Wolverhampton-Brighton & Hove Albion Preview

·3 min read

Nuno Espirito Santo is not looking to make any assessments of the 2020-21 season so far, as hi Wolves team prepare for a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion.

Wolves slipped to a last-gasp 1-0 defeat to Manchester United last time out, having previously pegged back Tottenham late on.

A run of just one win in six games has left Wolves in 12th, though the congested nature of the table means they remain within touching distance of the European places.

With talisman Raul Jimenez injured, Nuno may well delve into the transfer market in January, but he insisted it was too early to make any judgments on the campaign.

"We have to sit down, plan (for the window), I think there's a good chance to rebalance our squad. We will see, we're ready to make decisions on this." Nuno said. "We should not make assessments on these kind of situations. It's a new season for everybody, a new challenge, we react to this as we go by.

"We are trying new solutions. It's a day by day process. When you assess something that is so unpredictable and changes week after week, the perception is totally different."

Wolves face a Brighton side without a win in seven games, with Graham Potter's side having failed to take the points despite dominating West Ham, before they went down to Arsenal on Tuesday, and they start 2021 in 17th.

"If you don't win football matches it's harder to convince people that you're on the right path, I can understand that," Potter told the club's official website. "We have got ambition, We have gone into every game this season believing that we can win, but we haven't. At the same time if you're not lucky, you can find yourself in our situation."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brighton and Hove Albion – Yves Bissouma

Bissouma has turned in a string of impressive displays in the heart of midfield this season, and registered a team-high 32 passes in the opposition half in Brighton's defeat to Arsenal.

Wolves – Ruben Neves

Neves is more renowned for his long-range passing and superb vision than his tackling yet, in 2020, he won possession more often than any other player in the Premier League, while the midfielder also made the most tackles (72) of any player for Wolves.

KEY OPTA FACTS

• In their top-flight history, Brighton have played more games against Wolves without ever losing than they have any other opponents (10 – W7 D3). The Seagulls have kept eight clean sheets in these 10 matches, shipping just three goals in total.

• In the top-flight, Wolves have failed to win their first league game of a calendar year in their last eight attempts (D1 L7) since a 3-0 win against Middlesbrough in 1981. Wolves have conceded exactly two goals in each of these eight matches.

• Wolves have now conceded in each of their last nine games in the Premier League; their joint-longest run without a clean sheet in the competition under Nuno (also nine games between December 2019 and January 2020). Wolves last went 10 in a row without a clean sheet in the top-flight in April 2012 (a run of 30).

• Wolves have won just one of their six Premier League games since the injury to Raul Jimenez (W1 D1 L4), scoring just four goals with an average Expected Goals total of 0.81 per match. Prior to this, Wolves had won five of their 10 Premier League games this season with Jimenez playing (1.02 xG per game).

• Neal Maupay has scored 15 Premier League goals, nine more than any other Brighton player. However, nine of Maupay's 15 goals have come away from home (60 per cent) and only two of his last nine strikes have arrived at the Amex stadium.