With Bournemouth’s game not kicking off until later, we know that a victory will take us out of the bottom three.
Even if it’s only temporary, that would breed confidence in players and supporters about our survival prospects.
On Boxing Day we were four points behind 17th and trailing in the game at Everton, so things have certainly picked up.
I’d argue we played better at Villa and in both cup games without recording a win and the consistency in the performances is encouraging.
But with the Liverpool Man City combo on the horizon, we really do need a maximum here.
Is David Moyes on the edge? He’s banked a lot of equity in recent seasons so they probably need to think long and hard about a potential replacement if they are considering pulling the trigger.
From the outside it doesn’t appear that there’s been any significant change to personnel since the days they were pushing for Europe, so it’s strange they’ve suffered so badly of late.
Perhaps in trying to evolve the team with new additions, they’ve simply upset the balance? Or are key individuals just not performing?
Big money was spent on Paqueta and Scamacca but neither have really lifted the team, even if the latter has netted a few important goals.
He scored in their victory over us at the London Stadium, which spelt the end for Bruno Lage. Even though they ended up getting the win with a degree of comfort, I didn’t think they were brilliant.
The big positive in recent weeks is that more players have come into contention meaning the squad seems significantly beefier, but now Lopetegui has to work out the best combination for an important match.
The above represents what I’d consider the boldest XI he could deploy based on recent form with the intent to attack from the start. It’s probably too bold.
Hwang and Jimenez set each other up for missed opportunities the other night, but it was a reminder that they link up well together. Cunha has looked useful in all his cameos and I wonder if he could start from the right.
Podence has been our most consistent attacking outlet and Ait-Nouri has similarly impressed enough to warrant a place somewhere in the side.
Toti is erratic but I wonder if the team benefits overall from his more physically imposing stature? Collins and Kilman are tidy but neither are killers. It might be worth persisting with a different combination.
Well done to Woodend wolf, Wokingham Welsh Wolf, Ryan, Sutton Coldfield wolf, Sea Pigeon, DebenhamWolf, Portuguese men of Wolves, CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH, Marin Wolf, Sandwich Wolf, Prawny, Rich, DeptfordWolf, Ben Rasmin, DancesWithWolves, BigNachos, wishfart, Scruffysid and Chesterwolf who all correctly predicted the 1-1 draw against Villa.
Rich extends his lead at the top of the overall table to 4 points at the end of Gameweek 18.
As always, if you’d like to join in with the Prediction League this season, it’s simple – just leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided. Then repeat for every preview article throughout the season, making sure you always use the same email address to make your prediction. Your email is what ties you to your overall score.
You can read my prediction for the game in the comment section below.
Up The Wolves!
Have to win this one
Trust in J Lo
We certainly do. We’ve been playing six pointers since the end of September but this is especially big. Brentford are going to win v The Cherries (especially if Toney back and facing one of his last opportunities to score ahead of a long FA enforced rest) so we really need to take opportunity to move up!
Wolves Fan In Liverpool
Reckon Conor Coady is Regretting some decisions at this point.
Thats Lemina, salibia, Gomez… We are going to cook if J LO gets this right…
Anyway, Surely we play our strongest 11 and play these off the park? A man can dream right? Maybe this is a preview for Antonio and Dawson to understand the plan?
Graham from Horsham
A steady improvement has generally been noted. We are on track to be something of quite a formidable team over the next month or so. That bodes us well; and even with some terrible refereeing decisions that we always appear to be on the wrong end of, it won’t be long before we are mid table.
Sutton Coldfield wolf
Don’t care about the performance or any distractions around bent referees and the corruption of VAR, we simply have to win this. To say it is massive is an understatement.
Biggest game of the season so far and already a six pointer.
We’ve seen improvements all over the pitch since Senor Lopetegui took the reins. With more additions to the squad hopefully incoming, we fans can look forward with renewed optimism and need to be the 12th man on Saturday. We can only hope that Wham don’t have their own 12th man and he’s dressed in black. If they do, we all may as well give up and go home.
CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH
Yes – In the Wolverhampton express and star today a big interview with ruben neves who doesn’t hold back on his criticism of referees and in particular that non penalty at Forest. He can expect some comeback from the FA I think. Expect Molineux to be a seething cauldron if more of this shit keeps on happening to us.
