Wolves 2 Peterborough United 0

If Wolves control their five remaining opponents in the same dominant fashion as this victory, promotion and the League One title are a formality.

Wolves Boro

But it seems unlikely that Crewe, Rotherham, Leyton Orient, Coventry and Carlisle will roll over quite as readily as Peterborough did yesterday.

Sure, Fergie’s side were compact and well organised for 45 minutes, but after Danny Batth powered the home side ahead, victory never looked in doubt.

Unusually for Posh, they were toothless in attack and rarely threatened to deny Wolves a record equaling 23rd cleansheet of the season.

Free scoring Britt Assombalonga cut an isolated figure throughout and got little change out of Wolves’ dominant centre-half pairing.

Dave Edwards’ decisive second goal, scuffing home from a typically bullet-like Sako free-kick, killed the contest, allowing Wolves to shift down through the gears in the final 20 minutes.

In fact it was only after Sako’s overly enthusiastic penalty cannoned off the top of the bar that Boro showed any sort of menace.

Carl Ikeme’s flying save from a well-struck thirty yarder ensured a ten minute spell of pressure petered out to nothing.

His opposite number Bobby Olejnik had by this time denied Wolves a more resounding victory with elastic saves from Ricketts, Dicko and Sako.

Fortunately, goal difference doesn’t look like being a decisive factor with Wolves now 20 better off than Brentford and Rotherham. It’s effectively another point.

The only minor blotch on another highly satisfying Saturday was the useful wins our closest rivals collected.

But with a comfortable points cushion and Wolves showing few signs of stuttering in the home straight, what the other sides do remains immaterial.

It’s all in our hands.

Wolves Vs Peterborough Preview

It seemed inconceivable back in August that Peterborough wouldn’t be challenging for the top two.

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Their form at the end of last season was remarkable and only a great escape from Barnsley saw them relegated on the final day.

The summer signing of Britt Asombalonga and a rapid start to the campaign suggested they’d be the team to watch.

It hasn’t happened though and inconsistency has dogged their progress throughout.

Peterborough

Peterborough logoA Wembley win in last weekend’s JPT final could be the catalyst Darren Ferguson’s side need to go on and secure promotion through the play-offs.

A midweek win over Colchester means they now have a four point lead over Swindon in seventh, still with a game in hand.

Away form has been a problem for the Posh and they’ve lost 10 matches on their travels already. None of the five teams above them have lost more than three.

The danger man is undoubtedly Assombalonga who has 29 goals this season. You suspect he’ll be playing at a higher level next year regardless of what division his current employers occupy.

Wolves

In the sense that it was top against bottom, a draw at Stevenage looks like a missed opportunity. But with the team now battling against a points requirement as much as the chasing pack, I see it as a valuable step towards the finishing line.

Wolves team for Peterborough

With James Henry likely to miss out it would be a useful time for Bakary Sako to regain fitness. Kenny said he was hopeful so fingers crossed.

Without Henry or Sako you worry there could be a supply issue. It’s already been suggested that a narrower shape might need to be employed without flying wingers at our disposal.

But if the trip to Sheffield United a few weeks taught me anything it’s that the team sheet isn’t everything. It’s about how the players slot together and exercise the game plan.

I have every faith Wolves will be well prepared, as they usually are these days.

The gaffer

Predicitions

Still playing catch up with the PL but midweek was a low scoring affair with most believing we’d win.

I think this will be a tough game against a side that might see this as a no pressure fixture.

They still need points to secure that play-off place but with a four point cushion, a game in hand and easier fixtures to come, they might try and enjoy this one.

I’d back our best team to beat anyone but I don’t think tomorrow will be our best team so it’s a hard one to call.

I’ll go for a score draw.

2-2.

Up The Wolves

Peterborough United 1 Wolves 0

Some results seem obvious in hindsight and this defeat slots snugly into that category.

Wolves Peterborough

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true and a 14 point lead over Peterborough sounded bloody marvelous to me.

