I should probably start with an apology.
Such was my conviction we’d be smashed to smithereens at The Etihad I’d probably have accepted a narrow defeat even before a ball was kicked.
How wrong I was so a heartfelt, grovelling ‘sorry’ to Nuno and this group of players who so rarely disappoint.
What a superb, exhilarating performance it turned out to be. The finest of a rapidly expanding catalogue of highlights in this golden age.
October still offers the opportunity for six highly gettable Premier League points, further progress in Europe and the possibility of eliminating Villa from the League Cup.
As is the Wolves mantra though, we go game by game.
After keeping the Saints in the Premier League there was genuine cause for optimism about what Ralph Hasenhüttl might be able to do with a full season to attack.
It hasn’t quite gone to plan so far with Southampton pretty much where they finished last time, hovering precariously above the bottom three.
An opening day 3-0 slapping from Burnley and some heavy home defeats to Bournemouth and Chelsea have been offset slightly by a couple of useful away wins at Sheffield Utd and Brighton.
But they haven’t yet delivered the type of consistency to suggest they’ll do anything but struggle and come into this fixture on a run of three straight defeats.
Only Watford and Norwich have conceded more than their 15 and only three teams have scored less than their 8 goal tally at the other end. At least one of those statistics need to dramatically improve if they’re to climb.
Danny Ings and Nathan Redmond are their most likely route to goal and the latter scored twice to sink us at St. Mary’s back in April.
The away end
Some comments lifted from the pre-match thread on Saints Forum.
Is this a game we really need something from? Even a draw would be progress & a good result! Wolves are in pretty good form with their shock result against city, their pace will scare us. With Wolves, Leicester & Man City next, it’s very worrying where the next points are going to come from.
Wolves is one of those places we normally do OK at so I am going for a draw, I think our styles are mutually compatible.
If we steal a draw we’ll be lucky (fingers crossed), but I can’t see anything other than a 2-0 win for Wolves. We’re not near their level in most areas of the field, with the possible exception of Romeu. Time to take up our spot in the relegation zone.
We have quite a few Wolves fans near us and most of them say wolves blow hot and cold. Saturday could easily be a day where they slip up. We deserve some luck and we may just get it this time. Don’t forget Hughes was in charge the last time and we lost in the last 15 minutes because the rot had already set in with the team and his selections. Ralph has done his homework and I believe he can see where he needs to change.
Weird to be looking forward to away games more. Don’t fancy our chances at home in any game right now, we’re dreadful. But away we look more organised, although never enough of a threat. Optimistically we could get a 1-1 here.
Wolves often play a lot better against the best clubs. So, given we’re absolutely crap, we might have a chance…
The result at City really put the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of team selection. A few players who were out of favour saw their stock dramatically rise, while others who’ve done little wrong may now find themselves on the outside.
Personally, I’d like to see us playing the 343 and being more attack-minded against a team with a fragile defence. If Jota is fit, the front three we played at Palace makes sense.
Vinagre did great last time out, but Jonny was one of our better players in the games before that so there’s a selection headache there. He could even play Traore on the opposite flank if he wanted to just have the two forwards.
Leaving Neves out feels wrong on many levels, but particularly after playing a major role in shutting City out, but his inclusion may come at the expense of greater attacking intent.
With such a small squad, it’s quite incredible how many permutations there are but with three consecutive wins from three different sides, it’s a nice situation to be facing.
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Well done to Wolfstroker, Oldandwise and jazzwolf54, who all collected a deserved maximum for audacious 2-0 predictions against City. You can check out the full Prediction League 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!