For the first time in three months there is a chance that Blues may not be unchanged as fatigue is beginning to become a factor. New signings Michel and Craig Gardner may get a chance and Keith Fahey will also be pushing for a start.
Wolves will be missing long term absentees Michael Kightly, Davis Edwards and Andy Keogh so are also like to field a similar team that drew at Hull.
The two clubs met at the end of November at Molineaux where Blues won thanks to Lee Bowyer’s beautiful third minute chip. The last Premier League game at St Andrews took place in April 2004 and ended as a 2-2 draw. Blues had led 2-1 at half time through goals by Mikael Forssell and Clinton Morrison.
Blues have dropped down the recent form league after losing for the first time in fifteen games at Stamford Bridge. We have not won at St Andrews since beating Blackburn in mid December. We are still unbeaten at home since losing to Bolton on 26th October.
Wolves are coming off the back of an embarrassing cup defeat to Crystal Palace but have drawn their last two games in the league. They have only won one of their last six away games and are the lowest scorers in the league with nineteen.
So it’s derby day again. Not “The” derby of course but local rivalry all the same and so it becomes about more that just three points. I work closely with a Wolves fan so defeat is not an option for me as I guess it is for most people. Of course the three points are also welcome although probably more vital to them than us. I feel 37 points will be enough to stay up this year and it will nice to have reached that target in February. Wolves though are only just clear of the drop zone on goal difference and will be looking to bounce back after the shambles of Tuesday night at Palace.
With safety almost assured and our big cup game coming up next week it would be easy to lose focus in the league but there’s nothing in this current Blues side that makes me think that will happen. The will to win is still there and on Sunday we face opponents that have problems at both ends of the pitch. Despite splashing out on Kevin Doyle they have struggled to score and they have an ageing defence which is susceptible to pace. I would hope that despite their relative lack of goals that Benitez and Jerome are fired up for this one and looking to cash in. Jerome in particular has a great record against Wolves. The main danger from them will come from set pieces so we have to be on the look out there. I would like to see a few changes made to freshen up the team and hope Michel plays a good part of the game. Hopefully we can get an early goal and then settle back in to our usual counter attacking style using our pacy forwards to pick them off.
My Prediction 2-0 Blues.