Molineux. Never a straightforward place to go, but especially so when the doubts raised by a heavy home defeat still prey on the mind. By adding Parker to the midfield since our last game we have made a good fist of strengthening one of the obvious weaknesses that has led to no points from 2 outings; whether or not Adebayor is capable of dealing with the other one, our powder puff and impotent attack remains to be seen. If he gets anywhere near the target of 25 goals helpfully set him by Assou-Ekotto then his Gooner associations will be conveniently forgotten if not forgiven.
Given Van der Vaart’s absence it’ll probably be Defoe up front with the big bloke. In midfield, our two reigning Footballer of the Year award winners will presumably be joined by Lennon and Modric. Given the opposition we may find out a lot about the latter’s commitment in this game. He’s been the last puppy in the pet shop window for three months now. His pride will have been hurt by both his and his agent’s failure to get the better of Daniel Levy, and also by the public snub by Villas-Boas this week. He looked cheerful enough after he buried, most uncharacteristically, a twenty five yarder against Israel the other day though, let’s hope he brings a bit of that joy back to England with him.
At the back there’s no news of Gallas or Ledley that I’m aware of which means that the only defensive slot with a doubt over it is right back. Walker must have had enough time to get over his illness by now and should play. His pace alone means that he surely is the future given the running in treacle style of Corluka. Despite shipping eight goals, Friedel should keep his place. He’s no Pat Jennings but he does inspire more confidence than Gomes.
As for Wolves, well they’ve had an excellent start to the season. O’Hara will want to do his best against his old mates of course and together with Henry and Hunt will provide a feisty debut for Parker. Even though they may be weakened by the loss of Jarvis, they’ll pose a threat – in a typical up and at ’em McCarthy style of course. Doyle always does well against us and Stephen Fletcher has been providing good support so far.
Phillip Walton is the referee. He’s only had one Premier League outing thus far but made his mark in handing out 8 yellows and a red in the Geordies v Gooner game on the first day of the season so he probably deserved a rest after that.
With 36 games to go we’re obviously not in ‘must win game’ territory yet. A third loss though would be very depressing. The debutants will give the Spurs line up an unfamiliar look but they need to get to know each other and be prepared to play with a good tempo from the off. A draw is short odds with the bookies and you can see why. If the team though is going to challenge where we’d expect them too, a good performance and a win would be more than a relief.
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