Wolves and West Brom meet in West Midlands derby with both sides seeking better form
Wolves to win 1-0
Wolves were in action in midweek though were defeated by a resurgent Everton side who went level with third placed side Manchester City.
Wolves and Everton are sides whose fortunes have changed dramatically over the past 12 months or so. While Everton have soared to the top of the table at one stage this season, Wolves have slowly but surely slipped into the bottom half of the table.
The West Midlands club are desperate to rediscover positive form after a run which has seen them take just two points from their last five matches.
In West Brom, they face a team who have not been able to improve since bringing in a new manager and are six points from safety and have just one victory from their 17 matches so far.
As we approach the halfway point of the season, time is starting to run out for teams such as Wolves and West Brom to reach their desired positions.
Form Guide (all comps): DLDWL
Reasons to be cheerful:
They will see this match as a route to winning form
Traore should be fit after missing their midweek defeat
Reasons to be fearful:
11 matches without a clean sheet is the longest in the league
Desperately short of goals
When Wolves beat Arsenal earlier in the season, they moved into 6th and looked set to continue their good form stretching back to last season.
Unfortunately, that was the match where top striker Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull and has been out ever since. It is no surprise that Wolves have desperately struggled for goals from then on, and have slipped eight places in the league.
Adama Traore, one of Wolves’ most dangerous players, should be fit to start this one after missing out in midweek. The Spaniard has not scored or assisted in his last 24 league appearances, however.
West Brom have the worst defensive record in the league, however Wolves must still improve to find a way through.
Star Man – Pedro Neto
Is the man most likely to contribute in front of goal in Jimenez’s absence.
Form Guide (all comps): LDLLL
Reasons to be cheerful
Have had an extra week of rest
Big Sam is unbeaten in all eight league matches against Wolves
Reasons to be fearful
Conceded a league-high 39 goals already
Bringing in a new manager has not improved form
Surprisingly, Sam Allardyce has not yet had the desired effect his appointment was hoped to bring to West Brom. His first five matches in charge have brought two draws and three defeats.
Often, he is quickly able to improve performances and results alike, though this has not been the case so far. West Brom remain the leakiest team in the league, conceding 39 goals so far. He will be hoping that having had a full week’s rest will have done his side some good.
He will undoubtedly set his side up to sit back and be solid against Wolves, knowing that their opponents have not been the best at creating scoring opportunities.
Their defeat in the FA Cup last weekend will not have helped confidence, but at least they can now concentrate fully on the league and how they’re going to make up six points on 17th place before the end of the season.
Star Man – Robert Snodgrass
The Baggies’ new signing will come straight into the side and should provide additional Premier League experience.
Wolves will have most of the possession
They must be positive and throw players forward into attack
West Brom must defend solidly to stand any chance
Wolves have struggled to score goals this season, particularly since the injury to Jimenez, though they will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing the worst defence in the league.
West Brom will defend deep and try to frustrate Wolves by blocking their path to goal.
It may be tighter than their quality suggests, but Wolves should find a way through.
Wolves to win 1-0