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Predatory Afobe can help Wolves pick off the Tigers in table-topping clash

16 Aug | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Predatory Afobe can help Wolves pick off the Tigers in table-topping clash

Firepower of one former Gunner and an Arsenal loanee could prove decisive as Wolves and Hull target Premier League return

It may still be early days, but with four wins between them inside seven days, both Wolves and Hull are so far justifying their position amongst the pre-season favourites to be promoted back to the Premier League.

Yet with at least one of the two teams destined to see their perfect start come to an end when they meet at Molineux on Sunday, tougher times are just around the corner.

It is well documented just how hard the task facing newly-relegated sides to bounce straight back into the Premier League can be.

In nearly three decades since the introduction of the play-off system helped to make promotion more probable, just 21 out of 88 sides have managed to pull off the feat at the first time of asking.

Hull, however, can take heart from the fact that they have stuck with Steve Bruce at the helm.

Not only did he take the Tigers up automatically from the Championship in 2013 but he also guided Wolves’ Midlands rivals Birmingham City to two promotions from the same notoriously difficult division – one of which, impressively, came the season after a relegation.

Bruce’s opposite number on Saturday, Kenny Jackett, is also no stranger to taking teams up having lifted both his current employers and former club Millwall out of League One – but he is yet to make the leap from second tier to top flight.

In all fairness, he could not have come any closer having only missed out on the play-offs on goal difference last season – an experience which should prove invaluable when it comes to making those marginal gains this time around.

Crucially, in Benik Afobe, Wolves boast the favourite to finish as the division’s top scorer, who is 5/1 to strike first on Sunday.

Jackett’s side have only failed to score in two games since signing the forward for £2m from Arsenal last January, and, after netting his 14th goal of the calendar year last weekend, there is nobody on a hotter streak.

Hull meanwhile have added to their armoury with a Gunner of their own, signing Chuba Akpom on a season-long loan from Arsenal.

The 19-year-old England Under-20 International opened his account on debut last weekend, and is 9/4 to score at any time on Sunday.

Yet Hull’s struggles in front of goal last season were clear for all to see – only Aston Villa scored fewer than their 14 on the road – and that rustiness may take a little while to be completely wiped away.

Wolves are certainly not particularly generous hosts, keeping a total of 19 clean sheets last season.

What is more, they overcame all three newly-relegated sides within the first four matches of last season all by the score of one goal to nil – and are priced at 13/2 to tame the Tigers with an identical result on Sunday.

With Hull still adjusting to their Championship return, Wolves can be confident of edging this early battle of the promotion hopefuls and keeping their noses in front of the chasing pack.

Wolves v Hull City match betting

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