Get ready for Saturday’s visit to newly-promoted Wolves, as Southampton prepare for the club’s first trip to Molineux in nine years…
Wolves vs Southampton
Saturday 29th September, 3pm BST
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Peter Kirkup
Fourth official: Robert Jones
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Wolves have earned plenty of plaudits for the way they have adapted to life in the Premier League after winning promotion from the Championship last season.
The hosts have lost only one of their opening six matches, but their two victories have come courtesy of just a single goal, suggesting they may need to be more clinical to realise their lofty ambitions.
Saints were three games unbeaten prior to last weekend’s defeat at leaders Liverpool, and will be keen to bounce back at Molineux.
A first win over Wolves since a 6-0 thumping in 2007 would see Saints move within a point of the Midlands club.
Wolves: Boss Nuno Espirito Santo should have a fully-fit squad to choose from, with Ivan Cavaleiro (back) and Leander Dendoncker (fitness) both featuring in the midweek Carabao Cup tie at Leicester.
Wolves are one of only two teams – Watford are the other – to have selected the same starting line-up in all six league games to date.
Southampton: Mark Hughes’s only injury concern is striker Shane Long, who is a major doubt with a toe problem.
Manolo Gabbiadini and Mohamed Elyounoussi are both available, having missed the trip to Anfield, while the return of Danny Ings is a major boost after the striker was ineligible to face his parent club last time out.
Leicester (h) D 0-0* (Carabao Cup)
Man Utd (a) D 1-1 (Moutinho)
Burnley (h) W 1-0 (Jimenez)
West Ham (a) W 1-0 (Traore)
Sheffield Wednesday (a) W 2-0 (Bonatini, Costa) (Carabao Cup)
*Lost 3-1 on penalties
Liverpool (a) L 0-3
Brighton (h) D 2-2 (Højbjerg, Ings)
Crystal Palace (a) W 2-0 (Ings, Højbjerg)
Brighton (a) W 1-0 (Austin) (Carabao Cup)
Leicester (h) L 1-2 (Bertrand)
Nuno Espirito Santo: "We are growing game by game and getting a little better. If there is a 'but' it's that we should be more clinical.
"It is one of the things that we need to work on and improve. The players will work on the last touch and things will come."
Mark Hughes: “Wolves have been very impressive. I’ve watched a number of their games. They’re very positive in what they do and very proficient.
“They’ve come off the back of a really outstanding season so they’re in a good frame of mind confidence-wise. They’ve had continuity in terms of selection and they’ve reaped the benefits of that.”
The Portuguese midfield duo of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho have been highly influential in Wolves’ positive start to the season.
Neves has made the step up from the Championship seamlessly, learning from international stalwart Moutinho, 11 years his senior, who scored his first Wolves goal with a stunner at Old Trafford last weekend.
For Saints, Danny Ings carries the biggest goal threat on his return to the fold. The striker has three goals in his last four appearances, and boss Hughes is convinced he’s only just reaching full fitness.
With two weeks of training under his belt and having fully recovered from a blister, Ings will be raring to go again at Molineux.
Previous five meetings:
Aug 2017: Saints 0-2 Wolves
Apr 2009: Wolves 3-0 Saints
Nov 2008: Saints 1-2 Wolves
Mar 2008: Wolves 2-2 Saints
Nov 2007: Saints 0-0 Wolves
DID YOU KNOW?
- Wolves have won just one of their last ten home matches in all competitions against Southampton (D5 L4).
- Danny Ings is looking to score in three consecutive league appearances for the first time since January 2015, when he was at Burnley.
NOT AT THE GAME?
Couldn’t get a ticket to Molineux? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Our interactive match centre at southamptonfc.com will have all the build-up, in-game updates and live commentary, while we’ll also be keeping you bang up-to-date and bringing you behind-the-scenes access on our various social channels, so make sure you’re following us…