Wolverhampton Wanderers host Tottenham at Molineux this weekend, with the fixture one of five Premier League 3pm kick-offs taking place this Saturday.
Although they are still in and around the relegation zone, Wolves have had somewhat of a small resurgence under new manager Julen Lopetegui and have begun to pick up wins more frequently, and will be hoping to do so once again against a Tottenham side that have managed to drop points to weaker sides on more than once occasion this season.
Spurs are still firmly on track for a place in the top four, but will need to ensure that as they approach the business end of the season, that they secure wins in games like this. It is tough to predict what kind of performance Conte’s men will produce on a given day such are their inconsistency issues – for example, a hard-fought 1-0 win over Manchester City was followed by a 4-1 humbling away to Leicester.
The home side fell to a 2-0 defeat at home to Liverpool on Wednesday, which condemns them to a third successive game without a win. It leaves them outside the relegation zone in 15th however, but they are still just three points above the bottom three. Wolves do have just two wins in their last six outings, with the first of those wins actually coming at home to Liverpool just under four weeks ago, when they demolished the Reds 3-0.
They then secured another win the following week in the form of a 2-1 win away at Southampton, but have then failed to pick up a win in their following games with Bournemouth, Fulham and Liverpool again. In order to secure their Premier League status, wins in these matches against fellow relegation rivals like Bournemouth are absolutely key, which Lopetegui will need to fix before the visit of Leeds at the end of the month.
Lopetegui has picked up four wins from the ten league matches he has taken charge of so far, in sharp contrast to the seven defeats Wolves had suffered in the ten games prior to the Spaniard's appointment. But against an inconsistent Spurs side, Lopetegui will be hopeful that his men can secure a much-needed victory.
Wolves will fancy their chances against an unpredictable Spurs side who are susceptible to shock defeats, having already fallen to the likes of Aston Villa, Leicester and Nottingham Forest earlier on this season. Tottenham’s inconsistency was further underlined on Wednesday night, as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Sheffield United while Wolves were in Premier League action. Iliman Ndiaye’s 79th-minute goal has condemned Spurs to yet another season without any silverware bar a miracle in the Champions League and Premier League, but focus must quickly be restored on to the hunt for Champions League qualification for next season.
The top three already looks to have been sewn up, but Spurs are in a good position to secure fourth place. They currently sit in 4th on 45 points, but the chasing pack are not far behind. Newcastle are the most dangerous threat to Spurs’ Champions League qualification hopes, with the Magpies four points behind Spurs and with two games in hand.
Therefore, Spurs will need to ensure that they pick up maximum points, and hope that a Newcastle side wounded from their recent Carabao Cup final defeat fail to find their feet in their upcoming matches. Tottenham, currently on a 2-game winning streak and looking for their third on the bounce in the league, will be looking to consolidate their 4th-place position with a win in this fixture.
Realistically, either side could emerge victorious here, such is the inconsistency of both sides. Despite residing at opposite ends of the table, both of these sides have shown a lack of consistency this season in that they have picked up points where they were not expected to, yet have also dropped points to inferior teams as well. It makes predicting a winner in this one tough, but we think that Tottenham will have just enough to emerge victorious, as they did in the reverse fixture back in August. Wolves are priced at 23/10 odds to emerge as the winners, with the away side priced at 23/20.
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