Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Southampton FC preview: Saints could move third 
Photo by Marc Atkins via Getty Images

Southampton could move as high as third in the Premier League on Monday night if they can successfully beat Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Saints are currently unbeaten in the league since their second fixture of the campaign, a 5-2 loss to Tottenham Hotspur.

Since then, they've won 16 out of a possible 18 points, only dropping points in a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, who currently sit in third place after beating Newcastle United on the weekend.

Wolves on the other hand currently sit 12th in the league but could move as high as fifth in the league, goal difference permitting.

On their last outing before the international break, they dropped points to Leicester City in a 1-0 defeat.

Team News

Top goalscorer Danny Ings remains out of contention after knee surgery last month, but captain James Ward-Prowse is expected to be fit after returning to training this week.

The captain returning is a huge boost after he scored two phenomenal free-kicks when the Saints beat Aston Villa 4-3 at the start of November.

Full-back Ryan Bertrand is also back after suffering a thigh injury, but Mohamed Salisu is still sidelined and building up his match fitness.

Conor Coady could be in line to make his 122nd consecutive league appearance for Wolves after Nuno Espirito Santo hopes he will be available for the game.

Due to Coronavirus protocols, Coady had to leave the England squad and was forced to self-isolate and train alone, it is unsure whether the defender will be included.

Meanwhile, Rayan Ait-Nouri is expected to be back in contention after withdrawing from the France under-21s squad at the start of the international break.

Previous encounters

The two sides have only been in the Premier League for two seasons in the last decade and Wolves have seemingly had the edge.

Their last outing saw Southampton take a 2-0 lead in the first half before an inspired comeback from The Wanderers saw them win 3-2 as the final whistle blew.

The Saints claimed the three points on the 13th April 2019 when a brace from Nathan Redmond and a goal from Shane Long secured a 3-1 victory.

Southampton have only won one of their last nine fixtures against Wolves, dating back to November 2006.

What the managers have said

Ralph Hassenhuttl spoke about his previous encounter against Wolves and praised them:

“We had some good one or two halves against them where we really showed what we could do against them.

“They have good game management all the time so we need to be very disciplined with the ball and against the ball, especially have good counter-pressing.

“In modern football, if you don’t perform in any part of your game, it is always difficult to win and especially for us.”

Nuno Espirito Santo made it very clear that his side have a big challenge ahead of them:

"They are a very good team, good players, a good manager. They play with good intensity.

"We want to improve all aspects of the game, knowing that it is a big challenge in front of us. We always try to raise our standards. We want to embrace this challenge as a chance to play better."