Wolverhampton Wanderers vs West Bromwich Albion
Two of the Midlands’ famous old clubs come head-to-head at Molineux on Saturday where we’ll see contrasting styles but a shared aim of winning a much-needed three points.
Wolves vs West Brom is a huge Premier League fixture in the West Midlands. Only 12 miles separate the Wolves ground from the Hawthorns in just a 20-minute drive.
They have had some fierce tussles in the past and this one is sure to follow that tradition as both are in dire need of a victory.
Wolves are expected to push for a top-seven place but they are down in 14th. And with almost half the season gone, they’re worryingly close to the relegation scrap.
West Brom are in the thick of it in 19th and they’re heavily odds on to take the drop.
Wolves struggle without Jimenez
Nuno Espirito Santo has received plaudits for the way his players have taken on the Premier League since their return, but since star striker Raul Jimenez was injured in November they have struggled for points.
Tuesday night’s game against Everton was a good measure of exactly where Wolves are at this moment in time. They dominated much of the possession and played some attractive football but still went down to a 1-2 defeat.
The hosts were unlucky to fall behind early in the game when Alex Iwobi’s shot took a deflection off Conor Coady. They equalised through Ruben Neves following a brilliant move before losing to a late Michael Keane header.
Neves and Pedro Neto stretched the Toffees’ defence at will and the assist for Neves courtesy of 19-year-old Rayan Ait-Nouri was sublime.
Fabio Silva is another young player to look out for in the Premier League 2021 highlights but stylish football doesn’t always bring results, so you need to be clinical at both ends of the pitch.
Nuno’s men are struggling to keep a clean sheet. Jimenez looked on from the stands as his attacking colleagues won the shot count against Everton by 12 to five but lost the game.
Since the striker’s injury against Arsenal in November, Wolves have won just once in eight league games.
Snodgrass signs in for Baggies
Following WBA’s FA Cup exit at the hands of League 1 Blackpool, Sam Allardyce said he was looking to strengthen during the January transfer window and he’s already moved to bring in West Ham’s unwanted winger Robert Snodgrass.
The 33-year-old Scot will bring Premier League experience to the club which could prove vital in its attempt to climb out of a desperate situation.
Allardyce is likely to make more moves in the transfer market as the permanent deal for Snodgrass means the Baggies have another loan slot to fill, having recruited Chelsea’s talented midfielder Conor Gallagher on loan in September.
Only Sheffield United sit below West Brom in the Premier League table and a recent 0-5 defeat to Leeds United laid bare the deficiencies in the Baggies’ defence.
They have the worst goal difference in the league by a margin at -28, and that’s something Big Sam will be working hard to rectify soon.
Alongside Gallagher, right-winger Matheus Pereira is a key player — contributing three assists so far — and he could expose any nerves in the hosts’ defence.
Current form and squad strength says the Premier League 2021 betting odds will call a home banker in this game.
But the Baggies have had the better of previous exchanges in the Premier League, winning 15 of the 29 meetings to Wolves’ six and there have been eight draws.
The two teams last met in 2012 when West Brom took a 5-1 victory away from Molineux as Wolves headed to the Championship, relegated by 12 points while the Baggies finished in an impressive 10th position.
Now, the roles are reversed and the Wolves will fancy their chances of returning the compliment.
But Wolves have been in patchy form recently with one win, two draws, and three defeats in the last six.
The Baggies have been more consistently bad with no wins in six. But strikingly they had 1-1 draws versus both Liverpool and Manchester City – which is Slaven Bilic’s last game in charge.
West Brom are without a win in eight and without an away win in 11, but Wolves haven’t kept a clean sheet in 11 league games.
So let’s take a look at the latest odds here at SBOTOP and try to make a winning call.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers vs West Bromwich Albion||First Half 1X2 Wolverhampton Wanderers @ 2.16|
|January 16, 20:30 (GMT+8)|
Wolves are at odds of 1.44 to win with the draw at 3.97 and West Brom out there at 6.76 to grab an unlikely victory.
Nuno’s side is struggling but they are playing better than their results suggest, and there is a gulf in class between the two groups of players.
Allardyce will try to keep things tight at the back but Wolves have scored first half goals in each of their last three games and I’m backing them to take an early lead on Saturday.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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