Daunting task for doomed WolvesBy: DJ | April 19th, 2012
Wolves are edging ever closer to having their relegation confirmed and it would be a major shock if they are not even closer to that position by the end of the weekend. The visit of Manchester City to Molineux on Sunday at 16:00 comes on the back of 9 games without a win under the management of Terry Connor, and with City refinding their very best form having scored 10 goals in their last two league games. And in fact if Wolves lose at the weekend and QPR win at home to Spurs then Wolves’ relegation will be made certain.
City had some costly slip ups during March that put them out of the UEFA Cup and with 2 draws and 2 defeats in the League they handed the title advantage to Man Utd. But they won 4-0 at home to Albion and 6-1 at Norwich in their last two games to show they are right back to their best, and the Argentinian strike pairing of Tevez and Aguero is looking pretty unstoppable. A win for United earlier on Sunday at home to Everton would put them 8 points clear of City, but that could be down to 2 points if City beat Wolves then win next week’s Manchester derby. A result for Everton at Old Trafford would open the door for City to make themselves favourites for the title and would likely make things even more difficult for Wolves.
City have won their last three matches against Wolves with a feast of goals in a total of 12 to City and 6 to Wolves. But Wolves have won 2 of the 3 Premier League clashes between the teams at Molineux to give a little encouragement.
As if things were not bad enough for Wolves they were met this week with the news that keeper Wayne Hennessey, who is favourite to win Player of the Season, is likely to be out of action for 9 months with cruciate ligament knee damage. Its a massive blow to the keeper who may well have been the subject of some significant transfer bids in the summer. The irony for Wolves fans is that the injury is likely to lead to him staying at the club for another season, and if promotion can be secured at the first attempt then he may well be here for a while.
It is likely to mean that Dorus De Vries will get the chance to impress in goal although a chance against City might be a mixed blessing. But he will be keen to impress to earn the first choice position until Hennessey is fit, although Carl Ikeme has been recalled from his loan at Doncaster to provide competition.
It is unlikely there will be many other changes to the team that drew at Sunderland last week. That would mean Henry and Davis continuing their promising partnership in the central midfield. Connor must decide whether that is in the anchor roles in a 4-2-3-1 formation or in a 4-4-2 as they played with last week. Steven Fletcher will be looking to increase his goal tally and is evidently keen to end his exile from the Scottish National team and is also under consideration for a place in the GB team for this summer’s Olympic tournament.
It’s difficult to imagine anything but a Wolves defeat this weekend and the betting interest in the game may well be focused on how many City score. But even a heroic result may well only put off the inevitable relegation confirmation for another week, and then all the focus can turn to finding the manager and team to make a successful return to the Championship.