Among the premium mid-table clashes for the weekend is the match-up between Wolves and Brentford as Thomas Frank’s side pays a trip to the Molineux to take on the 13th-placed Wolverhampton.
The afternoon encounter will see the Bees take on the Wolves as both sides fight for their separate objectives from this season.
Brentford started this season with a bang and was looking set to finish in the top 6 midway through the season. Victories over the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, and Manchester City had set the tone for the Bees to become the underdog of the season.
However, a string of poor results now sees the Thomas Frank-led Brentford 9th on the table, three points off a Europa Conference League spot with two more games played than the seventh-placed Brighton.
Their most recent outing at home against Newcastle was another display of poor performance that saw Brentford lose out to the third-placed side after failing to convert their chances.
The shadow of relegation looms upon the Midlanders even after the unprecedented win over Chelsea.
After winning a single game in the first eight matches under former manager Bruno Lage, the bars were set fairly low for Wolverhampton Wanderers. Julen Lopetegui has so far done a decent job dragging the Wolves out of the relegation zone, but the job’s not done yet.
Four points from the relegation zone, 13th placed Wolves are still fighting for their survival in the top flight of English football. Two wins in a row at the Molineux might exactly be what they need to gain some much-needed momentum at the business end of the season
Last 5 Games
Against all odds, Wolves managed to steal a victory over Chelsea in Frank Lampard’s first match back at the Blues’ helm. A first-half wonder strike from the 24-year-old Matheus Nunes proved to be enough to guide the Midlanders toward a much-needed victory. The win now sees Wolves in 13th position, four points above the drop zone. The last five games have seen Julen Lopetegui’s men lose two, draw one and come out on top in two fixtures, both against London clubs.
The Bees were unlucky to not secure a point in their latest encounter vs third-placed Newcastle United. A missed penalty from Toney and an own goal from Raya saw Thomas Frank’s side lose out to the Magpies in a cruel fashion. The loss has now extended Brentford’s victory drought to four games. A poor run of form has seen the 9th-placed Brentford secure only a single victory in their last six matches, denting their chances for a European spot.
Win: 1-0 vs Chelsea
Draw: 1-1 vs Nottingham Forest
Loss: 2-4 vs Leeds
Loss: 1-2 vs Newcastle
Win: 1-0 vs Tottenham
Loss: 1-2 vs Newcastle
Loss: 0-1 vs Man United
Draw: 3-3 vs Brighton
Draw: 1-1 vs Leicester
Win: 2-0 vs Southampton
Both Jonny Castro and Ruben Neves continue to serve their suspensions and are ruled out for this fixture. Lopetegui will be at the loss of Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiqinho yet again as both continue to recover from their injuries. Concerns surround the availability of Wolves’ hero from the last game, Matheus Nunes. Boubacar Traore could make his return to the squad.
Pontus Jansson was subbed off in the 16th minute of Brentford’s 2-1 defeat to Newcastle due to a hamstring injury, and the defender is unlikely to feature again this season. Janelt made his return to action against Newcastle after missing out for a month, whereas Lewis-Potter, Frank Onyeka, and Kristoffer Ajer will miss the fixture.
Jose Sa (GK), Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Toti, Traore, Joao Gomes, Lemina, Podence, Cunha, Costa
David Raya (GK), Hickey, Jansson, Pinnock, Mee. Henry, Dasilva, Norgaard, Jensen, Toney, Schade
Head To Head
The two sides have crossed paths a total of 16 times, out of which Wolves have notched six victories. Four outcomes went in favor of the Bees whereas the teams ended up sharing the spoils on three occasions.
The last encounter between the two sides ended in a 1-all draw back in October of last year. The game featured a couple of early second-half goals and a last-minute Diego Costa red card.
The last time Wolves managed to seal a victory over Brentford was in the 21/22 season when an Ivan Toney strike wasn’t enough to secure a point for Thomas Frank’s men courtesy of goals from Wolves’ two of the finest finds from Portugal, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves.
The same season saw Brentford get the better of the Midlanders early on in the season when the former made a trip to Molineux. Brentford successfully defended their two-goal cushion over the Wolves despite a second-half red card to Baptiste.
Where Will The Game Be Decided?
Since taking over from Bruno Lage, Julen Lopetegui has improved the Wolves’ defense brilliantly. The Midlanders conceded 24 goals over the course of 15 games before the world cup. That number has now been reduced to just 18 in the next 15 games.
However, the biggest area of concern for Lopetegui has been the Wolverhampton attack. Having registered only 24 strikes in 30 games this season, only two Wolves players have managed to score more than twice (Daniel Podence and Ruben Neves).
Things could go their way if the hosts manage to produce another moment of magic as they did against Chelsea, but it is hard to imagine the toothless Wolves’ attack breaching the Brentford defense multiple times.
The recent encounters between the two sides have managed to produce goals at both ends, and we fancy that to be the case once again.
Though Lopetegui’s men managed to scrape a result past a clueless Chelsea, we’re backing Brentford to secure a draw in this fixture. If they succeed in converting their chances, Brentford also stand a chance of taking away all three points.
Our prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Brentford
Wolverhampton to win: 31/20
Brentford to win: 33/16
Though the odds marginally back Wolverhampton to securing a victory, we’re still hopeful of a competitive match-up between the two sides. Ivan Toney is the bookies’ choice to be the goalscorer in the game at 21/10 (32.3%). Stake presents a 9/10 chance of both sides scoring in this match.
- By UniBet. At the time of writing.
The afternoon action kicks off at 14:00 GMT at the Molineux stadium. Paul Tierney has been assigned the referring duty, whereas Stuart Atwell will be serving as the VAR.