Analysis

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Brighton & Hove Albion: Match Preview | Premier League 2020/21

Wolves-vs-Brighton-Preview

A tale of two clubs whose seasons have been hampered by injuries, Brighton & Hove Albion will travel to the Molineux on Sunday to face Wolves, who are currently limping to the end of the season.

While a win against Wolverhampton Wanderers will mathematically confirm Brighton’s place in the Premier League next season, Wolves will have a point to prove after picking only 3 wins out of their last 10 Premier League games.

MATCH PREVIEW:

Not much to salvage, but Nuno can steady the ship for the time being:

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While securing a place in Europe was always going to be a pipe dream for Wolves this season, injuries to key players have not helped and Nuno’s men are just labouring towards the end of the season. 

However, labouring does not mean that this Wolves side will buckle down as they are a lot of fringe players who are trying to prove their worth to the manager, as shown by Fabio Silva’s energetic performances in recent weeks. But this season was never going to be an easy ride for Wolves. Ruben Neves is the current top goal-scorer for the club this season with 5 goals, while the duo that follows him in Pedro Neto and Raul Jimenez are injured, with the latter being out since November. 

Wolves have scored 19 goals lesser than their goal-tally of last season, which given their problems are have not been surprising. Jimenez was Wolves’ point man and more or less their only source of goals. While Pedro Neto was showing incredible promise towards the end of last year, injuries have ruined things for the winger. Wolves’ bulky winger in Adama Traore has been nothing short of disappointing this season with the Spaniard registering only a single goal and 2 assists to his name in 33 appearances. 

The defence has been more or less solid like last season but Wolves must ensure not to let the goals flow in their last 4 games of the season as they are yet to face the likes of Tottenham, Everton, and Manchester United

Wolves Injury news:

Raul Jimenez and Pedro are suffering from long-term injuries and it is highly unlikely that the duo will feature again for the club this season. Willy Boly, who contracted Covid last month, returned for the games against Fulham and Sheffield United but failed to make the squad last weekend against West Brom after medics suspected that the defender is suffering from a case of ‘long covid’ with the player having respiratory problems.

Joao Moutinho also suffered an ankle injury less than 2 weeks ago against Burnley, but could play a part against Brighton or will surely be back by next weekend. Jonny Otto and Marcal have been out with injuries for a major part of the season with the former suffering a second ACL in the last 8 months. Neither will be a member of the squad to face Brighton, however, Marcal could be back before the end of the season.

15th in the League, but Brighton could move right below Wolves with a win on the weekend:

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No improvements, no decline- Brighton have produced an almost identical season as to last year’s where the Seagulls scored the goals when they had to and have defended to the best of their capacities. 

Although Brighton spent a few quid in the summer, they have had a respectable season and could confirm a place in the Premier League next season with a win at the Molineux on Sunday afternoon. 

While Neal Maupay has been the club’s top goal-scorer and is followed by Danny Welbeck in the list, it is a bit worrying to see that the next player in line is Lewis Dunk, which in turn points to an awful showing by Brighton’s wingers and midfielders this season. However, those numbers might change, now that Aaron Connolly is back from injury while Pascal Groß is also showing some of his last season’s form.

Defensively, Brighton have been better than Wolves this season with the Seagulls conceding only 39 goals this season, which is lesser than Leicester City, who are 3rd in the table. The likes of Lewis Dunk and Ben White have been brick walls while also being an incredible threat from set-pieces this season. 

Brighton’s win against Leeds United last weekend was a tactful approach by manager Graham Potter as they restricted Leeds to only 2 shots on target. Going forward, Brighton took 17 shots with 5 on target as Danny Welbeck’s goal in the 79th minute sealing Brighton’s only 8th victory this season. The Seagulls will be hoping to get that number into the double figures before the end of the season and Wolverhampton on the weekend will be an excellent starting point.

Brighton Injury news:

While Aaron Connolly and Adam Webster are both back from their respective injuries, Connolly is yet to feature for the club again after being an unused substitute on the weekend. Webster has started 2 out of the last 3 games for the club and will continue to do so till the end of the season. Adam Lallana, who has had a recurring groin injury this season, was unavailable for selection last weekend and will be out for the game on the weekend as well, however, the Englishman could be back next weekend. Percy Tau has also recovered from his injury and will be available for selection against Wolves.

Solly March(knee) and Tariq Lamptey(hamstring) will not play a part for the club this season, with both players being out with long-term injuries.

PREDICTED LINEUPS:

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio- Rayan Ait-Nouri; Conor Coady; Nelson Semedo; Roman Saiss- Ruben Neves; Vitinha; Leander Dendoncker; Adama Traore; Daniel Podence- Fabio Silva.

Brighton & Hove Albion: Robert Sanchez- Joel Veltman; Lewis Dunk; Adam Webster-Pascal Groß;Yves Bissouma; Jakub Moder; Joel Veltman- Leandro Trossard; Danny Welbeck; Neal Maupay.

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