Southampton v Wolves: Saints to continue remarkable resurgence
Simon Mail expects Southampton's exceptional form to continue on Saturday when overworked Wolves head to St Mary's..
Southampton v Wolves Saturday, 15:00
Hasenhuttl transforms Southampton after low ebb
Southampton have produced a remarkable transformation under Ralph Hasenhuttl to halt any fears of relegation. The Saints were in desperate trouble after their humiliating 9-0 thrashing at home to Leicester in October left them in the bottom three. But their extraordinary recovery was emphasised by their 2-1 win over the same opponents at the King Power Stadium last weekend.
From facing the prospect of going down, Southampton have climbed up to 12th position and have a seven-point cushion over the relegation zone. Only champions elect Liverpool and champions Manchester City have won more points over the last 10 league games, with the Saints accumulating 20 points. Six victories and two draws have turned their season around completely with that outstanding attacking performance at third-placed Leicester an undoubted highlight.
Wolves impressing at home and in Europe
Wolves have already played 38 matches across four competitions this season, starting in July with Nuno Espirito Santo's side impressing both at home and abroad. After qualifying last season for Europe, Wolves have secured a Europa League knockout tie against Espanyol next month. Wolves are also handily placed in seventh position in another successful campaign back in the top flight.
With the likes of powerful attacker Adama Traore and dangerous striker Raul Jimenez, Wolves are better suited to to facing the strongest teams in the Premier League. The side have already won both league games against Man City and were unlucky to lose at Liverpool last month.
Wolves' winless run in the league stretched to three games after a 1-1 draw at home to Newcastle last weekend. A strangely subdued performance saw them knocked out of the FA Cup after losing 1-0 at Manchester United in Wednesday's replay.
Saints' current form merits favouritism
Southampton's recent form has not gone unnoticed and the hosts start of this game as 2.52 favourites for the St Mary's clash. With four wins and a draw from their last five league outings, it is hard to quibble at Southampton's status and they also have an encouraging record against their opponents. The Saints have won the last five home top-flight matches against Wolves.
The visitors are 3.15and this may look generous but there are reasons for swerving Wolves. Nuno's team have only won three of their 11 away fixtures and could be feeling the fatigue of a hectic schedule. Wolves do not make many alterations to their starting XI and the tiring side competed on Wednesday night which does give Southampton an advantage in terms of freshness.
The draw is trading at 3.45and this will probably be popular considering the visitors' record. Wolves have drawn a joint league high of ten matches this season which suggests the odds are appealing. That said, Southampton have only been held in four games and the hosts' outstanding current form provides a compelling argument for backing them at the odds.
Ings to continues stunning scoring streak
Danny Ings' sensational scoring form has been central to Southampton's revival in recent months. Benefiting from being fully fit, after injury woes at Liverpool, Ings has scored 10 goals in his last 10 starts. The striker has netted in 13 different league matches this season, more than any other player, including in their last three games in the competition. Ings looks unstoppable at the moment and it is well worth backing the potent finisher to net again this weekend at 11/10.
Wolves have conceded the first goal in a league-high 15 different Premier League games this season, including each of the last six in a row. Southampton are 5/6 to score the opening goal in this weekend's game.