TEAMtalk Predicts: Wolves v Birmingham
We've made our predictions for the full season at TEAMtalk Towers but we know you can't wait that long to prove us wrong so we're giving you the chance to do it once a week. We'll pick out one of the big Premier League games every weekend and one of our 'experts' will attempt to predict the result and scoreline. But we'll also get a prediction from a fan of each club to find out who knows the most about the beautiful game - TEAMtalk or the fans. It's one point for a correct result and three if you can nail the right score, and we're keeping a tally so you can all see just now much we know (or don't know). Feel free to send in your own predictions too - and of course messages to compliment us on another job well done! Last Time Out We featured Sunderland's home game against Arsenal last weekend and, as per usual, came unstuck as the Black Cats upset the odds to beat the high-flying Gunners 1-0. Our man James Marshment had confidently predicted Arsene Wenger's men would leave Wearside with all three points so it came as little surprise to anyone here at TEAMtalk Towers when Darren Bent's fortuitous goal went in. There was no beachball this time but a lucky ricochet off Fraizer Campbell and, as Bent stole in, our hopes of making up some ground in the prediction table went up in smoke. Sunderland fan Mike Colman picked up a point for the hosts after tipping up the result, but not the scoreline, while the visitors left with nothing on both counts after Gunners fan Graham Sturdy predicted an away win. The 'hosts' now lead the table with 12 points, with TEAMtalk second on a shocking four and the 'visitors' still bottom with just two. Week 10 - Wolves v Birmingham (Sunday, 12pm) Wolves won the Championship by seven points from Birmingham last season but it's Alex McLeish's side that have made a better start to life in the Premier League. Blues are currently a healthy 13th, four points clear of the bottom three, after a four-game unbeaten run, while Wolves are second bottom and have only won twice all season. This Midlands derby offers the perfect chance to get on track, though, and Mick McCarthy will have his players fired up in front of a packed-out Molineux. Wolves have Kevin Doyle back but are without Ronald Zubar, while McLeish is missing Garry O'Connor and Teemu Tanio. Match Facts Sunday's clash will be the 117th between the sides in the league and Wolves currently boast by far the better record with 55 wins compared to Birmingham's 34. There have been 27 draws, including five in the last seven. Blues won the other two and were last beaten by Wolves at Molineux in December 2001. McLeish's men are chasing back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time in five years and will feel confident of doing it against a Wolves side that has not won in eight in all competitions. Their last league win came against Fulham on September 20 but three points on Sunday could take them out of the bottom three and give them confidence ahead of an equally important home game against Bolton next weekend. Predictions TEAMtalk - Mark Holmes: Derby games are always difficult to predict so quite why we've picked out this game is anyone's guess! After all, it's not as if we've been on fire upto date with four out of nine correct predictions! Still, I'm pretty confident I can make that five out of 10 this weekend. Wolves are struggling a bit at the bottom of the table but I've seen all three of the promoted clubs this season and think Wolves look the strongest, despite the table. They've been a bit unlucky at times with injuries to key players but they're pretty much at full strength for this one and I fancy them to keep Blues out and nick a 1-0 win in a typically scrappy derby. Wolves fan - Pete Porter: Things are looking quite bad for us at the moment so the last team we wanted to be playing this weekend was Blues. We haven't beat them for a few games and I just worry there'll be too much pressure on the players because the crowd will be so on-edge. I don't think we're playing too badly but we haven't been scoring enough and aren't as solid at the back as Blues. They're no better than us, though, and I don't see why we can't beat them at our place. My head is telling me 0-0 but I'll stick my neck out and go for a 2-0 with both strikers scoring. Birmingham fan - Paul Roberts: Now this is what I call a big game! Not because it's a derby (we don't really care about them!!) but just because we can go eight points clear of them with a win. We've done pretty well against them recently but I must admit they don't look as bad as the league table suggests. It's always tough at Molineux too and we haven't been scoring that many to be fair so I can see it being very, very close. I'd definitely take a repeat of the 1-0 win over Fulham last week and we''ll be probably be playing for that but I think Wolves might score. I'll be happy enough with a point but Benitez is looking more and more at home so I'll go for him to get at least one in a 2-1 win.
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