Wolverhampton vs Southampton
Wolves and Southampton couldn’t be separated when they finished level at 1-1 the last time the Saints visited Molineux for a league clash back in November, and the teams’ rematch in the FA Cup threatens to be just as keenly contested.
Wanderers tasted defeat just once in their last five games in the lead up to Thursday’s cup tie, though their haul of just three goals during the same period shone another unflattering light on their troubles in the final third.
In fact, Wolves lack of bite without Raul Jimenez has been evident for most of the campaign, and Nuno Espirito Santo’s toothless side have notched one or fewer goals in 11 of their last 15 matches.
Southampton in a slump
After a dismal run of four straight defeats in the Premier League, Southampton will welcome some FA Cup distractions this week.
The Saints dumped holders Arsenal out in the last round of the competition in January, though that was their last win of any description after a spate of injuries hampered their progress.
The return of Oriol Romeu and Jannik Vestergaard against Newcastle last week strengthened Ralph Hassenhutl’s hand however, while key fullback Kyle Walker-Peters looks set to make his comeback against Wolves.
Battle for inches likely at Molineux
Under 2.5 goals backers were rewarded in each of the last three encounters between Wolves and Southampton at Molineux, and with both teams currently finding it tough to put the ball in the net, the same market appeals for Thursday’s cup clash.
Wherever you look, there is evidence to suggest that goalmouth action will be scarce on Thursday. Wanderers have notched one or fewer goals in six of their last eight outings, while Southampton found the net more than once in only two of their last 12 attempts
It’s also worth noting that Raul Jimenez remains Wolves’ joint top scorer despite being injured since November, while the usually prolific Danny Ings has scored just once in his last 10 appearances for the Saints.
With the teams’ lack of final third punch a factor, a goal apiece looks about the upper limit of their attacking capabilities at present, and our 1-1 correct score prediction sees this one going to extra time.