Archives for September 2016

Wolves Vs Norwich City Preview

If you thought our limp midweek defeat was depressing, spare a thought for Norwich.

 

3-1 up with 20 minutes to go and 3-2 up 5 minutes into injury time, they still found a way to lose it 4-3.

Both teams come into this one licking wounds and craving that immediate response to get their respective promotion ambitions back on track.

Playing late on the Saturday adds that little bit of extra pressure as some of those teams around us will have gathered points and moved further ahead.

Norwich

687px-Norwich_City.svgI was on a Championship podcast last week and said if Newcastle and Norwich went up I’d kill myself. Probably a bit over dramatic on reflection, but I stand by the initial point.

The only teams I don’t want to see getting promoted are those that have just come down. Variety, spice of life and all that. Nothing personal Canaries fans I promise.

Norwich have been down, up, down and chances of another up don’t seem unlikely with Alex Neil maintaining a squad packed with proven Championship quality and a couple of players who have and could still do it in the Prem.

I always thought Dorrans was a good player at the Albion so interested to see if he’s still got something to offer.

Robbie Brady is one of those players who probably could have abandoned ship in the summer and Cameron Jerome loves playing against Wolves.

This promises to be very tough, but away from Carrow Road, I think they can be got at so an entertaining game in prospect.

Wolves

I’ve repeatedly said Jon Dadi Bodvarsson is carrying our team. For all the bits and pieces of quality we’ve seen from others, he’s been the one consistent.

team-for-brentford

If Dadi is anything close to fit we should throw him in as we’re probably snookered without him.

The center halves should hang their head in disappointment over Wigan’s late winner. Batth in particular showed a lack of judgment, pace and strength to allow Grigg the opening. He should have done better.

But I still think they’re the best pairing as Hause or Stearman are both prone to similar lapses. I can see there being a change though.

Midfield might also be freshened up so I’d expect at least one of Saiss, Edwards or Oniangue to get the hook.

Predictions

Score draw for me, on the basis that Dadi is fit enough to make a return. I think we’ll cause Norwich enough grief as they’re not solid defensively. They’ve conceded 14 already.

But we’ll also be vulnerable and they have the attacking players to make us pay. In fact, it’s probably our biggest challenge so far in that respect, certainly at home.

With Villa and Brighton away to come after this, it’s a testing time of the season.

2-2.

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Wigan Athletic 2 Wolves 1

As bad days at the office go, Sam Allardyce’s Tuesday will take some beating.

But losing his best player and losing in the last minute to the league’s bottom club wasn’t the plan Walter Zenga had contemplated over his morning espresso.

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson was ruled out with a minor groin injury and after that was announced an hour before kick off, you sensed a kick in that area for the rest of us was forthcoming.

That suspicion was confirmed minutes in when we were behind to the inevitable Adam Le Fondre goal.

So predictable that one of the former Wolves quartet would score it was almost a relief to get it out of the way early.

And once Prince Oniangue had brought us level with a smart finish from a Cavaleiro cut-back, hopes of an away victory soared.

But that period immediately before the break was to prove Wolves’ purple patch in a game that Wigan would ultimately wrestle away.

Their late winner wasn’t against the run of play but truly awful all the same, with a punt down the middle of the pitch causing the type of chaos you’d expect in an under 7s game as Batth and Iorfa floundered and Will Grigg profited.

Questions will inevitably be asked about Zenga’s substitutions as none were able to make meaningful impact or even help see out the contest for a not unpalatable point.

Paul Gladon in particular is labouring and the fact he was left out in the first place despite being the obvious replacement for Bodvarsson won’t have done much for his confidence.

Playing with Cavaleiro through the middle was an experiment worth trying, but suffice to say he was never going to offer the type of selfless hold-up play that Bodvarsson has perfected in recent months.

Whether the big Icelander makes it back on Saturday or not, it’s clear that Wolves must develop a Plan B if they’re to be considered credible contenders at the higher end of the table.

Otherwise more bad days at the office seem inevitable.

Wigan Athletic Vs Wolves Preview

10 games is normally a good marker to determine what might be on the table for the remainder of the season.

 

With that in mind, it would be lovely to win this one and almost certainly return to the top six.

After Burton and Barnsley you were left wondering how bad it could get by the end of September.

Thankfully, recent developments have us looking up instead of down.

Wigan

1024px-Wigan_Athletic.svgIt’s difficult to imagine a worse start for the Latics, who find themselves bottom of the table after losing at Preston last Friday.

That’s a bit of surprise. I thought the reigning League One champions might carry over that momentum into this season, but it’s just one win in nine for Gary Caldwell’s men.

Wigan are awash with former Wolves players and all could conceivably feature tonight, which given our recent record against former players suggests an uncomfortable evening for the away side.

I was crushed when Michael Jacobs was sold and it was no surprise to see him tearing up League One again last season. Question marks remain over his ability to do it in the Championship, but he’ll be up for this one I’m sure.

Adam Le Fondre and Nathan Byrne were both disappointing in a gold shirt, but the latter certainly didn’t get much opportunity to impress.

Craig Davies was one of those early signings in the Mick McCarthy era who was short on quality but his electric pace was useful in an enjoyable start to the 2006 season.

Wolves

This is another test of Walter Zenga’s rotation policy. With this game hot on the heels of Saturday, changes do feel inevitable. Obviously, I’d pick the same eleven.

team-for-brentford

I can see Coady, Mason and Cavaleiro (the subs who made it on from the Brentford game) heading the queue for a start. All three could play.

Ola John and Silvio both impressed against Newcastle in the cup but were banished from the squad completely on Saturday. I’d like to see them feature again at some point soon.

Walter Zenga

Predictions

I don’t think Wigan are as bad as the table suggests. Looking at their goal difference (-3) it doesn’t seem like they’re being totally outplayed, rather just edged out in close matches.

Added to that our goal suddenly becomes a magnet for former players and I wouldn’t bet against the likes of Jacobs or Byrne netting tonight.

But overall, we should beat Wigan and I think we’ll just about get it done, assuming it’s not a completely different eleven and team retains some level of cohesion.

2-1

Up The Wolves!

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