Wolves under-23s will be looking to pick up their first win of 2021 when they host Crystal Palace at Aggborough on Monday afternoon after three weeks without playing.
James Collins’ side have so far been unable to build on their positive end to the previous year, with just a point from their opening two matches of the second half of the Premier League 2 Division 2 season.
After their games against league leaders Leeds United and West Midlands rivals Aston Villa being postponed due to weather conditions, it does mean the development side – who began the year in second place – have games in hand over many of the other teams in the table, and putting a run of wins together would soon see the side push back up the standings.
One of the teams to capitalise in Wolves’ run of several weekends without matches being played are Monday afternoon’s opponents. The young Palace side, who have already played four matches in 2021, moved three points ahead of Wolves by picking up wins against Burnley and Norwich City, as well as a 4-4 draw in their previous away fixture against Aston Villa.
However, Wolves have two games in hand over their opponents, so know a positive result against them this afternoon would swing the momentum back in their favour.
With the game to be played behind closed doors, supporters can still catch all the action live from Kidderminster on Wolves TV.
The match will be streamed online from 2pm, with the full match stream and commentary available to watch on wolves.co.uk, the Wolves App or the Wolves YouTube channel.
Aggborough Stadium, Kidderminster
1-3 vs Stoke City (A)
0-0 vs Burnley (A)
2-1 vs Norwich City (A)
1-0 vs Burnley (H)
4-4 vs Aston Villa (A)
4-0 vs Norwich City (H)
WHAT THE BOSS THINKS
On having weeks without football
“It’s a fine balance,” Collins said. “You like having the games, because the games are the bits of the job that the players enjoy. All players want to do is play games. But for coaches, the gaps between games allows you the chance to work with the players more closely and focus around the individual stuff without the pressure of the competition.
“We’d liked to have more games than we’ve had this year, but it’s been a Covid-hit season as regards to under-23 football. We haven’t had the Premier League Cup, we haven’t had the International Cup and there’s been no Birmingham Senior Cup.
“But we have to take advantage of the opportunity that a lack of fixtures brings; the opportunity to coach the players, try to improve the players’ strengths and weaknesses, without the physical demands of the games, so you can crank up the intensity in training.
“When you’re going from one game straight into the next, the days before and after the match are light days, but when there’s no games, the amount of work you can do goes up, so in that way we’ve tried to use it to our advantage.
“But we’re preparing the players for our first-team or a football league team, and if they do that, they’re going to be playing game after game, and need to get used to that.”
26/02 Fulham (A)
05/03 Leeds United (H)
14/03 Sunderland (H)
22/03 Middlesbrough (A)
12/04 Newcastle United (H)