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Wolverhampton Wanderers really are hitting the high notes in this season’s Championship campaign with the West Midlands side enjoying what is effectively an unassailable lead at the top of the league table and they can take another step towards the inevitable automatic promotion when they travel to Barnsley on Saturday afternoon.
Wolves have finished in the bottom half of the Championship table in each of their last two seasons, however the transformation under their wealthy new Chinese owners has been pretty remarkable and super-agent Jorge Mendes has played his part by steering the club in the direction of Nune Espirito Santo as well as £15.8 million former Porto midfielder Ruben Neves.
Clearly there is little surprise that Wolves have been performing so well, however few expected them to be enjoying a healthy twelve-point lead at this stage of the campaign given that their squad isn’t notably stronger than those of Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Cardiff City. Nevertheless Santo’s approach is clearly having the desired effect and it is unlikely that we will see any massive collapse in form over the next few months.
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As for Barnsley, they will be more than happy just to avoid relegation at the end of the season, the Tykes heading into this match on the back of some utterly dismal results which have left them just a couple of points above the drop zone. Barnsley have recently been taken over by a consortium and we can expect a few signings arriving at Oakwell over the next few weeks, however for now we don’t expect them to be adding to their relatively meagre points total when they lock horns with the runaway league leaders this weekend.
Indeed Wolves have been finding even higher gears in recent weeks and with just four points dropped in their last twelve Championship outings, we don’t expect them to slip-up in South Yorkshire on Saturday afternoon, a consolation goal perhaps the best that the hosts can hope for.
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