IT’S a ding-dong derby this Sunday lunchtime, as Wolverhampton Wanderers face rivals Birmingham City at Molineux.

The game has split a usually united Worcester News reporting team, with bluenose Sam Greenway and devoted Wolves season ticket holder Christian Barnett at loggerheads.

There is still a lot riding on the game. A win for Wolves will end a six-year exile from the Premier League and add further misery to relegation-threatened Blues.

However, a win for Blues would push them further away from the bottom three and give them a vital three points ahead of a tricky final few games.

Here they preview the noon kick off, sharing their thoughts on promotion, relegation, who to look out for and what they think the score will be:

CB: What are you expecting Sunday?

SG: It’s going to be a tough game for us, Blues fans can’t pretend otherwise as your lot are flying. Even I have to say you’ve played some of the best football the Championship has ever seen.

Any chance you may slip up this close to the line, and we can spoil the party?

CB: That win you had last season still makes my blood boil and I can’t bear to see David Davis swanning around in front of the Southbank again.

Fulham should win on Saturday so it’s up to us – one more win and we’re there. We’ve got a phenomenal team, the best in my lifetime and the season has been absolutely fantastic. A derby win would be the icing on the cake.

SG: We have a better chance than we did a few weeks ago – I dread to think where we would be if Cotterill had not been sacked, and Monk come in. We won three in a row recently, St Andrew’s is back to being a fortress, and our record signing, Jota, has been on fire under Monk.

CB: Yeah you’ve picked up a few wins recently. You’ve gone from doomed to semi-doomed. It’s beautiful to see.

For us, it has been a crazy couple of weeks. We got drubbed by Villa about a month ago and since then we’ve beat Middlesbrough playing with nine men for 20 minutes and survived two injury time penalties away at Cardiff.

I was at the Cardiff game, the celebrations were insane. Saying that, the noise after that Neves goal on Wednesday probably topped it.

SG: So the Wolves-Blues rivalry has always been big, I can remember some classic games, but this season Blues fans have put it aside as you did us a favour keeping Villa out the top two.

Is this one of your most memorable seasons?

CB: I don’t think Blues is as big a derby for some Wolves fans as much as Albion or Villa is, but it always has been a big one for me. You always want to get a win over a bunch of people that go around dressed as the Shelby family.

But yeah, this has certainly been the most memorable season in my life and I would say most people – of all ages – agree. There have been a million highs, a couple of lows but we’ve bounced back almost immediately. I walked out of Villa Park distraught but they managed to dismantle all the good work of that result within a week.

It’s always good to get one over on Steve Bruce – he’s hardly made many friends in Wolverhampton this year with his continuous moaning about our financial position.

SG: I have to agree on Bruce, he’s agent Bruce for us Bluenoses. As for the Shelby family – don’t mess with the Peaky Blinders!

What is your team news for Sunday? Up front is a problem for us - Che Adams is a miss, but Gallagher being back is a big bonus.

CB: We look pretty injury free so most of the team picks itself. The only point of contention is usually the front three. We’ve got Jota, Cavaleiro, Afobe and Costa and only three places.

I can’t say I’m frightened by your team. The away game in December ended in a deserved win and Blues didn’t even have a shot on goal. Didn't you have a week off after that?

SG: The players seemed scared to cross the half way line under Cotterill, but we are a very different side now.

So what about key players - I’m backing Stockdale to perform for us – the best goalkeeper in the Championship last year.

Neves surely has to be one of the greatest players you have seen in your time - what a goal this week. But only six goals though – could he have scored more?

CB: I’d have to agree Neves is a key player – that goal against Derby was an absolute screamer. He’s integral to everything we do.

Score more? I don’t know about that. He sits in front of the defence but all of his goals this season have been world class.

Do you think you will stay up?

SG: I’m forecasting we only need five more points to stay up this season. Whether we can get them is another matter - but I’m optimistic now.

CB: You’ve either been in the relegation zone or tinkering just above it. Business as usual really.

You’ve got some winnable games but it is not looking great for you. It will be great to smash another nail into the coffin.

SG: Wolves could be looking at a battle against relegation next season themselves. As the old joke goes, you will only last three seasons in the Premier League - autumn, winter and spring.

CB: It will be interesting to see what happens next season. Our owners have an incredible amount of wealth and seem to want to spend it. They have very high ambitions and we’re going in the right direction. The foundations are certainly there – a manager that seems to have already reached legend status.

It’s a very exciting time to be a Wolves fan. I don’t think we will be playing you for a while after Sunday.


SG: Football has been crazy this week, anything can happen. My heart says a 2-1 win, but my head says a likely Wolves win.

CB: I'm happy with a win but I’ll be disappointed if it is anything less than 3-0 for us.