Wolverhampton Wanderers will cross swords with Tottenham at Molineux in the Premier League on Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff.
The Wanderers lost 2-1 to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane last weekend—their fifth defeat in 11 league games. They have endured a rough start to the season and are 14th in the table. Gary O’Neil will be hoping to go into November’s international break on a winning note.
Meanwhile, Spurs tasted their first defeat of the season to Chelsea on Monday, losing 4-1 at home with nine men as Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie got sent off. The North London side have still enjoyed an excellent start to the campaign, though, sitting second in the table on 26 points, one point behind the leaders Manchester City. How Ange Postecoglou and co. react to their first defeat of the season will be interesting to watch.
With both teams desperate to bounce back to winning ways, here are three key battles that could decide the outcome of this fixture.
#Ben Davies vs Hwang Hee-chan
Ben Davies was not involved against Chelsea due to a knock to his ankle, but there is a strong chance that he will be available for selection this weekend. This should see him replace Destiny Udogie at left-back after the Italian picked up two yellow cards in Spurs’ 4-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Due to Udogie’s emergence at left-back, Davies has not played much this season. The Welshman will hope to deputise well in Udogie’s absence on Saturday but is expected to face a tricky test from Wolves forward Hwang Hee-chan.
Hee-chan is Wolves’ top scorer with six goals and will be the hosts’ biggest threat going forward. With his pace, movement and trickery, the South Korean will look to cause all kinds of problems for Davies. He will be keen to overload that flank in conjunction with Nelson Semedo. In that case, whoever starts on the left wing for Spurs will need to put in a defensive shift and track back diligently to help Davies.
#Son Heung-min vs Max Kilman
Son Heung-min has played in a central position following Harry Kane’s departure and mightily excelled this season, netting eight times in 11 games. The 31-year-old’s movement, burst of speed and intelligence has made him perfect for the No.9 role, with the Spurs skipper also linking well with the likes of James Maddison, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison.
Son is in top form and could be a real handful for the Wolves defence. Max Kilman should relish the challenge of keeping Son quiet at Molineux. The Englishman is good with the ball at his feet as well as physically strong which helps him win aerial duels. However, any lapse of concentration from him could end up being punished by the Spurs skipper.
With Spurs’ unbeaten start coming to an end at the hands of Chelsea, Son will be raring to put things right and lead by an example against Wolves. So, Kilman and co. will have to be at the top of their game against the South Korean centre-forward to get a positive result at the weekend.
#Yves Bissouma vs Mario Lemina
Yves Bissouma has been a player reborn under Ange Postecoglou, and having him at the base of the midfield has helped Tottenham build out from the back almost smoothly this term. He has formed a strong partnership with Pape Sarr in the middle of the park, and the African duo’s presence has allowed James Maddison to flourish in the No.10 role.
In the gold and black corner stands Mario Lemina, whose qualities will greatly trouble Spurs’ engine-room resistance. He drives his team up the pitch and is always watching for chances to split the defensive line. The Gabonese also shields the ball extremely well and covers plenty of ground to force opposition mistakes—an unsettling thought given Bissouma’s tendency to invite pressure.
This midfield battle between two strong African players will be an interesting watch and the one coming out on top should have a big say in deciding the outcome of this game.
Aiming to immediately bounce back from a frustrating Champions League evening, Newcastle United entertain Manchester…
Manchester United travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United in the Premier League…