Our live stream ahead of Saturdays Premier League match, Wolves vs West Brom is now up, kicking off at 12.30 GMT
You can keep an eye on the commentary as it happens below, but first, we take a preview into the fixture, lineups, predictions and much more…
Wolves, having not won a Premier League match in their last five outings, find themselves down in 14th position having played at least a game more than many of the other teams in the division.
Santo’s men would have started the season hoping to achieve another top-seven finish, however, having to cope with a number of injury issues, the long-term absence of Raul Jimenez is threatening to undermine the progress which they have made over the past two seasons.
Ahead of the first Black Country derby in almost nine years, Wolves will feel that a win over their rivals can act as the catalyst for an improved run of form over the coming weeks.
West Brom had hoped to have moved closer to safety after replacing Slaven Bilic with Sam Allardyce, but the Baggies are now six points adrift of safety with a -28 goal difference, with their last recorded success on November 28 when they edged out bottom-placed Sheffield United.
Allardyce has had a tough introduction to life at The Hawthorns with his opening four fixtures being against Aston Villa, Liverpool, Leeds United and Arsenal.
Nevertheless, the veteran boss had little excuse for his team’s penalty-shootout defeat at Blackpool in the FA Cup third round, with the performance suggesting that fans can expect several changes in personnel before the end of the month.
The two clubs last met in 2012, with the Baggies beating Wolves 5-1 on away turf…
Nuno Espirito Santo
On knowing the importance of the derby
“From the first day I arrived, I remember a now-friend of mine picked me up from the airport and helped me carry my bags. As soon as I sat down in the car he said, ‘I don’t care about anything else, I just want you to beat West Brom’.
“That was the first message that they gave to me a long, long time ago. Everybody that is here in the club knows exactly what it means tomorrow.
“For the region, I think it’s good to have two teams so close to each other in the Premier League. Unfortunately, we don’t have the fans to make this derby more special than it already is.”
On a must-win match
“It’s a much-win game tomorrow for us. This is what we think, because of previous games, because it’s our main rival in terms of the region and for what it means for our fans, but especially what it means for us.
“We’ve had three games in a row at Molineux, one for the cup and one for the league and besides not having the home factor now, for us, it’s still Molineux. The home factor is always something that we have to keep, even without our fans.
“Molineux must be a fortress, it must be a place that no matter which opponent comes, they must feel uncomfortable, they must feel how hard it is to play at Molineux. Regaining this spirit is fundamental for us.”
On playing a derby without supporters
“Fans are the most important thing. It’s not only about the stadium and the atmosphere at the stadium whether you are at home or away from home, it’s about when you arrive to the stadium.
“We’ve had 300 people in front of Molineux when the bus comes in and this is a big boost. All the adrenaline that comes into your body when you get off the bus, and you hear that.
“When you go on the street and the fans see you, even when they judge you and say, ‘Come on’, and they push you, and even when they thank you for the wonderful times they’ve had.
“The fans are everything, and I miss it so much, everybody misses it. When you go shopping and you have someone there who wants a photo and a hug, you cannot do it and it’s a hard time.
“You have to realise that everyone is trying to follow the rules and make a big effort to keep on doing things right.”
On opportunity for scorers to be written into folklore
“We don’t think about that. That will be a mistake and I will not do it. This is a consequence of what we have to do tomorrow. Let’s think about how we compete, how we’re going to do things – the how is more important than after.
“For us, first is the team, then the individual. This is our main idea, it’s always about ‘us’; it’s always about the spirit of the team, our squad, us and the people who work here. It’s never about individuals and it never will be.
“There are no proper games where it’s ‘Player A’ against ‘Player B’, there are just games to be played as a team. Then, the individual talent of your players can make the difference.”
On reasons behind Wolves’ injury list
“We have to be careful and not overanalyse the injuries. Some injuries are random and situations you cannot expect and some of those happened outside the club, it happened in national teams for the players who went on the numerous international breaks that they had.
“I think all these things together have contributed for some injuries, not only for us, but all over the Premier League, but it’s random. We cannot say they are all because of the short turnaround.
“Of course, pre-season has a big impact on the way we work, but when you start you have international breaks after three days of restarting, the schedule is crazy. You play less than 48 hours during Boxing Day, not many teams do that, and we lost a player in that game.
“We cannot put all the things together and say this was because of that. It’s all things. We’ve had a fantastic injury record and this season it is not like that.”
“When all the squad was available, we never said that we were different from anyone else. We were doing things right and we did not have these random situations that can happen in football.”
On how big a boost winning would be for the club…
“I’m a local lad and this is a Black Country derby. It’s a great thing to be competing against Wolves on Saturday.
“Our players will be looking forward to the game and they will give everything they’ve got.
“We’re absolutely desperate to get a win under our belt.
“There would be nothing better than for the lads to go out and show what they can do against their local rivals and come away with a victory.
“That would be a massive boost for everyone.
“The fans haven’t had a lot to cheer about so far this season, never mind COVID-19 and all that going on at the moment.
“We want to get better results and we want to lift the mood of the fans. Three points on Saturday at Wolves would certainly do that.
“It’s sad there will be no crowd.
“The game always has a better feeling and a better atmosphere when you know both sets of fans are going to be at the game.
“With no fans being there, the players have to get themselves into a completely different mindset. It’s about how they can be in a positive frame of mind ahead of the game. They can play the game in their mind before kick-off.
“I hope the players will be able to do that before Saturday because I believe it can have a really positive effect.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: WLDLDL
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): LDLDWL
West Bromwich Albion Premier League form: LDLDLL
West Bromwich Albion form (all competitions): DLDLLD
Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Semedo, Coady, Saiss, Ait-Nouri; Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho; Neto, Cutrone, Silva
West Bromwich Albion possible starting lineup:
Johnstone; Furlong, Ajayi, Ivanovic, Gibbs; Phillips, Sawyers, Livermore, Diangana; Pereira; Robinson
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 West Bromwich Albion
Having failed to gain a response out of the West Brom squad since his arrival, Allardyce will be hoping that local rivalry can trigger a strong performance from his players.
With Wolves also struggling at both ends of the pitch, we are backing this game to end in a draw after a heated battle at Molineux.
Time to take a look at our Wolves vs West Brom live match stream as it happens…