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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Leeds United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Friday's Premier League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leeds United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League for the first time since October when they welcome Leeds United to Molineux on Friday night.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side will enter the contest off the back of a 2-1 victory at Southampton on Sunday, while Leeds suffered a 4-2 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on the same afternoon.


Match preview

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Pedro Neto celebrates scoring against Southampton in the Premier League on February 14, 2021© Reuters

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a disappointing 2020-21 campaign to date for Wolves, with Nuno's side struggling for consistency and currently sitting in the bottom half of the table.

The former Championship winners are only seven points off the top seven, but it is very difficult to imagine them pushing for a possible Europa League spot due to the quality of the teams above them.

Wolves are currently 12th in the table, collecting 30 points from their 24 matches courtesy of eight wins and six draws, while they have also suffered 10 defeats, which is just one fewer than Fulham in 18th.

Nuno's team will enter this match off the back of a morale-boosting win over Southampton on Sunday, though, with goals from Ruben Neves and Pedro Neto turning the contest around in the second period, and the hosts will now be looking to make it successive league victories for the first time since October.

Wolves have actually won their last four games with Leeds in all competitions, including a 1-0 success in the reverse fixture back in October, when Raul Jimenez scored the only goal of the contest.

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Leeds, meanwhile, will enter Friday's contest off the back of a 4-2 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday; the Whites were actually 4-0 behind early in the second period at the Emirates Stadium before scoring twice late on through Pascal Struijk and Helder Costa.

Marcelo Bielsa's side are currently one spot above Wolves in the table, sitting 11th, having picked up 32 points from their 23 matches, and they would move back above Arsenal into 10th with a victory at Molineux.

Leeds have won 10 Premier League games this season, which is just one fewer than the champions Liverpool, but they have suffered 11 defeats, which is high considering their position in the table.

The Whites will certainly not change their style in the coming months and despite the loss at Arsenal, they have won two of their last three league matches on the road, beating Newcastle United and Leicester City in impressive fashion.

The visitors also have two attacking players enjoying particularly impressive campaigns, with Patrick Bamford netting 12 times in England's top flight, and Raphinha, who has recently been linked with Liverpool and Manchester United, coming up with four goals and five assists in the league.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Premier League form: LDLWDW
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): DLWDLW

Leeds United Premier League form: LWWLWL


Team News

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Wolves will again be without the services of Daniel Podence, Willy Boly and Jimenez for Friday's contest, but the home side are otherwise in good shape in terms of absentees.

There is a strong chance that Nuno could decide to select the same XI that took to the field against Southampton, with Adama Traore and Neto again supporting recent arrival Willian Jose.

Fabio Silva and Fernando Marcal are both pushing for spots in the side, but Nuno is unlikely to shuffle his pack considering the result against Southampton, which made it three league games unbeaten.

Leeds, meanwhile, will again definitely be without Gaetano Berardi, Rodrigo Moreno, Adam Forshaw, Ian Poveda and Robin Koch through injury, but Diego Llorente is available following his latest issue.

Mateusz Klich should overcome a hip issue to feature in the middle of the park, but Kalvin Phillips remains unavailable due to a calf problem, with the Englishman not yet ready to return.

The injury situation at Elland Road means that Bielsa's options for change are limited, and there are not expected to be any major surprises in the XI, with Jack Harrison and Raphinha again likely to support Bamford, while Jamie Shackleton and Struijk should also retain their positions.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Traore, Willian Jose, Neto

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Shackleton, Ayling, Cooper, Alioski; Raphinha, Dallas, Struijk, Klich, Harrison; Bamford


SM words green background

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Leeds United

This is a very, very difficult match to call for a number of reasons. At full strength, Leeds would fancy their chances of picking up a positive result, but the Whites will again be missing important players. Wolves appear to have turned a corner by picking up seven points from their last three matches, and we fancy Nuno's side to edge a close contest at Molineux.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



Video prediction

Watch the Sports Mole Football Shorts prediction for this game below:


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Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips pictured on January 10, 2021
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