Blackburn Vs Wolves Preview

Welcome back.

Sit down, get comfortable and strap yourself in for another 38 game ride on the Wolverhampton Wanderers Express. First stop – Ewood Park.

And where better to start than a ground where we’ve consistently received a sound pummeling? Indeed, on our last three visits to Blackburn we’ve conceded 11 goals and scored just 2.

Losing has become a habit at Ewood Park

5-1 defeat.

3-1 defeat.

3-0 defeat.

Hmm…can’t wait.

We shouldn’t forget the most recent beating they gave us either, in that miserable first 45 at Molineux back in May, which very nearly condemned us to Championship football. They were stronger, faster and generally better than us in that opening period, a nightmare I’m not particularly keen to revisit on Saturday.

But having played Blackburn on the final game of the 09/10 season and now in the 10/11 opener, you can’t help but see this match as a barometer of summer progress for both clubs.

For Wolves, I think we’re all hoping to see a stronger, less error-prone, more disciplined defence.

The back four on Survival Sunday were an embarrassing shambles, unable to cope with the strength, movement and pace of the Blackburn attack.

It’s entirely feasible we could see a completely different quartet take to the filed on Saturday, led of course by new skipper Roger Johnson.

Much is expected of the giant defender and this really should be his type of game. We’ve been crying out for strength and organisation, two things the former Blues man should bring in spades. No pressure then Rog.

The Team

I’m expecting Mick to play 442 at Blackburn, assuming Doyle is fit to partner Fletcher up front. A few people have noted that Wolves have been trying a narrower version of this formation, which I think bodes well and should make us more compact and difficult to breakdown.

This is the team I expect to see and the shape employed:

Hennessy, Stearman, Berra, Johnson, Elokobi, Henry, Hunt, O’Hara, Jarvis, Doyle, Fletcher

I reckon both wide players will be playing from deep rather than pushing up alongside the two forwards. I see Fletcher occupying a deeper-lying role too, allowing Doyle to hold the ball up front and do all the other things he does so well. All of this should give O’Hara freedom to roam, which can only be a good thing.

Other players who could sneak into eleven include Ward at either left-back or forward if Doyle’s not fit, Zubar at right-back or maybe even alongside Johnson in the center of defence. SEB will also come into contention should Doyle not recover in time.

Prediction League

The Wolves Blog Prediction League returns for a second season and just in case you didn’t play along last time, here’s how it works:

To enter each week simply leave your predicted score as a comment in the official preview to every match (such as this one).

You get 3 points for guessing the correct score and 1 point for predicting the correct outcome.

I keep a running tally of the scores and update the table each week to show how everyone’s getting on.

As it’s the opening game and I’m feeling foolishly optimistic, I’m backing the boys to get a win.

I think we’re overdue a good result at Ewood Park and I think we have every reason to feel confident of getting one.

We’ll likely concede but I can see us scoring a few.

2-1 Wolves.

If you’re going to this one, have a great time and get right behind the lads. It’s a long season and as we know from experience every point counts.

Up The Wolves.

Comments

  1. DancesWithWolves says:

    Rovers 1 Wolves 3

    Fletcher 18 mins

       0 likes

  2. These are the days.... says:

    Check out the graphic!!!

    I feel optimistic about this one even given the poor record against KFC….FC. The foolishness come with the clean sheet…

    KFC 0
    Wolves 1

    3D next week please Thomas.

       0 likes

  3. Gudjon says:

    No Foley

    1-1

       0 likes

  4. Louie says:

    Blackburn 0 Wolves 1 (Ward, 98th min)

    Nice blog Thomas, and like the picture with the team line up!

       0 likes

  5. Vladimir says:

    So, the roller coaster starts anew… What about a point from this game? 2-2 (Fletcher, O’Hara)

       0 likes

  6. Erick Wolf says:

    Nice team sheet!

    I will go for a 2-1 win.
    O’Hara and Fletcher to score, and Emerton to get one for them.

       0 likes

  7. Kowloon Wolf says:

    2-0 Blackburn, but I’ll be delighted to be wrong and see us get something at Ewood.

    Lovely team graphic, by the way. Never again can we be called a one-dimensional side.

       1 likes

  8. Karlir-johanarnt Kristjanson says:

    Results in friendlies indicates progress since last campaign. The team as an unit is much stronger, the impression i have from pre-season, which should guarantee points away from home also. MM’s positives regarding Maierhofer means we’ve got a new player. Exciting! We don’t lose the game against Blackburn.

       1 likes

  9. wolverine says:

    I’m going for a 2-0 win for wolves but that is based on samba not playing and the blackburn strickforce looking thin after the sale of Kalinac or something like that.

       0 likes

  10. Jon Sidwell says:

    I think it’ll be 1-1 with Hunt grabbing the goal, and i’d be satisfied with that.

