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

Sports Mole previews Thursday's FA Cup clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southampton meet in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday evening looking to improve on their recent form in the Premier League.

While Wolves have recorded just five points from six matches in the top flight, the Saints have lost five successive league fixtures.


Match preview

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Having witnessed their side capitulate at Manchester United last week, Southampton supporters will be realistic about their chances for the rest of the season.

Nevertheless, Ralph Hasenhuttl's side have still won three of their last eight matches in all competitions, as well as seeing luck go against them in defeats against Aston Villa and Newcastle United.

Hasenhuttl needs to address issues in the defensive third of the pitch, but the Austrian will be confident that his frontline will continue to score goals on a regular basis.

While recent arrival Takumi Minamino will play no part in this contest, the presence of the Liverpool loanee in the squad can only act as a catalyst when it comes to players upping their performance levels.

Danny Ings heads into this game having scored just once, against Premier League champions Liverpool, in his last 10 appearances.

A lack of goals has been an area of concern for Nuno Espirito Santo, although it is just one of a number of problems which Wolves have faced in recent months.

Injuries and losing their way in defence meant that claiming four points from games against Arsenal and Leicester City were regarded as a major success.

However, on the back of just two wins from 11 games against top-flight opposition, Nuno has challenged his players to finally replicate their levels of previous seasons.

Wolves have reached the last 16 of the competition with victories over Crystal Palace and Chorley, while the Saints got the better of Shrewsbury Town and Arsenal to reach this stage of the competition.

Wolverhampton Wanderers FA Cup form: WW
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): LWDLWD

Southampton FA Cup form: WW
Southampton form (all competitions): WWLLLL


Team News

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo pictured on February 7, 2021© Reuters

Wolves are without Daniel Podence and Willy Boly for at least the next month, leaving Nuno to contemplate his options at both ends of the pitch.

Romain Saiss could be given game time in defence, while recalls for Vitinha and Fabio Silva would hand rests to Adama Traore and Pedro Neto.

Jonny may be rested until the weekend, but second-choice goalkeeper John Ruddy will replace Rui Patricio.

With Minamino cup-tied after his previous involvement with Liverpool, Moussa Djenepo could return for Southampton on the left flank.

Kyle Walker-Peters may feature at right-back after injury, with Mohammed Salisu in contention for his long-awaited debut after being named on the substitutes' bench at the weekend.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:
Ruddy; Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss; Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Hoever; Vitinha; Silva, Jose

Southampton possible starting lineup:
Forster; Walker-Peters, Bednarek, Salisu, Bertrand; Redmond, Romeu, Ward-Prowse, Djenepo; Adams, Ings


SM words green background

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Southampton

With both managers expected to make changes ahead of their league encounter at the weekend, we expect a relatively open game at Molineux. That is more likely to play into the hands of the expansive visitors, whose extra fluidity in attack could make the difference.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


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Danny Ings in action for Southampton on January 30, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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