As it is, Posh have clawed back valuable ground, whilst Orient’s useful late point was enough to again usurp Wolves from the summit.

That’s more like the real world.

Still, Kenny Jackett can reflect on some poor fortune and missed opportunities as Wolves finally surrendered their undefeated away record.

Mark Little opted to catch a Sako cross early on, which somehow failed to suitably convince the ideally placed referee that a penalty should be awarded. Kenny probably knew what destiny had in store from the point on.

In a scrappy game of few chances, Sako was the major threat, bursting into good positions but never quite finding the right final ball.

Posh struggled for invention, but struck the one decisive blow. It was a well hit free-kick from Michael Bostwick, but the sight of a scattering wall is something that will no doubt feature prominently in Monday’s postmortem.

Carl Ikeme’s been saving shots like that all season, which have often been the difference between victory and disappointment. A victim of his own high standards, he might feel he could have kept it out.

The defeat is a painful one, but with a two week gap to regroup and a formidable six point barrier still providing top two comfort, things could be worse.

What’s important is that one bad result, from a game that could have drifted either way, doesn’t turn into a slump.

A repeat of the 11-game unbeaten run that followed our last league defeat to Walsall would do nicely.

But even without the gift of hindsight, that’s probably optimistic.

Highlights

Reaction

Peterborough United Vs Wolves Preview

Prior to Peterborough’s horrific run of five straight league defeats, this fixture was taking on seismic proportions.

Peterborough

But with the Posh now 11 points back in fifth position, it’s removed some of the gloss from what looked like being a top two clash.

But all team’s struggle at some point in the season, so perhaps this is just a particularly bad patch for Darren Ferguson’s side?

Regardless of their current plight, I still expect them to be in and around the top two come the end of the campaign.

Peterborough

Whichever way you spin it, now is a good time to be visiting London Road. Morale is low, the manager seems rattled and Wolves looked to have discovered their best eleven.

Added to that, Britt Assombalonga, their top scorer and arguably best player is ruled out after collecting a fifth booking of the season at Brentford in midweek.

And with only 9 goals scored at home all season, Posh will miss the big striker’s impact. Only Oldham have netted fewer on their own patch.

What you would say is that Wolves’ status as League One leaders and expected promotion contenders will provide all the motivation Peterborough need to raise their game.

Wolves

The team we saw against Tranmere was hugely impressive. You can dismiss the opposition all you want, but I think most people expected them to push us harder and it was to Wolves credit that they turned it into a training exercise.

Wolves XI Peterborough

I don’t think Kenny Jackett can stray too far from the eleven that excelled in midweek. Matt Doherty is probably the most likely name to re-appear, but you feel whichever one of our five defenders misses out these days is unlucky. It’s a nice position to be in.

Of course the manager might have a specific game plan up his sleeve, which involves more wholesale changes to the team. Personally, I think just by fielding our best eleven we should have enough to get a result at present.

The gaffer

The odds

The bookies can’t separate the sides this weekend with both Posh and Wolves 17/10 for the win. The draw is 5/2.

Dave Edwards is a generous 16/1 if you fancy him for first goalscorer. Whatever your opinion on the midfielder, he’s been impressive of late and always has a goal in him.

All odds are available from here.

Predictions

Well done to the 45 pundits who thought we’d win in midweek. 12 also got the 2-0 scoreline to double up.

Really tough to predict this one.

An outsider looking in would surely say Wolves are favourites to get the win, given recent form of both sides and strength of squads.

But Peterborough are due a good result and will undoubtedly raise their game tomorrow. Head says win, but heart knows we’re due a slip-up.

Have to sit on the fence – 2-2.

Up The Wolves

Wolves 0 Peterborough United 3

Being violently ill yesterday evening was an appropriate end to a miserable Boxing Day.

Wolves Peterborough

Doctors would diagnose the Norovirus but I have my own suggestion – The Wolves Vomiting Bug.

Symptoms include (but certainly not limited to) a complete bodily rejection of sluggish, insipid football against supposedly the worst side in the division.

