Wolves to test Clarets
8th November 2008
3pm Kick Off
The Clarets, on an incredible run of form that has seen the team rise to 4th in the table with just one defeat in 15 games face their toughest challenge yet tomorrow with a visit to Molineux to face league leaders, Wolves.
Mick McCarthy`s men are in awesome form and already have 34 points from 15 games so far this season, 8 points more than the Clarets. Their twin strike threat of Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Chris Iwelumo will need to be carefully watched, both strikers to date having scored 10 goals each so far this season.
They clearly are a concern for Owen Coyle who had this to say about the Wolves duo:
"They are a real handful for anybody; the two of them have really dominated the Championship.
"We`ll be guarded against that; we know we`re going to have to be at our very best, but equally within that we`ve got good players at the other end who can cause them problems too."
Let`s hope we can cause them problems at a ground that until recently had not been too kind to us over the years. Molineux was definitely a bogey ground for the Clarets although we have now won twice there in the last three seasons. Clarets fans will recall our 1-0 victory in September 2005 with Steve Cotterill in charge. The televised game was made memorable by our ability to hold on to win and withstand all the Wolves pressure after Garreth O`Connor scored a wonder goal from a free kick.
Our most recent victory though of course was only last season back in December 2007. The Clarets now with gaffer Owen Coyle at the helm stunned Wolves in a 3-2 victory with goals from Lafferty, Blake and Carlisle in yet another televised match.
To be honest I will be happy with a point from this game tomorrow and it won`t be easy to come away with anything but you never know. A victory will certainly put us in great mood for the ordeal that is Chelsea to come in the Carling Cup at Stamford Bridge the following Wednesday night.
Predicted Team Sheet
The game is set up nicely but a nasty bug that felled Duff and Blake recently is still doing the rounds at Turf Moor with news that Clarke Carlisle, Remco van der Schaaf and Alex MacDonald are all doubtful, having been hit by the virus. The problems in the back-four are also compounded with the Clarets again expected to be without left-back Christian Kalvenes still out with a leg injury.
However, hopefully if Carlisle doesn`t make it we will still have enough fit defenders in Duff, Caldwell, Jordan and Alexander to still put out a strong defence.
Without Carlisle, 4-4-2 again looks the best option but if Carlisle is also declared fir, Coyle will have options to revert back to 4-1-4-1 with Alexander in the holding midfield role.
If we assume Carlisle does not make it, I expect Coyle to name a very similar side to the one that beat Norwich on Saturday and Paterson could once more have to be content with a place on the bench after the resurgent form of Blake and his excellent link work with hotshot, Chris Eagles. Both Blake and Eagles now seem to have earned their place in the starting eleven.
A possible line up could be:
Jensen, Alexander, Duff, Caldwell, Jordan, Elliott, McCann, Gudjonsson, Eagles, Blake, Thompson
Subs: Penny, McDonald, Paterson, Rodriguez, Mahon (or Van der Schaaf if fit)
Wolverhampton Wanderers Team News:
Left-back Matt Hill is now fully fit for the first time since signing from Preston in the Summer.
Striker,Sam Vokes signed from Bournemouth in May 2008 should be fit for selection although he did hobble off during a reserve game in the week. Is there any room though for him with Ebanks-Blake and Iwelumo in such top form?
Player to watch: Ebanks-Iwelumo!!
Its difficult to choose between Iwelumo and Ebanks-Blake, but both strikers will need to be carefully watched.
Burnley Team News:
A virus has felled Carlisle, Van der Schaaf and Alex MacDonald and they are doubtful. Kalvenes is still out with a leg injury.
Player to watch: Chris Eagles
A class act and now scoring for fun. Can he add to the brace he scored in the last match against the Canaries?
Last Time We Met
As mentioned above, the Clarets beat Wolves in a 3-2 victory at Molinuex last season back in December 2007 with goals from Lafferty, Blake and Carlisle. Sadly for the Clarets though, Wolves got their revenge at Turf Moor winning 3-1 last March.
Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire). He might become one if he starts being a homer!
I think we are good enough to get a point there and will go with 1-1
Putting aside the little matter of Chelsea away in the Carling Cup this Wednesday night(12th November @ 7:45 pm KO)our next League match is another tough away game. We visit Loftus Road to face QPR on Saturday 15th November @ 3pm KO