Wolves host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, with both sides enjoying some encouraging form of late.
Bruno Lage’s side comfortably dispatched Sheffield United 3-0 to sail through to the fourth round of the FA Cup last time out. That win followed victory over Brighton, a draw against Chelsea and their first triumph at Manchester United for 40 years.
Sitting eighth in the Premier League table, Wolves face Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men who are fresh from a 4-1 thumping of Brentford in midweek. That was after a 3-2 extra-time win over Swansea in the FA Cup, before which they tasted victory over West Ham and drew against Tottenham in the league.
Here’s 90min’s preview of this clash.
When is kick off? Saturday 15 January, 15:00 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton
What TV channel is it on? Not televised in the UK, Peacock (US)
Highlights? Sky Sports Football YouTube channel
Who’s the referee? Michael Sailsbury
Whos’ the VAR? John Brooks
Lage will once again be without Romain Saiss and Willy Boly as the defenders represent Morocco and the Ivory Coast respectively at the African Cup of Nations this month, potentially giving Leander Dendoncker a chance to impress against Southampton.
Elsewhere, the hosts will have to make to do without Hwang Hee-chan, Pedro Neto, Jonny and Yerson Mosquera as they all miss out through injury, while Adama Traore is unlikely to start as uncertainty surrounding his future continues to mount.
You can read a predicted lineup for Wolves here.
The visitors also have a few injury-enforced absentees as Tino Livramento and Will Smallbone continue their recoveries, while Fraser Forster should continue between the sticks in Alex McCarthy’s likely continued absence.
Meanwhile, Moussa Djenepo is also away at AFCON while Kyle Walker-Peters should be out of contention through Covid-19.
You can read Southampton’s predicted lineup here.
The 71 meetings between these two sides have yielded a fairly even record over the decades. Since their first encounter in 1905, Wolves have won 25 to Southampton’s 28 victories while there have been 18 draws.
Wolves have, however, just edged the fixture in recent years, winning three times in the past five meetings and winning the previous two – including the above 1-0 victory at St Mary’s earlier in the campaign.
With both sides heading into the tie on the back of very promising runs of form, there is little to separate them as they clash at Molineux.
With the likes of Joao Moutinho, Daniel Podence and Raul Jimenez taking to the field for the hosts and James Ward-Prowse behind a dynamic strike force for the visitors, there will likely be little moments of magic that could very easily determine the final outcome.
On the day, however, the two in-form sides may just have to settle for a share of the spoils.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Southampton