Probable Team Lineups: Bolton v Wolves
Time for a real game again. Good. I’m looking forward to Wolves to show all doubters that the play and result against Stoke in the Cup was just a temporary lapse of reason.
When we met Bolton at home the spirits and hopes were very high before the game, as we had played very good against the top teams in the league and had a row of lower teams on the agenda. But things didn’t come out as planned. Partly because an own goal early in the game that made it an uphill task, partly because Bolton was very competitive and in form at the time and – unlike Wolves – scored on their chances.
Today it’s another situation for both teams. We have both been struggling lately and are looking for a game that can start the season anew. This time it’s away and Wolves need an effort as inspired as against Liverpool to win – or as inspired as the last half hour when we met Bolton at home.
A big plus for Wolves is that we have several players back from injury, but Hunt is out for a couple of weeks and it is not known when Mancienne, Guédioura and Kightly will be back in contention. It’s not known if Foley and Ebanks-Blake can play a whole game yet after injury, so they are doubtful starters. As is new guy Jamie O’Hara who may need at least a game coming in from the bench before he can run the 90.
I believe that Mick is thinking a lot about going back to a 4-5-1-formation. Especially with O’Hara in the team. He would fit perfectly playing the role as the advanced midfielder with five in the middle. But I believe that he will give the traditional and prefered 4-4-2 yet a chance. Especially as Bolton will play that formation.
Everybody’s talking about our weak back four. I’m not so sure that I agree about the weaknesses at the back. If you take a look at the amount of pressure we sometimes are under, for instance against Stoke latest when the Delap throw-ins came like hail at them.
Or when teams are allowed to launch counter attacks when we have to attack to take points when twenty minutes or so remaining of the game. In such occasions no defence can withstand the pressure and some attacks are bound to find their way into our net. So in my opinion they are better than we give them credit for.
It is really hard to tell which back four Mick McCarthy will use today. I find myself trying to avoid the question. 😆 Zubar or Foles? Probably Zubar as Foley is not totally match-fit yet. Craddock or Stears? Probably Stears as he is in form and Craddock is not really match-fit yet. Ward or Elokobi? Probably Ward as Elokobi is not match-fit yet. But saying that I don’t have the view to know if the above mentioned are match-fit or not. My personal preferences – if all fit and well – would be Foley-Craddock-Stearman-Elokobi.
Will Hammill be ready to play from start. I believe so. With Hunt injured we are lucky to have him and we should use him. I see no reason why not. Jarvis will of course be the other winger. O’Hara is not ready to play from start yet, at least that is what I believe, but I can see him coming in from the bench with 30 or 45 minutes left, depending on standings. Milijas missed a penalty, but will not be dismissed because of that. And Henry is a personal favorite of McCarthy’s and will play.
Doyle will play from start as he is free from his illness now. Ebanks-Blake has the same problem as many others. Not yet fully match-fit for 90 minutes, I believe. So Fletcher will play from start.
What about Bolton, then? They will have their danger man winger back from some tournament in Asia. I’m not sure if he will play from start, but it wouldn’t surprise me. But I don’t believe they will play Sturridge from start. They have two accomplished forwards but he will probably come on with half an hour left, trying to give them a point.😆
So this will be the probable starting elevens tonight. And I will be hoping for three points, but pleased with one and a well-played game by Wolves.