Two teams looking to boost their survival hopes meet at St Mary’s in one of the Premier League’s 3pm kick-offs on Saturday, as Southampton and Wolves go head-to-head.
Nathan Jones’ job as Head Coach has been under scrutiny in recent weeks, with the Saints in a poor run of form. Southampton have lost six of their last seven league games under the former Luton manager, including the 3-0 bashing off Brentford last weekend. Ben Mee, Bryan Mbuemo, and Mathias Jensen got the goals for the Bees, with the hosts cruising to a win that keeps Southampton struggling at the bottom.
The Hampshire outfit are rock-bottom of the Premier League after just four wins from 21 games all season. Jones’ side have to start picking up the points soon to have any chance of survival, as the teams around them look to increase their chances of escaping the drop. Everton – under new boss Sean Dyche, and Wolves – who were in the bottom three themselves not long ago, both picked up wins last weekend which piles more pressure on Southampton.
The Saints are two points behind 19th place Bournemouth, and three behind Everton in 18th and Leeds in 17th. Depending on the Cherries’ result against Newcastle, a win could lift Southampton up the table above Bournemouth and would see them keep up with the other relegation battlers, but because of their inferior goal difference, it wouldn’t be enough to get the out of the drop zone.
Wolves were another side that were struggling at the bottom end of the table, but results in recent weeks have helped the Midlands outfit put a little bit of room between themselves and the bottom three. Julen Lopetegui has massively improved his side since his arrival, with three wins in six games so far. The most impressive display came last weekend, with Wolves looking dominant at times last Saturday, albeit against a Liverpool side that have struggled to live up to their usual selves for much of this season. Take nothing away from Lopetegui’s men though, who ran out as 3-0 winners with goals from a Joel Matip own goal, new signing Craig Dawson, and captain Ruben Neves, after an impressive showing.
The result sees Wolves go into the weekend in 15th place after two wins in their last three league games. Lopetegui’s side have a two-point cushion to the bottom three, with West Ham and Leeds below them.
Both teams have gone through many different changes since their last meeting in the return fixture back in early September. Wolves – managed then by Bruno Lage – beat Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton side 1-0 courtesy of a Daniel Podence strike.
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