PREVIEW | Wednesday -v- Wolves

PREVIEW | Wednesday -v- Wolves

The only way to find peace in supporting Wednesday at the moment is by totally forgetting that you support Wednesday.

Okay, so, a little dramatic, but don’t tell me you’ve found enjoyment in following the club in recent weeks.

That is, quite simply, not possible.

Following the club – to whatever degree we deem possible – has simply thrown problems back in our faces.

And what are we told to do with our problems? We share them. We share them with the group.

Hi, my names Hugh, and I’m a Sheffield Wednesday fan.

So, problem one. We have a team that is neither winning games nor providing entertaining football.

Problem two. A significant number of our fans have decided that Carlos Carvalhal is no longer suitable. Our fans are falling out with each other as a result.

Problem three. Our season is quickly fading into the deep abyss that is safety in mid-table. Even the storyline to our season is boring.

Problem four. Our squad is aging and, due to spunking huge amounts of cash on the wrong players, we have no money to replace them within the confines of FFP or whatever it’s called, these days.

Problem five. Wolverhampton Wanderers come to town on Friday.

Pressure is mounting

Now, let’s not pretend it’s all doom and gloom. Christmas is around the corner, after all.

Wolverhampton Wanderers – at present – are second only to Sheffield United in answers to the question, “Who can Wednesday beat with a spirited and flashy attacking performance that not only underlines our promotion credentials, but the ability of our Head Coach and his team to turn this bad run around?”

Wolves are a very good football team.

Top of the table they sit.

Having spent a fair bit of cash (Wolves fans reading this, direct your comments regarding net spend and Jorge Mendes to any piece of paper destined for the nearest bin; as Wednesday fans, we are equally aware of the tedium of other fans running lengthy critiques of your club accounts).

I digress; back to what this means for Wednesday. Yes, we’ve been largely terrible in the past few weeks, but this game is a serious opportunity for this team to prove to their worth.

Prove their worth to the manager, who despite his own numerous faults at present, has a right to feel let-down by certain players.

Prove their worth to their fans, if they can keep them awake for long enough.

Prove their worth to the rest of those interested in the Championship bubble, who’ve already forgotten what a decent side we were for eighteen months.

The fans – through my eyes at least – have been fairly supportive even as it has become totally apparent that the club is under-achieving on the pitch.

The “we had a shot” chants and the very real fight that broke at the front of the Kop aside, it’s been fairly low-key in the stands. If Wednesday start well (the biggest of big ‘if’s at present), there’s no reason that Hillsborough cannot become a cauldron of vociferous support.

 

 

What can Wednesday do to topple Wolves?

The table toppers are on course for a 100 point season: a feat achieved only six times this century throughout the Football League. Plans are being made for their return to the Premier League already.

They score hatfuls of goals and win games home and away.

But, somehow, Sunderland managed to hold Wolves to a goalless draw with ten men at the weekend.

How, you might ask? Sheer blind luck. Wolves had 23 attempts on target and their poor finishing can be blamed for the fat nought against their name in the goal tally.

Wednesday will have to accept that Wolves will create chances through open play and numerous set-pieces.

How do we get at Wolves?

They tend to dominate possession, pinning opponents deep in their half. This happens home and away. Their defenders are strong and any outballs are quickly mopped up.

Connor Coady – a sitting midfielder turned centre-back, is often the deepest central player with the other two centre backs pushed higher.

Isolating Coady and getting runners off of him looks to be the way to beat Wolves, rather than playing around them.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo said of their draw with Sunderland, “Victories are hard to achieve and we work hard to achieve that. The boys did everything. They kept trying. There was only one team looking for the three points.

“But I am not frustrated and I’m conscious games like this will happen again and we have to find solutions.

“I’m not worried about the game plans of opponents.

Football, bloody hell.

 

 

LAST 5 Norwich (A) Hull (H) Reading (A) Ipswich (A) Bristol C. (H)
WEDNESDAY L 1-3 D 2-2 D 0-0 D 2-2 D 0-0

 

LAST 5  Sunderland (H) Birmingham (A) Bolton (H) Leeds (H) Reading (A)
WOLVES D 0-0 W 1-0 W 5-1 W 4-1 W 2-0

 

HEAD 2 HEAD WEDNESDAY WINS WOLVES WINS DRAWS
  38 47 31

 

 

LAST MEETING

 

Wednesday 0-0 Wolves

2 Jan 2017, Hillsborough, Att: 30, 549

I have no recollection of this game whatsoever.

Wednesday went close through Vincent Sasso, Steven Fletcher and Fernando Forestieri in the first half but were pinned back by Wolves in the second period.

The 0-0 draw kept Wednesday in 6th, with 48 points after 25 games. Paul Lambert said his side should have won 3-0.

 

 

CARVALHAL’S COHORTS

 

For goodness sake, pick Kieran Lee.

WESTWOOD

HUNT

van AKEN

LOOVENS

FOX

WALLACE

LEE

BANNAN

REACH

HOOPER

FLETCHER

KEY PLAYERS

 

KIERAN WESTWOOD – Will need to make saves to keep Wednesday in the game.

He’s been prone to the odd mistake, has lost the command of his box, and is spilling more shots than at any other time during his Wednesday career.

Okay, he’s not helped by what’s in front of him, but is too much to ask One Of The Best Goalkeepers In The Championship™ for better?

DIOGO JOTA – Lightweight, tricky, mobile in midfield. A good passer of the ball, he has nine goals and four assists so far.

Stop him, and you only have to worry about the other six creative players.

 

THE BETTING BOX: 5 OF THE BEST

 

BET Wednesday WIN Wolves WIN DRAW
0-0 Rhodes FGS
BEST ODDS 11/4 15/13 5/2 10/1 7/1
BOOKIES

 

HUGH’S VERDICT:

I’ve not mentioned this yet, but this has been billed as the game that could condemn Carlos’ job.

Which is obviously hilariously wrong. Chansiri will not sack him, will he? He’s out of contract at the end of the season, and Wednesday are already toeing the FFP line dangerously.

For now, rightly or wrongly, we’re stuck with Carlos and his ways.

VERDICT – 0-0.

Hugh
Owls Alive
E-MAIL: owlsalive@gmail.com
Twitter: @OwlsAlive and @hugh_wragg

Images: SWFC, unless stated. Line up images: Getty.


One Comment

  1. We were actually the fourth biggest spenders in the summer window. Around 11mill I think, net.
    Amazing how you guys seem to have fallen off a cliff of late. I saw you play us at the Mol 18months ago and you made us look like a bunch of headless chickens.

    Always thought you are a proper football club though, so, after Friday of course, good luck for the rest of the season.

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