Kyle Goldsmith looks ahead to the Championship game tomorrow afternoon in which 12th placed Wolves host 4th placed Bournemouth.
On Saturday, Wolves will look to put an end to shocking recent form and stop impressive Bournemouth, who would be top of the Championship if they didn’t let a two goal lead slip against Millwall.
After a superb start to the season Wolves have fallen apart in recent weeks especially at the back. Some were even talking about a possible second consecutive promotion. One of the keys to their start was the defence, which was resolute and solid, yet in the past three games the defence consisting of Danny Batth and co. have conceded 12 goals in three games, leaving them with the worst defensive record in the top half of the Championship. Admittedly, some of these goals were conceded against big hitters such as Derby and Nottingham Forest, but it is still nowhere near Kenny Jackett’s high expectations. As well as this the attack hasn’t been adequate with Wolves only scoring one goal in five games. All of this doesn’t bode well with the league’s top scorers storming into town.
Bournemouth’s recent form has not only been down to their vicious attack. Their defence has also come up trumps and they have held opponents to only 20 goals, the 6th best in the league. They currently sit 4th, but before their last three games (all draws), they were top. Also before those draws, the Cherries had won a huge SEVEN games in a row (league and cup), scoring 21 and conceding just 4! One of these wins came in the League Cup against Premier League West Bromwich Albion. In the next round of the cup and sitting pretty in the table, you can’t help but feel that Bournemouth are a club on the up, and injuries may be the only thing that stops them from being promoted come May.
Wolves – Bakary Sako
As always, the one to watch for Wolves comes in the form of a bulldozing Mali winger by the name of Bakary Sako. He has scored 7 goals in 16 games and is in the sights of Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert. Bournemouth’s right back Simon Francis will need to keep tabs on Sako or the Cherries could be in trouble.
Bournemouth – Callum Wilson
Meanwhile Bournemouth’s star man Callum Wilson may not even play after suffering a hamstring injury against Ipswich Town and was not included for the game against Millwall last Saturday. After arriving in the summer from Coventry for £3 million Wilson has hit 11 goals in 18 games, and it will be a huge miss for Bournemouth if he misses the game. If he does feature though, Wilson will be a huge threat.
Saturday will be the first league meeting between the sides since a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth in the old Division Two in April 1990.
Wolves have only beaten Bournemouth once in the last seven clashes.
With the contrast in form and the fact that it’s the top half of the league’s worst defence versus the league’s best attack it is hard to see anything but a Bournemouth victory. They may even give Wolves a bit of a hiding.