Wolves to bounce Baggies
Wolves v WBA - 13:30 - live on Sky Sports 1
Wolves and West Brom are preparing to contest the 146th league renewal of this Black County derby and the hosts come in on the back of a come-from-behind victory at QPR that stopped them from slipping to a 10th league game without a victory. On the other hand the Baggies were going down meekly at home to Norwich, however they will be glad to be back on their travels as they have picked up 18 of their 26 points on the road.
Mick McCarthy and his Wolves side were beginning to look a little down cast but the victory at Loftus Road will have given them a huge boost and they should come into this game buzzing. Wolves (6/4) are in a precarious position and a definite relegation scrap, one they can suck WBA further into with a win.
They have made a shrewd signing in the transfer window bringing in centre back Sebastien Bassong who should help to shore up the leaky defence, one that has seen them pick the ball out of their own net 67 times this season. They will be without Emmanuel Frimpong who has had to return to Arsenal sue to injury but taking his place will be the returning Jamie O'Hara (8/1 First/Last, 11/4 anytime) who has all of the enthusiasm and battling qualities needed for a derby match like this.
The Wolves attack should again be spearheaded by Steven Fletcher who is always a handful for defences with his hustling style he is 5/1 to score first/last and 5/4 to score anytime and the most likely to open the scoring for the hosts. He may be assisted by Kevin Doyle (13/2 First/Last, 15/8 Anytime) , should McCarthy choose to play two upfront he would also be a good shout to score first after his goal at QPR.
This will be a big game for Roy Hodgson as he will want to mark his 1 year anniversary at the club with a win; ironically it comes against the side he faced first as West Brom manager when he led them to a 1-1 draw (6/1 for a repeat).
The Baggies (19/10, draw 21/10) away from has been good as they have already picked up 5 wins on their travels, such away form would have them occupying a European spot if their home form was anywhere near as good. They have been a bit of a bogie side to their Black Country rivals as Wolves have won just 3 of the last 20 fixtures in all competitions.
West Brom should had debuts to 2 transfer deadline day signings, Liam Ridgewell and Keith Andrews, both players are typical Roy Hodgson signings and will strengthen the West Brom Squad, especially Andrews (14/1 First/Last, 11/2 Anytime) who can also supply some creativity going forward. The Wolves frontline of Peter Odemwingie (13/2 First/Last, 15/8 Anytime) and Marc-Antoine Fortune (15/2 First/Last, 9/4 Anytime) should really appreciate having him in the midfield.
On the stats front both teams to score at 13/20 looks an absolute banker. It is a short price for this market but when you consider Wolves haven't kept a clean sheet in 21 league matches while WBA have not kept an away clean sheet since November it's easy to see why! As with all derby matches the over bookings have to be seriously considered, this one is normally very feisty so over 55pts at 12/5 would be the bet.
On the whole this should be a typically high tempo, high emotion derby and I see wolves finally getting the better of West Brom in a close tie that contains plenty of goals. Correct scores to look at would be Wolves 2-1 (17/2), Wolves 3-1 (18/1) and Wolves 3-2 (28/1) while Wolves to come from behind and win (17/2) and to come from behind and win or draw (4/1) are both tempting bets.
Both teams to score @ 13/20
Steven Fletcher anytime @ 5/4
Worth a punt:
Wolves 3-1 @ 18/1
Over 65pts bookings @ 4/1