Red-hot Southampton welcome Wolves to St Mary’s


Southampton hope to extend their recent revival with the visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

For the first time in a long time, Saints supporters are looking up rather than down. Winning four out their last five Premier League matches, Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side sit in 12th-place and just four points off a Europa League spot.

And of course, spearheading Southampton’s upturn in form is Danny Ings, whose 14 goals have accounted to 52 per cent of the team’s goals. No other player across the top five European Leagues has scored a higher percentage of their side’s goals.

Saints’ 2-1 victory at Leicester last weekend underlined the side’s remarkable turnaround in recent weeks, with their 9-0 humiliation in the reverse fixture now a distant memory.

Meanwhile, Wolves make the trip south following their 1-0 FA Cup replay defeat at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Although sitting seventh in the league, the West Midlands club are well placed heading into the end of season run-in.

Team news

Ralph Hasenhuttl is set to have a clean bill of health on the injury front. The only absentee will be French full-back Yan Valery, who has been suffering from an ongoing viral infection. He is expected to return to training at the end of the month.

Wolves will be without Willy Boly (ankle), Diego Jota (thigh) and Ruben Vinagre, who also is nursing a thigh injury. Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed the full-back picked up the knock on the stroke of full-time against Manchester United.

In his pre-match press conference, Ralph Hasenhuttl heaped praise on top-scorer Danny Ings, insisting the forward would continue his form in an England shirt:

“I think if one player from my squad deserves it then it’s him. He has done a marvellous job in the last weeks and the whole season.

“He has scored unbelievable goals and important goals for us and this is the best Danny Ings we have ever seen. If you want to pick him, it wouldn’t be the worst moment.

“At the moment, he looks in really good shape and can work for 90 minutes or longer which gives me a good feeling.”

Wolves defender Ryan Bennett has hailed Southampton’s turnaround in recent weeks, admitting stopping Danny Ings could prove difficult:

They’ve done unbelievably. There was talk about their manager, but they’ve showed what can happen when you stick with the routine and the manager that they know, and is ultimately going to get the lads working, and they’ve done that.

“It’s a credit to them, you can’t take anything away from the players because they’ve bought into everything the manager’s tried to implement and they’ve carried on working hard. They’re getting the results for their effort on the training ground.

“He (Ings) has done unbelievable for them this year. For a club like that to have a talisman who has scored so many goals is massive. At the end of the day, having someone like that fires you up the league, if you took his goals away, things would be different.

“Credit to them, they brought him in and have got him working, and they’re progressing the way they want to progress. We know it’s going to be tough, we know he’s going to be a danger, but we put things in place to deal with that.”


Southampton wins: 27

Draws: 17

Wolves wins: 22


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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