Itâ€™s Wolves at home for Spurs on Saturday and on paper a good chance to put the miserable last 15 minutes at Goodison behind us. One glance at the league table shows the effect that chucking away the lead and then failing to make the most of the last minute reprieve had. If you close your eyes you can almost hear the pitter-patter of SWPâ€™s tiny feet coming up behind us.
If you believe the press then Robbie Keane will have had a lot of thinking about his future to do this week. Things have never been the same for him since he took the Anfield route two summers ago. Whilst his form for Ireland is as impressive as ever heâ€™s struggling to make an impact at White Hart Lane despite Redknappâ€™s obvious desire to squeeze him into the team somehow. This used to be at almost any cost but lately heâ€™s only been sub or subbed in league games so perhaps a visit from the club where he started his career will help him apply a bit of perspective as he decides whether or not he wants to spend the rest of the season staring at the back of Kevin Bondâ€™s head.
Another ex-Wolf in our ranks is Tom Huddlestone who went on loan there at the end of 2005. This season so far has been a sort of coming of age for the big man as his passing and shooting has become an important part of our creative armoury. Heâ€™s played well enough to consign Jenas to the bench which is good going given the partnership that JJ and Palacios formed towards the end of last season.Â
This game, our first at home since the surreal encounter against Wigan, is one where weâ€™re likely to get a lot of possession and it might be one where an adventurous Redknapp could move Huddlestone into the back four for the afternoon. The quality of distribution from the back rises enormously when heâ€™s there as the extra time available enables him to pick out the runs of Lennon and Defoe with more precision. Just a thought.
Wolves come to us with a record of one win, two draws and four losses in their seven away games so far with an average of a goal a game. Chelsea are the only side whoâ€™ve given them a good spanking (4-0) so itâ€™s probably safe to assume that theyâ€™ll play with a good spirit and attitude and youâ€™d expect nothing else from a Mick McCarthy team. Theyâ€™ve a few injuries with Michael Kightly being the key absentee.Â
Stuart Atwell is due to ref. Relatively new to the Premier League, Atwell has never taken charge of a game involving us before. He managed to get himself involved in a couple of noteworthy Championship controversies last season firstly by awarding Reading a goal against Watford when the ball had gone wide of the post and then disallowing two apparently legitimate Derby goals in the last minute of the their game against Forest. Heâ€™s managed to keep out of the news so far this season and with Huddlestone and Jenas on 4 yellow cards and a big game against Man City coming up on Wednesday letâ€™s hope that continues.
Paddy Power: Jermain Defoe to score a hat-trick – 15/2
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