The Warm Down: New look Wolves earn point against high-flying Saints
Pedro Neto tucks away his second goal of the season to bring Wolves back on level terms. (Photo by Andrew Boyers - Pool/Getty Images)

A new look Wolves side came from behind to draw 1-1 with Southampton at Molineux for the second straight year.

The Saints took the lead just before the hour mark when Che Adams' pullback found an unmarked Theo Walcott who slotted home into an empty net. 

Wolves' second-half pressure eventually told with 15 minutes to go as Raul Jimenez's 20-yard effort struck the post and rebounded straight to substitute Pedro Neto, who finished past the seemingly unbeatable Alex McCarthy

Both sides had chances to win an even, high-tempo contest, but both will probably be content with a point apiece. 

  • Back four exposes Wolves' defensive fragilities

With Conor Coady and Romain Saiss out through COVID-19 regulations, Nuno Espirito Santo ditched his trademark back three for the first time in his Wolves career. 

Instead, the Portuguese opted for a back four of Rayan Ait-Nouri, Willy Boly, Max Kilman and Nelson Semedo, despite all pre-match predictions indicating Leander Dendoncker would slip into Coady's vacant role. 

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While the defensive set-up allowed for slightly more attacking play than Wolves have been used to in recent weeks, it didn't seem to suit those who were in it.

Ait-Nouri and Semedo both made errors, while Boly was regularly caught out of position, allowing Walcott and Stuart Armstrong first half chances. 

With Coady likely to be available for Sunday's trip to goal-shy Arsenal, it appears likely that the back three will return with him. Whether the back four remains a part of Nuno's long-term plan, however, is yet to be seen. 

  • Neto provides instant reaction to harsh dropping

Another surprise in Nuno's setup came in the form of Pedro Neto's absence, with the winger dropped in favour of Adama Traore in Wolves' front three. 

Having scored on his Portugal debut against Andorra a fortnight ago, the 20-year-old looked eager to impress his manager when he was introduced on 70 minutes. 

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Neto's introduction seemed to increase Wolves' tempo and attacking impetus.  Just five minutes after entering the field, the Portuguese international converted a close range rebound following Jimenez's effort hitting the base of the post. 

With Podence and Traore having relatively quiet evenings, it seems a certainty that the ever-impressive Neto will replace one of the two for the trip to the Emirates

  • Isolated Jimenez compounds goalscoring struggles

It's no secret that Wolves have struggled in attack this season, with only Burnley, Sheffield United and West Brom scoring fewer than Wanderers' nine this term. 

This game was a clear example of why. Unlike in recent weeks Wolves created enough chances to score more than their solitary goal, but poor finishing combined with an on-song Alex McCarthy ensured they would only leave Molineux with a point. 

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Part of this was down to Raul Jimenez, with the Mexican starved of service for most of the game. Jimenez had just six touches in the first-half, and had to drop to the midfield region to receive the ball throughout the game. 

With Jimenez contributing four of Wolves' nine goals this season, Wanderers evidently struggle to find alternative sources of goals when their number nine is not on form.