Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Blades vs Wolves - preview

I am feeling good about a United win Tuesday night. Wolves may be top of the table by six points, a comfortable twelve points ahead of Sheffield United, but I feel good about predicting that come Wednesday, that lead over us will be reduced to nine. Let me explain.

Wolves aren’t that good.

Okay, that analysis was Scott-like, but it’s true. They aren’t that good. Look at their fixtures so far this season and you’ll see they’ve had a dream run, much like Reading in their last promotion season. They’ve played teams at the right time and have built confidence off the back off winning. They kick off scraping a draw at Deepdale, before scoring nine against a newly promoted Forest and an awful Wednesday side. A run of decent wins off the back off those confidence builders follows before they lose (at home) to the only good side they’ve played so far this term (Reading 0-3). They have also lost away to Swansea, who are no great shakes and they were pumped 5-2 at Carrow Road; Norwich sit proudly in 19th, four points above the drop zone. They haven’t played Brum yet, they haven’t played us yet, they were tonked by Reading, they were lucky to beat Ipswich by all accounts and the only other top six side they’ve played was Burnley, where they did get a decent 2-0 win - but anyone can beat anyone in this league, Barnsley beat Burnley tonight, so what does that say?

Wolves are overrated.

Sheffield United on the other hand are not. We were unlucky not to get a point against Brum, who will go up. We did also lose the other week to Reading, but we were out of sorts on the day, for several reasons which I won’t go into here. In the second half, we had chances to win the match, let alone get a point, but anyway, we put things right on Saturday by scoring five goals - I can’t remember the last time I saw United score five goals, but I have been saying for quite some time that with all the attacking stuff we’re playing, we were due to spank someone eventually.

Despite our defeat to Reading, we have still only conceded 13 goals in 18 matches and our home record is better still, conceding just four in nine (two of those against Reading, who will win the league in my opinion) . Wolves on the other hand are ropey as anything, shipping 25 in 18 games, 17 conceded in nine matches away from home.

Where they do excel, is goal scoring. They’ve notched 41 times in 18 games, which is impressive indeed. But hell, even we can score five times against bottom three sides, as Charlton discovered at the weekend. And our scoring record is exactly comparable to Birmingham, who are currently second, so we’re not desperately short of firepower ourselves.

Throw into the mix the fact that we have the hold over them in recent years at Bramall Lane and things look even rosier. In the last ten seasons, we’ve met fifteen times; United have won five, Wolves four times and six have ended all square – fairly even. But at the Lane, our ten season record reads P7 W4 D3 L0. It’s worth noting too, that one of the Wolves wins and one of those draws were end of season games with nothing to play for and players rested. Furthermore, one of the Wolves wins was in the Play-Off final of 2003, where Sheffield United cracked under the big match pressure at the Millennium Stadium. God, we even beat them 3-1 under Bryan Robson for fuck’s sake and we all know what a shitter of a season (and team) that was.

The best news of all, is that Iwelumo is fit and should start for Wolves ;-)

United are best price 13/8, which looks a good enough bet to me. I also predict goals – they score a lot, we score our fair share and we won’t concede many, but we’ve wobbled a bit with Ugo suspended (shipped four in our last two) and as I said in my Reading preview, Bramall Lane is ready to see some goals to get our average up. The last five meetings with Wolves at the Lane have ended 3-1, 1-0, 3-3, 3-3 and 2-2 – which bodes well for that theory. I reckon 3-1 could be the way to go with the correct score. Oddschecker has packed up, but William Hill go 20/1 for 3-1 and Betdaq offers me 23.0 at present – surely worth a cheeky couple of quid? Not sure if over 2.5 goals at 1.9 is any value, really. I’ll let you make your own minds up on that. I’d say it’s pretty likely, to be honest.



moDtheGod said...

Fucking raging. I am sick of coming home and complainign about officials. At 1-0 down we put the ball in the net, a clear foot over the line and it isn't given. We were dominating at that point and I think we'd probably have gone on to win. In fact to be honest, we dominated anyway. Their early goal was bizarre but they didn't have another shot until their second goal, which was also a total farce. We take a corner and we're given offside (wtf?) and they go up the other end and score. Only then do they start to play, where they enjoy a five minute spell of taking the piss while we stand around looking puzzled about a host of comical decisions, conceding a third. Then we start playing again and even get a goal.

I'm fuming with Graham Laws - he's a fucking cunt.

They weren't that impressive. They had 4 decent chances that I remember, three went in and one hit the bar. A lesson in making the most of what you've got and riding your luck.

Reading or Brum will catch them.

The Kenster said...

Lucky I never put money on them this time. 13/8 or similar is far too short. Instead I put a cheeky double on leicester and mk dons at terrible odds. Less than evens returned! But still it's free money when they are playing crewe and Hereford.