Blackburn Rovers 1 Wolves 2

The new season underway at last with a long day out and trip over the Pennines for me.

Wolves celebrate

I was hoping for more of the form I saw in flashes at Doncaster the previous week, while speaking to a few Blackburn fans on the train they were not optimistic of their team’s fortunes given their financial restrictions, a point majored on by their manager in the match programme.

This was a good game though with two well matched sides happy to sit back, soak up pressure and try to hit their opponents on the break.

The home side started brightly with most of their play, predictably, with long balls to their new right winger signed from Blackpool with height advantage over Golbourne.

Despite a cracking long range strike from Rhodes which hit Ikeme’s right post, and a free header which he superbly tipped over the bar, there was no reward for the early pressure.

Wolves grew into the game, with Coady and Afobe the pick of an excellent all round team performance.

Coady gives us an extra dimension in midfield, so defensively we were very solid and able to press the home side high up the pitch.

Afobe finished in style from a clever headed through ball from Edwards, and we were then very unlucky with the home side’s equaliser.

From a good Iorfa block on the edge of the box, the ball spun viciously high and over our keeper who backtracking could only palm into the roof of the net.

How would the lads respond, well by going back on the attack with another well worked team goal, and with a deserved half time lead, it was time for the fans to enjoy another `concourse party` under the stand.

Saw many taking images – hope some get posted on here.

Apart from the last 5 minutes when the home side bombarded our goal with high balls, which were dealt with superbly by our defence, , there were no more scares in a second half which I thought Wolves dominated and deservedly got the three points.

So a great day out for the 4000 or so traveling black & gold army.

Many of whom will recall the last time we won a season opener at Ewood by the same score. However KJ has a side much improved on last year, a better squad playing a system with our full backs bombing on.

This was a very solid team performance overall, and a very welcome three points.

Maybe Steve Morgan`s assertion that this season we are ready to step up may not be far off the mark. A great start to the new season, and a very happy journey home last night.


Blackburn Rovers Vs Wolves Preview

There only ever seems to be a wafer thin line between confidence and a crisis in football.


It was full on meltdown last week with a tumbleweed rolling passed Compton Park and Michael Jacobs packing his bags for Wigan.

But as Kenny and co depart for Ewood Park tomorrow, morale in the wider Wolves camp couldn’t be higher as we reflect on what was probably the perfect preseason.

Undefeated in six matches, four new signings and with another handful of promising academy prospects rolling off the conveyor belt, could things have gone much better?

Whatever your opinion on that, I don’t think many would disagree that we line up at the starting gate in more than adequate condition for the 46 challenges that lie ahead.

If we were cautiously optimistic last August, we’re battle hardened and expectant this time around. And it’s that expectancy that could prove the toughest hurdle of all.


Blackburn-Rovers-iconBlackburn haven’t had things so easy over the summer months with Gary Bowyer hamstrung by a transfer embargo and key players jumping ship.

Rudy Gestede has already departed for Aston Villa, while fellow talisman Jordan Rhodes looks desperate to push through a move to big spending Middlesbrough.

41 of their 66 goals last season came from their star strikers, so the prospect of losing both and relying on free transfers to plug the hole suggests a tough season ahead.

Rovers, like Bolton, like Notts Forest and like many others in the Championship are handicapped by a lack of financial firepower having previously spent and failed in their attempts to climb out of this debilitating league.

Their situation highlights why Wolves’ ‘steady as she goes’ approach is undoubtedly the more sustainable model for continual progress.


It’s interesting to see how Kenny Jackett has built and evolved his squad over three summers. There have been consistent performers, but always complemented by a pleasing injection of new blood.

Wolves team for Blackburn

With Danny Batth injured, the back four seems certain to be built on the experience of Richard Stearman, the steadiness of Scott Golbourne and the raw potential of Kortney Hause and Dominic Iorfa.

A narrower midfield anchored by Conor Coady and Kevin McDonald is likely to also incorporate the energy of Dave Edwards with natural width provided by either James Henry or Rajiv van La Parra. Henry seems a more likely bet.

The front two pick themselves, despite the arrival of Adam le Fondre and their continued availability over the season will be crucial. When they play, goals seem inevitable.

If the above XI plays as expected that still leaves the likes of Batth, Doherty, Price, Wallace, Ojo and Le Fondre waiting in the wings and providing the necessary depth to go the distance.


The Prediction League is back for another season. Test yourself against fellow supporters to see how your expectations tally with reality.

It’s 2 points if you predict the correct outcome and 3 points if you get the correct score. Simply leave your prediction in the comment section below in the boxes indicated. Best of luck!

A note of caution: You must always use the same email address to comment and leave your predictions in every preview. Your email address is what ties you to your overall score in the table.

As for me, I’m predicting a draw. We’ve won on our last three visits to Ewood Park but starting as the away side on opening day is normally tough and I think they’ll play above themselves.

