Whether or not you subscribe to the view that we were lucky to beat Leeds, nobody can deny performances have improved.
I still think we’re disjointed in certain areas and there isn’t the understanding between players that often comes with time.
In that respect, a full week on the training ground should have been beneficial and with confidence high, there’s no reason we can’t get a result at St. James’ Park.
It’s a ground we’ve done well at in recent times and a win might be enough to squeak into the heady heights of the top half.
Bizarrely, Newcastle haven’t been in bad form themselves despite sinking towards the bottom three in recent weeks.
They’ve won two of their last five and were unlucky to lose to Crystal Palace and more recently, Man Utd in that sequence.
Steve Bruce has abandoned the sit deep and counter approach in favour of pressing higher and getting on the front foot. It got them wins over Everton and Southampton and they generally look better in their performances.
As we know all too well though, losing your talisman can be catastrophic and top scorer Callum Wilson is out for a while with a hamstring injury.
That means the burden of goalscoring is likely to fall to the likes of Miguel Almirón and Allan Saint-Maximin who, fortunately for the Magpies, are both hitting form.
The next four games look alright on paper so they’ll be hoping to extend the daylight between themselves and Fulham, but as we know, results are rarely predictable.
The home end
Some thoughts lifted from the pre-match thread on a popular Newcastle forum:
We’ve a stinking record against them just recently. Those two late goals conceded in Rafa’s last season were both f***ing heartbreaking, particularly the one at St James’, which was a game we absolutely should have won, never mind lost. Six points became one in those games, bloody tragedy. So we definitely owe them one. It’s difficult but winnable. A point wouldn’t be the end of the world providing we beat West Brom.
Usually seems to be a draw against these and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is again. Two teams allergic to scoring goals. However, if they get ahead then that will probably be it as they’ve improved since they reverted back to three at the back. Would imagine they’re keen to put our jammy draw at Molineux right.
Wolves are looking a lot better. Like they’ve started to figure out a style of play without Jiminez. Neto, Neves and Traore could absolutely tear us a new one.
Feels crucial to our season. A win and 28 points with 12 games to play is okay but if we don’t win we are right in the s***.
With Moutinho, Neves and a recently more central, driving Traore, whoever our CM partnership is is going to get a pasting all game. Desperately going to need Miggy to be on his toes tracking back again. Reckon we’ll give away a penalty.
When you think about the wingers swapping sides, it makes so much sense you wonder why we didn’t do it a lot sooner.
We had so many games seeing Traore skinning his man out wide and putting a cross into nobody or Dendoncker shinning all the chances.
Driving inside opens up all sorts of interesting positions for Traore and Neto to create chances for themselves and others.
The partnerships also look better, with Traore benefitting from Jonny’s steady supply of sensible passes and Semedo able to rampage down the line with Neto happy to come inside.
For all the plaudits Neto is rightfully receiving, Adama has been just as crucial during this mini-revival and hopefully this is the game where he gets a credited contribution.
Last time out
We should have won at Molineux earlier this season but Rui didn’t get his wall right and then failed to get down to what looked a pretty tame free-kick.
It was 1-1 at St. James’ Park last season too, with a much improved second half performance from Wolves resulting in a deserved equaliser for Jonny.
Well done to winchwolf, Graham from Horsham, Lord Twix, Mike Jones, and Wolfman Jack who all correctly predicted the 1-0 scoreline against Leeds.
Bedford Wolf and Mosman Wolf remain out front in the overall table at the end of Gameweek 25.
As always if you’d like to join in, simply leave your prediction for this game in the comment section below, which is where you’ll find my best guess.
Up The Wolves!