Premier League: Wolves v West Brom

It has been almost nine years since these two Black Country clubs last did battle and the trajectory of both sides makes for interesting reading in that time frame.

Since new owners arrived at Molineux in 2017, Wolves have gained promotion to the Premier League and secured successive seventh placed finishes in the top flight.

Neighbours West Brom meanwhile saw their Premier League journey come to an end in 2018 before returning to the first tier of English football last season.

It’s fair to argue that the bragging rights in recent times regarding overall success fall firmly in the corner of Wolves, but from a head-to-head perspective Baggies fans have always been swift to remind their rivals of the 1-5 hammering they gave them when the two sides last met in 2012.

The landscape is slightly different this season though, with Albion getting rid of boss Slaven Bilic last month in favour of Sam Allardyce as they battle to beat the drop, whilst Wolves have not looked their usual selves in what has been a lacklustre campaign for them so far.

Allardyce is searching for his first win as West Brom manager since taking charge, with the Baggies’ last three points coming in late November against fellow strugglers Sheffield United.

Albion’s leaky defence is a major concern for ‘Big Sam’, whose side have shipped thirteen goals in their last four matches whilst registering just one strike of their own.

Interestingly, it has been Wolves’ bluntness upfront since the injury to Raul Jimenez in late November which has been their main issue – boss Nuno Espirito Santo has been relying on 18-year-old record signing Fabio Silva to fill the void left by the Mexican, with the youngster yet to really hit his stride.

As such, Wolves have recalled Patrick Cutrone from his loan spell at Serie A Fiorentina in order to increase firepower, with the club no doubt considering whether to swoop for another forward in the January window.

Underlining this is the fact that Wanderers have scored just 19 goals this season – considerably fewer than any of the 13 sides currently above them in the Premier League table.

Jimenez remains out for Wanderers for the derby at Molineux with that fractured skull, as does fellow long-term injury absentee Jonny Otto.

Recent injuries to Marcal and Daniel Podence means they will miss out against West Brom, but Nuno Espirito Santo will need to make a decision on Adama Traore’s fitness after complaints of a tight hamstring.

Willy Boly is also a major doubt to feature for Wolves following a hamstring issue of his own.

Albion meanwhile have fewer selection concerns, although Sam Allardyce will be missing Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher after an accumulation of yellow cards landed him a suspension.

Recent signing Karlan Grant is also ruled out for West Bromwich Albion with a broken foot.

Hal Robson-Kanu and Conor Townsend have both been missing for a while and are extremely unlikely to travel to Molineux.

The West Midlands derby between Wolves and West Brom is a 12.30pm kick off on Saturday 16th January.

Wolves 1-2 Everton: Toffees back in Premier League top four

The defender’s second-half header lifted the Toffees back into the Premier League’s top four.

Ruben Neves cancelled out Alex Iwobi’s first league goal for 17 months as the teams traded early blows.

But Keane’s far post header secured victory, although Neves hit the woodwork with a late free-kick, to leave Carlo Ancelotti’s side back in the European picture.

Wolves have now won just once in eight league games since Raul Jimenez fractured his skull at the end of November and they dropped to 14th.

Last season’s 3-0 defeat at Molineux in July left the Toffees 11th and boss Ancelotti furious as he questioned their spirit and blasted an “unacceptable” display.

This time the visitors came away back in the top four after a fifth win in six games to underline their progress.

They were robbed of 14-goal Dominic Calvert-Lewin with the striker out with a hamstring injury but Iwobi eased concerns over his absence after just six minutes.

James Rodriguez’s measured pass found Lucas Digne and his cushioned volley was met by the onrushing and unmarked Iwobi to produce a first-time finish from 16 yards into the bottom corner.

It was the forward’s first Premier League goal since he scored against Wolves in September 2019.

It also meant the hosts have now conceded first in 10 of their last 11 league games but they trailed for just eight minutes.

Tom Davies conceded a soft corner which Yerry Mina only half cleared and Rayan Ait-Nouri skipped down the left. His drilled cross was volleyed in by Neves for his second goal in two league games.

Three minutes later only a sharp Jordan Pickford stop denied Fabio Silva and Rui Patricio saved from Iwobi soon after.

Iwobi should have done better and it was the final chance of an entertaining first half, despite the game failing to build on the early drama.

Two well-matched teams struggled to find the same fluency after the break, though, although Leander Dendoncker headed over Joao Moutinho’s free-kick.

It came after Abdoulaye Doucoure was booked for chopping down Pedro Neto and the midfielder will now miss the Toffees’ next game.

Wolves are yet to find the consistency which propelled them to Europe and, without Jimenez, look unlikely to challenge again this season after another lightweight display.