If Jordan Rhodes starts, he’ll pose a significant threat and be ably supported by Conway and Marshall who are also both very good players.


Here’s to a great season.

Up The Wolves!

Blackburn Rovers 0 Wolves 1

With all this gale force weather whipping up one or two headlines in recent days, there’s been little mention of lightning striking in the same place twice in the past 24 hours.

Edwards Blackburn

For us fans of a gold and black persuasion, changeable conditions have been something of the norm in recent times but in beating Blackburn Rovers 1-0 at Ewood Park, a bolt from the heavens flashed through my mind.

Roughly a year ago Wolves suffered a mid-season blip with just one win in seven – including that TV shocker at Gillingham – as one or two clouds threatened a downpour.

Enter Nouha Dicko in the window, a manager settled on his best side and we responded with nine straight wins and a League One title cakewalk.

Sure, few can realistically expect similar silverware come May, but roll the clock forward from then and the similarities are striking.

A recent run of five straight miserable defeats has been followed with 13 points from a possible 15 and the impending arrival of another jet-heeled forward in the window, this time Benik Afobe.

The sun has certainly got his hat on after this impressive scalp in Lancashire and the outlook can only be a good one as Kenny Jackett appears to at last settle on his preferred starting XI.

Where our team lacked cohesion in November, we now boast partnerships all over the pitch, as McDonald is reunited with Price, Stearman with Batth and Dicko with Sako, before the latter departed for Mali duty.

And in Kortney Hause and Dominic Iorfa, we have been supplemented with two of the most exciting young break-through acts since the class of Keane and co.

So good are they of late that Matt Doherty and Scott Golbourne would not get a look in today, whether 100% fit or not.

David Edwards’ winner in our third successive away triumph was testament to our wonderful new full-backs and that rock solid partnership between them.

Where we were once porous we are now resolute and despite Sako departing for Africa we still boast enough pace and guile to attack with menace when the time arrives.

In this case, it was just after half-time when Edwards ran from deep to collect a Dicko pass and smash a low shot into the net.

The floodgates really should have opened after that, with Batth missing a great chance with his head, Dicko smashing against the bar and van La Parra squandering his now obligatory open goal opportunity.

As one work European colleague succinctly told me and my UK colleagues the other week:

‘In England, you say if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

‘In Europe we say if it isn’t broke, then let’s keep looking to make improvements regardless.’

If one criticism can be made of Kenny Jackett this season, it’s that he did neither up until now.

George Saville and Tommy Rowe offered no advancement on the Price / McDonald partnership that previously blossomed, likewise the preference for Ebanks-Landell over Stearman.

The blue skies that now appear on the horizon after yesterday’s marvellous win suggests these improvements are bona fide.

So what for a forecast from now until May?

Now a mini-storm has passed, the prospects for warmer temperatures around Molineux are looking good!

The gaffer

Blackburn Rovers Vs Wolves Preview

I thought the win over Blackburn back in August was Wolves’ best performance of the season.

Blackburn Wolves

It needed to be too because Rovers were mightily impressive themselves and could easily have taken something from a pulsating second half.

There didn’t seem to be much between the sides then and looking at the table now, it’s clear that assessment was accurate.

Hopefully this odd Sunday afternoon kick-off can live up to the previous meeting. Our record at Ewood Park is good in recent times.


Blackburn-Rovers-iconGary Bowyer appeared to have discovered the type of consistency that for a couple of seasons has prevented his side from becoming a mainstay of the top six. But then they stuttered.

Blackburn have won just once in their last six, losing three in the process and slipping out of the play-off places and down to ninth (two points behind Wolves).

They’ve had some tricky fixtures in that run though, playing Middlesbrough twice (without losing), Brentford and a resurgent Bolton side.

Rudy Gestede, who missed the game at Molineux, is their 12 goal top scorer, eclipsing the evergreen Jordan Rhodes. I also like the look of wingers Ben Marshall and Craig Conway.


It’s nice to have a little five game undefeated run (including the cup draw at Fulham) after losing every game in November. But this will be a tough test, particularly without Bakary Sako.

Wolves team for Blackburn

Hopefully Nouha Dicko is fit and firing as without him the team takes on a more unflattering complexion. Without Sako, his pace and trickery is even more important.

The team probably picks itself and I’ll be surprised, barring injury, if that’s not the eleven that plays.

Doherty, Evans and Clarke all got a game last weekend because of suspensions and injury, but I’m not sure any did enough to stake a claim.

The gaffer


With Blackpool and Charlton at home to follow, a draw wouldn’t be a bad result from this game. A seven point return from the three matches would be excellent.

Hopefully if Blackburn play Gestede and Rhodes up front, Wolves can make use of an extra man in midfield and dominate the ball, whilst containing two very good forwards.

That’s the best case scenario of course. As eluded too higher up, I don’t think there’s much to choose in terms of quality, so I’ll sit on the fence with a draw.


