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Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 v 0 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 29th September 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Saints At Wolverhampton Wanderers The Preview
Friday, 28th Sep 2018 09:32

Saints head up to Molineaux to take on Wolves for the first time in ten seasons, but can Mark Hughes get not only his team selection right,but the motivation.

Mark Hughes seems to have settled on a core of players who he sees as his first choice, so far McCarthy in goal, Cedric, Vestergaard, Hoedt & Bertrand in the back four, Hojbjerg & Lemina in the midfield and then Redmond & Ings in attacking roles seem bolted on whoever the opposition.

This leaves very little room for manoeuvre for the manager, although in fairness to him it is hard to see anyone else in the squad that is truly a better bet to oust any of these players.

Some would say that Hoedt should be dropped for Yoshida but I disagree, although Hoedt scored an OG at Anfield, he is still the stronger of the pairing at the moment and it is Vestergaard who needs to up his game and react quicker, but as I have maintained these two have to be given a chance to forge a pairing.

Elsewhere on the pitch there seems to be only three positions that will be changed from the starting line up at Anfield, one of them is bolted on, Danny Ings will come in for Shane Long who has a toe injury.

Then it is only a question of how Hughes sets up and whether he opts for an attacking or defensive line up.

I would expect Matt Targett to drop to the bench and possibly Oriol Romeu, but it is anyone's guess who will replace them, Stuart Armstrong will be one contender as will Moi Elyounoussi.

Or perhaps Hughes will revert to a back three with Bednarek joining Hoedt & Vestergaard, that could offer options and mean a more attacking line up.

But the real problem isn't the personnel, its the fact that they are not as motivated as they should be and that is leading to errors, that was the case at Liverpool where slack defending mean't we were two down with barely 20 minutes on the clock, for most of the rest of the game we coped, but as in previous games lapses again cost us dearly. we just can't seem to concentrate for 90 minutes.

But there was enough in both the win at Palace & the first 65 minutes against Brighton to show we can start to move forward, regain the confidence and start to win games.

This is where Hughes comes in, by his own admission we have not been up and at sides as we should have been and that has to change, the Liverpool result has to be put to one side, not many teams will get points at Anfield this season, we need to build on the two games before that.

This trip won't be easy, but it is not as hard as some would have you believe, Wolves are a tight outfit and could be this season's Burnley, but they are not good enough for above that and although I don't think they will struggle and have to worry about relegation, they are more likely to finish in mid table than anywhere else.

We have to do what we did in both the Palace and Brighton games, dominate for an hour or so, but then we have to go a stage further and complete the final 30 minutes.

We have to be tight and then tighter still and that comes from the manager not only motivating the players, but making the right substitutions, in both the above games I though the players did their part, but when they needed the manager to chip in and help them see the game out he was found lacking with substitutions, at Palace we held on against Brighton we didn't.

So it is time for the manager to earn his money, the squad is good enough, it is under performing though and this is what distinguishes a good manager from a run of the mill one.

Saints can win this game and they really need to get at least a draw out of it otherwise the moaners will be on their backs and we will face a very tough October.

Photo: Action Images

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Sanguin added 09:42 - Sep 28
Spot on, substitutions and tactics to see out games. For too long, we've thrown away points from winning positions.

helpineedsomebody added 11:17 - Sep 28
wolves an excellent attacking football team play wide & through the middle good system .
we play like the letter H UP SQUIRE BACK & WIDE by the time you have done that all the opposing players are waiting for you.
still lose this one mh one step closer to the front door.

Ali_Diarea added 12:57 - Sep 28
Overall our squad looks good on paper but I think our defenders (apart from Berty) are shite. We aren’t gonna keep many clean sheets this season so we’re gonna have to score at least two goals in a game to get a result.

underweststand added 15:29 - Sep 28
I'm not overly anxious about Hughes chopping and changing the squad players, after all he has 4 new outfield players since May PLUS Gallagher and Targett (both on loan last season)

Hojbjerg has really come on a lot , and was only a "bit part "player last season.
Redmond is looking more like the player we wanted him to be when he signed and Danny Ings may not be "the new Pelle" but at least he finds the net as easier than most.

We still have a breathing space until we start playing against the "top Six " teams, because the December schedule is a lot of games against top opposition in a short time. If we haven't got it right by then, we'll have a worrying Spring 2019.

1970 added 16:58 - Sep 28
Wolves are organised full of running and have plenty of attacking ideas so I don't think for a minute we will beat them, they have a big plan and that doesn't consist of losing at home to poor teams like ours with poor tactics, poor substitutions and devoid of attacking ideas, we had a plan once do you remember those days when we played newly promoted teams and thought 3 points immediately, thats what wolves are thinking about us, playing 3 centre backs hoedt, vestergaard, and bednarek is a complete no no, I cant think of any slower players in history that these 3 we'd have to defend on our own goal line and hope for the best,
we may get lucky with a set piece or penalty and win but I doubt we will beat them even if they had ten men, sad how far we have dropped coyr.

SanMarco added 18:07 - Sep 28
Wolves have started well but we musn't build them up too much - a good side but certainly beatable. We are also beatable and we need to show soon that we are also a good side - if we don't then I agree with underweststand about (another) worrying spring.

saintmark1976 added 22:01 - Sep 28
Don't worry about the possibility of them having ten men 1970. Stick with the certainty of us being reduced to ten men for part of the game when the tackle shy Redmond does his now customary weekly vanishing trick.

I_would added 11:53 - Sep 29
The only way Vestergaard and Hoedt would forge a pairing is if they were romantically linked.

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