Wolves to enter the Hornets nestBy: DJ | November 16th, 2012
Wolves travel to Watford on Saturday afternoon in a game that pits together the teams of two continental managers trying to gain success in the 2nd tier of English football. Solbakken is still trying to successfully introduce a new style of play to Wolves while Zola who was also appointed in the summer has got just one more point so far this season as his team struggle for consistency.
Watford have a strange league record this season because they are the highest scoring team away from home in the division but one of the lowest at home. Their away goals scored record is almost matched by goals conceded and was boosted by a 6-1 success at Leeds last week after the home team were reduced to 9 men. But at home they are only averaging a goal a game and yet have conceded even fewer. The first time Wolves and Watford met each other was way back in 1912 in an FA Cup tie which ended in a draw at Watford with Wolves winning the replay 10-0. The clubs did not meet for the first time in a league game until 1983 and the results have been pretty even since with 10 Watford wins and 8 Wolves successes and 14 draws. There have been quite a few goals in recent years with 29 in the last 8 meetings.
Wolves will go into the game with a slightly improved morale after getting a draw last week after being down to ten men for over half the game and managing to score 3 goals in a league game for only the second time this season. But only Ipswich and Derby have scored fewer away than Wolves this season and the current form record is 3 draws at home and 3 defeats away in the last six games. So Solbakken still has to find some improvement in results to keep the pressure off as he tries to implement his own style of play.
He has been quoted this week as saying he wants to pursue the route towards Wolves being a team that holds possession better, that plays at a higher tempo, and that has a style that will also work at a higher level. All those principles are ones that Wolves supporters will welcome but the truth is that at the moment it isnt playing out that way on the pitch. Wolves have generally been poor to watch, played at a pedestrian tempo and what passing we have seen has generally been along the defensive line and back and forth between the defenders and the defensive midfield players. The good passing teams play the ball quickly and there is good movement off the ball and players are always looking to find space. But when Wolves have controlled the game this season it has usually been by holding the ball in their own half and around the halfway line and that needs to happen further up the field and with more purpose if it is to hurt the opposition.
Karl Henry will this weekend start a three game suspension so there is a decision to make on his replacement. David Davis is the most like for like change but David Edwards or even Kevin Foley may well be the choice to play alongside Doumbia in the middle of the park. The captaincy will likely shift to Doyle or Ward. Otherwise it is likely to be the team we have come used to seeing although Sigurdarson is now pressing Ebanks Blake for one of the starting striker positions.
With six games without a win its 3 points that are needed, probably more than a sparkling performance right now, but it would be good to see more evidence of the Solbakken theory being applied.