Up The Wolves

Wolves 3 Blackburn Rovers 1

From ‘The Wonder of You’ as we arrived to Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’ as we left…

Wolves celebrate blackburn

…Feel-good anthems are in plentiful supply at Molineux right now and after another hugely encouraging Championship performance, they’d rarely sounded so good.

Those miserable days, when we’d shuffle off home to that morbid Groundhog instrumental are but a distant memory, with every passing performance like this doing so much to change the record.

Progressive, passing football for those stymied stodge-fests of yesteryear and if music be the food of love, then let us jolly well eat.

A 3-1 triumph over a hugely impressive Blackburn Rovers possibly represents our best win of the season, as the men from Ewood Park looked easily the best team to play at Molineux this season.

Without testing Ikeme in the first half too often, there only looked to be one winner at 2-1 in the second, at the time Jordan Rhodes reduced arrears from a dubious looking penalty.

With the impressive Ben Marshall and the imperious Craig Conway weaving patterns around our penalty area, we were chasing shadows right up until the moment Bakary Sako converted Dicko’s cross to restore our two goal advantage.

From then on in, the Wolves side we’ve all taken to our hearts – that wonderful Wolves side – began to keep the ball in the same virtuous way we’ve been seeing since a January 3 away trip to Gillingham.

Batth and Stearman were typically assured against Blackburn’s blatant goal threat Rhodes and with Doherty and Golbourne alongside, we surely boast two of the most mobile full-backs in the division.

Behind Dave Edward’s lungbusting display of distinction, Lee Evans was only a tad less impressive than his Cardiff masterclass, with McDonald finishing the game like the Rolls Royce we’ve somehow purchased for the price of a Ford Focus.

Bakary Sako was undoubtedly man-of-the-match for his sumptuous first half free-kick, assist for Dicko’s opener and all-important killer goal in the second half.

Nouha Dicko meanwhile gave Grant Hanley and Jason Lowe more work than they probably thought possible from a lone man.

Finally, James Henry eased into his right midfield berth when replacing the booked van La Parra at half time, reminding us all what a safe pair of feet he represents.

And two new faces in Saville and Rowe suggests that this squad isn’t as light as we sometimes think.

With Blackburn nominally 14th in this embryonic league, it’s easy to see why it’s so bloody tough.

So with that in mind, we really shouldn’t expect Elvis on the tannoy every single week, however joyously indefinite it currently sounds.

But because I can’t help falling in love with what Kenny Jackett has created, expect me to sing along regardless.


Wolves Vs Blackburn Rovers Preview

I don’t recall many home wins over Blackburn.


The most recent clash, an agricultural 1-1 in Dean Saunders’ first game in charge, won’t last long in the memory banks either.

Before that there was a horrid 2-0 defeat in a season that saw both clubs fall through the Premier League trapdoor.

A year earlier Rovers triumphed again in a famous 3-2 where Stephen Hunt scored that goal. A glorious defeat I’ll grant you, but defeat all the same.

It’s about time then we had some joy out of this bogey fixture.


Blackburn-Rovers-iconLike Wolves, a significant reduction in off the field drama at Ewood Park has brought about an upturn in fortunes on it.

Gary Bowyer looks like a safe pair of hands and after narrowly missing out on the playoffs last time out, Rovers look well equipped to sustain a challenge this season.

They’ve got goals in their team and are playing hardball to keep them. A rebuffed £12 million offer from Hull for Jordan Rhodes was a strong statement of intent. Whether or not he’ll still be hanging around come September is another question completely.

But they’re not all about Rhodes. Rudy Gestede is finding the net regularly and there’s quality throughout the spine of their team from Paul Robinson in goal, big Grant Hanley at the back and young midfielder Tom Cairney looking to fulfill his much talked about potential.


It says a lot that Wolves are currently playing the best passing football they’ve arguably ever managed, yet still decided to add another midfielder. George Saville will have a scrap on his hands to even make the bench at present.

Wolves Blackburn

Tommy Rowe should also be back in contention and with Lee Evans doing a stellar job alongside big Mac, there are options galore for Kenny.

I’m not expecting any changes to the side from last weekend but there are a wealth of options for the manager to explore should he so choose.

It’s exciting times at Molineux and the biggest challenge will almost certainly be keeping all of these talented, ambitious players happy.

The gaffer


Well done to everyone who predicted victory over Cardiff.

There were 11 who bagged a maximum with the correct scoreline: MrAussieWolf, Mosman wolf, DCWolves, trenchmanmick, Twixfix, Dave h, Ed Farley, ManxWolf91, Benny, Sutton Wolf and Man in Sherpa Van.

Undoubtedly another tough game in prospect. Blackburn are an experienced and settled Championship unit. They also have the individuals to hurt us.

However I simply can’t predict anything other than a Wolves victory based on what I’ve seen so far this season, which in short is a pleasing continuation of our League One form against better opposition.

Confidence is high, Molineux expects and I back this team to deliver.


Up The Wolves