21/12/18 – Wolves 0-2 Liverpool
15/12/18 – Wolves 2-0 Bournemouth
09/12/18 – Newcastle Utd 1-2 Wolves
05/12/18 – Wolves 2-1 Chelsea
30/11/18 – Cardiff City 2-1 Wolves
As we’ll all be aware after playing facing them twice last season, Wolves have a distinctive style that they have translated into the Premier League with success. A 3-4-2-1 formation that demands a lot from their wingbacks and central midfield and relies on a disciplined press has caused issues for teams unused to dealing with their style of play. With many of Fulham’s side having been exposed to this last season in the Championship – including the hugely impressive 2-0 win at the Cottage in February – there should at least be a degree of familiarity in how to succeed against this approach. Wolves have been a little goal shy this season with the lack of goals from Costa and Jota costing them in a six-match run without a win during the end of October and November but they have improved dramatically to win their last three against Chelsea, Newcastle and Bournemouth. Their impressive defensive unit and particularly goalkeeper Rui Patricio could dampen the prospects of a repeat of Februarys win.
Battle to Watch
Neves vs Chambers: The standout player in the Championship last season – bar one – the Portuguese midfielder has adapted well to life in the Premier League, even if that isn’t exactly a surprise given his pedigree of domestic and European football for Porto. With Moutinho or Gibbs White providing him with the assistance to run the game from the centre of midfield, Neves’ goal return may have diminished, but his effect on this Wolves team has not. With Chambers conversion to central midfield now turning into an extended stay, we will need him to give Neves the attention he deserves in order for us to gain a positive result.
With all of super agent Jorge Mendes’ foreign acquisitions, a man who has played for Wolves in League One and the Championship might not immediately stand out, but for anyone who has watched Wolves this season his ability and effect on the team cannot be underestimated. The Irishman has been an incredibly attacking presence down the right-hand side of the team and has taken the creative burden away from some of the slightly underperforming attacking players further forward. Blessed with great pace and power, Doherty’s intelligence with the ball at his feet can cause serious problems particularly down a Fulham left-hand side that has looked non-existent in some recent games.
Last 5 Meetings
24/02/18 – Fulham 2-0 Wolves (C’ship)
03/11/17 – Wolves 2-0 Fulham (C’ship)
18/03/17 – Fulham 1-3 Wolves (C’ship)
10/12/16 – Wolves 4-4 Fulham (C’ship)
12/01/16 – Wolves 3-2 Fulham (C’ship)
Fulham wins 26
Wolves wins 42
Stats & Facts
- The clubs have met on 90 occasions in all competitions – Fulham have won 25, Wolves have won 42 and there have been 23 draws.
- Fulham have won 1 of the last 10 meetings with Wolves in all competitions, the 2-0 Championship victory at Craven Cottage in February when Ryan Sessegnon and Aleksandar Mitrovic were on target. The Whites also prevailed on penalties at Molineux in January 2015 when an FA Cup 3rd Round replay ended 3-3 AET.
- Last season’s home victory was the 1st clean sheet Fulham had kept against Wolves in 8 attempts – they had conceded 21 goals in the previous 7 meetings.
- Both Fulham and Wolves have finished matches having scored exactly 0, 1, 2, 3 and 4 goals in the last 10 meetings between the clubs.
- Fulham were unbeaten in the 4 meetings with Wolves at Craven Cottage (W2, D2) during the club’s first spell in the Premier League. The last ended in a 5-0 victory in March 2012 as Clint Dempsey bagged a brace and Pavel Pogrebnyak netted a hat-trick.
Players in Common
Emmanuel Frimpong, Jordan Graham, Marcus Hahnemann, Andrew Lonergan, Scott Malone, Kevin McDonald, Sheyi Ojo, Seol Ki Hyeon, Richard Stearman.
It seems like ages ago now, but it’s been less than a year since Fulham were high flying in the Championship, midway through or unbeaten run as the media darlings of last season, Wolves came to town. We all knew that the gap between us points-wise wasn’t a true reflection of the quality we now possessed and with a better start to the season, we would have matched them all the way.
That confidence shone through as the Whites dominated, particularly in the second half and that’s where the magic happened. Mitrovic received the ball with his back to goal, used his strength to hold off the first defender, rolling the ball past him on the turn before selling a dummy to the second defender and rifling an unstoppable strike into the bottom corner. It was a beautiful goal from the team who played the best football that season.
Opposition View (@RobbieWFTV from @WolvesFanTV)
It’s been quite a journey for Wolves since your last spell in the Premier League under Mick McCarthy hasn’t it?
It’s been one hell of a journey since Mick McCarthy’s dismissal, following a humiliating 5-1 home defeat to bitter rivals West Bromwich Albion back in 2012. Terry Connor was like a rabbit in the headlights, as he took charge for the remainder of the season, as Wolves were inevitably relegated. Stale Solbakken was chosen as the man to rebuild the squad and push for a return to the Premier League. That didn’t go well, with the only thing coming from his spell being the acquisition of Bakary Sako.
From Solbakken, the board decided that Dean Saunders was given the task of pushing Wolves back up the table. With the only thing on his managerial CV being a relegation, he wasn’t wanted at the club. However, he was friends with Steve Morgan, the owner at the time, so he walked into Molineux with a golden ticket. Saunders was again relegated, which saw Wolves suffer back to back relegations, landing the club in League One. During the summer of 2013, Kenny Jackett took on a huge job, taking over a club in a dire situation which had seen
When Fosun took over, it was a shame to see him relieved of his duties, but the new owners came in with new ideas and a vision. Zenga and Lambert didn’t quite go to plan, but they struck gold with Nuno Espirito Santo. Nuno came in with a strong philosophy and some big signings. The likes of Willy Boly and Diogo Jota, joined by Ruben Neves. A lot of people wondered how these unknown quantities would cope with the physicality of the Championship, along with the English weather, but it turns out they could perform on many a cold and rainy night. Back in the Premier League, it’s looking good. At the start of the season, I’d have settled for 17th, this season is all about survival and establishing ourselves back in the top flight. To be sat 7th just before Christmas is a great achievement.
Where do you expect Wolves to finish this season?
I’m not sure but I think we’ll be comfortably mid-table. I’d be chuffed to see us sat 10th. We’ll strengthen in January and kick off.
Which area of the team would you like to see strengthened in January?
We need to sign a striker to come in and compete with Jimenez. Our only other senior option is Leo Bonatini, who has done nothing since December 2017. Faith in him has disappeared. I’d much rather give Benny Ashley-Seal or Nial Ennis given a go off the bench. A couple of talented lads in the u23s, who will be chomping at the bit to prove themselves. I’d love to see Kasper Dolberg (Ajax) or Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan) come in.
We also need to bring in
Past that, if we are to sign anybody, it needs to be an improvement on what we already have, rather than just adding numbers.
How do you see the game panning out?
It should be a good game when we meet on boxing day. I can see an end-to-end game, with a few goals in it.
Score prediction – Fulham 1-2 Wolves
Predicted line-up – Patricio; Doherty, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Jonny, Moutinho, Neves, Cavaleiro, Jimenez, Jota.
Thanks to Robbie Meakin from Wolves Fan TV for answering our questions.
Seems too bold to go for a win in this one but there is a chance for a low scoring draw if we can finally do something about our defence, although we’ve been saying that for months now. 1-1 draw.