It would be some irony for the FA to cry foul Cheesey.
The Forest game was gut-wrenching but all will be forgotten if we win this one. West Ham have been surprisingly poor this season but do have quality in their ranks and will be as desperate for the points as we are. That being said, I’m going to let my heart rule my head and go for us to secure a narrow win. Come on me babbies!
Let’s have the Jiménez and Cunha double act on from the start and bag some goals.
My main concern, as always, is dodgy referees…
I would like to think we could get three points out of this game but it all depends on the Ref. The last 2or 3 games we have been robbed by Ref mistakes which has cost us the game but hopefully a 2-1win to the Wolves.
We have looked a lot better lately, so there’s hope that the wins will come. This feels huge, just because the games we’ve got coming up. But I’m wary of West Ham, I think they’re better than their position suggests and are always dangerous. I’ll back us though. A win would give everyone a huge lift.
Cunha to star please Julen. Same scoreline as the reverse fixture, this time in our favour. Will it end Moyes’ time at West Ham?
Our performances have really picked up since J Lo took over. He is starting to get the best out of players like Matheus. With a couple more experienced players in January, our squad is better than the other teams at the bottom. Looking at the fixtures ahead, there are dog fight games against Soton, B’Mouth, Forest, Leicester and tomorrow’s. Nothing less than 3 points will do.
I agree that we have been playing better in recent matches but we still struggle to score ourselves while our defence continues to look vulnerable. Added to that, Wham have scored more goals than us and are coming off the back of a decent result against Leeds.
So I”m hoping for a win of course, but am fearing the worst I’m afraid.
The great thing is we now have a squad from which the starting 11 isn’t a given. This straight away makes it harder for the opposition.
Also J Lo is proving to be a master of timely substitutions so I’d say given our options, whoever starts is no more important than who finishes.
I have a good feeling about this one.
We’ve shown some very encouraging signs in recent weeks despite not getting the results. The players may be hurting somewhat too with the way that those results have come about due to circumstances somewhat out of their control. Against a struggling West Ham side we have to be going all out for win.
You’re everywhere and nowhere, baby
That’s where you’re at
Going down a bumpy hillside
In your hippy hat
Flying across the country
And getting fat
Saying everything is groovy
When your tyres are flat
And it’s HI HO WOLVER’AMPTON!!
R.I.P. Jeff Beck.
Lovely bloke. One of the greatest guitarists who ever strapped on a Strat.
Turned down the chance to join The Rolling Stones because their type of music was too undemanding.
Absolutely hated recording ‘Hi Ho Silver Lining’.
Little did he know how revered it would become inside the greatest football arena in The Universe.
Let’s give it a bit of wellie tomorrow.
Oh Yes… Wolves to win.
Absolute legend, Mr Beck. From a time when pure talent and long developed musicianship actually counted for something. Will be long remembered and sadly missed.
Love Jeff Beck.
Can’t stand that bloody tune!
Always one of my favourite songsters of yesteryear…
Timeless hits … never forgotten man …
Jeff Beck is the legendary guitarist’s guitarist.
This ‘Jeff Beck at Ronnie Scott’s’ video showcases the man’s brilliance…
Just don’t know. We could win but VAR take it from us. Or we could dominate the stats and lose 3-0. Who knows…
London wolves loyal
Something is about to click
All these bad referee decisions, all those crooked VAR bastards… all those horrible little moustacheod Morgan gibbs whites…
Those poor old hamsters are gonna pay tomorrow
The Witley Wanderer
See you tomorrow in the Lych Gate Matt, before our first Cup final of the season. The mighty Wolves at a canter.
Dirty South Wolf
Cunha and Raul together looked dope. More of that please.
Looks like Wolves are bringing in a new set of midfielders.
I’ve suggested before that it might be necessary because the current set were not able to get the ball to the forwards for good scoring opportunities while inside the final third.
Oh yeah – Wolves to win.
Portuguese men of Wolves
We need some wins and this could be the start of a run of form
looking good so far under JL need to finish
West Ham have been playing lately like we did when results went bad under Bruno last season. It’s almost inexplicable. They have basically the same team as last season. Confidence is a major factor and also being sussed-out by the opposition.
