Editor’s note: Since the memory of last weekend’s Premier League football is still fresh in our minds. here’s a match report of Wolverhampton’s win against Wigan — a match of big importance due to the implications on the relegation zone. The report is courtesy of Chris Machin, a regular contributor to EPL Talk (and a massive Wolves supporter).
It was never going to be a classic. In historical proportion it was more of a David vs David than a clash of the titans. Two teams that had inadvertently combined to amass just one point between them from a possible 42 in the past seven weeks of Barclays Premier League football.
Ranked 19th and 20th in the form table, and only a touch better in the actual standings, Wigan Athletic were riding uncomfortably on a seven game losing streak with only one away goal all season and the same amount of points on the road. They met Wolves with one single point from the previous seven games and without a home win since the second week of the season. At Molineux last Sunday, something had to give.
The signs were all there for the gold ‘n black faithful. Needless to say they were far from encouraging. Wigan Athletic had been very much a part of Wolves’ previous two survival scraping seasons. However they had managed to take the maximum six points from their previous two Premier League visits to Molineux. In addition to this was the well documented recent point-free miseries of the Lancashire outfit. Sod’s law dictates that when a team are looking to shake an unwanted monkey from their backs, that ‘Wolves away’ is the perfect place to do so. Finally there was the baffling conundrum that Wolves’ fans have had to deal with throughout the previous season and the beginning of this, the failure to take points where they are expected. For example, to beat the teams around you in your home games. Queens Park Rangers and Swansea City have already feasted from the Molineux table as newly promoted sides. Perhaps more worrying was the lacklustre performances churned out in these ‘must-win’ games. With all this in mind, you’d forgive a Wolves fan for his or her pessimism.
Wolves went unchanged from their previous outing at Manchester City, with a 4-5-1 set up largely due to their lack of striking options with fitness woes continuing to get the better of Steven Fletcher and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. A little mysterious (but then again we would expect no less of Mad Mick) was the selection of David Edwards/Adlene Guedioura on the right wing whilst ‘out and out’ wingers Matt Jarvis and Adam Hammill had to settle for another bench warming role. There was also continued faith in a back four which has looked decidedly amateur at times so far this season.
Roberto Martinez opted for a variation of the 4-3-3, with former Wolves man David Jones joined by Ben Watson and Mohammed Diame as a central 3, whilst strikers Rodallega, Moses and Di Santo were deployed in attack.