Yet even hugging the bog for the best part of four hours was preferential to the fresh dollop of misery served up by the old gold.

It was just so sickeningly easy for Posh as they soaked up Wolves one-dimensional, one-paced, attacking play before picking them off at will.

Aside from two well-struck Sako efforts, their goalkeeper might as well have stayed at home with a turkey sandwich.

Wolves just didn’t get the ball forward quickly enough. Trying to play out from the back and through the midfield, where they were outnumbered and out battled was a pointless exercise.

Peterborough just waited for the mistake and devoured us on the break. And every time they came forward, we looked fragile.

Pennant bore the brunt of the home crowd’s frustration; booed off as punishment for his half-tackle in the build up to their second goal and another powder-puff performance.

But I don’t think he should be scapegoated for the loss. This was a collective team collapse with a number of other culprits.

Doyle for one did nothing. I can barely recall him touching the ball, which perhaps says as much about the team performance as his own, but his anonymity remains a disappointment.

Sako was more miss than hit too, preferring to continually tie himself up in knots rather than being the direct threat we know he can be. It’s harsh to single him out when he’s patently our best player, but if he doesn’t perform, the team invariably struggles.

But the majority of the blame should rest on the manager.

Giving the players Christmas Day off probably wasn’t a clever move as they looked jaded and a yard off the pace throughout.

The tactics too were baffling, not only as we imploded in the first half but as we chased the game in the second.

The approach was far too gung-ho, when at just 2-0 with still 45 minutes to play it’s possible to claw your way back without taking such a big gamble.

What yesterday was evidence of is that medium and long-term big changes are needed.

But in the short term Ståle needs to find an antidote, as having our pants pulled down by Mick on Saturday might be one indignity his boss isn’t prepared to suffer.

Wolves Vs Peterborough United Preview

Both Ben and I went to London Road back in sunny September, as Wolves eased to a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Peterborough

I left the ground that day thinking the Posh were already goners; zero points from their first eight matches giving them little reason for hope.

Immediately after though, they went on to win their next two matches and have since done a pretty good job of repairing the damage.

They arrive at Molineux on Boxing Day still bottom of the league but only 2 points adrift of safety and boosted by back-to-back victories over Cardiff and Bolton.

Scoring goals seems to be the key ingredient to their resurgence, as they’re still letting them in by the bucket load.

They’ve conceded 44 goals already this season. Only Bristol City (46) have been more generous. Wolves by comparison have only shipped 30.

Young striker Dwight Gayle, signed only last month from non-league Dagenham is a player to watch out for. He’s been in great scoring form with 5 goals in 6 matches.

Wolves

Three wins from the last four matches has given Wolves a great opportunity to cement a position in the top-half of the table before the New Year.

Say what you like about banana-skins and the return of familiar faces, but two home fixtures against Peterborough and Ipswich should be a six point return.

It will probably be the same team we saw against Blackpool:

Wolves team for Peterborough

But David Davis and perhaps even Bjorn Sigurdarson could be pushing for a start. Other players will likely come into the equation too with a handful of fixtures pushed together over the next ten days.

Doumbia looked jaded again at Blackpool. I remember fondly how strong he was against Posh in the return fixture. He dominated that game and was unplayable throughout. A return to that sort of form is long overdue.

Predictions

It’s raining points in the PL after the Blackpool game. 22 people got the correct outcome, but a stonking 12 of those doubled up to make it a very Merry Christmas.

Well done to theDOOGooder, Phil, Brizzie, goldcoastkiddywolf, johnok, NY Wolf, Cwmbranwolf, robertsbridgewolf, Banbury Wolf, Rob in London, Robc306 and Wolfman Steve.

Has to be a win for me. I think there will be a few goals too.

3-2.

I’m currently trying to get a Christmas quiz live that Ben’s been manfully chipping away at, but in case I’m not successful, from both of us, have an amazing Christmas.

Up The Wolves.

Merry Christmas