Analysis and Probable Lineups: Blackburn v Wolves
And we’re on it again. A third season in the Premier League for Wolves is about to start and a third season reporting for Paddytheflea, mind you.
Nervous? I’m always nervous this time of year. There’s really no telling how they will fly before they’re up in the air, is it? But we can get some hints from the signings and maybe also from the pre-season games and last seasons games.
A friend of mine can’t stop to babble about that Wolves in fact was a middle team last season if we only count the second half of it. Maybe the play of Wolves did evolve aft mid-season and they can hopefully go on from there now.
Another good sign is of course the signings, even if they weren’t – or are not yet anyway – as many as some of us had hoped for. Johnson at central defence is definitely a top player and will strengthen the defence, I’m sure.
What Hunty can do we already know very well after last season and now he will be with us from start. Remember his curl against Blackburn (celebration below)? De Vries is for me still an unknown, but reports say that he can fill the shoes of old departed American ace Hahnemann and has some special qualities to offer as goalkeeper.
Hopefully Kightly will play a role after his injury horror and I hope Doyler can stay injury free the better part of this season, despite his problems recently, and add more goals than the last.
Add to that the fact that we are still a team with many players in their first half of their careers and they will constantly better their play and we have – even without any more transfers coming in – as Mick McCarthy also believes, a stronger and better team than last season.
Blackburn away then. Not an easy start for sure. But maybe it’s better for the players to shake off their Premier nerves away than at home and against a team nobody really could demand them to win against.
Furthermore. If anytime is a good time to play against the Rovers it must be now. Samba and Nelsen are reported doubtful, their ace defender and defensive midfielder is sold and their manager says they are waiting for several more signings to join them. They have a weakness in defence and I hope we possess the skills to take advantage of it.
The last games we have played against them tells another story, though. At home in the last game of last season they totally outplayed us in the first half, but hopefully that was a unique event. Their manager said afterwards that it was the best half they played all season and I doubt they can copy that.
The Wolves team for tomorrows game is – or at least it was before Doylers injury – very easy to pick. I’m sure Mick will go with Stearman, Johnson, Berra and Elokobi at the back.
The four in the middle is equally easy with Henry and O’Hara in the middle flanked by Jarvis and Hunt. I have no inside information about the fitness of Doyle, but I believe McCarthy will rest him if there is but an ounce of a doubt about the injury. Fletcher is a given, of course and our most probable scorer in this game.
Who will play for Doyle, then? Last season Mick played Ward instead of Ebanks-Blake and did silence som doubters about his abilities. I believe he will do that again, much because of his work rate and outstanding defensive qualities. Playing 4-4-2 with Doyler probably out we need that sort of skills to strengthen in the middle of the field.
I’ve written enough now and I’m not really qualified to pick the Blackburn team, but my guess will be below. The score? I would be pleased with a draw away, really, but taken the above into equation I believe we have a good chance of winning this. 2-1 to Wolves. O’Hara and Fletcher scores. You heard it first from me – the flea. 😆