Wolverhampton Wanderers will be desperate to bounce back from their latest home defeat when Norwich City come to town on Tuesday night.
Mick McCarthy’s men find themselves just a point above the relegation zone after a Kevin Doyle own-goal and a Peter Crouch strike condemned them to a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Stoke City at Molineux.
Another crucial home clash now awaits and Wolves are the 11/10 favourites in bwin’s 3Way football betting market, with the draw at 12/5 and a Norwich triumph available at 23/10.
On the face of it, McCarthy should feel confident that his side will have what it takes to pick up all three points.
After all, Norwich have a pretty ordinary recent record in the Black Country, having failed to win at Wolves since a 2-0 triumph in September 1995 – a run stretching back 12 matches.
The Canaries have conceded 17 goals in their eight away matches thus far, a total exceeded only by Swansea (18) and Arsenal (19), while Wolves sit 13th in a league table based purely on home fixtures.
However, a closer look at the statistics reveals that ten of those goals were shipped in Norwich’s visits to Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City.
If you’re looking for a banker, take odds of 3/5 on both teams to score – I’ll eat my hat if that one fails to come in.
The 1-1 draws picked up at Everton, Liverpool and Wigan, plus a 2-1 win over Bolton, are probably a better indication of the resilience of Paul Lambert’s men when they play away from Carrow Road.
So a tough evening appears to be in prospect for Wolves, then, but where should football betting fans place their money?
The first thing to note is the striking difference between the two sides’ respective performances before and after half-time in their Premier League matches.
Just six of Wolves’ 17 goals have arrived before the interval and they are the only team who have failed to score in the first 15 minutes of their matches (making the 19/10 on Norwich to score the opening goal in the first half a decent play).
McCarthy’s men have also shipped 17 of their 30 goals prior to the interval and sit 16th in a table of first-half results at home – but suddenly rise to ninth if only second halves are considered.
On the other hand, Norwich hold eighth position in a table based on first-half results on the road, but fall to second bottom for their efforts in the final 45 minutes, having lost six of their eight away second halves, conceding 12 goals in the process.
Wolves to win the second half therefore looks decent at football betting odds of 7/5, while backing the hosts to score more after the interval than they do before it could also pay off at 29/20.
However, perhaps the best route to a hefty festive return at Molineux is to back Norwich to be leading at half-time and the match to end in a draw, as happened in their clash with Everton on Saturday.
This eventuality is priced at 25/2, which means punters using their free £25 bet for joining bwin.com on this outcome could win an impressive £337.50 if it comes to fruition.
It is also worth considering that six of Wolves’ eight fixtures at Molineux have contained over 2.5 goals – odds of 3/4 say that will be seven from nine at the final whistle tomorrow.
After taking all of this information into account, punters looking for a longer-priced selection in the correct score market could do worse than get stuck into the lengthy 11/1 on a 2-2 result.
And if you’re looking for a banker, take odds of 3/5 on both teams to score – I’ll eat my hat if that one fails to come in.
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