I’m trying to decide whether it’s a good thing that Wolves are Birmingham’s After Eight (yes, I’m climbing on that bandwagon).
Coming into a derby on the back of such a crushing, demoralising, regime-ending humiliation could be just the tonic Blues need to raise their weather-worn spirits.
On the other hand, if Wolves can smother them from the start, memories of last weekend’s drubbing will soon weigh heavy on their shoulders.
Throw into the mixer a manager taking charge of his first game, the return of David Davis, the presence of Paul Robinson and the chance for Wolves to go (temporarily at least) to the summit of the Championship table and you’ve got yourself a tasty little local dust up.
Let’s get it on.
You know why they call it a hot seat don’t you?
Jose Riga ended last season at Charlton, but rocked up at Blackpool in preseason where things went tits up and he was eventually given the flick. Meanwhile Blues got tonked by Bournemouth so Lee Clark was booted and Gary Rowett was plucked from Burton to take over, while Clark took the vacant post at Blackpool before he’d even had the chance to sign-on. Phew.
I’d say Blackpool and Birmingham are in equally shambolic states off the field so it will be interesting to see if either club benefit from the changes on it.
Gary Rowett inherits a mish-mash of a squad made up of loan signings, youngsters and the handful of senior players Lee Clark was able to bring in over the summer.
Clayton Donaldson was one of those players and someone I’d hoped Wolves might make a move on after being impressed with what I saw last season. He’s their 3 goal top scorer.
Winning without Sako at Elland Road should fill the squad with self belief, but the irrepressible winger must start if fit. He is consistently the difference maker and brimming with confidence.
The above would be my team. I still can’t make peace with Rowe at left-back and I feel Golbourne brings out the best in Sako. There’s not quite as much cut and thrust when he’s not bombing down on the overlap.
Henry, Clarke and possibly even Jacobs could all be in contention too and with so many options at Kenny’s disposal it’s a challenge to second guess his selections.
Rumours of an injury to Nouha Dicko are doing the rounds, flamed by Liam McAlinden’s recall from his loan spell at Fleetwood. Interestingly, Kenny’s pre-match video (below) omitted the usual question about having a fully fit squad to choose from, so maybe there’s something in that? We’ll be weaker without Dicko if that proves correct.
Well done to all who correctly predicted a win at Leeds.
Like most of you probably, I have concerns that Blues will up their levels considerably after last weekend’s meltdown and combined with the lift of a derby fixture and the influence of a new manager we might have a game on our hands.
But logically, there can only be one winner and if Wolves play anywhere near their best, it will be more than enough.
Up The Wolves!