       0 likes

  11. Hudds Wolf says:

    New to commenting but, I’ve lurked for a good while. Its always a good read, keep up the good work.

    As for predictions……

    I think we might surprise a few this season (by beating some teams around the bottom six for a change). I think we will win this one 1-2 with Fletcher grabbing a brace.

       0 likes

    • Thomas says:

      Thanks for taking the plunge with a comment and for the kind words.

      I actually think this will be the season we see off those around us for a change.

         0 likes

  12. Simon says:

    Blackburn 1 – Wolves 1 (Fletcher)

       0 likes

  13. 2-1 Wolves, same score as last year’s opener with O’Hara and Fletcher on the scoresheet.

       0 likes

  14. Clive From Houston says:

    Ever the stupid optimist, I’m going for a 3 – 1 win.
    I am hoping to be proved wrong for the past 3 years, and see a huge improvement from Ward, coz y’all know he’s going to start.
    But, also being a realist, I know he’s going to be crap.
    Still, new season, new hopes and dreams.
    The match is being shown over here at 3.00pm on Saturday………which is a time delay of 6 hours, so I’m going to be as nervous as a bag of frogs, coz I always watch the games without knowing the score.
    Please don’t call me with the score, i don’t wanna know!!!!
    COME ON ME BABBIES!!!

       0 likes

  15. BobbaWolf says:

    1-1, Fletch to grab a late equaliser.

       0 likes

  16. Bagsy says:

    Bring on the new season…although I think we might start with a loss.

    1-0 Blackburn (but obviously I’m hoping I’m wrong!)

       0 likes

  17. vexrob says:

    Can’t wait til Saturday…. And great blogs Ben & Thomas, kept me sane through this dry period.
    I’m feeling good about this one… I think we’ve got goals in us and a sturdier defence. That can only be a step up from last season.

    I’m going 2 nil to the mighty gold. Jarvis and seb from the bench. Would like to see what the hoff is all about this season with a 20 min cameo at the end.

       0 likes

    • Thomas says:

      I suspect the Hoff won’t make the bench sadly.

      Assuming my team forecast is correct, I’d expect the bench to read something like:

      De Vries
      Craddock
      Zubar
      Milijas
      Hammill
      Ward
      SEB

         0 likes

  18. Mark Davies says:

    I don`t think you can overstate the value of a big, experienced premiership centre half who will organise and lead his fellow defenders in his role of team captain. Well be far stronger in defence, and if this blog is right with the team selection – and I hope it is and Doyle is fit, then we can win this game 3-2.
    Its a long train journey back to Chesterfield from Blackburn, give me three points to go home with.

       0 likes

  19. The Wanderer says:

    Thomas – please don’t give Mick any more encouragement to play Stears at right back; he was awful in this position last season! Kevin Foley always.

    I’d love to see Wolves win, but being realistic I see a 2-2 draw, with Fletcher grabbing 1 if not both.

       0 likes

  20. Andrew N says:

    Blackburn 1 – wolves 2

    First post after 2 years of reading quality blogs. Keep it up!

       0 likes

  21. Irish Wolf says:

    Right so my first comment on this nd I’d like to say this blog is great, it make for good reading. Anyway I’m going for a 1-2 victory to wolves with goals from any of the following : O’hara, fletcher, hunt and doyle with 1 from a corner and jarvis with the other assist. Bring on the new season!!!!!!!!

       0 likes

  22. 3-1 Blackburn Rovers for me. Cheers.

       0 likes

  23. Love it when the long time lurkers finally come through!

    1-2 the Wolves. Johnson / O’Hara

    And yup, loving the pic. Wonder if you could do an animated GIF for Andy Gray style portrayals of movement.

       0 likes

  24. Ash K says:

    First time poster – long time reader.
    You will quickly see that while I hope for nothing but the best, the pessimistic side of me usually rules.
    Blackburn 2-Wolves 1

       0 likes

    • Thomas says:

      You’d get on well with Ben :)

      Thanks for the comment.

      I look forward to your pessimism.

         0 likes

      • Hamlet says:

        Hmm, do you have a yin to the yang yet, because I’ll be happy to be the opposite!

        Wolves to start their League-winning season with an 8-0 thrashing of Blackburn! :P

           0 likes

  25. new york wolf says:

    2 – 0 to wolves and a sir steven fletcher brace

       0 likes

  26. 2-0 Blackburn, both goals down our left

       0 likes

  27. Baltimore Wolves says:

    Hate to do it…

    Blackburn 2
    Wolves 0

       0 likes

  28. 1-1 Fletcher early, concede late.

       0 likes

  29. PaulFoz says:

    Oh this has seemed like a loooong off season
    2-1 Wolves Fletch & O’Hara

       0 likes

  30. martin says:

    This year i’m going for what i think is the likeliest result not what i’m hoping for. So, based on past history, i’m going for a closer game this year but, ultimately, a 2-1 defeat.

