Friday, 26 October 2012

Wolves ready for tasty meal

Wolves have got just one point from their last two home games, while Charlton do better away than at home, but the home side is looking forward to a tasty meal and three points tomorrow. The mood in the Wolves camp is that automatic promotion is a certainty while Charlton are there for the taking given that they were two divisions lower last season: Wolves

Charlton have won two, drawn two and lost two league matches away, while at home they have only won one and lost three. They have scored over twice as many goals away as at home.

Why is this? The most obvious difference is the formation adopted. At home we have tended to rely on 4-4-2. Away from home we have gone for 4-5-1 or often a more sophisticated variant of it. I didn't go to Leeds but as far as I could work out it was 4-1-3-1-1 or possibly 4-1-4-1. Dervitte played in front of what I think of as a strong back four and gave them some useful protection: in other words, we have found the defensive midfielder we have lacked.

Chris Powell was asked earlier in the week if he would play the same formation at Wolves as he did at Leeds and he said 'possibly'. Clearly he would be unwise to give too much away. Wolves will, of course, have had us watched and will think of ways of countering us. My impression on Tuesday was that Leeds had difficulty finding a way through our midfield.

What was less clear was how we were going to score or at any rate score the winning goal. We stepped up the pressure at the end of the game and Bradley Wright-Phillips was only denied by a stunning save from Kenny. We were, however, more exposed at the back as a result.

I am pretty sure that we will use some variant of 4-5-1 tomorrow, but it may be that Wright-Phillips will start up front. Bradley Pritchard was brought in when Dale Stephens failed a late fitness test and he accredited himself well. He may not be the most stylish or skilled player, but he puts himself about and makes a thorough nuisance of himself to the opposition.

We haven't won at Wolves in the secondtier since 1999/2000 when we won 3-2, on my 53rd birthday as I recall. The Addicks have not taken a point off them since our 2-0 home win in the Premier League in January 2004. Charlton's most recent of only five league victories at Molineux was also in the same season, when they won 4-0 in August despite going down to 10 men after Scotty Parker was sent off.

Our last two matches in the second tier at Molineux were defeats. I am not going to make a prediction as all my recent efforts have been wrong, but the odds (Coral) are home win 5/6; draw 5/2; away win 10/3.

Chris Powell thinks that we may be helped by the fact that the weight of expectation is on Wolves. In our away victories there has sometimes been a sense of 'it's only Charlton' from the home side, leading to a belief that all they have to do is turn up, play some exhibition football in a training game and walk off to the cheers of their supporters. That went sour for Leeds at least who were booed off.

Once again the officials on the pitch are from the north with a fourth official from the West Midlands so it is likely that any marginal decisions will go against the southern softies.


Ketts said...

Just a small point Wyn, Dale Stephens was named in the team but felt his troublesome hamstring tighten during the warm up & was withdrawn. Incidentally, Harriott who replaced Pritchard on the bench, was one of three youngsters who made the trip. Bradley Jordan & Adebayo Azeez also took part in the pre-match warm up.

Agree that 4-5-1 at Wolves is a virtual certainty but I would be surprised if BWP is recalled unless Powell reverts to 4-4-2. Hulse had a fine game at Elland Road & as long as he came through it without any reaction, I would expect him to start. The lone striker role doesn't really suit BWP.

Wyn Grant said...

I did know about Dale, should have made that clearer. Good point about BWP and Hulse. Before Kermorgant was injured I might have recommended using him as the lone striker, although there was a tendency to send him too many long balls.

Anonymous said...

Wolves will be a tougher proposition than Leeds, but the main point is about our midfield. The inclusion of Dervite as the holding player is the key thing. Not only is he sound defensively but can play moving forward. Also Pritchard has the legs to be box to box and negated JJ's lack of pace. Wilson also has an engine and is not a confidence player like Green.Stephens is creative but sometimes gives the ball away cheaply , so I'd stick with the Leeds team
I'd agree Hulse is much better suited to the Solo front role , being a more physically challenging player and has a lot of experience at this level. BWP has inpact from the bench.