Wolves have probably surprised themselves as much as the rest of us and sit seventh in the Premier League compared to the monied merchants above them.
The home side are in four-wins-on-the-bounce territory tonight and with relegation not an issue, they can play with the sort of abandon that either inspires them or leaves them more exposed than Jeff Bezos.
Luckily for Wolves, Newcastle have yet to capitalise on the kindness of strangers this season and hover outside the relegation trap door on goal-difference alone.
Something’s got to give later … and it’s live.
A last-minute winner by Irish defender Matt Doherty gave Wolves all three points a 2-1 victory at St James Park in December.
With three wins and 10 goals in their last three games, they’ve no relegation knife fight to worry about and have been taking the game to the opposition recently, unburdened by fear.
There’s enough energy, organisation and creativity to keep their winning run going tonight at Newcastle’s expense.
The 27-year-old is a goal away from becoming just the second Mexican international to reach double figures in the Premier League after Javier Hernandez, now with West Ham.
And while ‘Little Pea’ was scoring those in Manchester United’s title-winning – or at least runners-up sides – Raul Jimenez hasn’t had that luxury.
However, with four goals in the last four games that Wolves have scored in, (the 3-0 defeat to City & the 2-0 loss to Crystal Palace don’t count, tbf), he’s making a fair job of it.
We’d also expect him to take up any penalties that come the home side’s way tonight.
Without wanting to make this a Wolves’ love-in and to be fair to Newcastle, they have played Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Man City and Spurs in their last seven games.
So if ever there was a window to get points on the board, this is it. But, Rafa Benitez’s side just can’t shake themselves free of the relegation zone and two wins on the road doesn’t inspire confidence that they’ll start now.
Their 21 goals in the Premier League make them the second-lowest-scoring team in the division, after Huddersfield. The one redeeming factor in their away form is that they have drawn five games.
Wolves can hardly claim ‘Fortress Molineaux’ having won six, drawn two, but lost the other five of their 13 home games this season. The neutral will want to see the onion bag bulge on a Monday night, so exactly 2 or 3 goals – no matter where they come from will do nicely.
* All odds correct at time of posting.