Can Norwich now avoid the drop?
At the start of November, Norwich had been written off, destined for another relegation from the Premier League. Two games later they are off the bottom, three points from safety and with a new manager in charge.
Dean Smith would have been delighted with a win in his opening match last weekend, as while the Canaries rode their luck at times, they came from behind against Southampton to record their second straight 2-1 success.
Smith’s first task will undoubtedly be to make Norwich harder to play against, and there were definitely a few glimmers of hope against the Saints.
Billy Gilmour was restored to the starting XI by Smith last weekend, and he should continue in a midfield three. Todd Cantwell was also back in a front three, and I wouldn’t expect too many changes at all for the visit of Wolves.
Wolves pushing for Europe
Bruno Lage’s Wolves put a slightly disappointing 2-0 defeat at Selhurst Park behind them last weekend by ending West Ham’s four match winning streak.
Wolves had been on a five match unbeaten run of their own – four of which were victories – and they are now into the top six, which is definitely something that not many would have predicted at the beginning of the campaign.
The feeling was that the Midlands club were on the decline, and Lage wasn’t proven at all in the Premier League. The former Benfica boss has cast aside the doubts though, and with Raul Jimenez looking back to near his best, there is every chance that they could threaten the European places this term.
Despite their two recent wins, I am a bit surprised that the hosts are as short as 3.65 to beat a team that have lost just one of their last seven matches.
Norwich have only beaten an out-of-form Brentford and Southampton, and it can’t be denied that this is definitely a step-up in opponent.
Wolves have lost five of their 12 outings this season, but four of those came from their opening five games, and they were hugely unlucky in at least three of them.
I do like the away win here at 2.265/4 on the Betfair Exchange, as I make them more like even money shots. Victories at Watford, Southampton and Aston Villa have proved that they can win away from Molineux, and it would have been four wins but for a last minute penalty at Elland Road.
The draw is trading at around the 3.55/2 mark, but I am too keen on the visitors to consider it.
One area were Wolves aren’t delivering this season is high-scoring games. Of their dozen to date, five have had just a single goal and four have had two. Only three of them have gone Over 2.5, which explains why it’s the outsider at 2.47/5.
It might not be the worst bet in the world though, as eight of Norwich’s 12 have seen it land, and Wolves’ highest scoring game did come on the road – a 3-2 victory at Dean Smith’s Villa.
Under 2.5 Goals is available to back at 1.75/7, but it would have actually only been a successful punt in just one of Norwich’s six at Carrow Road – a 0-0 draw with Brighton.
The prices look about right to me on the whole, and I would much rather take my chance in the Match-Odds market than a goals one.
A small Bet Builder at odds of 5.69/2 for this game looks good to me. It’s a treble of a Wolves win, Raul Jimenez to score any time and Under 10.5 Corners in the match.
Despite their success, Wolves are only 13th when it comes to corners taken this year, and the Canaries have taken eight fewer.
Key Opta Stat
After losing four of their first five Premier League games this season (W1), Wolves have now won five of their last seven (D1 L1). Indeed, no side has taken more points over the last seven Premier League matches than Wolves (16, level with Chelsea and Manchester City).