After a two week break, Wolves make a rovers return this weekend (I had to get that terrible pun in there somewhere) against a Blackburn side that are yet to register a win this season.
And although I’m confident we’ve got more than enough to stand toe-to-toe against the former Premiership champions, I think we’re in for a tough ride.
I have it on good authority from a Blackburn-supporting friend, that they’ve been desperately unlucky not to have more points on the board. Despite his obvious bias, looking at the highlights from some of their matches, particularly against Man City and Sunderland, I’m inclined to agree.
So the fact they’re currently in 18th with only 1 point certainly won’t sit well with them. I expect they won’t need much motivation come 3pm on Saturday for a match they’ll have targeted as a ‘must-win’ right from the start.
Their physicality worries me greatly, particularly from set-pieces. If crosses are raining in from all angles, I fear Hennessy’s inability to command his area could be badly exposed. And given the fact that Craddock probably isn’t going to be available to marshal the defence, I get an uneasy feeling about how we’ll cope.
If I had to identify one player as a danger, it would be Jason Roberts. He’s been a pretty constant thorn in our side over the years and his power and pace could really unsettle us, particularly in the system that Allardyce is likely to play.
This direct approach that Blackburn will almost certainly take also makes me wonder how Mick will send his team out. I do believe he’ll go 4-4-2 but I think there might be some surprises with his selection. Here’s my predicted lineup:
It’s a tough one this week with lots of options available to combat a very specific kind of threat. In fact, outside of the back 5, it’s almost a complete guessing game apart from Henry. But I think Milijas will be spared from the midfield scrap in favour of the more all-action Dave Edwards. Berra for Craddock is an obvious change and one that might well become permanent as the season progresses.
I expect the more physically capable players like Vokes, Castillo and ‘The Hoff’ will be deployed at some point depending on how the game is panning out. It’s a shame that the likes of Kightly and Blake aren’t yet fit, but hopefully they’ll be in contention for some kind of involvement against Fulham.
In terms of a prediction, I’m going to play devil’s advocate and forecast defeat. That probably won’t go down particularly well, but it’s a heart versus head decision and this week I’m going with my noggin. Because they haven’t yet won a match and because I know they’ll cause us problems with their style of play, I’m going for a 3-1 defeat.
That being said, I do believe we’re capable of getting a win, but only if we can replicate our away performances from Wigan and Man City. We need to nullify their threat and enforce our game onto them. If we can do that, there’s a great opportunity to secure 3 precious away points.
But who cares what I think anyway? Predictions please gentlemen (and women of course; are there any Wolves Blog female followers?)
If you’re going to the game, have a great time and roar the lads on.
Up the Wolves.