Wolves are preparing to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League and wolves.co.uk has all the pre-match information for supporters.
#1 Inside both camps
Pedro Neto is likely to be Wolves’ only absentee against Tottenham Hotspur. The winger is out for “a few weeks” after coming off injured in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle United, so Gary O’Neil will once again do without him. Jean-Ricner Bellegarde made his third Wolves appearance 43 days after his second, which resulted in a red card against Luton Town, last time out and he marked it with a first goal for the club. That equalizer against Sheffield United may have forced him into O’Neil’s plans from the start, while Boubacar Traore and Joao Gomes continue to provide options in the midfield. Sasa Kalajdzic made his first Premier League start of the season last term and will hope to add to his three goals so far this season at the weekend.
As for Tottenham, Ange Postecoglou has work to do, after a damaging defeat to Chelsea on Monday. The first loss of the season was more damaging in the sense of absentees, with two injuries and two red cards picked up. Christian Romero and Destiny Udogie will definitely miss the trip to Molineux, with Romero receiving a straight red card in the first half, before Udogie earned a second yellow after the break. Micky van de Ven looks almost certain to miss out too, having picked up a similar-looking hamstring injury to Neto in the Chelsea loss. James Maddison, who has three goals and five assists to his name, was also withdrawn in the opening period, meaning he must be a doubt again. Elsewhere, Richarlison is set for surgery, Ryan Sessegnon hasn’t played this season due to a hamstring injury, while Manor Solomon is out until December and Ivan Perisic will miss the season. Ben Davies has been included in the Wales squad, so they may provide Spurs with an injury boost.
#2 Coming into it
For the first time in five matches, Wolves head into a matchday looking to bounce back, after their unbeaten run ended with defeat at Sheffield United last weekend, despite Bellegarde’s first goal for the club. Back at Molineux however, the Old Gold are unbeaten in three, beating Manchester City and drawing their most recent home clashes with Aston Villa and Newcastle United. Bouncing back before the international break will be the aim for O’Neil.
Wolves’ last three | L 2-1 Sheff United (A) – D 2-2 Newcastle (H) – W 2-1 AFC Bournemouth (A)
Tottenham were unbeaten in the Premier League until Monday night, and were cruising at 1-0 up, before circumstances changed. No team has earned more points on the road than Spurs, however. Of their six trips away from home, Postecoglou’s side have won four and drawn two, claiming 14 points during that unbeaten period. Since the last international weekend, Tottenham have won at Luton Town and Crystal Palace.
Tottenham’s last three | L 4-1 Chelsea (H) – L 2-1 Crystal Palace (A) – W 2-0 Fulham (H)
#3 Since last time
Wolves 1 Tottenham 0 | 4Th March 2023
When the two sides last met at Molineux back in March, Wolves gave their survival hopes a huge boost thanks to Adama Traore. Spurs had the better of the chances and hit the woodwork twice through Pedro Porro and Son Heung-min. However, Wolves grew into it after the break and when Raul Jimenez stung the palms of Fraser Forster, Adama reacted quickest to guide home into the top corner with what proved to be his final goal for the club.
Wolves | Sa, Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Jonny, Neves, Lemina, Nunes, Sarabia, Neto, Costa.
Wolves’ starting eleven that day is much changed to modern day. Ruben Neves, Matheus Nunes and Diego Costa have all moved on, while Jonny and Pablo Sarabia have found starts hard to come by this term. Just five members of that team started last time out at Bramall Lane. Spurs are even more unrecognizable. Only Porro, Romero, Dejan Kulusevski and Son started in March, as well as against Chelsea last time out. Clement Lenglet and Harry Kane are no longer at the club.
Tottenham | Forster, Porro, Romero, Lenglet, Davies, Perisic, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Kulusevski, Son, Kane.
#4 In the media
Liam Keen on the Express & Star picked Rayan Ait-Nouri out for praise in his comment piece this week, with the full-back now an ever-present in the Wolves side.
Keen said: “Despite his two missed chances, Ait-Nouri is going from strength to strength under O’Neil. He was frozen out by Julen Lopetegui at the end of last season and destined for a move away, until O’Neil revived his Wolves career – and the player himself is currently taking his chance. The hybrid system that O’Neil is employing, that regularly switches between a back four and a back five, suits Ait-Nouri perfectly. Playing either as a left winger or left-wing-back, Ait-Nouri is given license to get forward and he is proving to be a dangerous and effective attacking option.
“However, one of his big improvements has been his defending and work-rate. It is clear he has a good relationship with O’Neil and he is working hard to track back for the team – which he showed regularly against United. There are still improvements to be made, but he is a player with superb talent that can go far.”
One-time Spurs midfielder Michael Brown now writes a column for BBC Sport and was impressed with what he saw from his side, despite the defeat on Monday evening.
Brown said: “What I watched from Tottenham the other night against Chelsea was the most incredible thing I have ever seen. The bravery they showed with Son Heung-min almost getting his goal and Eric Dier’s goal ruled out by an absolute fraction… I don’t think the result will affect them in any way going forward, not one bit. I have ultimate respect for what they did. I was sat watching the TV and thinking, ‘This high line is unbelievable’. I did think it could be 4-1 the way they were playing, but they almost did it. For them, it didn’t matter if they lost 2-1 or 4-1. It was the fact that they almost won and got something from it – and were trying to win it.
“I am covering the game against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium and that will be the game where they will really be tested to see if they can be up and around the title race. They can still go to Wolves with great confidence but the injuries are where they could come unstuck.”