Aston Villa travel to Molineux on Sunday as they look to jump over Wolves in the Premier League table.
Molineux, Wolverhampton, England
Key Stat: Since defeating City, Wolves have drawn three straight PL matches. They are, though, unbeaten in their last five, so that's a big positive for them.
Expert Verdict: Wolves have not been able to sustain forward momentum, even though they have risen out of the very bottom of the table. With that said, they have a great chance in this match given Villa's poor form away from home. Playing in European football has not aided Wolves in the slightest, but they will be relishing the chance to take down Villa here and to make sure they are not surpassed by their rivals and drawn back into the relegation battle.
Nuno Espirito Santo has had a ton of lucky in terms of injuries since his club was promoted to the Premier League, but they do have some issues at the moment with both Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett dealing with problems.
One man that looks to be heating up of late is Mexican striker Raul Jimenez. His goal against Arsenal last week, a big equalizer that earned them a very nice point on the road, was his fourth of the term thus far, making him unquestionably a man to watch in this particular fixture. Feeding him, they will hope, will be Joao Moutinho, who comes off his second assist of the season in that draw. He’s got such a great passing range, and he’s just the sort of sneaky, experienced player that can prosper.
Wolves have two wins, two draws, and a loss in their last five matches:
1-0 home win vs Slovan Bratislava (UEL)
1-1 draw at Arsenal
2-1 loss at Aston Villa (EFL Cup)
1-1 draw at Newcastle
1-2 win at Slovan Bratislava (UEL)
Defenders:Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss
Midfielders:Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Castro
Forwards:Traore, Jota, Jimenez
Dean Smith has injury issues with James Chester, Jota, and Keinan Davis, but otherwise has a fairly strong side to pick from here at Molineux.
One think to watch out for is Villa’s defence in the second half. They have only given up three goals in the first half but have shipped 15 in the second, which means that they need big money signing Tyrone Mings to step up and marshal them through some potentially tough times. In midfield, a ton of creativity is going to come from Irishman John McGinn. With no offense intended to Villa, it’s only a matter of time before he moves to a bigger club. His assist looked to be a winning contribution last weekend, but it proved to not be enough for anything in the end.
Aston Villa have two losses and three wins in their last five matches:
1-2 home loss vs Liverpool
2-1 home win vs Wolves (EFL Cup)
3-0 loss at Manchester City
2-1 home win vs Brighton
1-5 win at Norwich
Defenders:Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett
Midfielders:McGinn, Nakamba, Douglas Luiz
Forwards:El Ghazi, Trezeguet, Wesley
Through 84 all-time meetings, Wolves trail behind Aston Villa. The visitors have 37 wins, 18 draws, and 29 losses so far. In the PL era, Villa have four wins, three draws, and one loss in eight matches. Here's a look at the last five results:
Oct 30, 2019: Villa 2-1 Wolves (EFL Cup)
Mar 10, 2018: Villa 4-1 Wolves (Champ)
Oct 14, 2017: Wolves 2-0 Villa (Champ)
Jan 14, 2017: Wolves 1-0 Villa (Champ)
Oct 15, 2016: Villa 1-1 Wolves (Champ)
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Wolves are at 10/11, a draw is at 5/2, and Aston Villa are at 16/5.
Wolves come into this match in the midst of a very interesting season. With the Europa League going on, they have been, obviously distracted. It really affected them in the early stages, but they have turned it around a bit recently. Through 11 matches, they have only lost twice, but they have only two wins as well, so that’s a bit of a problem. In their last three PL outings, they have drawn, so they will hope they can end that run here.
Aston Villa, will begin the weekend’s round in 16th place on 11 points, just two off of Wolves who are in 12th. That doesn’t sound awful, but they are perilously close to the bottom, hovering just three points above Southampton as it sits. A win here would be huge for them to try and rise out of that pack. They do come into this match off the back of two consecutive losses, but they came to City away and Liverpool at home, so those can certainly be forgiven.
At home in the PL so far, Wolves have only lost once in five matches. The issue, though, is that they have won just once, giving them six total points. So it’s very hard to tell what they are capable of with that record. As for Villa’s away form, they have been very much fairly poor. They have three points, via a win and four losses, with the lone win coming over Norwich, who are falling apart. That doesn’t exactly bode well ahead of this affair.
Ladbrokes have both teams scoring at 8/11.
Betfair have Jimenez scoring anytime at 2.2.
It’s going to be tough for Wolves up until around Christmas with their fixture list, but they still can take some solace in the fact that they have a great squad and manager that’s fully capable of seeing off this Villa side.