Thankfully Wolves have definitely turned the corner under JL. We’ve become hard to beat even without the rub of the green. Talking of which, as this is a bottom of the league clash, not involving the usual blue-eyed boys, who does the referee and VAR stitch up? The answer is the away team. Yes, the officials will listen to the baying home crowd, and like an Emperor in the Colosseum in Ancient Rome, signal the kill.
We’ll be up against an old-fashioned jury tomorrow, meaning 12 men. Under JL we are becoming good enough to beat the odds. Normally with so much at stake this might finish level but with a little help from the officials for the home team. But even the officials will be too embarrassed to make dodgy calls sooner or later. 2-1.
Bizarre of me to think we are playing away at West Ham today. A pint too far I think. And there I was wondering why a regular West Ham mate (a STH) hadn’t invited me to the match! I would have forecast 2-0 if I had realised the match is at Molineux.
Hard to see the team stay up if they can’t bag three points in a match like this. Who gets the double tomorrow?
I don’t see why you got – for your comments…. I don’t think it’s pessimistic, I think it’s just a realistic and truthful view point
I’ve concluded that Lopetegui is doing what Nuno did when recruiting while we were in the Championship.
He is saying how tough a position we are in publicly but is telling the team and prospective players that we are not only safe but will climb up the table in the second half.
Our luck will turn tomorrow!!
Home win coming up.!
I can never subscribe to a ‘must win’ match as this places too much pressure on everyone but a win will be very welcome.
Likewise a defeat is not a disaster but we must be wary of the opposition- Moyes is a very experienced operator and his team are as desperate for points as us. It’s now a 16 player team with the increase in subs and we have real game changers who can come on to win it in the last quarter of the match. I expect a more combative midfield than Thomas outlined to ensure we are not chasing the game.
The expected new arrivals could see the back of Moutinho, Adama, Jimenez and Ruben but in the meantime it is these seasoned pros who must combine to preserve our PL status. A change of fortunes and a narrow win on Saturday but no room for errors st the back please boys.
Since I asked for consistency from match officials we have received anything but. Maybe I should reverse my wish!
Important game. After the last 4 performances, if not the results, I’m predicting a Wolves win AND a clean sheet.
Sorry not to be able to make the game (bereavement and illness) as I was at the London Stadium (which, along with London council tax payers, I part own) for the away fixture and i would have loved to witness the revenge.
Sad to hear your news Deptford.
Be back soon.
One or Two knocked Fosun for a distinct lack of faces through the door .. but it seems as though it (the door) has been well and truly oiled and is in danger of taking off with these 3 very likely new recruits..
It’s not before time though abd I’m glad it wasn’t done under Lage’s watch .. lord knows where it could have ended up.
As for JLo he’s ticking my boxes with everything he’s doing , including speaking out about the corruption in refereeing … plus his spat over MGW… I salute you…
He certainly made WWFC interesting.
I don’t see these games as 6 pointers as there are only 3 to bag anyway .. winning , however, will send some shivers up the spines of those teams around us.,.
Our bench is getting into shape too and this surely creates more intense competition to wear the shirt.
Here’s hoping VAR and crap referees (Simon Hooper) don’t spoil the momentum… a win would be very nice thank you… Jimenez and Cunha….
We are playing against a “London” team, who are fighting relegation so look for VAR to help them! A lot of high powered businessmen support West Ham and they will pay anything to avoid the Championship!!!
Looks like a few good names are being banded about for incoming transfers so that is encouraging. What I do not understand is all the talk of how RAN might be sold in this window. Are they crazy, he has massive potential, and if he cannot play left back, put him on the wing as has done recently, but sell? No sir!
This game is just too important to risk playing Toti over Killman. And if you start with Brueno, bring on RAN after 60 minutes on the wing or even start him over Hwang.
It will be a battle but do feel with our improved performances we should win. And if we score first there is no way WH will score two. Cautiously optimistic about this one!
Until the defence is bolstered it’s difficult to envisage a clean sheet and in such a tense match I’m going to fence sit
Gotta win this one.
Like the look of your suggested squad Thomas. I think we have a good chance of securing a win, but don’t feel it will be the end if we don’t. We have some good recent momentum and with further reinforcements I am increasingly confident that we will climb clear of the drop zone. Would love to see Raul and Cunha on together from the start. Neither team will want to lose and Scamacca is dangerous, if inconsistent. Draw for me.
