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Wolves v Sunderland preview: Chris Coleman says Wolves are 'real deal'

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published: | Last Updated:

After six consecutive wins and with a 10-point gap to third place, confidence couldn't be higher at Wolves.

Wolves have won six games in a row

And with the team currently 23rd in the table visiting Molineux on Saturday, no wonder you can odds of 1/3 on for a home win.

Sunderland may have been better away from home this season (not that they could be any worse, having not won at the Stadium of Light for almost a year) but it's hard to look past Nuno Espirito Santo's team making it a magnificent seven tomorrow.

Chris Coleman has just taken charge of the Black Cats and, while he knows it will be a huge task for his team to get anything from Molineux, the former Wales boss is staying positive.

He does agree with the comparison doing the rounds, though, that Wolves are the "Manchester City of the Championship".

"I think so," Coleman said. "If you look where and how much they’ve invested, they’ve been very clever also in the transfer market, they have some terrific players and play great football. They play a Premier League style of football.

"Its a good setup, a big club. There was a lot said when they spent as much money as they did but they’re walking their talk, they’re top of the league.

"They look to me like the best team in the league on the back of spending a lot of money, but they’re doing the business.

"They look like the real deal."

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Coleman oversaw a crucial 2-0 win at Burton two weeks ago, only Sunderland's second victory of the season.

How does he view tomorrow's game?

"Wolves will be be playing with a lot of confidence and it’s a huge challenge for us, that’s how we have to look at it.

"It's a great game, I think. We’re down to our bare bones injury wise but it’ll be a great atmosphere, big crowd and we’re up against probably the best team in the league at the moment.

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"It is what it is, but it’s a challenge

"You’ve always got a chance. If you go into it with any doubt in your head that we can’t do this, there’s no point getting on the bus and going to the game.

"They’re in the same league as us, it’s not like an FA Cup game.

"They may be at the top and we’re at the bottom, but we’re still at the same level.

"We have to believe there’s a possibility of doing something."

Sunderland have a host of players out injured including Paddy McNair, Bryan Oviedo, Lamine Kone, Jack Rodwell, Duncan Watmore and Jonny Williams, while Callum McManaman is suspended.

Wolves could be without Romain Saiss who limped off during Monday's 1-0 win at Blues, but other than him and long-term absentee Phil Ofosu-Ayeh they have a full squad to choose from.

If Saiss is missing then Nuno must again choose between Alfred N'Diaye and Jack Price for a midfield spot, this time alongside the suspension-free Ruben Neves.

N'Diaye got the nod for the Blues game.

Predicted line ups

Wolves (3-4-3): John Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Neves, N'Diaye, Douglas; Cavaleiro, Bonatini, Jota. Subs: Norris, Miranda, Batth, Price, Vinagre, Costa, Enobakhare.

Sunderland (4-1-4-1): Ruiter; Matthews, Browning, O'Shea, Galloway; Cattermole; Asoro, Honeyman, Gibson, McGeady; Grabban.

Key players

Wolves – Ruben Neves: Wolves missed Ruben Neves’ control and poise in midfield at Blues. Now free of suspension, the 20-year-old will look to dominate Sunderland.

Sunderland – Lewis Grabban: In his best form for a few years. The 29-year-old is on loan from Bournemouth for the season and has netted 11 goals in 16 Championship appearances.

Past five meetings

April 14, 2012 (PL): Sunderland 0 Wolves 0

December 4, 2012 (PL): Wolves 2 (Fletcher 73, 81) Sunderland 1 (Richardson 52)

May 14, 2011 (PL): Sunderland 1 (Sessegnon 34) Wolves 3 (Craddock 22, Fletcher 54, Elokobi 78)

November 27, 2010 (PL): Wolves 3 (Foley 50, Hunt 81, Ebanks-Blake 89) Sunderland 2 (Bent 67, Welbeck 77)

May 9, 2010 (PL): Wolves 2 (Doyle pen 10, Guedioura 78) Sunderland 1 (Jones 8)

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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