Neves was close to a spectacular second when his 30-yard volley dipped just wide with 20 minutes left but the hosts never prised Everton open.

Richarlison was introduced to give the visitors some impetus but it was Keane who grabbed the winner with 13 minutes remaining.

Andre Gomes worked space on the left and his teasing cross was powered in at the far post by the England defender.

Neves’ free-kick then clipped the bar with five minutes to go but Wolves could not find a leveller.

Premier League: Wolves v Everton

Both sides came through their respective FA Cup third round ties at the weekend, with Wolves seeing off fellow top flight side Crystal Palace 1-0, but things weren’t as straightforward for Everton.

The Toffees were taken to extra time by Championship club Rotherham United, with an Abdoulaye Doucoure goal the eventual difference between the sides.

Wolves may be hoping that Everton’s need to go 120 minutes in the cup may result in fatigue at Molineux on Tuesday, where Nuno Espirito Santo’s men will be looking to shorten the 7 point gap which has opened up between themselves and the Merseysiders.

Everton meanwhile have enjoyed a solid season so far and currently reside in 7th but can move briefly in to the top four with a win in the West Midlands.

Wanderers will want the three points themselves though after a worrying recent slump in the Premier League which sees them in 13th position and playing catch up to those in the Europa League hunt.

Nuno Espirito Santo has arguably found things particularly difficult since Raul Jimenez sustained a fractured skull, with a lot being asked of 18-year-old record signing Fabio Silva to fill the Mexican’s shoes.

Such is the Wolves gaffer’s concern over his forward options, the club have moved to recall Patrick Cutrone from his loan spell in Serie A with Fiorentina and the Italian is likely to be involved should he have returned negative coronavirus tests upon his return to the UK.

Wolves will also be without Marcal due to injury, with Willy Boly also a doubt to feature against Everton.

The Toffees also have injury concerns, with usual suspects Jean-Philippe Gbamin and Fabian Delph still unavailable – summer signing Allan also remains on the sidelines for this one.

Carlo Ancelotti opted to rest Richarlison in the FA Cup against Rotherham, but the veteran Blues boss has hinted the Brazilian forward will return to the action at Molineux.

However, the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be a blow to Everton with the striker unavailable due to a hamstring strain.

Wolves v Everton at Molineux kicks off at 8.15pm on Tuesday 12th January.

Wolves cruise past Crystal Palace into the FA Cup Fourth Round

Nuno Santo’s side bossed things right from kick off in this one with Fabio Silva wasting a brilliant chance to head home before Traore lashed wide.

But the Spaniard wasn’t to be denied second time around as he cut inside Eberechi Eze and crashed one past Jack Butland.

Palace failed to muster up a response after the break as Butland worked overtime to keep them in it.

The England international reminded Roy Hodgson of what he can do with superb stops from Leander Dendoncker and Pedro Neto.

But in the end a limp Palace attack never troubled Santo’s back line as they bowed out in Round Three.

Full Time at Molineux it’s Wolves 1 Crystal Palace 0

Wolves recall Patrick Cutrone from Fiorentina loan spell

The 23-year-old joined the Serie A club last January on an 18-month loan with a view to a permanent deal and made 34 appearances across the two half seasons, mostly as a substitute, scoring four goals.

Cutrone has been brought back to Molineux to bolster Wanderers’ striking options following the injury to Raul Jimenez.

Wolves have confirmed the striker will “link back up” with Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad, who host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round on Friday night.

Cutrone, who joined Wolves in the summer of 2019 from AC Milan for a reported £16million fee, scored twice in 12 Premier League appearances for the club during the first half of the 2019-20 season prior to his return to Italy.

Brighton fight back to secure 3-3 thriller at home to Wolves

Both sides showed their best in attack and their worst in defence as Nuno Santo’s visitors threw away a two-goal lead in the second half.

Wolves looked the more inventive in the opening stages but it was Brighton that struck first on 14 minutes as Aaron Connolly turned home Leandro Trossard’s pass.

But Wolves weren’t down for long as the determined visitors struck back just after as Roman Saiss nodded home Nelson Semedo’s corner.

That goal tipped the balance for Wolves before half time, as Seagulls defender Dan Burn suffered a nightmare few minutes.

The giant centre back poked home an own goal form Pedro Neto’s deflected shot before his late lunge on Adama Traore allowed Ruben Neves to make 3-1 from the spot.

But despite a horror show at the end of the first half, Brighton roared back into life in the second period as Neil Maupay tucked home a penalty.

That gave Potter’s side a foothold back in the game, and despite Wolves creating more chances, Brighton carried the bigger threat.

Adam Webster fired a warning comeback shot as his header thumped back off the bar before Lewis Dunk powered home from Trossard’s corner.