Something of a must win situation, and I think we can do it.
Better play of late and new faces arriving. Things are looking much more positive.
Why we are about to sign another winger I don’t know, it is still glaring that we need a goal scorer and Craig Dawson in.
I’m pleased that the FA have announced that they will be looking into the debacle on Wednesday evening after the Notts forest v Wolves game
However WWFC fans to a man want to know what steps the F A are taking over the incidents involving several incorrect adjudicating decisions taken by the on field referee and the VAR representatives
This matter will not go away until the F A respond in an open letter to the fans of WWFC. We await your response
I apologise for not referring to the cup tie between WWFC and Liverpool FC held on 07/01 /23 In my previous blog
Biggest game of the year.
Feeling confident for the first time in a while! Still gonna be a tough game though! They’re in a similar predicament to us and will be desperate not to lose. But…while they’re stagnating we’re progressing!!
Thanks for being positive one and all.
A performance needed here to get the better of an equally desperate Moyes. And what still looks like a good Hammers outfit.
A consecutive hat trick of victory denying decisions might lead to J-Lo self combusting.
Hi Ho Silver Lining.
1 Lv & COYW.
3 – 1
A win here sets us up for the “free hit” games against city and liverpool. I think it’ll be ugly but we’ll do it.
A tight game but we win by the odd goal or two
Cunha finding his feet. Jimenez back in the goals. Nunes pure class. Please don’t start Guedes.
One of my NY resolutions was not to join in with the ref conspiracy theories
I’ll add the VAR theories too
It will all level out starting tomorrow with a couple of penalties
Would love to see us start with Thomas’ balls out line up but I suspect we will be more cautious and this entire 90+ minutes will stress my heart and brain and so further reduce my lifespan
Sooner or later, surely we can get the “rub of the green”
There is definitely a wave of positivity and also a bit of them against us which is when we are at are best as a team and fan base.
We need to capitalise on this and pull clear of danger. Time for a 90 minute performance
CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH
I was watching an original series episode of Star Trek the other week. Anyway. Captain Kirk and Spock and the lads beamed down on planet Tipton- XC8872D. All of a sudden an echoey voice boomed through the air (the aliens always talk perfect English) . And said something like “Captain Kirk. Welcome to our planet. You can see the third cave on the right in front of you. If you just go in to the cave. Up the stairs. You come to some double doors. Press the button and i’ll let you in to my home”. Naturally the fearless Kirk entered. They crew wondered through endless corridors until they came to a large open space. In the middle was a massive glass case with an alien head in it. It looked like David Moyes. After a fair bit of negotiation the ‘David Moyes’ head allowed them to beam back up. The moral of this story ? Never venture in to deep space , land on a planet and not expect to see some sort of alien who looks like David Moyes in a large glass case. Which brings me nicely on to Wham. Our attacking play is improving. We are improving. After a tight first half at 1-1. We run out 3-1 winners. And if we get screwed over in any way today I will personally visit stockley park and plant a huge bomb on top of it. WWFC 3 WHAM 1.
COD , If you do go ahead with your plan at Poxey Stark, you must ensure that they are in an off side position before you plant said means of destruction.
CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH
Yes. I’ve got Next Door neighbours cat on my VAR. Will obviously draw a few lines. And then bomb the bastards!
We are due a win. We deserve a win after the last 2 games. Hopefully no more bad decisions against us. I feel good bout the way the team is evolving and I feel if we play to our strength, we should win this one. A 2-0 win.
I think we’ll win one nil but should be more.
CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH
Just seen the latest VAR table. Although we are not bottom for a change we are in to the 4th season and yet to get a positive score (eg decisions in our favour). So to sum up . 3 consecutive seasons of VAR negative scores ( eg screwed over) and in to a 4th.
The sheer pressure of expectation of the Molineux crowd will be sufficient for a 1-0
Things are changing
AWOL of late, sorry. Family illness etc
David ‘I’m a winner. That’s what I do, win’ Moyes.
Love to hear the South Bank sing that at full time when they’ve lost.
Wolves to win convincingly……and we all say what was all the fuss about?
CHEESEBURGER OF DEATH
COR argue under J Lo . 4 premier league games. 7 points. For a team in our position that is magnificent. Took us from basement no hopers to real hope of kicking on.