Wolverhampton Wanderers aim to keep their place in the upper half of the Premier League as they welcome Brentford to Molineux on Saturday afternoon.
This will be the fourth time these teams face off this season, coming together again just over three weeks after Wolves secured a 3-2 victory at home in an FA Cup third-round replay.
Six weeks after their 2-1 victory against Chelsea at home, Wolves managed to beat the Blues again, securing a 4-2 win at Stamford Bridge last Sunday, marking their first league double over Chelsea since the 1974-75 season.
Despite having only 35% ball possession, Wolves were effective in attack. They came back from an early goal by Cole Palmer with two deflected goals, turning the game in their favor; Matheus Cunha scored to level the game and an own goal by Axel Disasi gave them a lead at halftime.
Cunha then scored a third goal and completed his hat-trick with a penalty, leading Wolves to their ninth Premier League win of the season and their first victory at Stamford Bridge in 45 years.
Under Gary O’Neil, possibly a candidate for manager of the season, Wolves have moved up to 10th place, with European football next season becoming a real possibility. They are four points behind seventh-placed West Ham United and six points away from Manchester United in sixth, with 15 games left to play.
Wolves are preparing for their fourth match against Brentford in just over six weeks. Having won two and drawn one of their previous three matches against Brentford, including a 4-1 victory in the league at the end of December, Wolves should feel confident about winning again this Saturday.
The team, which has won four of its last six league matches, looks forward to playing at Molineux where they’ve lost only once in their last 10 games across all competitions – a 4-3 defeat to Man United recently due to a last-minute goal.
Brentford, after beating Manchester City twice last season, were close to another big win when Neal Maupay scored in the first half of their recent game. However, despite Mark Flekken’s impressive goalkeeping, Man City equalized before halftime and won 3-1 with two more goals from Phil Foden.
Thomas Frank’s team has now lost 26 points from leading positions and has more losses than wins when scoring first this season. With eight losses in their last nine league games, Brentford is now 15th in the league, just three points above the relegation zone.
Their defensive issues, having conceded in their last 12 Premier League games, could be a problem against Wolves, especially since Brentford has lost four of their last five games at Molineux.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: W W W D L W
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): D W D W L W
Brentford Premier League form: L L L W L L
Brentford form (all competitions): L D L W L L
Wolves are fully fit and welcome back Hwang Hee-chan and Boubacar Traore from international duty.
O’Neil might stick with the same lineup that won at Chelsea, but Jean-Ricner Bellegarde could come in for Pablo Sarabia, joining Pedro Neto and Cunha in attack.
Tommy Doyle hopes to start, but Joao Gomes may keep his midfield spot alongside Mario Lemina.
Brentford will miss Josh Dasilva due to a significant knee injury, along with Bryan Mbeumo, Aaron Hickey, Rico Henry, and Kevin Schade due to injuries.
Frank Onyeka is away for the Africa Cup of Nations final, but Yoane Wissa and Saman Ghoddos could return.
Sergio Reguilon, on loan from Tottenham, might start again, with Maupay and Ivan Toney leading the attack.
Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Kilman, Dawson, Toti;
Semedo, Lemina, Gomes, Ait-Nouri;
Brentford possible starting lineup:
Collins, Mee, Pinnock;
Roerslev, Janelt, Jensen, Norgaard, Reguilon;
Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 Brentford
With both teams likely to score based on their recent meetings, this weekend’s match promises excitement. However, Wolves, riding high on confidence, are the favorites against a Brentford team struggling defensively.