Often Partisan

Rivals play reserves? Wolves FA Cup preview

Tomorrow sees the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup (sponsored by some weak American beer). It’s a strange one this year; despite being a local derby there does seem to be a lot of apathy and I don’t expect either a massive crowd or strong team selections.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves are still missing Ronald Zubar, Jamie O’Hara and Jody Craddock for this fixture, and are expected to make changes from the team that narrowly lost at home to Chelsea on Monday. Helpfully, they’ve not put any news at all up on their site at the time of writing, so I don’t really have much idea of who will play; I guess the big question is will Roger Johnson be lining up against the team he was so desperate to get away from in the aftermath of relegation.

Formwise, Wolves haven’t won in their last seven games (although that does include the creditable draw away at the Emirates and the narrow defeat to Chelsea), and they’ve conceded 12 goals in their last six. They have scored in their last seven consecutive games but they’ve failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 17 (the last being in the Carling Cup 5-0 mauling of Millwall) and have only kept four clean sheets all season in all competitions (23 games).

Wolves haven’t failed to make the fourth round of the FA Cup since they lost after extra time to Gillingham in 2002, making the quarter finals in 2003 before losing to Southampton 2-0 at St Marys.

Birmingham City

The only Blues player who is definitely out is Stephen Carr, who is still struggling with a knee injury. There are apparently one or two players nursing knocks, and thus there may be places in the team for Jordon Mutch, Wade Elliott and Morgaro Gomis. Rookie keeper Jack Butland is also in the squad for the clash.

Blues are in quite decent form in all competitions, winning three of their last six games and only losing one; keeping two clean sheets (both at home, against Blackpool and NK Maribor). They’ve only conceded ten home goals all season (27 games) and will be looking to extend that impressive record.

The last two years have seen Blues make it to the quarter-finals before falling; last year 3-2 to Bolton at home with a severely depleted squad, with Nathan Redmond coming on for only his second appearance. The last time Blues faced Wolves in this competition was only three years ago, where another severely depleted squad lost 2-0 at home, with the match marking Robin Shroot’s one and only first team outing for the club.

As I’ve said previously, this is a really tough one to call. My heart says that Wolves really care about this match with Premier League survival being foremost on their mind; my head says that Blues will also be playing a weakened team and thus it’s going to be tough to beat our near-neighours, and that the odds I’ve seen of around 2-1 for Wolves to win away look quite tasty. For those not able to make the game it is live on ESPN, 12:30 kick off.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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7 Responses to “Rivals play reserves? Wolves FA Cup preview”

  • SteveB says:

    Anything can happen in a cup game. But I expect Kightly to play for Wolves if he isn’t cup tied with Watford. He’s now back to match fitness and if he plays he could well be Blues nemesis.

  • trueblue83 says:

    have seen in the papers today that liverpool and man city are after redmond so will be intresting to see if he plays or not if he dont surely a sign we are willing to part with him sadly

  • NooBloo says:

    The side which chris hughton plays will be the side (apart from any new incoming players) which he sees as being the mainstay of the team for the run in to the Championship campaign. They may not have been first team regulars as yet but he will use this opportunity to establish whether or not he sees them as future first team players for the rest of the season.

    He will also be wary of the fact that he cannot afford to lose his first choice goalkeeper to injusy, so to protect this, i would anticipate a change in goal.

    He will want to win because he always wants to win every game but i have a feeling if he lost then he wouldnt be too upset by it beecause he knows he still has a few games to catch up on and the second half of the league sees a lot of widweek and weekend matches, and with the squad being reasonably small he will be wary of future injuries.

    CH knows how to win this league and at present the blues are just a cutting edge strike force away from doing just that, so just watch and see. This team will start to make a bolt in the coming months to have a go at doing just that, with the top teams begining to faulter as injuries start to to take their toll on their squads

  • JC says:

    This is a chance for the Blues to put out some fringe players (Adam Rooney and Colin Doyle) as well as our acadmy prospects (Jack Butland and Jordan Mutch). CH should play Redmond if he wants to and hopefully that will then put Liverpool and Man City off

  • Tony D says:

    I recently visited the home of a Wolves supporter, and was amazed by a painting of the Wolves team he had on his wall. OK, it was of the Wolves team (and appropriately displayed in the toilet), but it was obviously painted by a very talented artist. It turns out that that artist was one of the Wolves players you mention as being out injured tomorrow, one Jody Craddock. Respect to the man. If you want to have a look for yourself, his website is at http://craddock-art.com

    Now, having given credit where it’s due, let’s beat the stuffing out of the old Gold and Black tomorrow….

  • BeeGeeBlueBoy says:

    Johnson has said in the EM that he was forced out

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