WOLVES welcome Bournemouth to Molineux on Wednesday night. Matthew Kirby (@M_Kirby95) delivers his betting analysis.
Wolves vs Bournemouth | Wednesday 24th June 2020, 18:00 | BT Sport
Bournemouth’s survival chances suffered another blow on Saturday night losing 2-0 against Crystal Palace. It was an uninspiring performance from the Cherries and they looked like a team deep in trouble. There was no quality in the final third. David Brooks showed a few glimpses of what he’s capable of, but Vicente Guaita was never troubled in the Palace goal.
While they like to look easy on the eye, there’s very little bite in that Cherries side. They’ve got eight games to prove they’re good enough to stay up, but they need to show more aggression and fight rather than their usual timid displays.
Things don’t get easier for Eddie Howe’s side with a trip to Molineux against a Wolves side flying and on the cusp of a second consecutive season of European football.
The Old Gold dominated against West Ham controlling the play and six shots on target from ten shots proves Lukas Fabianski was kept busy. But the masterstroke was bringing Adama Traoré off the bench against a tiring backline. His explosive power saw him able to put a ball into Raúl Jiménez, who bagged his 14th of the season.
It’s now just one defeat in nine for Nuno Espírito Santo’s side and they’ll be eyeing fourth spot with Chelsea facing a tough assignment against Man City. If they win and the Blues lost, it’ll be just a two-point deficit.
Back an easy home win
Wolves have been excellent once again this season. Jiménez bullies defences, Traoré scares them with his pace and power, plus the technical ability of João Moutinho and Diogo Jota always impresses. Against the bottom seven at Molineux, they’re unbeaten in six with four wins and two draws. In those games, they’ve conceded just twice and that’s partly down to a solid defence.
Nuno's troops boast the third-best Expected Goals Against at 28.20 xGA proving Bournemouth might find it tough to create too many clear-cut chances.
It’s hard not to enjoy watching this Wolves side on their day. They’ve already seen off struggling sides like Norwich (3-0), West Ham (2-0) and Watford (2-0) here, and you’d imagine a very similar outcome.
Bournemouth looked toothless in the final third against Palace and created just 0.36 xG, which is pretty dreadful. Josh King limping off in that one is a big blow and if he’s out for any length of time that could put pay to their survival chances.
David Brooks also only lasted an hour on his return and you’d imagine he’d play a similar time here. So, the lack of depth in their attacking options makes me believe Wolves will be able to keep them at arm’s length and pick up three points in the process.
As soon as the full-time whistle blew to end the Cherries defeat to the Eagles, I was eyeing up the prices in the Asian Handicap markets. There were some big prices around on Wolves and the -1 is still odds-against (59/50 888) in this market and it’s one I’m very happy to take.
I can see the hosts dictating this game and being very comfortable. Bournemouth’s backline doesn’t inspire confidence and they are toothless upfront, so the quality on show for Old Gold makes this 59/50 price quite tasty. It’s even a refund if Wolves win by just one goal.
Player props appeal
Bournemouth will need an outlet in this game and it’ll come down their flanks with Harry Wilson and David Brooks. Saturday’s game saw Palace right-back Joel Ward make four out of five tackles, so I did some digging and looked at the opposition right-back’s before the hiatus.
Here are just some of the figures going back to the Watford game on Sunday 12th January: Ward 4/5, Trent Alexander-Arnold 2/3, Phil Bardsley 5/7, Chris Basham 4/6, George Baldock 3/4, Steven Alzate 2/2 and Adrian Mariappa 2/2 Yes, I’ve included both RWB and RCB for the Sheffield United game as it’s compelling enough evidence to take Matt Doherty 2+ tackles at evens with Pokerstars.
As above, the opposition right-back’s against Bournemouth rack up the tackles, so the marauding Doherty will have the chance to do the same here. In the last five games before the break, the Irish international had made at least two tackles, so that EVS play looks to have on side.
Just for the sake of contrast, Jonny on the opposite side is Wolves’ top tackler with 82 completed. It’s 6/5 for 3+ and that’s something he’s achieved 13 times this season, including some massive figures: 9 v Man United, 7 v Leicester and 5s against Norwich and West Ham – that’s just his last four games. So he’s another to consider.
One that’s worth mentioning but won’t be an official tip is João Moutinho shots from outside the area. He’s had 21 shots in the Premier League with 18 from outside the area, while all four of his Europa League efforts have come from 19 yards or more.
You can get 4/5 on the Portuguese midfielder taking a pop from outside the area on Pokerstars, while the same firm is 19/5 on two or more. Saturday’s game at West Ham saw two efforts both from outside the area, so given his tendency to shoot from distance, and the chance of a free-kick on the edge of the area, I can see that 4/5 price shortening.
Wolves v Bournemouth – Wolves -1 Asian Handicap (59/50 888)
Wolves v Bournemouth – Matt Doherty 2+ tackles (1/1 Pokerstars)