Blackburn Rovers Vs Wolves Preview

The Championship is ridiculous.

 

Although I wasn’t surprised or bothered about Walter Zenga being ejected, it’s amazing how quickly things unravel in this division.

To think just five games previous we were a point outside the play-offs with a game to come against the league’s bottom side and everything looking rosy.

And even within those five matches, it’s not a stretch to say we could easily have avoided defeat at Wigan and won at Villa park, which would still have seen us within one victory of the top six.

But I think the consensus in football, rightly or wrongly, is ‘nearly isn’t good enough’. And Wolves have been nearly for too much of this season.

Blackburn

Blackburn-Rovers-iconRovers looked dead and buried after the first five games or so, but credit to Owen Coyle for showing signs of turning it around.

I think he’s recruited well, particularly up front. Bringing in Marvin Emnes, Danny Graham and young Southampton forward Sam Gallagher has given them an edge. The three have 10 goals between them already.

Conway and Marshall are two very strong Championship midfielders too, so the supply line is there for those forwards to thrive.

Survival is a good achievement for them as they’re going nowhere fast under the current ownership. In my darkest moments, it’s the direction I fear we could be heading.

Their fans are planning to arrive 18 minutes into the game and leave after 75 minutes in protest against Venky’s on Saturday, which promises to create a strange environment.

Wolves

So what will Rob Edwards do? It’s always very interesting to see how a coach responds when given the opportunity to step up.

wolves-team-for-blackburn

He’s been in and around the team all season so will no doubt have his own thoughts about who should and shouldn’t be playing and a preferred system.

I look at this group of Wolves players and think it’s about finding that balance between work rate / physical power and technical ability.

Packing out the midfield with at least two grafters (in the above instance Edwards and Coady) and then trying to get the likes of Costa and Teixeira playing off Bodvarsson is how I would approach this game.

It will also be fascinating to see if Edwards brings anyone in from the cold like Price, Saville, John or Wallace, who’ve barely featured in recent weeks.

Rob Edwards

Predictions

Like Rob Edwards, I also think Blackburn are in a false position based on recent performances. This will be a very tough game.

My concern is they could prove a bit more streetwise than Wolves, depending on the team the caretaker sends out. And in a tight game, that’s often the difference.

But I’m hoping we get a few more per cent out of our better players going forward to ask questions ourselves.

I’ll go for a score draw – 2-2.

Up The Wolves!

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Wolves 0 Blackburn Rovers 0

There was a time when emulating Man Utd equated to something rather good.

Wolves Blackburn

Sadly, the modern day translation is a long sequence of horrible, scoreless encounters played out in front of an agitated home crowd.

Our own little theatre of dreams.

On the plus side, many of us can look back on this season of six stalemates (and counting) and proudly declare ‘I was there’.

Much like Chorley, the great collapse of 2002 or that five goal blitzkrieg suffered at the hands of Odemwingie and co, it’s a badge of honour to have been present and accounted for in times of misery.

But seriously, we should just move on.

Today proved that however Kenny Jackett shuffles the pack (with one obvious caveat), you’re not going to get this squad playing attractive, free-flowing football.

Joe Mason was a ghost, Adam Le Fondre predictably ineffective and our attacking play as toothless as it’s been since Jordan Graham’s season was prematurely ended.

451, 442, that doesn’t matter either. This team just doesn’t have the personnel, creativity or cutting edge to get it done.

We have three players who would liven things up. Two are still on the treatment table and the third has been inexplicably exiled.

And it’s Kevin McDonald’s continued absence I simply cannot reconcile with every turgid passing minute.

I want to believe he’s broken the rules or is hankering for an exit, because to leave him out for tactical reasons defies all logic.

What you can’t argue with is that the midfield has been more compact, organised and well drilled of late.

And combined with a settled back four and a goalkeeper rediscovering his best form, goals haven’t been going in at the wrong end either.

Sadly though, supporters don’t place value on a strong defence and performances are nearly always evaluated solely on what a team does with the ball.

I don’t think that’s necessarily wrong either, because sport is supposed to be entertainment.

And despite now being six games undefeated, we are anything but entertained.

Wolves Vs Blackburn Rovers Preview

Tuesday’s win restored the equilibrium.

Blackburn Wolves

Thanks to George and Jack, Wolves are 12 points off the play-offs and the same margin clear of the bottom three.

Now that’s what I call midtable.

In fact the game itself was our season in a nutshell, which is to say shockingly poor for long periods punctuated by spells of hope and promise. And one seriously horrific injury.

Blackburn

Blackburn-Rovers-iconIt would take an unlikely sequence of results for Blackburn to get dragged into trouble, but another win will extinguish any lingering doubts.

Paul Lambert brought the new manager bounce after replacing Gary Bowyer, but things quickly got tougher and they’re more or less back where they started.

They haven’t scored many goals this season, which is little surprise given the departure of Messrs Gestede and Rhodes.

Like Wolves, it must be frustrating for Rovers fans as they looked to have the makings of a good team last season, but key players have left and the remainder have struggled to find consistency.

As an outsider looking in, I’m not sure they’re heading in the right direction, but if they can scrape together a few quid I wouldn’t be surprised if Lambert turned it around.

Wolves

That tackle on Zyro was appalling. What makes it worse is the lack of public acknowledgement from either Karl Robinson or the swine who inflicted the pain.

Team for Blackburn

It’s ruthlessly bad luck for the big Pole who’ll likely miss the whole of next season even if things go to plan.

Adam Le Fondre took his opportunity with a lively second half cameo and the returning James Henry laid on both goals.

Whatever your opinion on Henry, he’s consistently provided or scored goals throughout his Wolves career.

I’m not sure you’d pin your hopes on him individually for a 46 game promotion push, but looking at our current squad, he’s a nailed on starter for me.

The gaffer

Predictions

We’ve been solid but far from spectacular so the only thing you’d feel safe predicting is a solid but unspectacular performance.

That might be enough to account for a struggling Blackburn team, who’ve lost four of their last five matches.

And given that they’re among the worst away sides in the Championship, I’ll back us to get another narrow win.

2-1

Up The Wolves!