Molineux will witness a Midlands derby this weekend when Wolverhampton Wanderers go head to head with local rivals Aston Villa.
The addition of the Europa League to the schedule of Wolverhampton Wanderers was considered to be a detriment to Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, but as they look ahead to their remaining group stage games, it’s safe to say they’re starting to find the balance fairly well. They aren’t exactly thriving in the Premier League but in many ways, they don’t need to. They can beat anyone in this league as they’ve already proven, and the results they need to take them away from any lingering relegation worries will come in time.
Wolves fans will be pretty happy with how things have gone over the last few weeks, even though their actual results would seem to highlight some inconsistencies. Their only wins in the last six have come against Slovan Bratislava, as they took a big step towards the knockout stage of the Europa League. They did lose to Villa in the Carabao Cup, but they maintained some stability with three 1-1 draws against Southampton, Newcastle and Arsenal respectively.
Aston Villa (16/5)
Dean Smith has done a wonderful job at Aston Villa, helping the club to gain promotion and also helping them to make a strong start to life back in the Premier League. They were accused of ‘doing a Fulham’ during the summer transfer window by bringing in a series of players, spending a lot of money in the process, but the risk is starting to pay off. They’ll look towards the top half of the table and think that they’ve got a real shot of surprising a lot of teams between now and the end of the campaign.
When your only two losses in the last six have come against Liverpool and Manchester City, you know that you’re on to something good. Villa managed to beat rivals Wolves in the Carabao Cup to give them something of a psychological advantage heading into this one, and they also beat Brighton & Norwich in the league with a dramatic draw against Burnley thrown in there for good measure.
It’s going to be a tight affair as always seems to be the case between these two rivals, and we also tend to believe that it’s going to be a pretty tense encounter, too. It’ll be physical and chances will be limited at both ends, but when push comes to shove, we’re backing Wolves to secure the three points. They just seem to have that extra quality and patience needed to get them over the line and while they struggled against Villa in the Carabao Cup, the two teams looked very different – as you’d expect.
We can see the drama of the game leading to a few goals for both teams which is why we’re going to back the over 2.5 market at Molineux.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 17/20 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 4/5. (All odds are taken from bet365).