It was stalemate between Wolves and Stoke City as Nuno Espirito Santo’s were held despite creating the greater chances at the Bet365 Stadium
With the season creeping closer, Wolves were given a firm test against a side relegated from the Premier League just two months ago, but in truth it was a fairly uneventful state of affairs at Stoke on Wednesday evening.
Raul Jimenez and Benny Ashley-Seal both came close to winning the game for Wolves, who gave minutes to 21 different players. New goalkeeper Rui Patricio made two eye-catching saves after the break to ensure Wolves efforts weren’t wasted.
Stoke posed worthy competition for Nuno’s men, fielding a team jam-packed with Premier League experience and it was a familiar face in Benik Afobe who should have opened the scoring early on, but the striker didn’t get enough on his header which drifted wide.
Wolves supporters were given their first sighting of new signing Jimenez on English soil and the Mexican was causing issues for Bruno Martins Indi and Ryan Shawcross early on, bullying the latter off the ball and feeding Helder Costa to curl into the arms of Adam Federici.
Youngster Ryan Giles was continuing his impressive pre-season from the start once again at the Bet365 Stadium and his mazy presented him with a shooting opportunity from the edge of the box but his effort forced Federici only into a simple catch.
The best chance of the half arrived on 28 minutes as a free-kick caused havoc in the Stoke box, as Jimenez’s volley was blocked by Federici after a scramble of bodies.
Nuno shuffled his hand on the half-hour mark, giving Ivan Cavaleiro some game time in place of Diogo Jota, however there would be no further action during the first-half and the two teams entered the dressing rooms level.
Half-Time: Stoke 0 Wolves 0
Nuno used the second-half to give minutes to Patricio, Romain Saiss, Pedro Goncalves and Leo Bonatini, who all came on after the break. It was Wolves who nearly went ahead just minutes into the second-half as well, however Giles’ run and shot went unrewarded as Federici saved.
Patricio was first called into action on the hour-mark and he produced a good save, getting down low to turn away Mortiz Bauer’s long-range strike. The goalkeeper was catching the eye on his debut on English soil and flew through the air to keep out Peter Etebo’s powerful effort.
Then came the cavalry as Nuno sent on another six fresh players including Danny Batth at centre half and a number of Under-23 players who’ve spent pre-season getting a taste of first-team life.
One of them, Pedro Goncalves curled in a beauty of a free-kick 20 minutes from time, however Batth couldn’t keep his bullet header down.
Another youngster Ashley-Seal was putting himself about up front and his strength created the next opening, but the striker was agonisingly unlucky when his low strike cannoned back off the foot of the post.
From there would be little action of note, with Bright Enobakhare blazing over seconds before the full-time whistle.
Full-Time: Stoke 0 Wolves 0
Stoke: Federici, Bauer, Pieters, Allen (Berahino 72), Badou (Etebo 46), Ince, Afobe (Crouch 46), McClean (Bojan 46), Martins Indi (Diouf 46), Shawcross, Fletcher (Cameron 72).
Unused Subs: Haugaard, Choupo-Moting, Imbula, Edwards, Sorensen, Souttar, Bursik.
Wolves: Ruddy (Patricio 46), Doherty (Buur 63), Bennett (Saiss 46), Neves (Watt 63), Jimenez (Bonatini 46), Costa (Ashley-Seal 63), Giles (John 63), Coady (Batth 63), Gibbs-White (Goncalves 46), Jota (Cavaleiro 32) (Enobakhare 63), Hause.
Unused Subs: Castro, Norris, Boly.
Referee: Steve Martin