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In-form Wolves to bite again

In-form Wolves to bite again

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Wolves are rather enjoying themselves just now as they bask in the glory of their FA Cup win over Liverpool at Anfield.

Paul Lambert’s team showed no ill-effects from that famous success when they went to Oakwell on Tuesday and easily swept Barnsley aside 3-1.

The visitors were already two goals to the good by the time Barnsley went down to ten men and, with a plumb draw at home to Chelsea in the cup to come later this month, Lambert’s players are now surely doing what it takes to make sure they are involved against the Premier League leaders.

Next up for Wolves is a trip to face Burton Albion on Saturday. While Lambert is in the building phase at Molineux, uncertainty over Nigel Clough’s Burton future has done little to stem their recent poor form.

A home defeat to Fulham on Wednesday was their eighth reverse in ten league outings and Burton may struggle to deal with a confident Wolves team now.

The visitors have been beaten just once in six games since the turn of the year and can enhance that record by making it three away wins on the spin at odds of 7/5.

Rafael Benitez’s hopes of leading Newcastle straight back into the top flight as Championship winners is now enduring something of a wobble.

The Magpies’ early-season form was impressive but Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with QPR at St James’ Park means they have failed to win in five of their 11 most recent league games.

That has handed the title initiative to Brighton and forced Newcastle to start glancing over their shoulders at Reading and Leeds and Benitez will know how vital Saturday’s game against Derby now becomes.

While the Rams have won back-to-back league games themselves, this will be a tough test. Derby lost against Norwich and Leeds last month during a run where they scored just one goal in four league games.

Benitez will let his players know exactly what is needed here and they are tipped for a home win at 20/27.

Saturday’s late kick-off sees Aston Villa at the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest. The Villains were terrible in their midweek loss at Brentford and are now five without a win for Steve Bruce.

Forest meanwhile got their second win in three league games as they beat strugglers Rotherham.

With the second worst defensive record in the division starting the weekend, it is hard to predict a Forest follow-up but the home side should be buoyed by recent successes and have a go at Villa.

That should make for an open game and both teams to score is 1/1 at the City Ground, even allowing for Villa paucity in front of goal that is tempting – especially with Bruce having new £12m striker Scott Hogan available.

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Enda McElhinney Our racing expert, Enda studies cards in both England and Ireland on a daily basis and knows all the details you need to know when trying to select a winner. He is also a regular football writer and has strong knowledge of the Scottish game, with golf another specialised sport on his CV.