Probable Team Lineups: West Bromwich Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers
The new West Brom manager Roy Hodgson – a manager I very much appreciate, as you can read in THIS old article I wrote about the man – said when he was signed that he had no magic wand to save the season for the club. A toilet-brush would perhaps be more suitable for the task at hand?!😆
But McCarthy has in my eyes – and looking upon the results for Wolves the last four years – proved that he really have had the magic touch to take the club to the Premier League and he has also managed to keep us there.
Hodgson had the magic touch when it came to managing teams in Europe and Scandinavia and he did very well with Fulham for a couple of years. But his short spell at Liverpool shows that he needs the right environment and backing to gain success.
The question is if the small club down the road can offer that for Voy? We’ll have to wait and see, because success in managing is not instant. It takes time to make a team play the way you want and I believe that the Liverpool stars never did for Mr Hodgson.
For those reasons I am not worried about a ‘Hodgson-effect’ on Sunday. Some players may perform extra-well to impress the new guy, but they will also be confused about the instructions they will be given so it may very well be evened out.
Let’s look at the other prerequisites for the derby, then. +6 degrees and cloudy, maybe light rain. Not ideal to sit and watch the game perhaps, but it will not bother the players.
Both teams have a couple of long term injuries but in Wolves aswell as West Brom most players are available, with the exception of Hunt in Wolves and Zubar is also doubtful. WBA will probably miss out on Mulumba.
What about the formations then? Both Hodgson and McCarthy are advocates of the 4-4-2-formation but Mick has lately gone back to 4-5-1. I’m certain that Roy will play with two men upfront, but I do believe that Mick will continue with a lone striker, despite that.
There’s only one favorite for that striker role in Wolves – Kevin Doyle. Hopefully he will get the back-up of O’Hara from close behind this time.
In the abscense of Hunty, Hammill will probably play from start, although Edwards is available and probably stronger in the defensive tasks. Maybe Dave will come on after we have a lead in the game. 😆
Nenad Milijas is a certain and Henry is of course the first choice from McCarthy to play beside him.
Zubar is a doubt but Foley is ready to play in his favourable role on the right if nescessary. Elokobi will probably be chosen ahead of Ward at left back. Craddock was playing well in the Reserves, but Stearman and Berra are about to form an excellent central defence and will surely continue to do so.
What about our neighbors down the road, then? With a new manager changes will come, but not necessary in the first game. But as I said above they will play with two strikers, probably Fortuné and Odemwingie with Vela coming on from the bench when they are tiring after being stopped by our back four.
With Mulumbu probably missing in the middle they have a problem. I believe that Roy will opt for a strong defensive order in the middle of midfield and go for Scharner together with Dorrans and play Pablo (Ibanez) as a central defender beside Olsson, but that’s only an educated guess from my side.
There are twelwe games left to play now and Wolves can stay in the first division if we are able to make the results look like this as a minimum: 4-4-4. This game falls into the first category – a win.
This game will influence the rest of the season massively. With a win we know we have the right team, formation and spirit to stay up and can build on that stable ground. Let’s go for it!
The probable starting elevens: