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23 December 2017 Venue Molineux Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: WOLVES V TOWN

22 December 2017

A look at this weekend’s game as Blues travel to table-toppers Wolves

Current standings: Wolves are flying at the top of the Championship and have a four point cushion on their closest rivals Cardiff. Nuno Esperito Santo’s men are unbeaten in their last eight league games (W7 D1) and have lost just once at home this season against Cardiff in August. Town sit eighth with three wins from the last four and are two points outside the Play-Offs.

League form
Wolves – 13/15 points   
Leeds (H) W 4-1  
Bolton (H) W 5-1 
Birmingham (A) W 1-0  
Sunderland (H) D 0-0     
Sheffield Wednesday (A) W 1-0        

Town – 9/15 points
Aston Villa (A) L 2-0
Derby (A) W 1-0
Forest (H) W 4-2
Middlesbrough (A) L 2-0
Reading (H) W 2-0

Last time we met: Town 0-0 Wolves 07.03.17
In a complete contrast to this season, a struggling Wolves side earned a point at Portman Road back in March. The visitors ended a six-match losing run, but could have snatched victory late on with both Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Ben Marshall striking the woodwork. Mick McCarthy remained unbeaten in seven games against his former side, and extended Town’s unbeaten Championship run (Feb 17 – Mar 17) to seven games.

Previous meetings at Molineux:
16.08.16 Wolves 0-0 Town
02.04.16 Wolves 0-0 Town
18.04.15 Wolves 1-1 Town
29.12.12 Wolves 0-2 Town
10.03.09 Wolves 0-0 Town

One to watch: Leo Bonatini
Leo Bonatini has excelled with Wolves this season. On loan from Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal, the forward has taken no time to settle into English football and is the joint second top scorer in the Championship with 12 goals. The Brazilian has also contributed five assists and looks more than likely to be a key member in the west midlands club’s push for automatic promotion.

Could be the difference: Conversion rate.
With Wolves top of the Championship scoring charts (42), and Blues joint second (37), both teams will be looking to exhibit their attacking prowess this weekend. The two sides also have a similar conversion rate but it’s Town who edge it 15 per cent to 14 per cent.

Match officials:
Referee:
David Coote
Assistants:
Adam Matthews and Nick Hopton
Fourth official:
Samuel Allison

Subscribers to iFollow Ipswich can follow every kick from Molineux. 

 

 

 

 

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Match Reports

WOLVES 1 TOWN 0

23 December 2017

Town go down but not without a fight at Championship leaders

Wolves took another step towards promotion but Town were in the game until the final whistle at Molineux. 

Ivan Cavaleiro provided a moment of quality with a finish five minutes before the break after Town had frustrated the Championship leaders for much of the half.

Martyn Waghorn had Blues’ best chance, firing just wide and while Wolves had openings on the break, the home fans were whistling for the whistle as Town pressed for an  equaliser in added on time.

Town made two changes to the side that beat Reading last week, with the injured Cole Skuse replaced by Kevin Bru and Myles Kenlock coming in for sickness victim, Jonas Knudsen.

Bart Bialkowski was quickly off his line to prevent Jota getting in as Town held Wolves at bay for the opening exchanges, Ruben Neves’ cross then comfortably dealt with by Blues’ ‘keeper.

Neves almost found Cavaleiro with a defence splitting pass, Joe Garner then winning a free-kick 25 yards out that Waghorn sent high over then bar.

Wolves had a huge sigh of relief on 18 minutes, John Ruddy sent a goalkick to Conor Coady on the edge of the box but his return was heavy and the ‘keeper had to be alert and show a good touch to prevent the ball disappearing into the net.

Jota tested Bialkowski from 25 yards, Garner winning another free-kick at the other end of the park in dangerous territory, Bersant Celina on target with his effort but Ruddy made the save look comfortable.

Kenlock did well to block Jota’s strike at goal, Neves firing over the bar with a thunderous strike seconds later but still Town held firm.

The breakthrough goal came out of nothing on 40 minutes but showed Wolves’ class, Kenlock lost the physical battle down the Town left and from the cross, Cavaleiro cut inside and left Bialkowski with no chance.

Adam Webster denied Cavaleiro extending the lead early in the second-half after a flowing move, the defender making up for losing possession with a terrific block inside the Town box.

Waghorn drove his shot wide from 15 yards, Grant Ward’s cross had Coady at full stretch, then Ruddy saved from Bru’s curler as Town threatened the Wolves goal in a bright spell.

Jota fired over as Wolves responded, Leo Bonatini seeing his shot deflected into Bialkowski’s hands before both teams made changes, Bright Enobakhare replacing Cavaleiro and Teddy Bishop on for Bru.

David McGoldrick entered the fray soon after, Waghorn - who had been booked - making way, Freddie Sears soon joining him.

Callum Connolly cleared the danger from Helder Costa’s cross as Wolves looked to tie up the points, Costa then hooking the ball over the bar after Neves’ excellent touch.

Town continued to carry the threat of an  equaliser and it needed a terrific challenge from Coady to stop McGoldrick getting in on goal.

Barry Douglas hit the sidenetting with a free-kick, Romain Saiss headed wide from close but it was Cavaleiro’s goal that proved enough for the home side, with Blues still pressing for a point in added on time.

Wolves: Ruddy, Donnelly, Douglas, Bennett, Cavaleiro (Enobakhare 66), Neves, Boly, Coady, Jota (N’Diaye 86), Saiss, Bonatini (Costa 76). Subs not used: Norris, Batth, Gibbs-White, Vinagre. Booked: Neves.

Town: Bialkowski, Spence, Chambers, Webster, Kenlock, Ward, Bru (Bishop 66), Connolly, Celina, Waghorn (McGoldrick 71), Garner (Sears 76). Subs not used: Crowe, Smith, McDonnell, Webber. Booked: Waghorn, Connolly, Webster

Att: 30,218



  


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