clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Match preview: Wolves v Nottingham Forest

Domestic football is back, back, back, and Forest travel to Wolves on Saturday, two weeks after the relief of the win over Norwich. We spoke to Wolves fan and Sky Sports.com feature writer Adam Bate about the game...

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Nick Miller: I've seen a few people describe Wolves as the best team they've faced this season. Has it been as good as that might suggest?

Adam Bate: We've certainly passed the ball around a lot and top the Championship for possession, passing accuracy and short passes. It's been quite impressive. However, it's worth acknowledging that - a bit like Swansea when they first went up to the Premier League - much of that has been in defensive areas and about protecting ourselves from better players rather than hurting the opposition.

NM: I fear we'll spend a lot of Saturday chasing shadows in that case. Our problem, with Andy Reid injured and Henri Lansbury largely playing like a man with a hangover, has been a) keeping hold of the ball and b) creating something when we have it. Oh, plus our defence has disappeared in recent weeks, which is troubling.

AB: Well, we're pinning our hopes on Danny Graham which isn't a particularly pleasant feeling. Without Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko we're toothless at this level - winning one in eight. With them, I think we're a top-six side (20 points from 10 games so far).

I've heard Tom Ince hasn't done that much for you so far? That surprised me. Anything approaching form would be enough to trouble our defence.

NM: In fairness he's only played two and a half games, but my dad's quick review of his performances was 'Hull can have him back.' Still, he's barely played this season so he might just be getting back into it. I'm still astonished that he signed for the manager that racially abused his dad, mind.

Dicko's just twanged his hamstring again, hasn't he? A boost and no mistake, considering England's Jamaal Lascelles seems to make a dreadful mess in his pants whenever someone runs at him these days.

AB: Dicko is still a doubt. He just makes us look a completely different team because he's so quick that it makes the opposition defend deeper and creates space for our midfield. Leon Clarke has looked like what he is - a League One striker filling in.

How's Mancienne doing? He looked so good for Wolves in the Championship but then got moved into midfield in the Premier League.

I saw he had superb reviews at Forest at first but I always remember him looking lost under a high ball at Birmingham for Wolves and noticed him make a similar mistake recently too. Wonder if he'll ever fulfil his early promise.

NM: Mancienne was our best player for the first dozen games of the season, but as our form disappeared down the toilet, so did his. I can't quite work out which one came first, but you're right, he made a calamitous error from a punt downfield against Blackburn.

At his best he has that freaky anticipation that the very best defenders have - one second there's an attacker, being all threatening, and the next Mancienne's just 'there', to swoop in and nick it away. Maybe his confidence is shot, but he's looked less sure recently.

AB: Sounds about right. Basically it's two vulnerable teams capable of playing some good stuff. Just about sums up the Championship. I'm hoping Wolves are due a second wind but right now it feels like the early momentum from the League One title win has been lost and we're nestling nicely where we belong in mid-table.

That said, I'll be annoyed if we crumble as we did against Derby. Some of the noises after that thrashing weren't encouraging - just a blip etc. In truth, it was coming. If we have addressed any of those issues then I think we should do OK. It's still just one home defeat in 2014 so you'd do well to get three points.

NM: I'm going for a narrow Wolves win if Dicko and/or Sako play, a high-scoring draw if not. Eeesh.

Adam Bate is a feature writer for Sky Sports.com, and a bloody good one too. You can follow him on Twitter @GhostGoal