Date: 26th September 2015
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Following a disappointing exit in the cup midweek, Wolves face Preston on Saturday hoping to end a recent record of three games without a win.
With nine changes being made for the game against Middlesbrough, little was expected of the game at Riverside but the 312 Wolves fans that made the journey deserved a much better performance than what was on show.
The youthful back four is still crying out for an experienced head to guide them through games (Richard Stearman anyone?), while creativity going forward isn’t much better, with Kenny Jackett’s side only registering one shot on target across the whole 90 minutes at Teeside.
Any momentum we had at the close of last season has now crumbled away with exits, miss management and out of form players all aiding to the decline.
The club is now is a sorry state after setting fans expectations last season. This is now a crucial time in Jackett’s Wolves career, as he needs to get things right to win over those dwindling crowds. The potential of the side is being constantly spoken of by Jackett but without any substance on the pitch recently to back up that argument.
Jackett admitted that no one who played at Middlesbrough forced their way into first team plans, which is highly unsurprising after the display.
Bringing in Nathan Byrne, who didn’t play against Boro due to being cup-tied, is a must start for Saturday. He may hopefully add that creative spark we are lacking when driving forward. Danny Batth could also be drafted into the side to play Preston, although he may still be unfit due to not playing a minute of first team football since April.
With David Edwards injury and Connor Coady’s straight red against Brighton, there will also be much change to the central midfield area against Preston. Kevin McDonald, Jack Price, George Saville and even Tommy Rowe are all in line to take their place, although the current 4-4-2 formation could be scrapped due to the loss of Edwards. Jackett may opt to go for a more similar style to last year, choosing to incorporate more traditional wide so we can further expose Preston’s back four.
Similar to when we played Bolton, we visit Preston with them still searching for their first win at home this season. Their only win of the season came courtesy of a 1-0 win away at MK Dons.
Martinez, Iorfa, Hause, Ebanks-Landell, Golbourne, Henry, Price, McDonald, Byrne, Afobe, Le Fondre
Rob Preston 0-1 Wolves
Rye Preston 1-2 Wolves
Graham Preston 1-2 Wolves
Craig Preston 1-1 Wolves
Joe Garner has matured into a top striker for Preston, scoring over 50 goals in the past two seasons, including a memorable 25 yard volley against Rotherham in 2014 League One playoff semi-finals. Although still searching for his first goal this season, Garner is a pacey striker with the ability to score a wide variety of goals, so could be tough opposition for our new look back four.
This week saw the good news that James Henry had put pen to paper on a new two-year deal at Molineux, with the option to extend for a third year. Henry has been one of the few creative outlets for us this season and arguably our best player so far.
Joe Garner 11/2
Stevie May 6/1
Will Keane 13/2
Benik Afobe 5/1
Adam Le Fondre 13/2
Nathan Byrne 9/1