Wolves’ season has started to unravel and, with three more games to go before Kenny Jackett can do any meaningful business in the transfer market, it could yet unravel in a big way. Take odds of 2/1 or better about Reading making up some lost ground in the promotion race with victory at Molineux
, and back it up with bets on them to plunder a handful of goals in the process.
Steve Morgan’s decision to put Wanderers up for sale is the catalyst, of course. By going public, he was bound to undermine the manager’s quest to keep the Old Gold competitive. Jackett responded sensibly enough, pushing his long-term objectives to one side and injecting some leadership into the dressing room with the capture of Mike Williamson on loan.
And it worked. The results weren’t spectacular but the reassuring presence of the 31-year-old centre back stemmed a tide of naivety. For five games, Wolves were at least the equal of their opponents, there were no obvious signs of what was to unfold. But it all changed when Williamson was suddenly recalled by Newcastle.
Having outplayed Leeds for 30 minutes last Friday, one tactical tweak from Steve Evans turned the tables and Wanderers were all at sea. Over the next two hours, they would concede seven goals - three in 16 minutes against the Whites, then another four at Sheffield Wednesday. Now Jackett is pleading for reinforcements and we should take his sense of panic as a cue that he sees no immediate solution to his current problems.
If Reading can identify the weak spot and apply the right sort of pressure, the damage once again could exponential. The Molineux crowd are notoriously unforgiving once they cotton on to ineptitude, easily creating a snowball effect where one goal against leads to another and then another.
Either way, the Royals represent the value. By my estimation, they are three goals shy of the total they could realistically expect to have scored from the number and quality of shots they have taken, so that’s already half the case made for backing the visitors to score two or more goals at 9/4 and three or more goals at 9/1
, both of which are best-priced with SkyBet.
Brian McDermott is back in charge of the Berkshire club and you wouldn’t bet against him providing a feel-good factor that reawakens a season that initially promised so much. There’s little doubt Steve Clarke instilled some good defensive habits and he leaves behind an excellent base. What McDermott brings is empathy and a licence for players to now go out and express themselves.