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.
After a campaign littered with disappointing results, Wolves were forced to endure another frustrating evening on Wednesday when they were turned over 2-1 by a determined Everton at Molineux.
Following their latest setback, Wanderers’ record now reads a dismal two wins from nine Premier League assignments since the start of December, and with Raul Jimenez’s goal-scoring prowess badly missed, Wolves have dropped all the way down to 14th spot in the standings. Each of Wolves’ last two league victories came at Molineux however, and Wanderers look capable of harnessing home advantage again in Saturday’s Black Country Derby.
Sam Allardyce’s reign at West Brom showed early promise with a brave 1-1 draw at Liverpool, but things have gone badly wrong since then. Albion were crushed 5-0 on home turf by Leeds before then being thumped 4-0 by Arsenal at The Hawthorns.
There was more embarrassment at Blackpool in the cup, where a much-changed Baggies line-up was beaten on spot-kicks following a 2-2 draw in normal time. Robert Snodgrass has come in from West Ham and Allardyce is hoping for more reinforcements during the current transfer window.
WBA’s attacking output under Allardyce so far has been glaringly subpar, and not even a single effort from West Brom’s haul of just three goals in five matches under their new coach was hit from open play. 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.