       0 likes

  31. Hamlet says:

    2-1 to Wolves with scorers Fletcher and Hunt

       0 likes

  32. sleachy says:

    Wolves 2, Rovers 1.

    Fletch and Hunt.

       0 likes

  33. sydney Wolf says:

    Another lurker,

    Thanks for the great blog.

    Because they will be overconfident:
    Blackburn 1
    Wolves 3

       0 likes

  34. Amber Wolf says:

    Right, first game of the season Blackburn away, never do well there, conceded 3 goals to them both matches last season. Only one new defender admittedly a good one and the new club captain, but I can only see a 2-1 loss with said captain scoring off a corner.

       0 likes

  35. Any news on prediction league prizes this season?

       0 likes

    • Thomas says:

      Someone has to show they have the potential to beat me first :)

      We’ll maybe talk prizes around Christmas.

         0 likes

      • Clive From Houston says:

        We need a neutral ref to keep track, Ben told me you were insider trading, building a pyramid or doing something else to fiddle the results in your favor!!!!!
        Have a nice day, y’all.

           0 likes

  36. Sam 2.0 says:

    2-1 wolves with O’hara to score first

       0 likes

  37. MrAussieWolf says:

    3-1 Wolves (Fletcher, Elokobi and Jarvis)

       0 likes

  38. BAZZA (Selly Oak) says:

    2-1 defeat. Too much uncertainty over injuries to be any more confident.

       0 likes

  39. El Plim says:

    1 – 1 (Hunt to score early and us trying to hold on for 80 odd mins)

       0 likes

  40. Ade In China says:

    Great blogs Tom.
    I’m a natural pessimist, but it makes it all the better to be proved wrong like last season (just!).
    I’m hoping the arrival of Big Rog will add some steel to the back 4, but I’m not so sure we’re going to go up there and give BB a hiding.
    Would a draw be so bad? I’m going to say 1-1, Fletcher to score.
    I really hope I’m wrong again though…

       0 likes

  41. Zombie Paul says:

    eerrrrrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmm

    0 – 0

    braaaaiiinnnnnzzzzzzzzzz

       0 likes

  42. After a year of just reading I think I’m ready for the prediction league.

    prediction: 0-0

    :(

       0 likes

  43. Clive From Houston says:

    Greetings to all you lurkers out there and thank you for reading this blog.
    You all have kind things to say about it, so it must be in spite of my sometimes caustic comments not because of them!!!
    Welcome to the madhouse, let’s hear often from y’all, it’s a great bit of fun which occassionaly gets slightly out of hand, but we all have black and gold blood running through us, which is better than blue and white!!
    FOWB

       0 likes

  44. robin says:

    Spoke to my mate whose a West Ham supporter:
    “New season man, I’m optimistic for Wolves, always am this time of the season.”
    “Yea,” he replied dourly, “I was optimistic about West Ham till Saturday.”
    I’m going, optimistically, for us to win 3-0.
    A Ward hat-trick, for I will be surprised if he is only on the bench.
    Pessimistically, a 3-0 defeat.
    Perhaps, realistically, a draw or a sneaky 0-1 to us Doyle to score.

       0 likes

  45. Tipsy McStagger says:

    2-1 to the mighty Wolves either one apiece for Doyle & Fletcher or both by Fletch if Doyle doesn’t start, both assisted by Hunt!

       0 likes

  46. Guardian claims we will be
    Hennessey
    Elokobi – Craddock – Mancienne – Foley (That is Elokobi on the right and Foley on the left)
    Hunt – Ohara – Henry – Guediora
    Ward – Fletcher.

    (http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2011/may/20/squad-sheets-wolves-blackburn)
    Now how the hell is Mancienne going to start. Guardian – must. do. better.

       0 likes

  47. 2-1 to Wolves I predict. Wolves will concede early on and will then fight back with goals from Fletcher and a late winner from The Hoff who comes on as a late sub. Glorious.

       0 likes

  48. HongKongWolf says:

    This is my first time posting on this blog, but i’ve been reading since the tail end of last season. Thanks for the great topics and interesting discussions over the last few months (particularly over the long, long summer)
    I’m hoping for a wolves win but i’ll settle for a draw. I’m thinking that with a sturdy looking back four we’d be unlucky to lose this game. I’ll opt for a 1-1 draw with Hunt to score the equaliser early in the second half. I just think theres a chance that we might get caught early in the first few minutes of the game, particulalry away from home. I hope i’m wrong though, and that we tear them apart!

       0 likes

  49. Exeter Wolf says:

    2-2.
    Can’t see us winning away on the 1st day of the season and a draw would be a good result considering our previous visits to Ewood Park.
    I fancy goals from Hunt and Johnson.

