By 90Min
September 28, 2018

Wolves will look to continue their superb start to their Premier League season when they welcome Southampton to Molineux on Saturday afternoon.

Nuno Espirito Santo's men have been a breath of fresh air so far, and have made the step up to the top flight look completely effortless. Wolves have only been defeated once in the league and are coming off of the back of an impressive draw at Old Trafford last Saturday.

Matthew Lewis/GettyImages

After their recent run of results, Southampton cannot share that same feeling of positivity. Mark Hughes' men have only won one league game so far this season and their most recent match saw them fall to a 3-0 defeat against Liverpool.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of this Saturday's clash.


Classic Encounter


Wolves 1-4 Southampton (April 3rd 2004)

It's been 14 years since these two teams last met in the top flight, a season in which Wolves ended being relegated to the Championship after finishing bottom of the table.

Their last Premier League encounter proved to be an exciting one with Southampton running out 4-1 winners at Molineux.

Jamie McDonald/GettyImages

James Beattie and Claus Lundekvam put the Saints two up before Henri Camara restored some faith for the home side on the 70th minute mark.

Kevin Phillips went on to extinguish any hopes of a comeback when he scored a late brace to confirm all three points for Southampton.


Key Battle


Ruben Neves vs. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Wolves' brilliant start has been epitomised by the form of their key midfielder Ruben Neves, who looks as if is on the path to future stardom.

The 21-year-old has been able to keep things ticking over beautifully in the centre of the park and is clearly forming a strong partnership with fellow Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho. If he is able to exert his influence on a game, then Wolves tend to get the upper hand.

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He'll be coming up against one of Southampton's brightest performers so far this season, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. 

He recovered from the red card he picked up in his first appearance of the season against Leicester and has since gone on to put in man of the match displays against Crystal Palace and Brighton. Depending on how dominant Wolves are in possession, Hojbjerg may be forced sit deep in an attempt to break up Neves' attacking exploits.


Team News

Nuno Santo has a fully fit squad to choose from with Wolves currently having no injury concerns to deal with. Ivan Cavaleiro returned to action in the Carabao Cup against Leicester in midweek, but he is unlikely to break into what has been a fairly settled Premier League starting XI.

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Southampton will be without Manolo Gabbiadini and Mohamed Elyounoussi who are both out through injury. Danny Ings will return to the side after being forced to sit and watch from the sidelines against his parent club Liverpool last weekend.


Predicted Wolves Lineup: Patricio; Coady, Bennett, Boly; Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Jony; Costa, Jota, Jimenez.

Predicted Southampton Lineup: McCarthy; Cedric, Hoedt, Vestergaard, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Holjbjerg, Lemina, Redmond; Long, Ings.


Predictions

From the outset, this looks like a clash between two sides who are going in opposite directions.

Wolves seem to be getting more and more comfortable in their new surroundings and are beginning to stake a claim for a top ten finish this season. They've got plenty of quality right the way through their team and look less like a group of talented individuals and more like a harmonious team pulling in the same direction.

James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

As for Southampton, the jury is out on Mark Hughes. He has to make sure his side pick up a result in this one in order for his job to remain secure for the foreseeable future. In Danny Ings they certainly have a striker who can find the back of the net, but they may end up being outclassed by the opposition.

Predicted Scoreline: Wolves 2-0 Southampton

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