I must say it gave me enormous pleasure to see Southampton beat Leicester last weekend.
There was a sneering, unpleasant quality to the 9-0 defeat the Foxes inflicted on them earlier in the season so revenge must have felt very sweet.
All our games against the Saints in recent times have been closely fought affairs with a draw and a win each from the three games since our return to the Premier League.
The 1-1 draw at Molineux earlier this season will be remembered (by those of an old gold persuasion at least) for Jesus Vallejo’s jittery performance and Conor Coady’s error that gifted Danny Ings the opening goal.
We don’t want to be giving anything away for free this time against a resurgent Southampton team.
I watched Southampton lose to West Ham in December and thought they were terrible.
Since then, they’ve won 4 and drawn 1 in a run that’s seen them move out of the relegation places and close in on the top half.
Ralph Hasenhuttl deserves credit for weathering a slow start to the season and that humiliating loss to Leicester. It goes to show that sometimes things do come good eventually.
It certainly helps when you’ve got a striker who scores every time he’s on the pitch and Danny Ings is doing just that, with 10 goals from his last 10 starts and 14 overall. Only Jamie Vardy has managed more.
They’ve been better away than at St. Mary’s, with just 3 home wins all season and 6 defeats from their 11 matches to date, but they have won their last two against Spurs in the league and Huddersfield in the FA Cup.
The home end
Some comments lifted from the pre-match thread on the Saints Web forum:
When at least ten of the starting eleven now pick themselves as long as they stay fit, these threads are getting shorter. Still think it’ll be a tough game. Wolves are quite big and physical, things we can struggle against. It will help if they came to attack rather than sitting back.
Tough game, I’d take a point. 6 pointer for a Europa spot, we’re only 3 points behind Wolves who sit in 7th. Wolves season started in July in Europa league qualifiers, I saw a graph of “Most minutes played this season”, which was dominated by Wolves players as they haven’t made so many changes for Europa group games. They’ve got more to come with Espanyol over two legs in the next round. Will be interesting to see if they tire later on in the season. Crazy to think this way but we’re in a battle for Europe now, just 4 points behind Sheff Utd in 6th.
I say it every time we win 2 in a row in the League, but this is a good chance to win 3 league games in a row for the first time since Koeman. Never underestimate Wolves, but we’re a tricky outfit right now. Would I take a draw? Mmm, yes.
It’s hard to want to change too much, it’ll just be what the fitness shows to be honest. Back 4 I think will clearly stay the same, that works and has formed a solid basis to the surprise of most of us. I think this will be a tough game though, Wolves are a tough nut to crack. They generally don’t lose too many games or let in too many goals, so we’re going to have to be very good to get a win I think. It’s really handy that our good form has come when we have games in quick succession like this, as it means we don’t really lose that momentum as there are no imminent international breaks. We’ve picked the best time of the season to have this sort of run.
Shouldn’t be too difficult to pick the team, assuming no injuries or fatigue from the game at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
It’s a strange situation to have a starting XI you’re happy with but then nothing at all in reserve.
Still hoping in the weeks and months to come we’ve got the above players to choose from with Boly, Jota and a couple of new faces giving us the chance to finish strong.
Gibbs-White looked sharp in his short cameo against Utd and could feature here but looks like Vinagre will be out for a good few weeks after pulling his hamstring.
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Well done to Portuguese Men of Wolves and Mike Jones who both correctly predicted the 1-1 draw with Newcastle. View the full PL table here.
If you’d like to join in this week simply leave your prediction in the comment section below using the boxes provided.
That’s where you’ll also find my best guess for this one.
Up The Wolves!