       0 likes

  50. Super Kev Doyle says:

    2-0 to Wolves. Dont care who scores but it’s going to be a confident and composed performance. Can’t wait to get in the Darwen End and see us get a flyer

       0 likes

  51. andrewwfc says:

    2-2.

    And after the last few visits to Ewood Park that’s optimistic…

    As echoed previously, loving the graphic. Been busy on Paint?!

       0 likes

  52. superspenna says:

    Evening gentlemen. Lots of new posters on the here so I will add my name into the hat.

    Superb blog with great insight and banter which I’ve been keeping track of for the last couple of years. Keeps me sane as I “emigrated” to the north west 10 years ago so am surrounded by scousers and mancs!

    Being a terminal pessimistic, and the fact that we’ve shipped 11 goals the last 3 games at Ewood I would defo go for a loss…however, I’m Turning the tables this season so going for a 2-1 to the mighty Wolves (and nothing at all to do with the first bottle of red that’s just been finished).

    Keep up the great work.

       0 likes

  53. Gold Wolf Sven says:

    im going with a law of averages we are due a win so 2-0 wolves and im gonna go fletcher ohara. As they have lost Jones and i think Samba is out so i can see us sneaking it, i think the league is tight we could finish anywhere between 15th and 10th, the 3 who came up to go down and us to finish above Blackburn and Wigan and hopefully the Albion. My team in the fantasy is Hyde and Streak named after my 5 a side team.

       0 likes

  54. Craig D says:

    Another lurker here from Perth, WA

    Great work on the blogs Thomas & Ben, always makes for a interesting read with my coffee in the morning! Especially if Clive is on form…

    Going to get started with a solid 2-0 away win to the Wolves, with our new captain marshaling the troops at the back, and a brace for Fletch up front.

       0 likes

  55. John I. says:

    1-1 Draw. Jarvis with a late equalizer.

       0 likes

  56. Clemens says:

    Blackburn 1 Wolves 1

    Fletcher to score.

       0 likes

  57. Stourbridge Wolf says:

    Blackburn 2:0 Wolves

    Never get anything at Ewood!

       0 likes

  58. CrazyPete says:

    With everyone coming out the woodwork I thought I would join in as well after reading for most of last season. Previous results not on our side having not beaten them for 11 years! However I think we have done some good business over the summer (even if we could do with a couple more) and will be stronger than the shambles of may 22nd. (My birthday which almost ended in a heart attack!)
    Blackburn 1-2 Wolves purely because, like Thomas, i’m optimistic for the start of the season! Fletch and O’Hara to score.
    Come On The Wolves!!

       0 likes

  59. Stourbridge Wolf says:

    Stick that in your pipe Clive – a Ward volley from the edge of the area away at Blackburn!

    Surely I must be dreaming?

       0 likes

    • HongKongWolf says:

      After i’d calmed myself down, that was my exact thought! Can see Fletch getting another one yet.

         0 likes

      • Stourbridge Wolf says:

        I’d settle for 1.2 right now! Blow your whistle ref, screw the predictions league!

        We’re top of the league at the moment – champions league here we come ha,ha,ha!

           0 likes

        • HongKongWolf says:

          I just did a squeal of terror when I saw Johnson hold his knee, that’d be just out luck now…especially after the comments a week or so ago!

             0 likes

          • Stourbridge Wolf says:

            38 not out – turns into 65 mins in the gold and black!

            Blackburn all over us I am reading now? Here we go again?

               0 likes

            • Stourbridge Wolf says:

              Have to settle for second place – looks like it’ll be a long season for QPR fans!

                 0 likes

            • HongKongWolf says:

              I wouldn’t have said they were all over us, they were wasteful in possession just as we were towards the end of the second half. I think it just looks worse when you’re winning and the opposition string a couple of half chances together.

              We still looked a little weak at left back, but i’m glad Ward was playing, if not for the goal then for the fact that Big George looked out of his depth when he came on. Good solid game for Roger, Its clear to see why he has been made captain. Fletcher and doyle looked great on the break – i’m very excited to see how they’ll play together later on this season! O’Hara clearly not 100% today but he looked confident on the ball as expected. Good start to the season! Bring on Fulham!

                 0 likes

  60. Hudds Wolf says:

    Can’t complain with that, but Blackburn look like they’re in for a long season. Even got a token few minutes from The Neck, I never thought that he had a chance of pulling on a Wolves shirt in a competitive game after voicing negativity about the way he’d been treated. Perhaps Mick’s mellowing with age, looking at the bigger picture and handling such outrageous insolence internally, or perhaps he was rubbing salt into the Blackburn wounds, knowing that they were missing their giant.
    Has the big guy got a future at Wolves? He could be a useful weapon on occasions, luckily we’ll never be in a position where he’ll be our first choice up front working off long hoofs forward.

       0 likes

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