Wolves vs Southampton | Monday 23rd November 2020, 20:00 | Sky Sports
MD9 sees in-form Southampton travel to the Black Country to face Wolves at Molineaux in a game which is expected to be a tight contest under the floodlights.
Since their 5-2 humiliation at home to Spurs, Southampton haven’t looked back as they are unbeaten in their last six league matches, winning five. The intensity Ralph Hassenhuttl demands in his team is starting to pay off as the Saints are showing the quality their team possesses.
Despite coming into this clash on the back of a defeat, Wolves have lost just once in their last five Premier League outings and sit in the middle of the pack with just one win off the top five. This is largely down to their solidity at the back, conceding the joint fewest goals in the league with nine.
If scoring goals against this Wolves side was already a challenge, the Saints will be without star man Danny Ings for the second matchday running on Monday as he recovers from an injury. A huge blow given that he’s already contributed seven goals in his seven matches so far this season.
Despite Wolves impressive defensive record, their goalscoring form is a contrast – notching just eight times – only the bottom four have scored fewer. In addition, Southampton have kept it tighter at the back this season as they have only conceded 8.6 shots per-game on average compared to their 11.6 figure last season. Only Liverpool, Brighton and Man City have conceded fewer.
Andre Marriner is the ref for this clash who is notorious for keeping his cards in his pocket. Marriner showed the least cards in the league last season with an average of just 2.42 cards per-game and is currently on course to achieving a similar ranking this season.
Although there will be many culprits on the pitch who like a card, particularly for Southampton, I can’t help but feel they’ll be let off the hook given Marriner’s calming influence on the game.
Given this, I’m expecting a tight and cagey contest with both teams struggling to break down the opposition defence. A bet builder of Under 4 Goals, Under 2 Southampton Goals and Under 5 Cards at 4/5 is my best bet for this fixture, with the absence of Ings playing a key role.
Another bet I like is Jan Bednarek Over 58.5 Passes on bet365. Since I expect the game to be a cagey, both teams should have spells of possession – more notably Southampton, who are averaging 53% possession.
Further to this, the style of play Wolves have implemented under Nuno involves sitting deep when they don’t have the ball, allowing the opposition defence to pass the ball around the back line. Bednarek has so far hit 60+ passes in 4/6 matches where he’s played 90 minutes so he should have no problem hitting this count against this Wolves side.