It’s a battle for the top spot in Premier League Cup Group H Wolves under-23s face Derby County on Tuesday afternoon.
James Collins’ side are currently without loss in their five matches in the competition this season, sitting behind their opponents in the table on goal difference, with nine points each. Wolves have beaten both Derby and Birmingham City, before earning a pair of 2-2 draws with both Blues and Leeds United and a 1-1 tie with Leeds following fightbacks.
Fellow Premier League 2 Division 1 outfit, the Rams are currently sat atop of Group H having earned three wins and two draws from their five matches, but have a plus seven goal difference over Wolves, meaning a draw on Tuesday night will see Derby top the group.
With both Wolves and Derby already securing their place in the knockout stages of the competition, Tuesday’s match will decide who tops the group, with the winners facing one of the other seven group runners-ups at home, while finishing second means a trip to one of the group winners.
Sir Jack Hayward Training Ground sponsored by Fosun International
1-1 vs Leeds United (A) PLC
1-2 vs Liverpool (H)
2-0 vs Leamington FC (A) BSC
0-1 vs Birmingham City (A) PLC
1-2 vs Everton (A)
2-1 vs Leeds United (A) PLC
WHAT THE BOSS THINKS
On facing Derby
“It will be a tough game, as they’re always tough opponents, they’ve always got an experienced side, whoever they put out.
“There’s nothing on the game other than topping the group, and obviously we want to finish top of the group, but both teams have qualified so it will be interesting to see what team they put out and it gives us the chance to give some of our players a chance who haven’t played as much recently.”
On utilising his fringe players
“We go into every game wanting to win, whoever we’re playing, but we’ve got to give everybody a chance to prove themselves.
“We did that recently in the Birmingham Senior Cup game against Leamington and Dongda [He] took his chance and scored a terrific goal, so you’ve got to use these games to give the right amount of rest to the ones who need it and also give a chance to those who are pushing themselves in training to get better.
“We want a competitive squad and when you’ve got games like these, this is the time when you can blood some of the other players.
“Having said that, winning the group might make a difference on who you get in the next round, so finishing top might give you an advantage – although once you get through to the knockout stages of a competition, it’s difficult games whoever you play against.”
25/02 Derby County (H) PLC
02/03 Tottenham Hotspur (A)
10/03 Nuneaton Borough (A) BSC
16/03 Derby County (H)
03/04 Chelsea (A)