This week we delve into the lower reaches of the Premier League where a classic “six pointer” takes place at Molineux – Wolves, third from bottom, take on Blackburn Rovers, above them by one position on goal difference.
Three points are a must for both teams and given the dire defensive record for each of them, it is not unreasonable to believe the goals will flow on Saturday afternoon.
These sides last met in the Midlands on the final day of last season and again, were among five clubs still haunted by the prospect of relegation. Rovers won 3-2 that day and have an impressive record at Molineux. They have lost just once in their last nine visits and in terms of Premier League meetings, Rovers have come away with two draws and one win.
Blackburn have not been great on their travels this season but they won memorably at Old Trafford and also took points off Liverpool at Anfield. Rovers have taken points from the teams around them in recent matches – beating Fulham and QPR and drawing with Everton and Aston Villa.
Wolves captain Roger Johnson could feature against Rovers despite being fined for turning up “unfit to train properly” on Monday morning and he will need to be at his best to help prevent another mauling.
Saturday’s game is the first at home since the embarrassing 5-1 derby defeat against West Bromwich Albion while the team are still licking their wounds from a 5-0 mauling at Fulham last weekend.
However, home form is not Wolves’ strong point this season – they have suffered five defeats and one draw in their last six matches.
If they have any hope, they must attack and take advantage of the leakiest defence in the Premier League and one that has failed to keep a single clean sheet all season and has this season.
Even with home advantage, I still think Blackburn are the stronger of two weak sides. They are grinding out results against those around them whereas Wolves look like they have capitulated.
Verdict: Blackburn Rovers @ 3.25 (Bet Victor)
- Wolves @ 2.4 (Paddy Power)
- Draw @ 3.4 (bet365)
One player that enjoys scoring goals against sides in the lower reaches of the Premier League is Yakubu. He scored four against Swansea City, twice against Wigan and netted against Norwich and Bolton. Against a wobbly Wolves back line, he looks a good bet at 6.5 (Betfred).
Selected other first goalscorers:
- Steven Fletcher @ 6.5 (Paddy Power)
- Kevin Doyle @ 7.5 (bet365)
- Sylvan Ebanks-Blake @ 8.5 (Boylesports)
- Anthony Modeste @ 9.0 (Sky Bet)
- David Goodwillie @ 9.0 (Sportingbet)
- Ruben Rochina @ 11.0 (Ladbrokes)
- David Hoilett @ 12.0 (Bet Victor)
- Jamie O’Hara @ 12.0 (bet365)
- Matthew Jarvis @ 13.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Mauro Formica @ 13.0 (Ladbrokes)
- David Dunn @ 15.0 (Paddy Power)
- No Goalscorer @ 15.0 (Sky Bet)
Wolves need a goalscorer and they had a perfectly good one in Steven Fletcher kicking his heels on the bench against Fulham last weekend. It would be a surprise if he didn’t start against Rovers and with 10 goals this season, you’d fancy him against a side that hasn’t kept a clean sheet all season. He can be backed at 2.5 (Betfred).
Selected other anytime goalscorers:
- Aiyegbeni Yakubu @ 2.65 (Sportingbet)
- Kevin Doyle @ 2.75 (Sky Bet)
- Sylvan Ebanks-Blake @ 3.25 (Ladbrokes)
- Anthony Modeste @ 3.75 (Sky Bet)
- David Goodwillie @ 3.75 (Sky Bet)
- David Hoilett @ 4.33 (Bet Victor)
- Jamie O’Hara @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
- Ruben Rochina @ 4.5 (Ladbrokes)
- Matthew Jarvis @ 5.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Mauro Formica @ 5.0 (Ladbrokes)
- David Dunn @ 5.5 (Paddy Power)
- Morten Gamst Pedersen @ 6.0 (Sky Bet)
The bookmakers are pitching a low scoring draw as their correct score of choice but with two dreadful back lines, I would not be surprised to see goals in this match, even if the teams try to play a tight, cagey game. Last season, Blackburn Rovers won this fixture 3-2 and you can back the same again at 29.0 (bet365).
Selected other correct scores:
- Wolves 1-0 @ 9.5 (bet365)
- Wolves 2-0 @ 12.0 (Sportingbet)
- Wolves 2-1 @ 10.0 (Ladbrokes)
- Wolves 3-0 @ 23.0 (Sky Bet)
- Wolves 3-1 @ 19.0 (Betfred)
- Wolves 3-2 @ 26.0 (Boylesports)
- Draw 0-0 @ 15.0 (Bet Victor)
- Draw 1-1 @ 7.0 (Sky Bet)
- Draw 2-2 @ 15.0 (Betfred)
- Blackburn Rovers 1-0 @ 12.0 (bet365)
- Blackburn Rovers 2-0 @ 17.0 (bet365)
- Blackburn Rovers 2-1 @ 12.0 (Betfred)
- Blackburn Rovers 3-0 @ 34.0 (Paddy Power)
- Blackburn Rovers 3-1 @ 23.0 (Sportingbet)