Who remembers Hassan Yebda?
Me neither, but he was the only goalscorer on that fateful day in 2009 when Portsmouth came to Molineux to claim their first Premier League victory of the season at the 8th attempt.
That was an unpleasant episode so it would be splendid if we could avoid a repeat tomorrow.
Things are slightly different this time in that we haven’t won yet either, so hopefully, that banishes any complacency about the job in the hand against a team we know better than anyone can dole out some pain.
Winning and losing this one means nothing in isolation (Portsmouth still went down in 2009 and Wolves survived) but it feels significant in the present climate.
There’s no shame in taking a shellacking at The Etihad but that was just the exclamation point on a horrible start to the season for Watford.
Comprehensive home defeats to Brighton and West Ham and just one point from Newcastle and Everton left them bottom even before their traumatic experiences in Manchester.
Javi Gracia had already paid with his job by this point, which is no great shock given the life expectancy of coaches at Vicarage Road.
Slightly more surprising is that they’ve turned back to Quique Sánchez Flores – the man they sacked in 2016 despite guiding them to midtable in the Premier League and another cup semi-final in his one season in charge.
Like Wolves, they could easily have got that elusive first win, particularly at home to Arsenal when they fought back from two down and missed a clear chance in the dying moments.
VAR hasn’t been their friend either with a clear handball in the build-up to Newcastle’s equaliser strangely overlooked.
Although their goals against column has taken a pounding, they’ve only netted 4 at the opposite end in 6 matches.
Talisman Troy Deeney will sit this one out injured but Danny Welbeck did score his first goal for the club in the midweek cup victory over Swansea, while they also have £30 million record signing Ismaïla Sarr who they can rightfully hope will chip in at some point.
The away end
Some comments lifted from the pre-match thread on WFCForums:
Wolves have come away with some undeserved points this season, home to united was similar to our arsenal performance as they played well second half but burnley and palace they deserved nothing and better teams would of put those games to bed. But one thing they had earlier against palace was fight they never gave up even if they were shocking, Raul as much as I dislike him works his socks off every game. We really need to isolate coady other teams have done this and punished them this season. Who’d of thought this would be a relegation six pointer when the fixtures came out? What ever team QSF picks let’s just prey they put the effort in. If Dawson and foster play they will be in for a torrid day from the home Neanderthal support let’s hope they can handle the occasion and it improves their performances as Dawson’s yet to turn up in a yellow shirt.
Worth noting that Wolves fans won’t shut up about their major complaint, which is the same as it has always been under NES in their current 3-at-the-back incarnation, being that they have no idea how to respond to teams who sit back solidly and invite Wolves onto them; they can’t break them down, and they have no plan B. Having fielded a cowardly 7-full-back lineup against City, it would be so very ‘us’ to then send out a flying squad at Molineux to charge straight into Wolves’ hands and get torn apart like wet bread on the break. That’s what we should really be judging Quique’s prospects on: whether or not he can work out the Prem’s most open secret; that there’s a cheat code for beating Wolves that everyone already knows. Guess we’ll find out come 2pm this Saturday.
As long as we play a different line up we have a chance. Play the same pathetic excuse of a team who crapped themselves’ Saturday gone and we will lose for sure. Look back to last season, we got played off the park by Muff at the Vic, lost 4-0, it was pouring down with rain all day. Went home and felt awful. Then we went to Wolves, scored two goals in the space of five minutes, and suddenly the Muff game was forgotten. Can lightning strike twice? Can we really go there again, put in a five star performance and make us all love them again? No. Its more or less the same side still, but confidence wasn’t in the toilet due to the start we had. I want us to win, and get some confidence back, but in reality our second string has more chance of beating Swansea on Tuesday than our first team full of Jokers has at getting a result at Wolves. But – would so loved to proved wrong. I commented when will we get our first win and who from? It won’t be this game either. 0-2
I wouldn’t play Saiss who has looked like a walking red card in all his outings this season, but I liked the composition of the team we saw at Selhurst Park.
It actually allowed us to get bodies forward without losing too much defensively and meant everyone is operating in the area of the pitch they’re most comfortable.
We’ve got 343 and we’ve got 352 and I feel like Nuno needs to use both of these shapes depending on what the opposition is most likely trying to do.
Perhaps it’s overly simplistic to suggest teams who want to defend get the 343, whereas the better sides who want to get on the ball and dictate get the 352, but more fluidity is required.
If we sit back and allow Watford’s midfielders to dictate the game I really fear for us. We should get after them and ask their defenders to defend.
Looking for somewhere to eat, drink and be merry before any of the home games this season? Check out the Sports Bar at Casino 36 which has multiple HD screens showing all the major channels as well as a great selection of food and drink.
Well done to Paul AD67, Prawny and Tipton Exile who all scored the maximum 3 points last time out by correctly predicting a 1-1 draw at Palace. Adrian leads the way after Gameweek 6 and you can check out the full table here.
If you’d like to join in this week simply leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided.
That’s where you’ll also find my best guess for this one.
Up The Wolves!