Fans of Wolverhampton Wanderers will be hoping the saying ‘form is temporary, class is permanent’ applies to their side this weekend because however bad their current run of seven games without a win is, their record against their next opponents, Nottingham Forest, is magnificent.
The two teams have met 16 times across four competitions (Premier League, Championship, FA Cup and League Cup) over the past 20 seasons and Forest have won just one of those encounters.
By contrast, Reds boss Sean O’Driscoll will be hoping his side’s current decent patch of form – just one defeat in their last nine outings – gives them the confidence to overcome their Molineux hoodoo.
In the battle of form versus history, Wolves are slight favourites at 13/10, with Forest at 39/20 and the draw at 9/4 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
A closer look at the statistics reveals that not only have the boys in gold had the beating of Forest in their recent matches, they’ve also plundered many goals in the process.
The aggregate score of their meetings since the turn of the century is 21-7 to Wolves, so it’s worth backing them to score first at 17/20.
However, Stale Solbakken’s side have been conceding goals at a worrying rate in recent weeks, last keeping a clean sheet on September 29th, and it’s 7/10 for both teams to score.
With strikers Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake having netted just four goals between them in the last ten games, a repeat of Wolves’ 5-1 win on Forest’s last trip to Molineux seems unlikely but a repeat of their 2-1 victories of 2001, 2002 and 2004 looks a good option at 8/1.
New customers using the free £20 bet they receive when registering with bwin would win £180 if Wolves continue their tree-burning streak with another 2-1 triumph.
But with very few of the side remaining from those Wolves wins (only Ebanks-Blake, captain Karl Henry and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey played in the last two encounters), O’Driscoll will hope an early goal for his side instils some jitters in the hosts after their poor run of late and helps them secure victory.
So for those of a Forest persuasion, the best option looks to be for the away side to take it 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 at 17/4.