Round 24 – Queens hunting Wolves
By David, bettingexpert.com | Edited
It has been a negative streak for the Gunners and Wolves. Wenger is still on the lookout for three points which could get them back in contention for the fourth place and against a moribund Blackburn team they would be rightly accused of a lack of motivation if they failed to bag the full lot of points. The Wolves have it tougher against Queens Park Rangers, which have been revived by Hughes’ arrival at Loftus Road. Elsewhere Bolton may surprise a complacent Norwich side too eager to attack and less mindful of their backline.
Arsenal – Blackburn
At least Wenger managed to avoid losing four in a row in the Premier League but the Gunners were poor when it came to netting it against Bolton. I would not be too worried about their game though because the ball moved around well enough. Oxlade-Chamberlain will be the big doubt for Wenger though. Henry and Benayoun can take his place. I’m counting on the Frenchman to weave some magic. It has been disappointing how very little Wenger has used the legendary Arsenal forward since his return for a few weeks back in England.
On the other side Kean too has his striker conundrums. Yakubu serves his last match on the sidelines after being suspended for three games for an unfair red card. Another one on the list for this season’s horrendous season for Premier League referees. Goodwillie is convalescent from injury so it will most likely be the wasteful Modeste to lead the lead, shouldered by Dunn, who missed the penalty against Newcastle in midweek.
Verdict: Arsenal to keep a clean sheet
Usually Rovers do find the net quite easily but with Modeste the main option up there and some troubling times in the dugout odds of around 1.90 for the Gunners to keep it clean look like value.
QPR – Wolves
Hughes has made his mark on the team but credit should also go to the loads of new signings which Warnock had been asking for since the summer. It would be no wonder that Hughes does better with this side although it would be reasonable to expect a timeframe for most of the newcomers to settle within the squad.
The likes of Taiwo, Onuoha, Cisse and now Zamora have all been drafted in immediately. As a result the backline still looks unsure at times but the attack has gained in sharpness. This may be a problem for them in the coming matches but I believe McCarthy’s Wolves are too troubled to prove that much of an obstacle for them. Fans have asked for the manager’s head at Molineux and in fact recent records show that Wolves have been doing better away from their home stadium.
Club chairman Steve Morgan went into the dressing room shouting at the players after the 0-3 home defeat in midweek against Liverpool. McCarthy said that was the first time he had seen it happen in all his years in football. A negative sign indeed. His days are numbered.
There have been a lot of draws between these teams in the past and given the situation with the many newcomers at QPR the risk is high of that happening again here. However, the Wolves’ troubles are big at the moment and this could be a QPR victory which marks the end for McCarthy’s adventure with Wolves.
Norwich – Bolton
The latest tactical innovation with those particular players has looked good for Owen Coyle. They are now out of the relegation zone with the latest push for points they rallied recently. Opponents were not the easiest and at times they had to suffer but the 3-1 home win over Liverpool was telling of their current state of form.
As such I think they will be travelling in the mindset this weekend. Norwich have been keeping the boat afloat but I was not convinced their game was worthy of those results. They had shown much better in the first part of the season.
Carrow Road will be a big ally for the Canaries as usual but they might suffer teams who do not simply sit back yet base their away game on well studied counter attacking maneuvers. West Bromwich was such a team and they have been successful at Carrow Road this term. Bolton’s game is very similar and can thus take advantage of the wide gaps left at the back by Lambert’s men.
Verdict: Bolton 0:0
Bolton can really take advantage of Norwich’s offensive proposition and sting on the counter whilst keeping their lines tight with a 4-5-1 that has been giving satisfactions to manager Coyle of late and glimmer of hope for Trotters fans that they won’t be assisting to Championship matches next season.
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