Shropshire Star

Express & Star journalists give their Black Country Derby predictions

Our writers share their thoughts and predictions ahead of tomorrow’s Black Country derby.

Express and Star journalists

Lewis Cox

I really think it will be a close-run thing, and see a goal in it either way, or a Molineux replay.

Albion have to settle into the game well and use the atmosphere and the noise behind them in the best way – it would be a disaster for Carlos Corberan’s team to concede early and give the 4,000-strong away end reason to cheer. Corberan needs his side to be at their high-octane, intense best.

Wolves are a certainty to have more of the ball and more of the play – Albion cannot afford to let the visitors’ technicians take charge.

The hosts also have to be extremely mindful of Matheus Cunha and Pedro Neto, they are the very clear dangermen and the Baggies will have to be at 100 per cent to keep those two out.

But I’ve got a feeling Albion can have some joy of their own. I think Jed Wallace, John Swift and Tom Fellows – if all three start together – can prove troublesome for Gary O’Neil’s backline.

Albion’s best hope is out wide. Skipper Wallace will have something to prove and Fellows is lightning too. Swiftcan unlock a door. The hosts need everyone at the top of their game.

Score prediction:

Albion 1-0 Wolves

Jonny Drury

There is no denying that despite Albion’s stellar home record in years gone by at home to Wolves – it is Gary O’Neil’s men who are clear favourites.

They are the ones who are expected to win, they have the better squad and O’Neil will no doubt name a strong side given what is at stake in terms of both pride and bragging rights.

So on paper, it should, even if you are of an Albion persuasion, be a comfortable win for the visitors.

But it doesn’t work that way in the FA Cup – and certainly in a derby with this much spice. It will be tight – and I say that largely because of Albion’s exceptional home record.

They have lost just twice here all season, and both times that was down to being hit with a sucker punch when chasing a victory.

Carlos Corberan will go strong and Albion will have threats that can cause Wolves problems, such as the unpredictable Tom Fellows and the weapon of Daryl Dike.

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