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Football: Wobbling Wolves set for Den draw.

Byline: Paul Johnson

WOLVES will leave the door to the Premiership ajar for deadly rivals West Brom if they fail to win at Millwall this evening when stalemate looks a perfectly feasible outcome.

Although their players have been making predictably bold declarations of intent not to let automatic promotion slip from their grasp, there is not much encouragement for backing Wolves either to win tonight or to avoid the play-offs.

Admirably dogged though the Baggies have been in recent weeks, Wolves have only themselves to blame for their current predicament.

Monday's home loss to classy Manchester City was entirely predictable and is easily forgiven, but a tally of just three points from a set of matches with Nottingham Forest, Birmingham, Grimsby and Norwich last month was

totally unacceptable and gift-wrapped the championship for City.

The big straw for Wolves fans to clutch at

today, though, is their away form, which is

easily the best in their section.

When removed from the weight of expectation that surrounds matches at Molineux, Dave Jones's side have found goals much easier to come by and they were posting their 12th road victory when scrambling a 3-2 win at Burnley last Saturday after leading 3-0 at the break courtesy of a brace from bargain buy Dean Sturridge and a volley from Colin Cameron.

In addition, Millwall have been stumbling even more alarmingly than Wolves lately. Mark McGhee's men failed to pick up a single point from games with Portsmouth, Gillingham and the two Sheffield clubs last month and, although they stopped the rot with a 3-0 home win over relegated Stockport last Saturday, a goalless draw was the best they could manage at Rotherham two days later.

The Lions, who have had

enjoyed a splendid return to the First Division, nevertheless need to buck up their ideas if they are to cling on to a play-off place, but at least they have increased their options up front by borrowing Dion Dublin from Villa.

Dublin partnered Richard Sadlier in the draw at Millmoor, with his former Cambridge colleague Steve Claridge on the bench.

But any permutation of that trio could pose problems for Wanderers, who have conceded two goals in four of their last six matches but have scored a minimum of two goals in each of their last six away

ventures.

Recommendations

Draw

4pts 12-5 (S James)

2-2 draw

1pt 14-1 (Coral, Lads, Tote)

Remaining fixtures

Wolves: Tonight Millwall (a), Apr 14 Wimbledon (h), Apr 21 Sheff Wed (a).

West Brom: Sunday Rotherham (h), Apr 13 Bradford (a), Apr 21 Crystal Palace (h).
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Apr 5, 2002
Words:428
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