Never mind the risk of leg breaks, going in to the Molineux cage today is fraught with dangers because this Wolves side can play a bit. It is one of the oldest cliches in the game that the table does not lie but, this season, we are seeing the exception to the rule.
Liverpool are not a bottom three club. Sadly. We are not the worst team in the division. Happily. And Wolves are a much better side than their position in the table indicates. Worryingly.
I had the misfortune to witness our mauling at Upton Park in the must win six pointer last season. We were awful, with Tomkins, Behrami, Upson, McCarthy, Green, Diamanti and Spector and Stanislas, after they came on, the worst of a very bad bunch on the night. Only Franco looked half decent and he wasn't brought on by Zola until the game was lost.
However, credit where credit is due, Wolves played very well on the night. In Murphy's words, they were "fired up", in the right way, whilst our useless bunch looked as if Zola had slipped them a Mogodon each to help them cope with the stress of the relegation battle. It was like watching a pack of wolves tear a rabbit apart - cruel! But ask me who played well on the night and, apart from Jarvis and Doyle, I couldn't tell you. The truth is, everybody did, the whole Wolves team hunted and chased and harried and played as a pack, whilst Behrami, Diamanti, Stanislas and company all ran up their individual blind alleys.
We are, of course, better than we were at that point last season - although our table position suggests otherwise. Jacobsen is talking about us finishing in the top 10 and, based on recent performances, that may not be a bad shout. However, Wolves are a better team too, having added Fletcher to their ranks. There is a question mark hanging over Doyle but, if fit, he scores against us for fun and, stretching back to his Reading days, he has many happy memories of games against West Ham! Those two pose a real threat to Da Costa and Upson.
That said, we must not play up their strengths. Player for player we at least match them, right across the pitch and, in many cases, our players are superior. When we played them last season, we didn't have a manager worthy of the name and that has been addressed too. Piquionne and Obinna must be a better pairing than a lame Carlton Cole and a sixteen stone Benni McCarthy. Our defence is stronger, our midfield is playing more as a unit. We can win this, just as we won the corresponding fixture last season, but if Wolves get in amongst us early, this match has the potential to burst our bubble of confidence.
Our players will have to stand up tall and be counted this afternoon. I don't agree with Murphy, I don't think this Wolves team is dirty. However, they are hard in the way that Stewart and Dicks and Bonds and Hartson and Repka and Cross were hard. If we flinch, they will maul us. We must stand tall, draw their teeth and then use our superior guile to slay them. But I'm nervous myself, and I don't have to get into the cage for the fight with Wolves!