Wolves vs Southampton | Thursday 11th February 2021, 17:30 | BT Sport
Southampton travels to the Midlands to take on Wolves in the fifth round of the FA Cup and it poses an excellent opportunity for both sides to get a much-needed win under their belts.
Wolves have won just three of their last twelve matches and two of those games were in this competition. But in recent games they’ve looked much more confident at the back and have put in some battling displays, all that remains is to rediscover the attacking prowess that has made them one of the most efficient sides in recent years.
They say that lightning never strikes twice, but for Southampton, it did as they were recently beaten by a scoreline of 9-0 for the second time in two seasons. It’s a statistic that no-one wants on their CV but all they can do is try to put it out of their minds and make amends.
A drubbing like that can utterly destroy a sides confidence and the best way to counteract it is to get a positive result in the next game. However, they followed that result up with another away loss to strugglers Newcastle United and so you have to wonder what their state of mind will be going into this one.
Can the Saints get back on track and progress into the next round or will they see their fourth consecutive away defeat?
- There have been three or more cards shown in 5 of their last 5 FA Cup games.
- In those games, Wolves have seen 2+ cards on 4/5 occasions.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in their last 4 FA Cup games.
- There have been under 2.5 goals scored in Wolves last 3 home games against Southampton.
- Are undefeated in 9 of their last 10 FA Cup matches.
- Jonny made a shock return from injury in Wolves' 0-0 draw with Leicester on Sunday.
- Daniel Podence is injured and unlikely to recover in time to face Southampton on Thursday, with Marcal and Raul Jimenez still unavailable.
- A hamstring injury kept Willy Boly out at the weekend and he too is a doubt.
- Have seen at least a card in all of their previous 5 FA Cup matches.
- Have lost all of their last 5 games, including a 9-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United.
- Under 2.5 goals has landed in 4 of their last 5 FA Cup matches.
- Oriol Romeu, Jannik Vestergaard, Nathan Tella and Mohammed Salisu all returned from injury against Newcastle on Saturday.
- Kyle Walker-Peters could return here, while Stuart Armstrong is a doubt for the away side after a muscle injury kept him out against Newcastle.
- Takumi Minamino scored on debut for Southampton but must sit this one out having already featured in the FA Cup for Liverpool.
Referee: Jonathan Moss
- Averages just 2.62 cards per game in the EPL this season.
I’m going to put my neck on the line and say this one probably won’t go down as an all-time classic in the FA Cup history books. I really think the unders are the way to go here in terms of goals.
My first pick is for there to be under three match goals and for The Saints to see at least one card in the game.
Both sides are missing some key attackers and I just don’t see there being more than two goals maximum in this match. My thinking would be different here had Podence been available as i believe he makes things happen and always finds himself in shooting position, the same can be said of Southampton’s Stuart Armstrong, but he too is a doubt.
I just feel that chances will be few and far between and with Southampton in the midst of a dire run of form, they’ll want to keep the goal count down and try to gain some momentum defensively.
For this bet to land, we then need Southampton to pick up a single card. Referee Moss is somewhat lenient but the team from the south-coast have picked up at least one in all of their previous 5 FA Cup matches and I feel that Wolves will pose more of a threat and draw the challenges from Southampton who average the fifth-highest fouls per game in the league this season.
My second bet is a continuation of the explanation above but a little bit safer. It’s for Wolves to qualify and under four match goals. Looking at the two sides and the previous records when these two have faced-off at Molineux, I fancy Wolves to progress to the next round and, as a result, pile the misery onto Ralph Hausenhuttl and his side.
Despite being in a bit of a rut themselves, I personally believe that they’ve got a little bit more quality throughout their squad and Southampton’s confidence is at an all-time low. I’ve also gone with under 4 match goals simply because I don’t see the goal total reaching anywhere near that many.