Championship preview: Solbakken's Wolves are back in business

Betting advice from Michael Holden of Best of the Bets

Stale Solbakken appears to have weathered the worst of a storm that was gathering over his position at Molineux and it's a measure of his improving fortunes that he takes his Wolves team to Middlesbrough this weekend.

The Teessiders were involved in a Capital One Cup quarter-final at Swansea on Wednesday and came away with a long list of knocks and niggles that leaves them stretched for Saturday's game, as if the bitter disappointment of going out to a late own goal wasn't enough to dampen the spirits. 

No fewer than five players picked up injuries at the Liberty Stadium with Grant Leadbitter, Faris Haroun, Seb Hines, Andre Bikey and Andy Halliday joining a treatment table that already includes Jonathan Woodgate, Mustapha Carayol and Julio Arca. 

A few of them could recover in time to face the Old Gold but it would be asking a lot for Boro to meet their highest standards in terms of tempo and intensity, having spent most of the two-day turnaround patching up rather than preparing for the task at hand.

You can get odds of 2/1 about Wolves (draw no bet) and that's an enticing price when you consider how well-organised the visitors have been on occasions this season. The assumption, of course, is that successive wins over Bristol City and Birmingham point them back towards the form that shot them into early contention.

Mystery surrounds the cause of an alarming slump of nine games without a win, save to say that the Black Country outfit found early results so easy to come by that complacency might have been an issue, It suddenly appeared as though they stopped doing the basics.

Tactical awareness is a key part of the Solbakken philosophy and the first goal is likely to be crucial. Boro boast an impressive record from losing positions, having rescued 13 points, but it would be a tall order for them to build on that tally given their exertions, both physical and emotional, in midweek.

Meanwhile, Huddersfield are getting something like their best team back out on the pitch and they look a very attractive price at 4/1 for the early kick-off at Hull.

The Terriers welcome back midfielder Keith Southern following his three-match ban for a straight red in the 1-1 draw at Charlton and boss Simon Grayson makes no secret of his importance as an experienced performer at this level in setting the tone for the rest of a newly-promoted team.

Just as crucial is James Vaughan. The all-action centre forward is back to full match fitness after an eight-match spell on the sidelines with a thigh injury. Town's impressive record of W6 D2 L1 with the on-loan Norwich man leading the line speaks volumes and gives insight into the value to be found on the visitors.

Vaughan played the full 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw with Bolton last weekend and showed no adverse effects, pouncing late on to grab an equaliser and he could pose untold problems for Hull's much-lauded three-man defence.

The Tigers are going great guns on the road but they haven't been nearly as convincing when they're expected to make all of the running on home soil, a vulnerability we illustrated to our benefit when opposing them for the visit of Burnley last month.

Betting advice...

1.5pts Wolves to beat Middlesbrough (draw no bet) at 2/1 (Bet365, Coral)

Solbakken's men are back in business and make the trip to Teesside at an ideal time.

1pt Huddersfield to beat Hull at 4/1 (general)

Terriers have key performers back again and look terrific value to snatch the points.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn