WATCH OUR PREVIEW FOR WOLVES V ASTON VILLA
Wolves defender Nelson Semedo is a fitness doubt because of a knee problem that prompted his substitution during last week’s heavy defeat at Brighton. Chinquinho is back in training but remains sidelined, along with fellow long-term absentee Sasa Kalajdzic.
Right-back Matty Cash is likely to be available for Aston Villa after a seven-match absence because of a calf injury sustained on international duty. Philippe Coutinho and Leon Bailey could make comebacks from hamstring issues.
Here are the key lines from his news conference:
Nelson Semedo is back in team training after a”dangerous” knee problem, while Chiquinho has returned to training but is still “so far away”.
Lopetegui doesn’t see Wolves as safe and said: “We are involved in a very hard race to be out of the relegation.”
He didn’t want to dwell on the Brighton defeat and said: “We were not happy but sometimes it happens.”
He added: “The best way to show frustration is to work very hard.”
On Villa, he said: “It’s a match against a very good team. They have improved a lot from the first half of the season.”
MATCH FACTS & STATS
- Wolves are unbeaten in the past four Premier League meetings (W2, D2). Their most recent longer run without a league defeat against Villa spanned eight games between 1957 and 1961.
- Last weekend’s 6-0 thrashing by Brighton is Wolves’ heaviest league defeat since March 2007, when they were beaten by the same score against Southampton in the Championship.
- Nonetheless, Wolves are vying to win four successive top-flight home games for the first time since April 1975. They last did so without conceding a goal in December 1969 as part of five in a row.
- They have registered six victories in their eight Premier League home fixtures in 2023. Only Manchester City and Manchester United have fared better.
- Wolves have kept a clean sheet in all eight of their league wins at Molineux this season.
- Villa’s league runs of 10 games unbeaten and scoring in 20 successive matches under Unai Emery were ended by last Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester United.
- Emery has won just one of his six meetings with Wolves counterpart Julen Lopetegui, with each of the last three finishing 1-1.
- Aston Villa’s current head coach is winless in all four of his Premier League meetings with Wolves (D3, L1). He has never faced a side in the division more often without ever winning.
- Ollie Watkins, who has gone three appearances without a goal, needs to score once more to become the first Villa player to reach 15 in a top-flight season since Christian Benteke a decade ago.
Referee: Stuart Attwell. Assistants: Simon Long, James Mainwaring. Fourth official: Steve Martin. VAR: Tony Harrington. Assistant VAR: Steve Meredith.
We host Aston Villa at Molineux on Saturday 6th May at 3pm, the match will not be shown live on tv in the UK.