Can Wolves beat the drop despite the loss of Kevin Doyle?

If a club’s top scorer has managed a meagre eight goals in a season, the chances are his side are at the wrong of the table. While this may not be an exact science, you’d be surprised to see them challenging at the happy end of the division. When you take this top goalscorer out of the equation completely, as Wolves must now do, you see what an uphill task the Molineux club have to beat the drop.

Kevin Doyle limped off during the Republic of Ireland’s international against Macedonia last week after tearing a knee ligament – an injury which could see him out for the remainder of the campaign. His absence is a blow in itself and Saturday’s drubbing at the hands of Newcastle will not have helped morale. Missing games halfway through a season is bad enough but with Mick McCarthy’s side deep in relegation trouble and only a handful of fixtures to save their Premier League status, the situation is far from rosy.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Steven Fletcher trail Doyle in the goalscoring charts with seven apiece and so we see that the goals have not come easy at Molineux. The pair are the club’s only fit recognised strikers and so the pressure is on them to perform. Doyle’s impressive performances have meant the duo have had to be patient but they will now have the perfect platform to show McCarthy why they should be in the team. The question that faces the squad now is can they fill the cracks that Doyle’s absence will no doubt leave?

The fixture list makes for happy reading for Wolves fans however. They don’t have to play any of the Champions League chasing group – instead having fixtures almost exclusively against teams still in relegation danger themselves. To use an old clich

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