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Michael Taylor 25th Nov 2008 - 12:05

McCarthy and Wolves face test of mettle

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy has seen his team make a flying start to the season as they find themselves six points clear at the top of the Championship, but face a difficult trip to the Steel City.

The Wanderers had been an 11/1 dark horse in the outright betting prior to the season's start but have seen their price shorten right down to 6/4 after another win, 2-0 against Blackpool, at the weekend.

It must seem too good to be true for fans in the West Midlands more accustomed to disappointment. Their team are dominating a tough division and scoring a hatful of goals in the process while recent form suggests there is no reason for the run to come to a halt.

Wolves not only top the division, they also top the list of scorers. Led by the attacking partnership of Chris Iwelumo and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, they have managed to find the net 41 times in just 18 matches.

On Tuesday night, the Molineux residents travel to Bramall Lane to face 4th placed Sheffield United in what should be one of the Championship games of the season.

The James Beattie inspired Blades are also in good form of late and, despite a disappointing loss in their last home match against Reading, a 5-2 weekend victory away at Charlton ensured they are in high spirits for the visit of Wolves.

It looks hard to seperate the promotion contenders and a draw is priced about 23/10, however with a packed-out Bramall Lane behind them, the Blades (6/4) could just nick it.

One thing that should be certain is goals. The Blades boast the best defensive record in the division but have looked shaky in Ugo Ehiogu's absence while Wolves concede regularly and score even more.

Wolves will look to exploit Sun Jihai's defensive frailties down the right and there is nobody better to do this than Michael Kightly. Kightly is 7/2 to score anytime and looks great value.

For the Blades, Brian Howard will look to drive the Blades on after a dominant display against Charlton and is available at 9/2 to score in the game.

Elsewhere in the Tuesday night Championship games, Doncaster will feel confident of leapfrogging Nottingham Forest at the bottom of the league, with a second win in as many games at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Doncaster have been looking stronger of late and if they manage to find the net, which has been a big problem this season, then Forest could be in trouble. Rovers are priced 13/10 to win.

Finally, Assistant Manager Phil Parkinson takes Charlton across London to face newly-appointed Paulo Sousa's QPR at Loftus Road.

Charlton parted company with Alan Pardew after the weekend defeat by Sheff Utd leaving Athletic languishing in the relegation zone and the slump looks likely to continue on Tuesday.

Look at QPR to pile more misery on the Addicks, QPR are priced at 10/11 to win, while 2-0 could be good value at 13/2.

QPR are also part of a Championsip enhanced-odds multiple, along with Birmingham, Bristol City and Derby. A win for all of these teams is priced at 16/1.

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