Wolves v QPR preview
Matt Jarvis the danger man as Rs face tough away trip
For a team who looked dead and buried with only a matter of minutes left on the clock last season, Wolves have started this campaign with an impressive amount of life, writes Dan Mobbs.
Having escaped relegation on the last day, two wins and a draw have seen them rise to the top half of the table this time around.
Seemingly gone are the first season nerves and in their place is a newly found confidence in their ability to compete in the top flight.
The team’s assurance will have been enhanced by defeats of Blackburn and Fulham, which was followed by an emphatic victory over Northampton Town in the Carling Cup
And the additions of former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara on a permanent deal and Birmingham City defender Roger Johnson have played no small part in this.
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A home defeat at the hands of Spurs ended Wolves’ 100 per cent start to the season, but they will relish the visit of QPR, with the added benefit of last season’s experience.
The trip to Molineux will be a tough test for the Rs, but it will also be a useful tool by which they can measure themselves against opposition accustomed to fighting for points at the wrong end of the table.
The willing running and aerial ability of Steven Fletcher and Kevin Doyle could cause the Hoops newly assembled back-line problems, but it is Matt Jarvis (pictured right) who is likely to pose the greatest threat to the visitors.
Wolves’ home win against Fulham was largely down to the exploits of the wide man, who created the first for Doyle, before finding the net to secure the points just before half-time.
He is likely to be joined by Stephen Hunt on the opposing flank, whose combative style embodies the desire of the Wolves team and his opposition to the similar Joey Barton should prove to be an interesting spectacle.
There is little chance of beating Wolves at their own long ball game due to the size of their defence, so the creativity of new signing Shaun Wright-Phillips and Adel Taarabt will be essential in finding a route to goal.
The hosts will line up against QPR in the unaccustomed position of favourites, particularly considering their home advantage and it will be a difficult task to keep Wolves from the door.
If QPR do manage to pinch a point it would be a considerable achievement as a number of top clubs faltered at Molineux last season. Wolves earned eight of their 11 victories at home and, having walked the tightrope last season, they know the importance of every point. Wolves to win 1-0.