Molineux has been a pleasant environment to inhabit this season.
This despite less than impressive early performances, which yielded points but gave little confidence.
In particular wins over the likes of Crawley and Swindon, who dominated those matches for vast periods, were considered welcome bonuses.
But in the last five or six home matches Wolves have been much more comfortable, stretching opposition with their improved brand of possession football.
Kenny Jackett heads into tomorrow’s game boasting 12 Molineux league victories from his 17 matches in charge, with just the disappointing losses against Walsall and MK Dons blotting a formidable record.
It was a fairly even match up at Vale Park back in August until Wolves took the lead and eventually cantered away to a comfortable 3-1 win.
Tellingly, four of the Wolves players involved prominently that afternoon (Griffiths, Doyle, Sigurdarson and Ismail) have either left permanently or been sent away on loan. Two others (Davis and Forde) barely get a look in. It’s been a fast evolution for the team this year.
Micky Adams is doing a splendid job at Vale Park, especially when you consider that the club nearly went under just two years ago.
He’s managed to get them out of League Two and sitting comfortably inside the top half of League One. The play-offs are probably not quite within their reach but progress must be pleasing for all concerned.
Our old friend Lee Hughes is of course no longer at the club after leaving in the January transfer window. That will take some of the spice out of a fixture that is tentatively referred to as a derby.
Their away record is pretty poor with 10 defeats from their 16 matches to date. They have won 5 but having conceded 27 goals on their travels (7 more than Wolves have let in overall) it’s clear they can be got at.
It would be surprising if Kenny Jackett made any changes to the team that saw off Brentford last weekend. Every player is justifying their place on current performances so who could he possibly sacrifice?
With the stacked up midweek fixtures to come in March, fringe players like Dave Edwards, Lee Evans, Matt Doherty and hopefully Leon Clarke should all get considerable game time.
Whilst decent strength in depth exists to cover injuries, you wonder whether the loss of a key figure like Kevin McDonald or Nouha Dicko could be catered for?
Wolves are red hot favourites to win this one at 1/2. Port Vale are a generous 7/1 and the draw is 10/3.
Tom Pope is the visitors most likely first goalscorer at 10/1 and with 9 league goals this season, he could be a decent insurance bet.
Nouha Dicko has gone a couple of games without scoring, so if you fancy him to end the drought with tomorrow’s opener, he’s 15/4. All odds available here.
46 of you believers correctly thought we’d win at Brentford last week. Only Dalmation Wolf was audacious enough to go all out for the 3-0 win though. A well deserved double haul for him (or her).
The pessimist inside me is tempted to predict a reality check after last weekend’s dizzy heights. But I’ve realised I haven’t shown enough faith in my predictions this year.
I think we have a splendid manager and a good set of players. On our day we’d beat anyone in this league and probably most of the teams in the league above.
4-1 for me tomorrow.
Up The Wolves