Mario Lemina said Wolves need to play this like any other game.
And I think for the players, that’s probably right. They’re in a good rhythm at the minute and seem to know what they’re trying to do. Just go out and execute.
Albion have to disrupt that rhythm and I have no doubt they’ll give it a good go, particularly at home.
The atmosphere, even mid-morning on a Sunday, should be electric and that 4,000-strong old gold army is going to make one hell of a din.
I’m confident but nervous, exactly how it should be.
It’s a shame this isn’t at Molineux because the Baggies’ away form isn’t great, winning 4 of 14 matches and losing 7, including the 2-0 defeat to Norwich last weekend.
At the Hawthorns, things are much better with 9 wins from 14 and just the 2 defeats. That impressive record has given them a foothold in the play-offs and a chance of achieving something big during a difficult period for the club.
A takeover could be imminent to ease their financial woes and if you believe reports, that probably needs to happen sooner rather than later. Good luck to them. As much as we all crave the bragging rights over that annoying work colleague or Twitter troll, most of their fans are just like us, decent people who enjoy their football and want to see their team doing well.
Their biggest problem on the pitch is scoring goals. 40 from 28 games in the Championship isn’t great, particularly for a side pushing for promotion. Brandon Thomas-Asante has 9 of those (10 overall) and is one to watch on Sunday.
Jed Wallace may provide another interesting sub-plot, having endured a difficult two years at Molineux before reigniting his career with Millwall.
Success has been built on a solid defence and good organisation from Carlos Corberan. It’s clear the Spaniard is a talented coach and I’d be surprised if he didn’t make it to the top table one day, with or without the Albion.
Rayan Ait-Nouri is back from AFCON duty but I don’t think Gary will throw him straight back into the team after those exertions.
I can only see the same XI as Brighton. He might give Bellegarde a go instead of Sarabia but other than that, there aren’t great options.
Craig Dawson can probably expect a hot reception on his return. He made over 200 appearances in a 9-year stint at Albion, so a few of the more charitable Baggies fans might give him a pass.
There might be a school of thought that Santi Bueno should come in for Dawson, just to take a bit of sting out of that situation, but the latter has been such a colossus for Wolves that it would be a giant call to leave him out.
I’m interested to see what Albion’s tactical setup is for this one. Against high-flying Leicester earlier in the season, they weren’t afraid to press high and take some risk, so will they be aggressive again here or retreat a few more yards?
The good thing about this current Wolves team is I think they’re capable of breaking down a low-block and mixing it up against more progressive opposition, as we saw against Brighton on Monday.
I can’t contemplate defeat and that shouldn’t happen if we play anything close to our best. The minimum we want to come out of this with is a replay.
But I’m going to be bold and predict the first Wolves victory at the Hawthorns in over 27 years. 1-3. Pedro to score a few.
Make it happen lads.
Up the Wolves!