West Bromwich Albion Vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Pre-Match Analysis
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers is challenged by Callum Robinson of West Bromwich Albion during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion at Molineux on January 16, 2021 in Wolverhampton, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Wolverhampton Wanderers have the chance to all but guarantee their Black Country rivals West Bromwich Albion relegation back down to the Championship when they travel to the Hawthorns on Monday night.

The Baggies are currently sitting 9 points adrift of the bottom three and if they don't pick up three points against the Wanderers over the weekend along with victories for  Burnley and Newcastle United, it would seal their inevitable fate.

Sam Allardyce's side will come into the derby with confidence though considering that Wolves have failed to win in their last nine games at the Hawthorns, with them last tasting victory there back in September 1996.

Along with this, West Brom have won the last three consecutive league games against Wolves with their latest victory coming in the reverse fixture at Molineux in which a Matheus Pereira brace helped the Baggies to a 3-2 victory.

There is no doubt though that the visitors will be keen for revenge from this defeat back in January and manager Nuno Espirito Santo will be looking for a bounce-back and a response from their humiliating 4-0 home defeat to Burnley last weekend.

Injury problems a concern for Wolves

There are only five games remaining in the 2020/21 campaign and many Wolves fans will be happy to see the back of it.

This is following a disappointing season that sees the Wanderers positioned in 12th place on only 41 points which is a good 12 points away from challenging for a Europa League spot.

Over the entirety of the season, Santo's side have been unlucky with the number of injuries that they have sustained and that remains the case going into the Black Country derby.

Wolves go into the fixture without key forward players Raul Jimenez and Pedro Neto who without a doubt has been one of a few bright sparks for the club this campaign.

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With the large extent of injuries that Wolves do currently have under their ranks, it is no doubt that their chances of three points are diminished especially since they are coming up against a side that only has Branislav Ivanovic unavailable with a hamstring injury.

With their being key absences particularly in the forward areas it will be up to the likes of Daniel Podence, who has struggled to find his feet again since his return from injury and Willian Jose, who has only managed to grab one goal since his arrival in January to make a stance and cause a problem to the Baggies backline. 

Redemption for Burnley defeat

Last Sunday a hat trick by Chris Wood along with a stunning strike by Ashley Westwood helped guide Burnley to a 4-0 win at Molineux in what was a miserable afternoon for Nuno’s side.

It was an awful showing for the entirety of the 90 minutes as the home side rarely threatened Nick Pope in goal and especially in the first half Wolves were slightly fortunate that they did not fall to a larger margin.

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It was a result and performance that was unideal ahead of the black country derby and the whole team will now be desperate to bounce back from what happened last week.

A good showing at their local rivals along with three points which would seal West Brom's fate would certainly do this.

Baggies in decent home form

Allardyce's side have won two of their last four home games in the top flight which is as many victories as they had in their previous 19 games at the Hawthorns in the Premier League.

These wins came against Brighton at the end of February and in the 3-0 thrashing that came against Southampton the last time that they played at home.

This performance against the Saints will be something that will certainly give Allardyce hope going into this one as it was an example of what his team can really do when they are on their day, something which Wolves must be wary of.

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As well with the drop back down to the Championship looking the likely scenario for the Baggies, it could be argued that the pressure is off for them and this may prove to work in their favour in the Black Country derby.

There is no doubt that in forward areas they do have players that can cause problems with the likes of the creativity of Matheus Pereira and the darting runs of Mbaye Diagne.

Then with how big the rivalry between the two teams is along with the fact that West Brom have nothing to lose, it would not be unsurprising if from the off the hosts went at Wolves and this is something prior to the game Nuno must be aware of and address to his players.