‘Unlikely’: O’Neil shares doubts over £13m Wolves star before Newcastle clash

Gary O’Neil concedes that Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is ‘unlikely’ to play the entire Premier League match against Newcastle United on Saturday, but the Wolves midfielder might still make his comeback from suspension.

Following a spectacular performance on his Wolves debut against Liverpool, Molineux fans have had to be patient with their £13 million summer signing.

A red card and subsequent three-match ban for a red card against Luton Town have limited his effectiveness thus far. However, Newcastle’s Saturday evening trip to the Black Country might see Jean-Ricner Bellegarde return to O’Neil’s squad, even if the former Strasbourg ace will be hard pressed to play from the first minute to the last.

Wolves could welcome Jean Bellegarde back


Wolves vs Liverpool team news as Jean-Ricner Bellegarde makes debut -  Birmingham Live


“Jean Bellegarde is doing very well.” “We’ll see how he is tomorrow (Saturday) morning,” O’Neil said on the Wolverhampton Wanderers website. “However, he should be able to participate.”

“He hasn’t had a full week’s training, so he’s unlikely to do all 90.”

Bellegarde’s physicality and ball-carrying ability could come in help against Newcastle’s agile, all-action midfield.

Especially if Sandro Tonali is allowed to appear. Eddie Howe confirmed the Italian’s inclusion this weekend during his own press conference. A ten-month ban for violating betting regulations has yet to be ratified.

Newcastle, on the other hand, will be without a slew of other first-team regulars. Harvey Barnes and company have been joined on the treatment table by Alexander Isak and Jacob Murphy.

Wolves, on the other hand, could welcome back Nelson Semedo and Mario Lemina. The latter’s relationship with Bellegarde might build the groundwork for a win, bringing O’Neil’s team to within two points of Newcastle in the top half.

Wolves’ squad in far better nick

“Obviously, (having Semedo and Lemina back) is big,” the former Bournemouth manager says. “They’ve been excellent this year, the two of them. So it’s nice to see them both again. The rest of the youngsters that went to Bournemouth performed admirably.

“The group is doing well. Of course, Newcastle are one of the biggest tests in the league right now, maybe the toughest with the way they’re going, with the intensity they have and some of the results they’ve had. We’ll have to give it our all.”

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