Archives for March 2014

Stevenage Vs Wolves Preview

March was supposed to represent a pivotal examination of Wolves’ promotion credentials.

Stevenage Wolves

Six wins from eight matches ensured a comfortable pass.

As was so famously uttered in commentary at Cardiff back in 2003, they can reach out and touch it.

Promotion is within grasp and a win over bottom side Stevenage tomorrow will make life very difficult for any of the chasing pack.

Victory would take Wolves to 89 points, which could conceivably be enough points to wrap up second place already, not that I’m gambling on that.

Stevenage

Stevenage logoThe home side come into the game propping up the table but a win could transport them out of the relegation zone and as high as 19th place. Added motivation if any is needed.

Broadhall Way hasn’t been a fortress, but Graham Westley’s men have accumulated six wins and four draws from their nineteen matches to date.

They’re without a victory in any of their last five matches, most recently salvaging a 1-1 draw at home to Port Vale at the weekend.

14 goal top scorer Francois Zoko is one to watch, but will need to be more ruthless than he was at Molineux a few months back when he squandered a straightforward chance to bring his team back into the game.

Wolves

With Wolves toiling for much of the game Saturday, Bakary Sako’s presence was missed. He could well be out again tomorrow.

Wolves team for Stevenage

Dicko found the going tough as the lone striker so I’m forecasting a recall for Leon Clarke. The team that started against Colchester would be fine with me.

Liam McAlinden’s name hasn’t been mentioned much, particularly since Wolves found a winning formula, but he could yet have a significant role to play. Would a start for the academy graduate be a major surprise tomorrow?

The odds

Wolves are 9/2 favourites for the win. The draw is 11/4 and a Stevenage win is 9/2.

Goals from set pieces have been in short supply and a headed goal from either Batth or Stearman is long overdue. They’re 25/1 and 28/1 respectively for the opener tomorrow.

All odds can checked here.

The gaffer

Predictions

I haven’t got round to totting up the scores from the weekend yet chaps (and chapettes), but suffice to say most people went for the win.

Winning tomorrow would put us in such a favourable position that you feel something has to go wrong.

But it’s top versus bottom, so there’s only one logical outcome, assuming the lads don’t do anything silly.

3-1

Up The Wolves

MK Dons 0 Wolves 1

Vintage Wolves this wasn’t, but to 9,000 gold shirts resplendent in glorious sunshine, it hardly mattered.

Wolves MK Dons

Liam McAlinden’s superb glancing header was enough to reward the traveling horde on what felt every inch the occasion it was billed.

It’s impossible to do justice to the incredible support packed into the north stand of Stadium MK, but a picture does it nicely.

Wolves at MK Dons

The game itself was anything but remarkable, as both sides laboured on a pitch that looked manufactured to prevent Wolves exercising any sort of control.

Heavily watered, long grass had the desired effect as the league leaders struggled to move the ball around with any of their trademark pizzazz.

Dons, hampered by injuries, hustled their opponents into errors on the heavy surface but failed to threaten Carl Ikeme’s goal, save for one well struck free-kick.

Wolves offered little in a fractured first half but came out swinging in the second and eventually started turning the screw.

Kenny Jackett’s substitutes made a difference. Nouha Dicko toiled as the lone forward but the presence of Clarke and McAlinden allowed Wolves to get a foothold in the final third.

Sanmi Odelusi’s indisputable red card for two late tackles on Scott Golbourne proved decisive as Wolves immediately capitalised after his dismissal.

Kevin McDonald dug out the first decent cross his side managed all afternoon and McAlinden’s header was perfectly placed.

The youngster could have had a second but after showing Alan Smith a clean pair of heels, opted to pass when presented with a clear path to goal.

It mattered little though as Wolves saw out the game with a degree of comfort, wrapping up another three points as their rivals continue to stumble.

Complacency remains the most potent threat.

Highlights

MK Dons Vs Wolves Preview

Tomorrow promises to be a surreal experience for even the most well traveled Wolves supporter.

Wolves MK Dons

Taking 8,800 fans (plus however many managed to scrounge tickets in the home end) to a an away fixture, particularly in League One, is something you won’t see again often, if at all.

I believe the 10K2MK mission started life on Molineux Mix (correct me if you know different of course) so well done to those guys for a fantastic idea.

It goes to show the amazing support our club has and also the power of the often criticised keyboard-warriors to do something positive.

I can’t wait to get inside the ground and hopefully the team will reward us with a strong performance. They’ve rarely let us down this season.

MK DonsMK_Dons

On the other hand, the home fixture against tomorrow’s opponents was a terribly disappointing show.

Wolves were on the front foot for most of the first half, but after Patrick Bamford put the Dons ahead they saw the victory out comfortably.

It did look like their season had faded into midtable obscurity but they’ve clawed their way back towards the play-off places and head into this game just three points off the pace.

Their form at Stadium MK is mixed. Eight wins but also seven defeats from their 19 games to date. They’re an unpredictable team that throw up unpredictable results so we hope for an off day.

Wolves

Tuesday was ridiculous really. The team that played so well against Sheffield Utd completely wiped the floor with Colchester, but the ease of establishing their lead almost caught them out.

Wolves team for MK Dons

It was panic stations at 3-2 and Kenny ultimately ended up reverting to the tried and tested XI to see us home.

I think Dave Edwards would be unfortunate to miss out tomorrow, but with Sako and Dicko well rested I think tomorrow would be a good time to reinstate them to the team.

Whoever starts, I have every confidence though. The last two performances have shown the squad can be used without compromising on the quality of the overall play.

The odds

Wolves are evens for the win tomorrow, with MK Dons 3/1 and the draw 13/5.

Leon Clarke hasn’t enjoyed much luck in front of goal, but if you think he’ll get the opener tomorrow he’s 5/1. James Henry is a generous 10/1.

All odds here.

The gaffer

Predictions

Plenty of people thought Wolves would win on Tuesday but nobody said 4-2. Still, well done to the 58 who scored a point.

Karl Robinson got his tactics spot on at Molineux at the end of last year, which showed why he’s a highly rated manager.

I expect he’ll have his team well prepared for this one and they won’t need much motivation given the challenge that awaits.

I will back Wolves regardless though. If they play anywhere near their capabilities, they’ll win.

3-1

Up The Wolves