They may not have reached the heights their fans will have expected of them this season, but there’s still every reason to believe Wolverhampton Wanderers can find themselves in a play-off spot come next May.
It’s still very much early days in the Championship, and although their position in the league table (18th) would suggest otherwise, the truth is that the Black Country outfit aren’t a million miles away from the top six. In fact, just nine points seperate them and Norwich City in sixth.
And at 8/1, there may well be some value in them grabbing one of those top spots.
Ladbrokes News takes a look at three reasons why Wolves fans should remain optimistic…
The right man is in charge
Paul Lambert is certainly no stranger to promotions, despite only being in management for 11 years.
He achieved the unthinkable with Norwich City in two seasons, leading them to the Premier League off the back of two successive promotions from League One and the Championship, while ensuring they finished in a respectable 12th-place in the top-flight the following year.
In his first game in charge, he led Wolves to just their fourth clean sheet of the season.
During that 2010-11 season in which the Canaries finished runners-up, Lambert’s men found the net a staggering 83 times.
While he’s got off to a great start defensively, it’s going forward where he’ll want to see improvements from his new side.
Transfer window is just around the corner
And he’s just over a month away from being able to add to the attacking options he currently has at his disposal.
Wolves’ joint-top scorers (Helder Costa and Dave Edwards) this season have just three strikes to speak of, while the strikers have a combined tally of five.
Quite simply, that’s not good enough for a side that headed into the season dreaming of promotion back to the Premier League.
But Lambert has a history of getting the best out of his forwards.
Grant Holt netted an impressive 24 goals for the Scot’s side back in 2009-10, before adding another 21 the following year in the Championship as well as an impressive 15 in the top-flight in 2011-12.
While it’s unlikely the 35-year-old will be called upon by his former manager again in a Molineux reunion, we wouldn’t be surprised if Lambert adds an experienced striker to his ranks in January.
It’s been done before
Granted, you’d have to go all the way back to the 2007-08 campaign to find the last time it was done, but Crystal Palace managed to secure a play-off spot after a dreadful start which saw them pick up just two wins from their opening 16 games.
They were sat on 17 points after 17 games but somehow managed to finish in the top six.
Wolves are a point better off than the Eagles were that year, so a play-off spot shouldn’t be a problem, should it?!
Up next for Lambert’s men is the visit of Sheffield Wednesday, where it’s 17/10 for the home side to end their eight-game winless run.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing