Last weekend’s performance and result at Newcastle was disappointing for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, we lost and both Blues and Albion picked up home wins; distancing themselves from the bottom three in the process. Wigan and Blackburn also added valuable points to their tallies, so not a great Saturday by any stretch of the imagination.
Added to that, the momentum we’ve been building up of late was abruptly brought to a standstill. Starting another run is always a difficult task.
For many, it also confirmed our worst fears; that a Wolves team without Kevin Doyle is not adequately equipped to get the job done.
However, I’d disagree with that final point. I personally feel SEB did a superb job, both as the lone frontman in the opening 20 minutes and then partnering Steven Fletcher in the 442 from there on out.
We lost at St. James’ Park because of our shortcomings defensively. We allowed Newcastle to bully us, press the ball high up the pitch and force us into mistakes. For the 20 minute spell in the second half that we actually showed some composure, we came within a whisker of getting back into the game.
But having left Tyneside with nothing, we now have the chance to put some points on the board with back-to-back home games. On paper at least, Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off against Everton looks the harder of the two fixtures.
It was only a few weeks ago that their season was supposedly in crisis, but if you look at the Premiership table today, you’ll see they’re up in 7th place. The fact that they’ve only won 9 games this season, which is the same number as Wolves, demonstrates just how compact the league is this year.
The Toffees have had to make do without the likes of Mikel Arteta, Louis Saha, Marouane Fellaini, Jack Rodwell and Victor Anichebe of late. That’s a hefty list of injuries and it’s entirely plausible none will return against Wolves. That should give us a boost, but they’ve still got some wonderful players and picked up a useful point at home to Villa last time out.
So make no mistake about it, this will be a tough match. They’ve only won three away games all season, but they’ve dug-in and picked up seven draws on their travels too. They very rarely lie down for anyone, as you’d probably expect with David Moyes in the dugout.
Anyway, this is the Wolves XI I expect to see on Saturday:
So it’s a return for the 442 with Fletcher coming in for Milijas. If we do play this formation, it’s possible Mick could consider dropping Hammill in favour of someone who can tuck in from the right. Guedioura is ideal in this position, but it might be too soon for him.
Personally, I’d keep the 451 shape with SEB the lone frontman and Milijas retaining his starting role. I know that’s probably an unpopular choice amongst the majority of fans after last weekend, but I’m not sure we’ll keep possession well enough with only two players in the middle of the park.
A low scoring weekend in the Prediction League last time out with most people (including me) thinking we’d get a result at Newcastle. However, four pundits correctly predicted doom, so well done to Ben, Jed, Rob and Putney Wolf who all get a point for saying defeat but not getting the score quite right.
I’m saying defeat in this one. I don’t know why but I just get a bad feeling. It probably has something to do with our last early kick-off experience (a 3-0 home defeat to Liverpool).
I’ll go for 2-1 Everton and hope that I’m wide of the mark.
If you’re at Molineux Saturday, get behind the lads. Our home form has been excellent this season and the crowd have a lot to do with that. We can make a difference.
Up The Wolves.