Our picks

Wolves vs West Bromwich Albion: 16/01/2021 – match preview & predicted starting XIs

Wolves vs West Bromwich Albion

Date: 16/01/2021

Time: 20:00

Venue: Molineux Stadium

Match Official: Michael Oliver

TV: BT Sport

Saturday starts with Nuno Espirito Santos’ Wolves hosting a West Brom side who have faltered significantly in the last few weeks, having had a very encouraging start to life under Sam Allardyce. The Baggies came away with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Anfield in their second game under Big Sam’s leadership, but have since been on the wrong side of a cumulative 9-0 defeat in their 2 games after Liverpool.

It hasn’t really been smooth sailing for Wolves either, as they sit 14th in the league table, exactly double of where they finished the 19/20 season. The Portuguese manager has really struggled for form and consistency this season – you’d have to go back 16 games to find two consecutive Wolves wins in all competitions, summing up the season they’ve had thus far. They’re winless in their last 5 league fixtures and haven’t kept a clean sheet since October. While it was always going to be difficult with Raul Jimenez facing a serious injury and Diogo Jota not being replaced directly, their faltering defence hasn’t helped soak up the pressure of fewer goals on the other end.

If the latest reports are to be believed, super-agent Jorge Mendes is reportedly offering the Portuguese coach to other Premier League clubs. If the move goes through, it will be a far major loss for the West Midlands side than either of their two strikers, as this is a man who guided Wolves from the Championship and moulded them into a “legend killing” side en route to back-to-back 7th place finishes – something unheard of for a newly promoted club.

The uncertainty in the Wolves camp may prove to be a key piece of the puzzle for West Brom though; Sam Allardyce is the master of what some fans jokingly call “Brexit football”, and someone who works wonders with getting his side’s mentality just right before a game. They’d be looking to add to Wolves’ misery and pick up three points for the first time in eight games across all competitions, and for the first time under Big Sam’s leadership. While nowhere close to the end of the season, the table does indeed look concerning for the Baggies, as they’re presently six points from safety, albeit with a game in hand.

Ironically, I believe that the team that attempts to take charge of the game and dictate it might be the one under more pressure. Only time will lay out the actual facts, but this should be a good game to kick off a good weekend of Premier League football.

Team News


There’s news on the defensive front for Wolves; Willy Boly has joined training, and is expected to face a late fitness test for this game. Regardless, all going well, he should be good to feature next week. Jonny Otto is “doing very well”, but there’s still a bit of time before he can rejoin the XI.

Raul Jimenez is making good progress, and the Wolves team is growing ever confident of seeing him return. They say it’s not a question of if, but when. The other attacking options of Adama Traore and Pedro Neto suffered from a thigh injury and a knock respectively. Both will be assessed late. Daniel Podence picked up a rather serious knock against Manchester United and has been ruled out. Fernando Marcal too will be unavailable for selection.

West Brom

Conor Gallagher accumulated 5 yellow cards and will serve a suspension for this game. Hal Robson-Kanu trained with the squad for the first time in a while, and although it has been confirmed that he will be omitted from the squad vs Wolves, he’ll continue first-team training in the hopes of making a comeback in the next fixture. Karlan Ahearne-Grant, Sam Field and Conor Townsend will be absent, owing to a cracked bone in the foot for the former, and knee injuries for the latter two.

Predicted Starting XIs

Wolves (4-3-3): Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri; Dendonkcer, Neves, Moutinho; Neto, Cutrone, Silva

West Brom (4-4-1-1): Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, Gibbs; Phillips, Sawyers, Livermore, Diangrana; Periera; Robinson

Predicted Scoreline: Wolves 1-1 West Brom

I think this might be a rather cagey game, with Wolves’ squad stretched a little thin. West Brom will nevertheless have to be careful, as even with a slightly depleted squad, the quality advantage favours the hosts. I believe all will likely end square at Molineux, with both sides’ shaky defensive records continuing.

Ayush Verma

20. Student at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. Manchester City correspondent for 90MAAT

90MAAT News Now

Premier League Table

90MAAT Social Media

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Search The Site