Preston away is going to be the start of a run of games which will define whether we will break the 100 point mark this season or not. Preston (A), Norwich (H), Fulham (A), Leeds (A) and Villa (A) are 5 of our next 6 fixtures. That run of fixtures is enough to derail any regular promotion chasing side, luckily for us we have the best squad and manager this league has ever seen, so whilst I’m not expecting to win every one of those games, I’m hopeful of a decent return from a possible 15 points, starting with this weekend’s clash with Preston.
Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals
Given the unfair array of attacking talent we now possess after the additions of Rafa Mir and Benik Afobe, it’s fair to say I expect us to score in every game from now until the end of the season. We have the personnel for any kind of defensive set up thrown at us. Should Preston choose to set up with a low block we have Bonatini or Mir who can play with their backs to goal. If they dare to play on the front foot then we can deploy Afobe, Jota or Cavaleiro through the middle who can operate in a more counter attacking system. It’s this kind of strength in depth that will serve us well if we find ourselves chasing a game.
Preston themselves are potent in attack too, they may have the lowest goals scored in the top 12 but their xG numbers have consistently been good this season, suggesting they’re creating more than enough chances but simply lack the goalscorer to put them away. Both teams have scored in 5 of Preston’s last 6 games so there’s plenty of evidence to show there could be goals on Saturday. We may have an excellent defensive record but we gave up plenty of big chances to QPR last time out, against a better side we wouldn’t have won that game. Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is 7/4.
We can put the “former Wolves players who will score against us” sweepstakes to one side for this week as Preston are one of the only teams in the League who haven’t picked up one of our rejects. Instead I’ll focus on a certain Helder Costa. He’s started to get back to his best recently and the goal against QPR was a deserved reward for a man who hasn’t been in the best form since his return from injury. Preston had their Left-Back sent off against Brentford so he’ll miss this match, meaning Helder will have the chance to run at a second choice LB for 90 mins. I’m not going to pretend I know this poor man’s name, I’m just going to assume he’ll be in for a terrible afternoon. The fact Matt Doherty is so attacking constantly wreaks havoc amongst opposition defences, with the entire left side not knowing whether to go with Doc or Costa. This sort of freedom cannot be afforded to a man of Costa’s talent, if they can’t figure out how to deal with the overload on our right side then we’ll exploit it all day. Costa to score anytime is 5/2.