In-form Wolves can frustrate the faltering Cherries
Wolves’ play-off push is gaining momentum again after a third straight win in which they haven’t conceded a goal and they might just be playing Bournemouth at the right time.
The Cherries haven’t won in five to drop out of the automatic promotion places and are finding that the Championship is an unforgiving league when you aren’t quite at your best.
They’ve only won once at the Goldsands Stadium since December and that victory was against a Watford side that played all but the first 30 seconds with 10 men so there are signs that teams are beginning to work out Eddie Howe’s side.
Blackburn had certainly done their homework ahead of Saturday’s 0-0 draw on the south coast. Striker Yann Kermogant hit the Rovers’ crossbar but the Cherries were largely kept at arm’s length and limited to shooting from distance. With three consecutive clean sheets, Wolves must believe they can also frustrate their hosts and do themselves a favour in the process.
Bournemouth won 2-1 at Molineux in December but that match turned on the second half dismissal of Rajiv van La Parra. The Dutchman was sent off with his team leading 1-0 and the late red card shown to Matt Doherty merely rubbed salt in the wound.
Kenny Jackett’s men have only lost once on the road since November and are now only two points off the top six. With those above stuttering, Wolves are now just eight points behind leaders Derby and can even dream of automatic promotion but it’s imperative that they get a result at Bournemouth.
Kevin McDonald and Jack Price will again look to get an early grip in midfield so they can act as a springboard for their more attack-minded team-mates. Saturday’s match-winner Bakary Sako has now scored four in his last three so will be a threat again and Benik Afobe has four in his last half-dozen.
They are difficult to leave out at present so Nouha Dicko may have to settle for a place on the bench again.
The goals have dried up for Bournemouth and, though a fourth straight win will be difficult to achieve for Wolves, they could keep another clean sheet at 15/4 and are 21/20 getting a goal start on the handicap.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Tuesday, March 3 at the Goldsands Stadium.