Wolves look to revive their Champions League hopes on Friday night when they take on third place Leicester City in the Premier League.
Molineux, Wolverhampton, England
Key Stat: Both sides come into this face having won just once in their last four PL outings.
Expert Verdict: About a year ago, these two sides clashed at Molineux and chaos ensued. Seven goals rained in, and it was an instant Premier League classic. That sort of gave us a preview of where the two would be this term, with each improved from that level, somehow. This fixture, though, is really anyone's guess. Wolves badly needed the winter break, while it would not have hurt Leicester much. Neither are in the best of form, so a draw does seem a decent shout.
Nuno Espirito Santo will be missing deputy left back Ruben Vinagre due to injury. Meanwhile, the only other worry is Adama Traore. The winger is said to be 50/50 due to a shoulder injury sustained a couple of weeks back.
Whenever Wolves do well, it tends to be as a result of Raul Jimenez. The Mexican international has racked up 11 goals- with six assists- so far, showing just how vital he is to their cause. He can create, score, and press, making him the perfect man for the job for the Wanderers. Alongside him, Adama Traore is also vital. He’s found the form of his career by far this term, having scored four and assisted seven times, and they will have to cross their fingers he will be clear and free to play here.
Wolves have two draws, two losses, and a win in their last five matches:
0-0 draw at Manchester United
1-2 home loss vs Liverpool
2-3 win at Southampton
1-0 loss at Manchester United (FA Cup)
1-1 home draw vs Newcastle
Defenders:Boly, Coady, Saiss
Midfielders:Doherty, Neves, Moutinho, Castro
Forwards:Traore, Jota, Jimenez
Brendan Rodgers will be without the likes of Daniel Amartey, Matthew James, and Namplays Mendy due to injury woes for this clash. On-loan defender Ryan Bennett is also ruled out due to facing his parent club. Wes Morgan looks like he will miss out due to illness, too, while Wilfred Ndidi, like Traore, is a doubt to feature having been dealing with a knee injury.
Jamie Vardy is still the PL’s top goal scorer as of now, on 17 goals, but he is going to have to pick it up if he wants to retain that honor. He has not scored now in his last seven matches in all competitions, meaning he might just be due to grab one here against the Wolves. Harvey Barnes, if Vardy, doesn’t return to his best, can do the job for them, though. The English winger has found a new level of form recently and his goal last time out took him to four so far (along with six assists. Quite solid stuff there.
Leicester have a draw, two losses, and two wins in their last five matches:
2-2 home draw vs Chelsea
2-1 loss at Aston Villa (EFL Cup)
0-1 win at Brentford (FA Cup)LCFC
4-1 home win vs West Ham
2-1 loss at Burnley
Defenders:Pereira, Evans, Soyuncu, Chilwell
Midfielders:Perez, Tielemans, Ndidi, Maddison, Barnes
In 71 matches to date, Leicester lead the way over Wolves with 26 wins, 24 draws, and 21 losses.
Here's a look at the last five results:
Aug 11, 2019: Leicester 0-0 Wolves
Jan 19, 2019: Wolves 4-3 Leicester
Sep 25, 2018: Wolves 0-0 (P) Leicester (EFL Cup)
Aug 18, 2018: Leicester 2-0 Wolves
Jan 31, 2013: Leicester 2-1 Wolves (Championship)
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Wolves are at 6/4, a draw is at 9/4, and Leicester are at 9/5.
Wolves will begin play in ninth place on 35 points so far. However, they still remain in with a chance of making it to Europe- or possibly even the Champions League- if they play their cards right. They had a resurgence of sorts toward Christmas, but since then they have struggled a bit with just one win and five points in the last five games. That is a worry, sure, but they are still only six points behind a wobbling Chelsea for the fourth UCL spot, so it’s still possible they could challenge for that.
Leicester, meanwhile, will begin play in a relatively comfortable third place position with 49 points to their credits. Like Wolves, they have had issues of late with their form, winning just once in their last four. They have seven points from their last 15 on offer, though, so overall it’s a bit better. Still yet, they are not guaranteed a UCL slot as of yet, so they will feel like they have to stay on course and find form again in order to clinch that. They do have a big 10 point+ gap, though, so that is helpful.
Wolves’ home record so far this season has not been the best in the league by any imagination. They have lost just three times in 12 games, but they also have won just four times, giving them 17 points. They have one point from the last two home games and seven from the last five ahead of this one. Leicester, on the other hand, will come into this fixture having taken 22 points from 12 away games. They have three wins from the last five on the road, though they have lost two of their four games in that same five game stretch. So if Wolves want to get them, now is a good time to do that.
Betfair have Jimenez and Vardy scoring anytime at 2.7 and 2.63, respectively.
Both teams scoring, via Ladbrokes, are at 4/5.
Both sides are very, very good and are better than they were last year by most indicators. But they are having a down period, so a draw for each would be far from a terrible result in this affair, you’d think.