Steve Bruce insisted that he was able to take "a lot of positives" from Newcastle's defeat at Old Trafford, and the manner of Newcastle's performance is a reasonable cause for optimism heading into the final couple of months of the campaign.
The Magpies started the game on the front foot against United and levelled through Allan Saint-Maximin's neat finish after Marcus Rashford's opener, but Man United soon came out all guns blazing in the second half and eventually marched to victory thanks to further goals from Daniel James and Bruno Fernandes.
Bruce's return to The Theatre of Dreams ended in disappointment, but Newcastle were not blown away by the Red Devils whatsoever, so they ought to be looking ahead to fixtures with Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Brighton & Hove Albion feeling capable of picking up a respectable points haul.
However, an improved performance did not change the fact that Newcastle are languishing down in 17th place - three points clear of 18th-placed Fulham - and only two of Newcastle's last 14 Premier League games have seen the Magpies come out on top, including a 3-2 win over Southampton in their last home outing.
Should Bruce's men manage to prevail on their own turf this weekend, they would enjoy back-to-back league wins at St James' Park for the first time since December 2019, although the 21 goals they have already shipped on home soil is the joint-second worst in the league - level with Crystal Palace and only better than West Bromwich Albion's 32 goals conceded.
Wolves had a huge slice of luck to thank for their victory over Leeds last Friday, as Adama Traore's thunderous effort hit the woodwork before bouncing off the back of Whites goalkeeper Illan Meslier into the back of the net.
However, Nuno Espirito Santo will give no thought to the manner of a victory which saw Wolves rise to 12th in the rankings, and having taken 10 points from their last 12 on offer in the top flight, any fears of a relegation dogfight appear to have been quashed.
Santo's men are the only team outside the top five to have won at least three of their last four matches following previous victories over Southampton and Arsenal, so Wolves will be desperate to keep the momentum going before they face Manchester City, Villa and Liverpool next month.
The visitors have only lost once in their last five away outings in the Premier League, and even though just two of their last eight on the road have ended in victory for the West Midlands outfit, Wolves have not lost at St James' Park in the league since April 2011.
Those who are banking on clean sheets in this fixture ought to think again, as Newcastle and Wolves have never failed to score against one another in their 11 Premier League meetings, and the last four fixtures between the two clubs have ended in 1-1 draws.
Newcastle United Premier League form: LWLWLL
Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: DLWDWW
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): LWDLWW
Karl Darlow has produced a string of stellar performances in the Newcastle goal this season, but he is reportedly set to be replaced by Martin Dubravka after his underwhelming showing at Old Trafford.
Wolves striker Raul Jimenez continues to make great strides in his recovery as he was pictured with the ball at his feet in training, but he still has a long road ahead of him.
Marcal was brought on as a substitute against Leeds but lasted a little over 20 minutes before succumbing to another muscular problem, so he is not expected to make the journey to St James' Park.
Newcastle United possible starting lineup:
Dubravka; Krafth, Lascelles, Clark, Lewis; Hayden, Willock, Shelvey; Almiron, Gayle, Saint-Maximin
Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Traore, Jose, Neto
We say: Newcastle United 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Newcastle and Wolves have shared the spoils in eight of their 11 Premier League meetings, and supporters can expect another close affair this weekend, although both sides will certainly feel capable of winning. A fifth 1-1 draw in a row is certainly a possibility, but we think an improving Wolves outfit should do enough to eke out a vital win at the expense of their relegation-threatened opponents.
Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below: