CB: A Black Country derby is just the tonic for shaking off the hangover, but who’s going to be toasting a crucial win?
NB: Neither West Brom nor Wolves have enjoyed a great start to the season, and with tough games coming up on the fixture list both teams will want to pick up points. It’s a tight call and could easily swing the way of a draw with a controversial decision or a stroke of individual genius but I’m going with the home side on this one. In what could be a pretty open match due to somewhat leaky defences, I think that the Baggies can oblige at evens.
JF: Wolves started the season so promisingly, unbeaten after three games, and then it all seemed to fall apart. But this weekend is when the tables are going to turn for the Wanderers. The power of Roger Johnson at the back is too much for the frail Peter Odemwingie and I can’t see him getting a sniff at goal. With that sorted Wolves will be a steal at 14/5 to win on the 3Way market.
CB: There’s bound to be plenty of commitment and tackles, as there are with any local skirmish. but can we expecl goals as well?
HB: There are a number of different ways that these two sides could approach the game, but I think that more of them lead to an open game rather than a scrappy, congested one. It’s not often these days that Wolves let their opponents run away from them without at least getting a consolation goal away from home, so I would put the most likely scoreline at full time at 2-1, offering odds of 15/2. However, for a little more value, 3-2 is definitely not an inconceivable scoreline and seems generous offerings at 25/1.
JF: I’m looking at Wolves to score in both halves with odds of 15/4 and have the Baggies on the back foot all game. I mean, they haven’t exactly been spectacular this season, have they? Then again, when are they ever spectacular?
HB: Spectacular or not, West Brom seem to score a lot of goals in the first tenminutes and both teams could be a bit iffy at the back after the international break. Against Sunderland in their last fixture, they got two in the first five minutes. Therefore, I see ‘West Brom to score two goals in the first half’ to be good value for a punt at 23/4. It’s unlikely that three goals will be scored by one side in the first half as a team will usually calm down a bit and slow things down after two go in.
CB: John, you already mentioned that you wouldn’t be worried about Odemwingie if you were a Wolves fan, but who can cause the Baggies problems for Mick McCarthy’s men?
JF: I’ve got a sneaky feeling about Kevin Doyle. He’s coming into the game on the back of a goal for Ireland in midweek and works tirelessly up front for Wolves. The Baggies aren’t exactly watertight at the back and I’ll be having a bit of the 8/1 on him to break the deadlock at the Hawthorns.
HB: I’m looking at Shane Long to produce the goods, after demonstrating his talent and potential in Premier League so far this season. He looks composed and his movement is very good, making him dangerous on the counter attack and when left one on one with defenders. At 11/2, I would be tempted to back Long to get the first goal of the game, considering his decent form and the fact that, playing at home, West Brom seem more likely to score first.
CB: Good stuff. Anything else we should be looking to have a flutter on?
HB: Another good option, particularly for punters who believe that Roy Hodgson’s men might fade like they did against Sunderland, could be a bet on West Brom/Draw in the Halftime/Fulltime market. Odds of 13/1 seem like good value because The Baggies have shown the ability to start a game very well, but Wolves are a side who tend to come back into the game and push in the final 20 minutes or so. I think they’ll win, but this could be a nice cover bet.
JF: I can definitely see Wolves starting strongly and them frustrating West Brom for the rest of the game. They can be suspect in defence at times but I just can’t see any of the Baggies players causing them too much trouble, especially with their main creative force, Chris Brunt, ruled out. So with that thought I can see myself putting some cash on Wolves/Wolves at odds of 21/4 for a nice lunchtime payout!
CB: John, Harry….Thanks very much for your comments.
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