Writer: Stuart Smith
Date:Friday September 21 2007
Wolverhampton Wanderers play hosts to Norwich City, in a fixture that though Mick McCarthy won`t say it, in reality is a must win.
Only two places, and one goal separate the teams in the league with pressure mounting on McCarthy to recreate the endeavors of last season and haul his team out of their current position, and to do it fast.
The air of expectancy is back at Molineux, and with it the calls for instant action as soon as things look like not going according to plan.
With growing unrest Wolves need both a good result and a good performance to bring back the feel good factor to Molineux.
Mick McCarthy is no stranger to tough calls, and may well have to make some this weekend after hinting that a major reshuffle is on the cards.
Recalled Jody Craddock looks set to go straight into the starting line up, in which no one is now guaranteed a place.
Rob Edwards is now fit, and back in contention for a starting berth, but Matt Jarvis and Mark Davies are still some way off full fitness.
There are doubts over Stephen Ward that could surprisingly see Denes Rosa force himself back into contention with five goals in two reserve fixtures, although his return would herald a change in tactics and formation, something McCarthy has in the past been retiscent to do.
Up front McCarthy's choices are no easier than the tough decisions he has to make in defence and midfield.
With a host of attacking options available to him, McCarthy has the luxury of choice open to him, but unfortunately not the time to waste on failed experiments.
Andy Keogh may find himself frozen out after failing to take his chances midweek, possibly making way for Jay Bothroyd to partner Freddy Eastwood.
Wolves fans have so far only seen glimpses of what Eastwood is capable of, and if ever there was a time for him to shine, it's now.
Norwich City have their own selection concerns to worry about.
Dion Dublin misses out as he starts a 3 match ban Luke Chadwick is less than fully fit and David Strihavka is struggling with a thigh strain.
Last seasons top Championship scorer could have a field day presented with the kind of mistakes Wolves defence have been gifting sides with so far this season, having found the net four times this season already.
Wolves have met the Canaries 46 tims since their first meeting in the '65-66 season, with Wolves winning 27 times to Norwich's 8, and 12 games ending all square.
Norwich have to go back to the 2001-2 season for their last win against Wanderers when they knocked them out of the play off semi finals.
Referee Steve Bennet has handed out 4 reds and 22 yellow cards in 6 matches this season. He has officiated over a League Cup Final, a Champions League quarter final and was once famously criticised by Sepp Blatter for booking Tim Cahill for over celebrating after ripping off his shirt.
Next up its the Foxes, away!
Date:Friday September 21 2007
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