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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. West Bromwich Albion - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Bromwich Albion square off on Saturday afternoon having each put together lengthy winless streaks in the Premier League.

While the home side have gone five matches without recording maximum points, the Baggies last recorded success on November 28 when they edged out bottom-placed Sheffield United.

Match preview

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Since their takeover in 2017, Wolves have been on a more positive trajectory than their neighbours West Brom, who returned to the Premier League in 2020 after a two-year absence.

However, ahead of the first Black Country derby in almost nine years, both teams are going through troubled periods which could hinder their long-term development.

Despite pre-season hopes of another top-seven finish, Wolves find themselves down in 14th position having played at least a game more than many of the other teams in the division.

West Brom had hoped to have moved closer to safety after replacing Slaven Bilic with Sam Allardyce, but the Baggies are now six points adrift of safety with a -28 goal difference.

While Wolves are having to cope with a number of injury issues, the long-term absence of Raul Jimenez is threatening to undermine the progress which they have made over the past two seasons.

Ahead of reaching the midway point of the season, Nuno Espirito Santo will feel that a win over their rivals can act as the catalyst for an improved run of form over the coming weeks.

That said, Wolves cannot expect to make any significant headway up the standings until Fabio Silva or Patrick Cutrone show that they can add goals in the final third.

Allardyce has had a tough introduction to life at The Hawthorns with his opening four fixtures being against Aston Villa, Liverpool, Leeds United and Arsenal.

Nevertheless, the veteran boss had little excuse for his team's penalty-shootout defeat at Blackpool in the FA Cup third round, with the performance suggesting that fans can expect several changes in personnel before the end of the month.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: WLDLDL
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): LDLDWL

West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: LDLDLL
West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions): DLDLLD

Team News

Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore pictured on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Nuno must decide whether to any risks on Adama Traore, who missed Tuesday's defeat against Everton with a hamstring injury.

Unless Willy Boly returns from the sidelines, Nuno may considering retaining the same side which started versus the Toffees.

However, Cutrone is pushing for his first start of the season after two substitute appearances in the space of a week.

West Brom will be without Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher, who sits out the game after collecting five yellow cards.

After the level of their most recent displays, Allardyce will consider making changes in several areas of the pitch.

Kieran Gibbs and Jake Livermore are in line for a starting role after being named on the substitutes' bench against Arsenal on January 2, while Robert Snodgrass should feature in the squad after his move from West Ham United.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri; Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho; Neto, Cutrone, Silva

West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, Gibbs; Phillips, Sawyers, Livermore, Diangana; Pereira; Robinson

SM words green background

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 West Bromwich Albion

Having failed to gain a response out of the West Brom squad since his arrival, Allardyce will be hoping that local rivalry can trigger a strong performance from his players. With Wolves also struggling at both ends of the pitch, we are backing this game to end in a draw after a heated battle at Molineux.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


How you voted: Wolves vs West Brom

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West Bromwich Albion
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