WATCH OUR PREVIEW FOR NOTTINGHAM FOREST V WOLVES IN THE CARABAO CUP
It has been 27 years since Wolves last progressed to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, losing to West Midlands rivals Aston Villa in 1996, and not since winning the crown for the second time in 1980 have Wolves gone as far as the final four.
Nottingham Forest won this competition four times between 1978 and 1990 during a golden period for the club when they were also twice crowned champions of Europe.
For Wolves, Daniel Podence will aim to shake off a knock in time to make the squad for Wednesday’s game, but Pedro Neto, Chiquinho, Sasa Kalajdzic and Boubacar Traore are all out of contention.
Rayan Ait-Nouri came off with a knock at Anfield and will need a once-over, but Hugo Bueno is more than capable of filling in on the left-hand side, and Nelson Semedo ought to return on the opposite flank for Dexter Lembikisa.
A first start in Wolves colours could now come the way of Matheus Cunha, who has come off the bench in the Premier League and FA Cup but may now be preferred to Raul Jimenez and Diego Costa in the final third.
Jesse Lingard, Moussa Niakhate, Cheikhou Kouyate, Omar Richards and Giulian Biancone will definitely miss out, while Neco Williams will need assessing after picking up a knock in the FA Cup, but the Welshman was always likely to drop out for Serge Aurier anyway.
Assuming he can shake off a bout of fatigue, Taiwo Awoniyi ought to come back in to lead the line for the hosts, while Yates, Renan Lodi, Remo Freuler and Brennan Johnson should also earn recalls to the starting lineup.
He added it was important Wolves put that matter out of their heads and focus to “fight” to reach the EFL Cup semi-finals.
The Spaniard said the availability of Joao Moutinho, Daniel Podence and Diego Costa would be matchday decisions, after all three missed the Liverpool game because of minor injuries.
He also confirmed Rayan Ait-Nouri would be similarly assessed after coming off with a knock in a “hard, demanding match” at Anfield.
Lopetegui intriguingly described the fixture at Forest as a “much harder match” than their game against Liverpool, adding it would require his team to find “different answers”.