After Nottingham Forest’s last-gasp winner against Norwich City, and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Derby County, Roman Filipowicz previews the Reds’ return to Molineux
It feels like an absolute age since Michail Antonio’s late, late winner trundled across the line at the Trent End to hand Nottingham Forest their first victory in far too many league matches. Since then we’ve seen a probe land on a comet, some non-celebrities land in the jungle and England win at football and lose at rugby. What a time we live in.
Anyway, it’s back to the grind of the Championship and where
worse better to resume hostilities than Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers? I’m not sure why, but I’ve never really liked Wolves. Perhaps it harks back to the 1980 League Cup Final. Or it could be that we (two seasons ago notwithstanding) generally have a pretty poor record against them. Maybe it’s the slight (but not quite Newcastle United level) sense of entitlement some of their fans have. Whatever it is, I can’t say I’m a fan.
Disappointingly, following their promotion back from League One they’ve started the season pretty well, currently sitting a couple of points and places ahead of our good selves. That, combined with our aforementioned rotten record against them (which is even worse at Molineux), would suggest that we could be in for a tough afternoon. However, while we’ve had two weeks to bask in the glory of that last-minute winner against Norwich; Wolves have been stewing in the memory of an old-fashioned thrashing at the hands of some other East Midlands team. Who knows what that will have done to their confidence?
If I were a betting man — which I occasionally am, but never very successfully — I’d stake money on Bakary Sako netting against us. Ex-players and failed transfer targets always seem to. (See Boyd, G). They’ve also just signed Danny Graham on loan to further beef up their attack. Forest will go into the match with no new injury worries (as I write this anyway), and with the likes of Danny Fox, Kelvin Wilson and David Vaughan all pushing for a recall.
It’ll be interesting to see what team Stuart Pearce picks for this one. Two up front definitely bore fruit against Norwich with both Britt Assombalonga and Matt Fryatt contributing greatly. Ben Osborn deserves to keep his place and the part that Jamie Paterson played could mean that it’s on-loan Tom Ince who misses out – though he played well for the England Under-21s during the break. I can’t see us starting with the same back, er, three that we finished with last time out though.
We’re long overdue an away victory, and if we could snaffle one then we’d leapfrog Wolves and be right back in the mix. Start the game with the same intensity and quality that we showed in the second-half against the Canaries, and it could be happy trip back from the Black Country.