Date: 27th February 2016
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
There will be little buzz around Molineux come Saturday.
Wolves recent uninspiring performances, combined with the infamous rotten performances in front of the sky cameras, makes for unappealing game against a Derby side who just starting to click into form.
A shambolic run of defeats against mid table sides Preston, Huddersfield and Brentford has fans calling for the manager’s head and questioning the desires of both the players and the board.
Rewind to just less than 11 eleven months previous and Wolves faced Derby in entirely different circumstances. The game at Molineux was yet again highlighted for the sky cameras but instead saw Derby the ones in freefall, while Wolves were going from strength to strength in the battle of the playoff spots.
Despite an early scare from Tom Ince hitting the bar, the home side ran out 2-0 winners on the day, with the forward three of Sako, Dicko and Afobe firing on all cylinders.
In comparison Wolves attacking prowess today is almost non-existent.
A mere one goal in the past four games is all Wolves have been able to muster as the entire season deflates without a whimper. The club are seemingly in a rut they simply can’t get out of and a mid-table finish is the best fans can hope for.
An early goal from the Rams tomorrow could see the atmosphere turn toxic and Kenny Jackett must do something, anything, to shake things up.
New signing Jeremy Helan will surely be in line to make his debut though its unsure whether that will be a left back or in a more attacking position. Kortney Hause could also return to his more familiar role at centre back, replacing Danny Batth who in all honesty, should have been dropped a long time ago.
Emiliano Martinez could also return to goal to replace Carl Ikeme, who has conceded eight goals in February alone.
What fans fell in love with when watching these past two seasons was the sheer swagger the side played with. Jackett created an entertaining, explosive brand of football that simply isn’t there anymore. If Jackett and his side can prove there is still that energy and commitment there once was, he may give himself, and his players, some much needed time.
Fans have been calling for Nathan Byrne to start for months and Jackett eventually agreed and started him midweek against Brentford. Unfortunately his performance matched the result, which was ultimately disappointing. However this is an experiment that Jackett should keep the faith with. With the creative Graham, Zyro and Henry all out injured and with Van La Parra on the verge of leaving all together, Byrne should be given the opportunity to make a place his own.
Chris Martin bagged two in the reverse fixture this season and could do the same on Saturday against an abysmal Wolves defence. Martin has 10 goals this season and the return to the side of Tom Ince and Andreas Weimann will only support the Scottish striker.
First goal scorer
Joe Mason 6/1
Adam Le Fondre 13/2
Bjorn Siguardarson 7/1
Chris Martin 5/1
Darren Bent 6/1
Nick Blackman 6/1