Muted Molineux Clash For Promotion BattlersStats
Wolves v Derby
A huge game in the fascinating Championship promotion battle in the form of Wolves v Derby gets the weekend football underway on Friday night.
Tuesday night’s 3-0 win against Sheffield Wednesday put Wolves back in the thick of the battle for a play-off position, having previously gone three games without a win.
Kenny Jacket’s men are now three points behind sixth place Brentford and with a significant win here (by three goals or more) would move into the play-off positions, temporarily at least.
Top scorer Bakary Sako scored his first goal in four matches when netting from the spot against Wednesday in midweek, while Benik Afobe moved into double figures for the season with the second in the game.
A 1-0 loss at home to Middlesbrough on Tuesday night made it five games without a win for Derby County. And now having once been the frontrunners for an automatic promotion spot, find themselves five points behind second place Boro.
The goals have dried up significantly in the winless period with only three scored in five games – one of those being an own goal. A run that has coincided with the injury to top scorer Chris Martin who has now missed the club’s last nine fixtures.
The Rams haven’t won away from home since January 31st, and haven’t kept a clean sheet on their travels since that same date.
Dominic Iorfa is out with an ankle injury while Carl Ikeme and Tommy Rowe also remain sidelined. Club captain Sam Ricketts is set to join Coventry on loan and therefore also won’t be available.
Chris Martin has been ruled out of this game but is expected to return after the international break. George Thorne missed Tuesday’s game due to a thigh problem and is therefore doubtful here.
Derby were emphatic 5-0 victors when the teams met at Pride Park earlier this season with Jeff Hendrick and Jonny Russell each netting twice after Ryan Shotton’s opener. Two seasons prior, both games ended in a draw with the match at Molineux finishing 1-1.
There’s not much to separate the two teams in the betting with Derby made the very slight favourites at odds of 31/20 and Wolves available to back at odds of 8/5. The draw is 23/10.
Of the three outcomes, I feel that the draw is probably the best play.
Although both sides will be keen to take all three points for their respective promotion challenges, I get the feeling that a draw wouldn’t be catastrophic for either
…and that they may each be more inclined to settle for a point as the game progresses.
Given both teams’ recent scoring records I’d also be inclined to go low on the number of goals scored in this match. And perhaps also have a play on the low scoring draws where 0-0 is priced at odds of 9/1 and 1-1 is an 11/2 chance.