Wolves v Sheff United: A patient approach can reap rewards

Wolves host Sheffield United live on Sky on Saturday night and Steve Rawlings fancies a home win but the stats suggest the hosts might not take command until the second half...

Wolves looking to sign off the season in style

After back-to-back seventh placed finishes in the Premier League, following their promotion as Championship winners in 2018, Wolves' 2020/21 campaign must be considered a disappointment.

The absence of their Mexican striking sensation, Raul Jimenez, who scored 17 Premier League goals last season and 13 the season before, has been a huge hinderance. He returned to training last month after fracturing his skull against Arsenal in November but he's unlikely to return to the team this season.

He'd scored four when the injury occurred and he's still only one goal behind joint top-scorers, Ruben Neves and Pedro Neto, with their record signing, Portuguese forward, Fabio Silva, having notched only three.

Without the Mexican's goals, Wolves are languishing in 12th place but if their very recent form is anything to go by, they look like improving their position as the season draws to a close.

After an unbeaten stretch of five Premier League games in-a-row, which included victories away at Southampton and at home to both Arsenal and Leeds, Wolves have lost three of their last five and their win last Friday night at Fulham was their first in six games but they're playing better than the results suggest.

Following a disappointing 1-1 draw at Newcastle, they lost 4-1 at Manchester City, but after Conor Cody had equalised on the hour mark, the hosts only edged ahead again in the 80th minute and they were unlucky to lose to both Liverpool (0-1) and West Ham (2-3) if the stats are anything to go by.

Against the champions, they had more possession (53%), more shots on target (5-4) and a superior xG (1.29 - 0.83) and they were even more dominant against the Hammers after a crazy start to the game saw them go 3-0 down early on.

Wolves had 66% of the possession, 20 shots to West Ham's nine and the xG figures were 2.57 - 1.54 in favour of Wolves.

Wolves manager, Nuno Espirito Santos, wasn't happy with the start against West Ham so it was no surprise to see defence the focus against Fulham where a stoppage-time winner by Adama Traore earned them a 1-0 win.

Blunt Blades heading back down

After their superb first season back in the Premier League last term, when they finished ninth and only three points behind Wolves, Sheffield United are on the brink of returning to the Championship and by the time they kick-off at Molineux on Saturday night, they may already be down.

Following Brighton's draw with Everton on Monday night, if Newcastle avoid defeat at home to Wes Ham in the earlier kick-off, the Blades will be down.

The drop has been inevitable for some time now and Chris Wilder's departure a month ago has made little difference to their results.

Since caretaker boss, Paul Heckingbottom, took the reins, the Blades have lost all four games - three in the Premier league and one in the F.A Cup - and it's very hard to see the tide turning here.

The Blades have won just four of a possible 45 points away from home in the Premier League this season. They drew 1-1 at Brighton just before Christmas and they beat Manchester United in January but they've lost 13 of 15 played.

United have failed to score in six of their last eight in the division and they've conceded at least twice in each of their last four Premier League encounters, with the aggregate score standing at 12-1!

A patient approach may pay dividends

Having beaten the Blades 2-0 at Bramall Lane, Wolves are looking for their first league double against United since the 2013-14 League One campaign but they're quite rightly odds-on in the outright market to achieve the feat.

Sheffield United have won just one of their last 13 away games against Wolves and they're winless since a 3-1 victory at Molineux in 2002.

There's a chance that the visitors play with a bit of freedom if Newcastle mange to avoid defeat and United's fate is sealed but at odds of less than 7.0, given their current form and their appalling record on the road this season, they make no appeal.

Looking at the side markets, No in the Both teams to Score market is odds-on and that's understandable. Both teams have scored in 60% of Wolves' home games this season but in only 40% of Sheffield United's away games and both sides have found the net in only two of the last eight Premier League games involving the Blades.

Under is long odds-on in the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market and Over at around 2.5 is a tempting price given how leaky the Blades have been of late. There have been at least three goals scored in each of their last three Premier League games but Wolves are far from prolific and that tempers my enthusiasm.

After 31 of 38 games, the Blades have found the net only 17 times all season and that's the lowest number in the division, but Wolves aren't a million miles better given they've only averaged a goal a game.

Although trading at around 1.7 in the outright market, that's not too short for Wolves given Sheffield United's form but playing Draw/Wolves in the HT/FT market makes more appeal given the stats.

Wolves/Wolves is the favourite in the Half Time/Full Time market and given they're up against the worst side in the division that makes sense but in15 home games played so far this season the hosts have been in front at the break only twice, they've been drawing at halftime nine times.

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