributor of the ball, with his passes landing in every corner of the pitch. Neves has managed to land his 34 passes into the opposition’s box while two passes have landed in the opposition’s 6-yard box.
Neves is never shy of taking shots towards the opposition’s goal. The midfielder has attempted 14 shots with four on target. He has made 74 recoveries and half of the recoveries have been made inside the opposition’s half. Neves has also made 37 interceptions so far. His midfield partner has made 78 recoveries, and 31 recoveries have been made inside the opposition’s half. Moutinho has made 49 interceptions and has attempted eight shots with a 25% shot accuracy rate.
Moutinho scored one goal and provided an assist last season. Neves scored five goals and provided an assist. The manager will look for more goals and assists from these two players in the upcoming matches. They have been the backbone of the team this season and have controlled the pace of the game. The passing of both these players has been impressive since day one, and they would like to contribute more towards scoring goals.