Wolves and Southampton battling it out for the European spots
Wolves to win 2-1
Wolves and Southampton are two of the biggest winners in what has been a topsy turvy Premier League season so far.
With many of the big teams struggling for form, some of the smaller teams, Southampton being one of those, have been able to profit while also playing some excellent football.
Danny Ings has led The Saints terrifically over the past couple of seasons, and his loss through injury will be a big blow to their hopes in this match and the fixtures to come over the next few weeks.
They proved that they can cope without him as they comfortably saw off Newcastle last time out, but Wolves will be a completely different test.
Wolves themselves have been impressive, though their good form was halted in their last match, losing against current table-toppers Leicester.
They’ll be keen to bite back this weekend.
Form Guide (all comps): WWDWL
Reasons to be cheerful:
One defeat in five has taken them up the table
Conor Coady should be available to start at the back
Reasons to be fearful:
Tough upcoming fixture list
Have struggled to adapt following major departures
Wolves have not quite been able to kick on from their successes last season, a campaign in which they beat many of the league’s biggest teams and proved to be one of the toughest opponents.
They have struggled to cope with the loss of key players to their setup, particularly Diogo Jota up front and Doherty at right back. Raul Jimenez has struggled to bare the brunt of playing alone up front.
Wolves are, of course, still a class team and always take some stopping, especially at home. Southampton are in top form, but can they cope with the pressure that Wolves will be able to put them under?
Unfortunately for Wolves, this match kicks off a tough run of fixtures. Southampton is followed by Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United within the next month.
Star Man – Adama Traore
Played well in the defeat against Leicester, though must add more goals to his game
Form Guide (all comps): WDWWW
Reasons to be cheerful
A win could take them back into the top four
The likes of Ward-Prowse and Che Adams have chipped in with goals
Reasons to be fearful
Danny Ings will be a big miss
Wolves are a clever team who can expose weaknesses
It’s fair to say that Southampton have been flying recently.
Since losing their opening two league fixtures, they’ve gone on a terrific run which briefly took them to the top of the table just before the international break.
Danny Ings’ contribution in front of goal has been a large part of this success, and they’ll certainly miss him. However, the likes of Che Adams and James Ward-Prowse have chipped in with goals and assists which shows that The Saints can cope without their star man.
Theo Walcott should slot in up front alongside Adams and their pace can cause problems.
Wolves will cause problems of their own, of course. Despite Southampton’s success, Wolves are a clever side who know what it takes to challenge for European places over the course of a season.
Star Man – James Ward-Prowse
Is scoring and assisting goals with great regularity at the moment
Is likely to be an even contest
Wolves are tough to play against and could dictate the game
Southampton will play the same way even without Ings
This is likely to be a closely fought contest, with both teams able to defend well.
Southampton have been better going forward, though will be blunted without Ings in attack.
Wolves have secured many positive results at home over the past couple of seasons, and with their clever style of playing, as well as quality in the right areas, they could just pinch this one.
Wolves to win 2-1