Chorley vs Wolves | Friday 22nd January 2021, 19:45 | BT Sport
Your Friday night viewing arrives from the 4th Round of the FA Cup with a classic David against Goliath encounter between National League North outfit Chorley and Wolves of the Premier League.
The Magpies have certainly done things the hard way to get to this stage of the competition after defeating the likes of Wigan, Peterborough and a very young Derby XI. Wolves would overcome league rivals Crystal Palace at the 3rd Round stage, and now face a potential banana skin in travelling to Victory Park.
Not only has Covid-19 been an issue for a while now, but the weather is now coming into consideration with rain and snow coming into the picture. Naturally, those clubs lower down the pyramid will struggle with the general upkeep of their hallowed turf, and with temperatures in the Chorley area on the freezing side in the build-up to this one, then we could have a heavy surface on show.
Chorley will of course be more used to this, but Nuno Espirito Santo won’t want to have any excuses already lined up.
It could be argued that this game comes at a bad time for Wolves, depending on which way you look at it. They’ve lost back-to-back league games, each at home, versus Everton and local rivals West Brom, meaning it is just one win in their last seven overall, that coming in the last round against Palace.
A few years ago, Wolves had a good run in this competition and Nuno fielded a strong team in Round Three, and I’m expecting they’ll be competitive again, although they will surely have an eye on their midweek clash with Chelsea a few days afterwards. This could present an issue for Chorley, who although overcome Derby kids in the last round they still had a few scares on the day.
I’m not wanting to overthink this one too much and I’m wanting to keep Wolves firmly on side. The fact they’re in poor form to me means they’ll not want to take too many chances here. We saw when Tottenham did when taking on Marine, and there was an even bigger gap between the two compared to Chorley and Wolves.
You’re looking at very slim odds on an away win here, which is understandable, so we seek value via different avenues. The first fairly confident play I like the look of is Wolves To Win Both Halves at 19/20 (William Hill).
To be clear, this essentially means we need the Prem boys to outscore their part-time opponents in the opening 45 AND also the second 45. To get just shy of evens on this I think is too good to resist.
Last season, much was made of Wolves’ reluctance to open up in the first-half of games, meaning Draw/Wolves become a popular bet, but they’re PL first-half record this season reads W5 D8 L6, and they’ve also scored five more away league goals in the first half compared to the second, so they won’t sit back too much in my eyes. Chorley have also shipped a goal in the first half in seven of their last eight.
Furthermore, I’ll also take a punt of Wolves Leading After 15 Minutes, which is available at 9/4 (William Hill). The pitch is a bit of an unknown at this stage, but I think Wolves are better equipped than maybe certain Premier League teams to be able to cope with that. I do expect a degree of rotation but not to the point where they’re fielding kids or anything like that.
Wolves have still won away at the likes of Arsenal and Leeds this season, albeit before losing Raul Jimenez to injury, but this could just be the type of game they need to give them a bit of a confidence boost prior to a tricky run of league fixtures to come. As for Chorley, you just feel this will be a step too far for them.
Chorley vs Wolves – Wolves to Win Both Halves (19/20 William Hill)
Chorley vs Wolves – Wolves Leading After 15 Minutes (9/4 William Hill)