The last time I expected victory at St. Andrew’s it bit me on the behind.
Benik Afobe even put us ahead, but Blues won it thanks to a scrappy set piece equaliser and a Scott Golbourne brain fart.
We missed out on the play-offs on goal difference and things unravelled from that point for a team that had been on a rapid upward curve.
A few years on and those expectations are heightened with an even better Wolves team rolling into town.
We’ve won on our last two visits, but navigating this local derby under the floodlights, away from Molineux would be a further statement of intent from our table-topping group.
I always said Gary Rowett was overachieving with the group of players he had, so it didn’t surprise me that Zola and Redknapp both failed.
They splashed a bit of wonga late on in the transfer window in true ‘arry fashion. But with the remnants of several managers efforts they’re a team in transition, which is reflected in their league position.
Steve Cotterill just needs to keep them up this season and form something cohesive out of the random parts he’s inherited. Easier said than done.
Hopes must rest on ‘the other Jota’. It was a major coup for Blues to get him from Brentford, but injury has curtailed his progress thus far.
Che Adams scored in this fixture last season and he’s a useful player, as is reported former Wolves target Sam Gallagher.
However, they have easily the feeblest attack in the division with just 10 goals so far. To put that in context, Wolves have scored 40.
All four of their victories have come at St. Andrew’s and all by narrow margins. They’ve only mustered 6 goals in their 9 home matches to date.
It’s a blow to lose Ruben Neves, but I’m intrigued to see how the team cope without him and how Nuno addresses his absence.
When Romain Saiss was suspended against Norwich, Alfred N’Diaye just slotted in and played very well. That’s the most obvious solution.
But Jack Price is the most like-for-like player, so one could argue he would be the better choice. The fact it’s a derby though and likely to be more physical probably nudges it back towards Big Alf.
Assuming no injuries, further surgery on a team that’s won five consecutive matches seems unlikely.
As good as Wolves are playing, they haven’t been bullet proof away from home. QPR, Reading and Sheffield United all got about them and dominated for periods.
Steve Cotterill will be trying to emulate what those teams achieved and I expect them to make it difficult.
But all logic points to a Wolves win so that’s exactly what I’m predicting. 3-1.
Up The Wolves!
* Apologies for anyone trying to access the mobile version of the site this week. I had to disable it due to technical problems with an upgrade. I’m working on various fixes to improve the look of the site and speed things up so please stick with me. It’s for the greater good.