Millwall 2 Wolves 2

Statistics rarely tell the whole story.

63% possession and 20 shots on goal suggest Wolves should have recorded another maximum but having watched the game I’m content to get out of dodge with a share of the spoils.

Millwall were excellent. With so many teams putting men behind ball in their quest to deny our best and brightest Neil Harris’ men played with carefree abandon.

I’m surprised they haven’t managed any away wins yet given how effective they are on the break.

Wolves got a repeated dose of their own medicine with the home side pouncing on stray passes to launch raid after raid downfield.

It’s how they got ahead and nearly doubled their lead before the league leaders calmed things down.

They won’t always get the first goal, so it was pleasing that when Wolves fell behind for the first time in forever, their response was to fight back to a winning position.

In a pleasing turn of events, Helder Costa now looks like Helder Costa and when he breezed away from a tackle to give Jota a tap in there was a feeling that order had been restored.

We need him to be brilliant again, particularly if Cavaleiro is out for any period of time. Both he and Boly limped off in what could be far more damaging than surrendering two points.

Even after Saiss netted a wonderful second from distance it never felt like that was that.

Set pieces were a profitable route to goal for the Lions and even more so once Boly wasn’t back there heading them away.

It was a scruffy old equaliser to surrender but one you couldn’t begrudge.

Both teams could have won it in the remainder but both should feel content with the draw.

That’s now 10 unbeaten for Wolves with 8 victories to go with it.

Even if we fall to defeat at a red hot Ashton Gate our worst case scenario is being 5 points clear at the top as the curtain falls on 2017.

But with this team flexing muscle to go with the magic and fighting in every moment, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be a very happy new year.

Millwall Vs Wolves Preview

You’ll forgive me if I keep this brief.

I’m drifting somewhere between Christmas pudding and the Quality Streets and my mind isn’t fully able to comprehend another game of football.

Anyway…

In season’s gone by I would have called this a difficult fixture given the opposition, the unique atmosphere of The Den and a couple of former Wolves boys desperate to spoil our turkey sandwiches.

But the juggernaut shows fews signs of stopping and truth be told, I fancy us to win again.

Millwall

All six of Millwall’s league wins have come at home so maybe there should be greater trepidation?

They got taken apart by Derby last time out to make it 12 away games without a victory. That’s something they’ll have to address to avoid being sucked back towards the bottom three.

But sitting seven points above the drop zone with what looks to me like a well formed team, I don’t think Neil Harris will have much trouble keeping them up.

Perhaps they don’t have the names of some of the top half clubs, but they appear to have a togetherness and a clear way of playing.

George Saville is having a great time back in London and has netted 7 goals already. Jed Wallace has got 4 himself, so it’s likely those familiar faces will be the ones to cause Wolves pain if the game doesn’t go to plan.

Wolves

To rotate or not to rotate? That is the question. I’d consider one change.

I thought Costa looked more up for it against Ipswich and with Bonatini a few per cent off his usual standard, I wouldn’t mind a revised front three.

Not many people are championing Bright but I still think his all round game is good enough that he could be used more often. OK, he can’t finish for toffee, but he’s doing better at releasing the ball and his strength back to goal is incredible. He could lead the line and even if he didn’t score, his presence alone could open doors for Jota and Cav.

N’Diaye is another I’m never disappointed to see in the side, particularly in difficult away matches. Tough to drop Saiss or Neves but I’m just thinking with one eye on Bristol.

Knowing Nuno we’ll see the same XI for the next two games and everyone will wonder what the fuss was about. It’s nice not to be particularly bothered either way.

Predictions

Until they give me a reason not to predict a win, I will continue to predict a win. We’re better on paper and in reality than most teams so you can only reach one logical conclusion.

I suppose the only game where we’ve been well beaten was Sheffield United and that stemmed from the home side coming out fast and getting on top of us. Millwall are capable of the same.

But I think Wolves are more streetwise now than they were back then and will once again manage the occasion.

2-0.

Up The Wolves!

Wolves 1 Millwall 0

First things first – what a goal.

I’ve been frequenting the North Bank for well over two decades and let me tell you, we don’t get many of those.

The tenacity to emerge with the ball, the control, the pace and then the zero backlift finish were all sublime.

Diogo Jota’s outstanding effort will be the only thing this game is remembered for in a week and that’s no bad thing.

Today though, we’re left reflecting on a narrow one nil that could easily have slipped through our grasp had it not been for the steady hands of John Ruddy.

You wouldn’t have begrudged Millwall a late equaliser either after they’d spent most of the game chasing shadows, while Wolves ping ponged the ball around the pitch.

But despite enjoying over two thirds of the possession and controlling large swathes of the contest, Nuno’s boys never really hammered home their superiority.

Once Jota had struck, it was obvious any second goal in the remaining 80 minutes would have been more than enough to put the visitors to bed.

The fact they didn’t meant that even with an extra player it was always heading for a tense finale when Millwall began lobbing it forward.

It would be easy to repeat the standard ‘we need a striker’ line here, but I’m not convinced if you inserted a Jordan Rhodes or a Nelson Oliviera into that team today it would have made a difference.

Bonatini looked sharp, did a lot of good things and came as close as anyone, other than Jota, to finding the net with a fine first half strike.

I felt when we got the ball in the final third, there wasn’t enough urgency or incision to break through their back four.

Millwall were happy to drop very deep and that invited our midfielders to get forward to shoot from just outside the box.

Saiss and Neves both had several pot shots, which on another day could have been more profitable.

But too often players were content to turn back and slow the attack down, when taking a few more risks may have opened a few more doors.

These are details of course.

Wolves are doing well. The system is clear. The players are good. We shouldn’t grumble.

Bring on Bristol City.