Wolves substitute Owen Otasowie almost pinched it in added time for Wolves but his header flashed wide.

Full Time at an action-packed AMEX Stadium it’s Brighton 3 Wolves 3

Premier League Preview: Brighton v Wolves

Midfielder Lallana missed Tuesday’s defeat to Arsenal due to a groin issue, while forward Welbeck was an unused substitute because of a knee problem.

Striker Aaron Connolly (groin) will also be assessed but full-back Tariq Lamptey (hamstring) and midfielder Steven Alzate (illness) remain sidelined.

Leander Dendoncker and Willy Boly remain doubts for the trip to the south coast.

The pair have missed the last three games, including the 1-0 defeat at Manchester United, after picking up injuries in Wolves’ win over Chelsea two weeks ago.

Raul Jimenez remains a long-term absentee after fracturing his skull in November while Jonny (knee) is still sidelined.

Kick off at the Amex is at 5.30 on Saturday.

Nuno Espirito Santo charged by FA over criticism of referee Lee Mason

The Portuguese was highly critical of the official after his side’s Premier League match against Burnley on December 21 where he said: “The referee does not have the quality to whistle a game in the Premier League.”

Santo has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3.

A statement from The FA said “It is alleged that comments made by the head coach during a post-match interview constitute improper conduct as they were personally offensive to the match official and/or bring the game into disrepute.”

Nuno has until January 5th to respond to the charge.

Marcus Rashford snatches dramatic Manchester United 1-0 win over Wolves

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were forced to wait until the 93rd minute to edge out Wolves as Marcus Rashford’s strike secured a huge three points at Old Trafford.

Nuno Santo’s side actually started the brighter of the two sides with Pedro Neto and Ruben Neves testing David De Gea.

United had to wait until well into the second half to carve out their best opening as Bruno Fernandes’ drive brought the best from Rui Patricio.

But just as this one looked to be drifting off to a boring 0-0 the chance began to fly at both ends.

Rayan Alt-Nouri’s deflected effort kept De Gea sharp in the United goal before Paul Pogba blazed over from Fernandes square ball.

And Fernandes was right at the heart of it as Rashford nicked it in added time.

His long ball released the England star in behind and his powerful drive deflected past Patricio for the win.

Full Time at old Trafford it’s Manchester United 1 Wolves 0

Premier League: Manchester United vs Wolves

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could climb to 2nd place with a win, only 2 points behind league-leaders Liverpool.

The Red Devils could be without star-man Marcus Rashford though after he aggravated a long-standing shoulder problem in their 2-2 draw against Leicester City.

United will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight matches whilst Wolves will be looking for only their second win in 6 matches.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side did show signs of promise, however, after a strong performance at the Molineux earned them a point against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs, despite going a goal down in the opening minute.

Meetings between the two sides don’t generally produce many goals, with only 3 in the last 4 outings but Solskjaer’s side are in fine goal-scoring form, netting 13 in their last 4.

United are likely to rotate heavily for the game, Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani could all see returns to the line-up after starting from the bench on Saturday.

The game is a 20:00 pm kick-off at Old Trafford on Tuesday 29th December.

Premier League: Manchester United vs Wolves

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could climb to 2nd place with a win, only 2 points behind league-leaders Liverpool.

The Red Devils could be without star-man Marcus Rashford though after he aggravated a long-standing shoulder problem in their 2-2 draw against Leicester City.

United will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to eight matches whilst Wolves will be looking for only their second win in 6 matches.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side did show signs of promise, however, after a strong performance at the Molineux earned them a point against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs, despite going a goal down in the opening minute.

Meetings between the two sides don’t generally produce many goals, with only 3 in the last 4 outings but Solskjaer’s side are in fine goal-scoring form, netting 13 in their last 4.

United are likely to rotate heavily for the game, Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani could all see returns to the line-up after starting from the bench on Saturday.

The game is a 20:00 pm kick-off at Old Trafford on Tuesday 29th December.

Wolves fight back to seal 1-1 draw with Tottenham

The hosts have struggled to string results together in recent weeks but a draw in this one should reinject some confidence.

Neither side showed their best on a freezing night in the West Midlands, despite Spurs taking the inside sixty seconds at Molineux.

Ben Davies’ speed took him in behind the Wolves defence and Tanguy Ndombele arrived in the box to bury his cross.

However, Mourinho’s side failed to build on that momentum before the break as Hugo Lloris produced a pair of stops to deny Daniel Podence.

Wolves picked up where they left off after the break, as Mourinho looked to stick to his principles and dig in.

But just as Spurs looked set to cling on for the three points, Saiss got above his man from Pedro Neto’s corner, to bullet home an equaliser.

Full Time from Molineux it’s Wolves 1 Tottenham 1