Opponents: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Date: Tuesday 2 January
Post code for sat-nav: WV1 4QR
Situated just a few hundred yards from Wolverhampton city centre, the dominant structure that is Molineux has been the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers since 1889.
It takes its unusual name from the merchant Benjamin Molineux who built a house in his name on the site, before it was converted into a public pleasure park in 1860. The club subsequently relocated from its previous Dudley Road home, building the initial structure before purchasing the freehold in 1923. In the years that followed – firstly due to safety concerns, then the Taylor Report in the 1990s - significant work was carried out on the ground, which almost plunged the club into liquidation. But when Sir Jack Hayward bought the club in 1990, development plans were soon realised, with the thorough demolition and reconstruction of three of the stadium’s stands between 1991 and 1993.
With the club on an upward trajectory, a long-term four-phase plan to increase the stadium’s capacity to an eventual 38,000 began in 2011 with the rebuilding of the Stan Cullis Stand. Though just one phase of the ambitious project has been completed as of this season, there is the potential for a final expansion to 50,000 in future. With Chinese conglomerate Fosun International in control and the squad looking sure of promotion back to the Premier League, further redevelopment is a real possibility.
In a total of 13 trips to the Black Country, The Bees have been defeated eight times, drawn once and won on four occasions, the latest of which came in October 2015, when goals from Marco Djuricin and Philip Hofmann secured a 2-0 victory.
The club have been sent an initial allocation of 931 tickets in the Stan Cullis Quadrant Upper for the first fixture of 2018. Prices are as follows: Adults £25, seniors and young adults (17-20) £15, juniors (12-16) £12 and under-12s £5.
How to get there:
The distance to Molineux from Griffin Park is 139 miles, with the most direct route taking approximately 2 hours 45 minutes. If you join the M4 at Lionel Road South, exit towards the M25 at junction 18, before subsequently merging on to the M40 at junction 16. Drivers should take the M42 and M6 to the east of Birmingham past Walsall, and exit at junction 2, following Stafford Road/A449, Waterloo Road and signposts for Molineux to arrive at the destination. For this particular away day, it’s probably simpler and cheaper to take the train. Trains from Euston to Wolverhampton take around 2 hours – with a change at Birmingham International – with a Super Off-Peak Return priced at just £35 for adults and £17.50 for children. At the time of writing, there are some excellent festive bargains so be sure to check out availability before you purchase full-price tickets.
Where to eat/drink:
At first glance, visitors to Molineux will find a vast number of pubs within close vicinity of the ground, largely due to its proximity to Wolverhampton town centre. But if you’re an away supporter to WV1, you’ll be left with the slimmest of pickings; many pubs demand the production of a home match ticket to guarantee entry. Two of the bars that permit travelling support are Hogshead on the corner of Stafford Street – a trendy redbrick establishment that serves cocktails, ales and burgers – and just a few doors down on Lichfield Street, the Bohemian Bar, which also deviates from the norm. The Stonehouse bar on Queen Street is widely accepted as the most common destination for away fans, but alternatively, you can walk along an underpass next to the train station to the Premier Inn hotel, inside which is a small bar that goes by the name Bluebrick, with entry costing £2.