Wolves vs Spurs – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Saturday 4th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we look at Spurs’ visit to Molineux. Wolves have lost 2 of their last 3 PL matches and are on the slide again; can they halt their poor run of form? Read on with our Wolves vs Spurs prediction.
Wolves vs Spurs Match Preview
With two defeats in their last three Premier League matches, Wolves have failed to build upon victories at home to Liverpool (3-0) and away at Southampton (2-1) and now find themselves just three points clear of the relegation zone. That those five goals in those two matches represents almost 28% of Wolves’ goal tally for the season tells you everything you need to know about their current predicament. While Lopetegui’s men have won two of their last three at home against West Ham and Liverpool respectively, they’ve only scored 9 times in 12 home matches.
It’s true that Wolves haven’t averaged over a goal per game for the last two seasons, but now their goal average is 0.72 per game. Only Everton’s is worse, and most of the teams around them have a game in hand. What had looked like an upturn in form has quickly transformed into yet another Premier League mini-crisis to negotiate this season, with a 1-0 home defeat against struggling Bournemouth that they were expected to win doing the real damage of late.
While Spurs aren’t exactly inundated with praise from fans and pundits alike for Conte’s brand of football this season, the fact remains that they’re in fourth position after winning four of their last five Premier League matches. 12 points from a possible 15, combined with Newcastle’s recent run of indifferent form have put Spurs right back in the race for Champions League football next season. Three consecutive victories in London derbies and an unlikely 1-0 victory over Manchester City have given Spurs a solid foundation upon which to attain another Champions League campaign.
Spurs have an opportunity here to put the pressure on Newcastle and Liverpool, as following this clash against Wolves they face Nottingham Forest who have a terrible away record. Though it’s far from inevitable, defeating both Wolves and Forest would give Spurs six victories from seven matches. Despite some noise regarding negative tactics and defensive fragility, this would surely tighten their grip on a Champions League spot.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Cunha, Traore
Will Not Play: Chiquinho, Hwang, Kalajdzic, Bueno
Might Not Play:
Will Not Play: Bentancur, Bissouma, Lloris, Sessegnon
Wolves vs Spurs Lineups (Predicted)
Wolves (4-3-3): Sa; Ait-Nouri, Collins, Kilman, Semedo; Neves, Lemina, Moutinho; Nunes, Sarabia, Jimenez
Spurs (3-4-3): Forster; Lenglet, Dier, Romero; Perisic, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Emerson Royal; Richarlison, Kane, Kulusevski
Wolves vs Spurs Analysis
Wolves Don’t Create Enough
As a rule, Wolves aren’t creating enough chances, and for a side in a relegation battle that spells trouble. Although this may be a case of stating the obvious, 18 goals in 25 matches is a poor return. However, this isn’t a case of misfortune in front of goal for the most part – they’re simply not creating enough clear chances on a regular basis to spark a change in their fortunes. Many, rather understandably, would have thought that Wolves had turned the corner following an impressive 3-0 home victory over Liverpool and a battling 2-1 win over Southampton after Wolves were reduced to 10 men.
However, one goal in the three matches following those games tells its own story. Wolves are generally creating around 1xG per game, but are often underperforming against that metric. This tells you that the chances they’re creating aren’t often clear chances – it’s half chances or worse stacking up with each other. Wolves had perhaps hoped that Raul Jimenez could recapture some of his form of yesteryear, but the Mexican now has just 6 goals in his last 44 league appearances, and therefore isn’t in the kind of form to thrive on scraps.
Spurs Create Enough
Now, it might seem like we’re having a little joke with these subheadings, but hear us out. Wolves’ primary threat is counterattacking into open space and provided the opportunity to do so they’re fairly adept at it. Wolves are reasonable at keeping the ball – it may surprise you to know that Wolves are 10th in the possession table for the season, so their problem is generating clear chances without the benefit of wide-open vacated space to run into.
The issue here? Spurs don’t dominate the ball either, even against weaker sides. Conte’s men are more inclined to take a more cautious and calculated approach to attacking that ensures that they’re not caught out on the break. This approach has its other issues, such as being outplayed and broken down by more expansive sides which is why they’ve conceded 35 goals this season, but Wolves aren’t generally capable of that. The 46 goals that Spurs have scored this season and the presence of a world-class playmaker forward in Harry Kane means that Spurs aren’t often in a hurry to throw men forward and create overloads.
We believe this game may degenerate at times into a war of attrition, with neither side particularly keen to dominate the ball, which means that space will be at a premium. Generally, in such a scenario, you back the side with the most creativity and attacking talent at their disposal, and that’s Spurs. They can afford to be cautious and patient in the knowledge that Wolves are unlikely to carve them open, and they have an array of attacking talent available to them, albeit in mixed form.
Wolves could have some joy here if Spurs fail to get the balance right. When they’re too passive, this results in Kane in particular coming too deep in order to get on the ball, and Spurs have been outplayed on a fair few occasions this season. However, on the balance of probabilities we don’t foresee Wolves being able to do that, and so we predict a narrow victory for the visitors.
Wolves 0-1 Spurs
Wolves vs Spurs Betting Tip – Spurs Odds:
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