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Some may think it is a little early in the day to be uttering the dreaded ‘R’ word, but it was the spectre of demotion to the Championship that ultimately forced the hand of the Sunderland board. They will certainly be hoping for the inexplicable bounce teams often experience after a manager departs, and it will fall to Bruce’s former assistant, Eric Blake, to take the helm until a permanent replacement is found.
Mick McCarthy might feel thankful to his board for not having already ousted him from his position at Wolves after a torrid run of results. They have won just once in their last twelve matches, and that was against Wigan. They teeter above the relegation zone by two points, level with today’s opponents on 11 from 13 games.
Wolves, being the home side, are favourites for the win here, priced at 6/4 (Coral – £30 free bets), while Sunderland can be backed – by the brave – at best odds of 85/40 (Victor Chandler – £75 free betting). In all honesty, this is a tough one to call, with both sides underperforming and not getting the rub of the green on too many occasions.
The obvious choice then would be to plump for the draw at 12/5 (Ladbrokes), which is a decent price for a result that would make neither side happy but would be a relief all the same.
Other options that are worth considering include backing under 2.5 goals at odds of 11/14 (188bet) and perhaps the correct score of 1-1, which is a favourable 6/1 (William Hill). In a match that is likely to be higher on commitment than extravagant skill, we think the sides will simply cancel one another out. So to eke out a little extra from your hard-earned, consider backing the match to be a draw at both half time and full time, which is priced at a very reasonable 4/1 (Betfred).