Can Wolves put the Blues behind them?By: DJ | December 6th, 2012
Its a tea time showdown at Molineux on Saturday with the 17.20 start to the game with Birmingham City that looks like a vital stage in Wolves season. After the 4 goal success at Bristol last week then another success can set the season back on track and make October and November a lowpoint in the season and just seen as a stepping stone on the Solbakken transition. It will also take them clear of Blues and other teams at the wrong end of the table and put Wolves back amongst the mid table teams in their climb back to the right end of the league. But a failure on Saturday will make last weekend’s win seem like a blip in the downward spiral and leave them with just one win in 11.
They come up against a Birmingham team that won last weekend against Middlesbrough but who have yet to win two games in succession this season. That 3-2 win against Boro followed a score draw against Blackpool and two 3-2 defeats so there have been goals a plenty in their recent games. There hasn’t tended to many goals in the Wolves/Blues derbies in recent years but it’s certainly been advantage Birmingham for a while now. Wolves have only won one of the last 13 league meetings.
The formula that brought Wolves success at Bristol will doubtless be retained on Saturday. The biggest single difference compared to the poor run of results in the autumn was that they had an attacking threat from the right side of midfield as well as the left. Sako has been prominent in most of Wolves goals all season but at Bristol the switch of Sigurdarson to the right gave Wolves a real threat from that side for the first time for quite a while. Peszko had done ok early season but since he was injured the likes of Foley and Edwards had been tried in that position without great success and then Pennant has proven to be a disappointment since arriving on loan from Stoke. But Sigurdarson’s pace and direct play gave Bristol plenty of problems and we saw a big improvement also from Doyle and Ebanks Blake because of the better support and supply they were receiving.
So for Saturday Sigurdarson, Doyle, SEB and Sako will provide the attacking hopes while the defence will pick itself with Ikeme in goal and Johnson, Berra and Ward continuing as they have done for most of the season. And the other big positive from Bristol was a sign of return to form of Kevin Foley at Right Back in a position that has been a problem all season. The only question mark over the starting 11 will be who partners Henry in the centre of midfield. With David Edwards now ruled out for a couple of months with the injury he picked up last week, Solbakken must decide if Doumbia is ready to return after his much needed rest. If not then David Davis looks the obvious choice to make a start.
This last home game before xmas looks a pivotal game to either get some momentum back into the season or to offer a disappointing continuation of the results that saw Wolves take a nosedive down the table since early October. Matches between these two teams have usually been vital affairs in recent years as both clubs have tended to either been in a Championship promotion or Premier League survival battle. An intense rivalry has developed as a result but this time around its two teams at a low ebb, and the losers on Saturday will likely be in for a long winter.