I don’t know why any fans on either side downplay this fixture.
Even Dean Smith was at it prior to the League Cup game the other week.
This is a local derby and from what I’ve seen and read in recent years, one which both sets of supporters will be desperate to win.
I’ve got a lot of respect for the job Smith has done there and they’ve acquired a decent team containing some very useful players.
But being the top dog in the West Midlands and finishing above them is important to me, so I will love it if we beat them tomorrow. Love it.
I hope everyone inside Molineux – gold and black and claret and blue – feels the same and it’s a rip-roaring atmosphere.
Every time I’ve seen them play I’ve been impressed with their performance levels.
Like Wolves, they gave Man City the runaround at times and could easily have been ahead before eventually going down to a 3 goal defeat.
They came even closer to upsetting Liverpool last time out but again couldn’t quite get over the line.
That’s been the story in a lot of games this season and would be my chief concern if I were a Villa fan, not getting it done in crunch moments, which is key in a Premier League with such thin margins.
For all their summer recruitment their three most important players are the ones that guided them to promotion – McGinn, Grealish and Mings.
That midfield pair, in particular, give them so much and I see that being the key area of the pitch tomorrow. Restrict their influence and I think we win. Anything else spells danger.
They’ve lost 4 of their 5 away games to date, but have already played Spurs, Arsenal and Man City in that run and were competitive in all those fixtures.
The away end
Some comments lifted from the pre-match thread on the Villa Talk Forum.
Not necessarily a must-win but a must-not-lose. Considering how much effort we put into the last two to come away with no points we really can’t afford a third loss on the bounce. Wolves are a decent side but have dropped points at home to the likes of Burnley and Southampton so we are very capable of getting at least a point there. It is also three days after they play in the Europa, so that will work to our advantage. We need Jack back for this one as yesterday we had no one to carry the ball and kept inviting pressure on ourselves. Obviously best thing would be a win but I’d take a draw at Molineux as long as we beat Newcastle at home on the 25th. We’ve got Man U, Chelsea and Lesta after that so it’s important we take some points before that tough trio of matches.
Need Grealish back for this. Given Neves and Moutinho aren’t the quickest I can see him and McGinn getting some joy in the pocket of space behind them and running at their back 3. Important not to lose otherwise lots of pressure will be heaped on Newcastle at home which is looking very much like a banana skin fixture to me. I’ll go for 1-1. Think Wolves have already drawn three home games by that scoreline and generally that seems the right sort of score for this game.
Can’t wait for Sunday. I really hope we get the three points to get us back on track. Three draws for them in the league since their win at city, their form has improved. But then we are also improving. It promises to be a good game, fingers crossed we win it.
They have real quality up front. A talented but slow midfield, with consistent wide players plus all or nothing Traore. We can get at the defence. If we play well, we’ll take points. Nasty feeling actually. Feels like we’ve played OK recently a lot and not got the points we probably deserve. Feel like a bad performance could pop up soon.
Desperately need to win this game. not just for our league position. This our new Blue nose game. Bragging rights are needed. I live in Telford where every one is a Dingle, Utd or Liverpool fan. Come on Villa lets have another 4:1 please.
Nuno has picked the same side for the last two league matches and all being well, I can’t see it changing tomorrow.
Like most others I think this 343 is good for us because we get our best XI players on the pitch and we can cause significantly more damage higher up the pitch.
I’m confident in any game at home if you get the ball to Jota, Jimenez and Traore consistently enough things will happen.
There’s a Neves goal incoming too if he continues to hover around the edge of the area as he has done in recent weeks.
The two areas I worry are McGinn and Grealish getting around our midfield and set pieces where I think we could be vulnerable.
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Well done to DancesWithWolves, Richard Coe, StaffordWolves92, Lord Twix, Iceni Wolf, Wolvo Dave, Paddy, v, London Wolves Loyal, Border Wolf, Sir Belvedere and last but not least, me, for getting their prediction spot on against Arsenal. You can check out the full Prediction League table here.
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That’s where you’ll also find my best guess for this one.
Up The Wolves!