watch our Preview for Wolves v Bournemouth
Wolves winger Pedro Neto, who was on the bench for last week’s win at Southampton, scored for the under-21 side on Monday in his first game since an ankle injury in October. Mario Lemina is serving a ban after being sent off against Saints. It is unknown whether Daniel Podence has recovered from his groin issue.
Bournemouth’s Marcus Tavernier and Ryan Fredericks will be pushing for starts after returning as substitutes in the draw with Newcastle. Marcos Senesi could be fit despite going off with a back issue last week.
Lopetegui says Daniel Podence is closer to full fitness but he is not sure whether he’ll be involved. He also confirmed there are no other injury concerns apart from those with long-term issues.
When asked about the dangers of complacency following his strong start as manager Lopetegui said: “We don’t have space for complacency, we haven’t done anything yet. We have in front of us the need for a lot of points. We hope our fans, as always, will be close with us and we’re going to feel their support because we need it.”
On opponents Bournemouth: “In their last game against Newcastle they had the possibility to win and in my opinion they deserved (to win). It’s a team that is very aware of it’s strengths and they showed these strengths having a fantastic counter-attack and after that it’s a very tactically ordered team. Without the ball they are a very compact, narrow team and with the ball they have high quality players.”
When asked about the chance of becoming the first club to be bottom at Christmas and finish in the top half Lopetegui said: “I am not interested in the history, in the statistics. This is not football. This is the past, it’s very easy to talk about the past or to imagine the future but football is about the present.”
On his more experienced heads helping the younger players: “It’s always a good thing that the older players show the way to the rest of the players because they have the experience of different situations. We are happy for this kind of environment inside the dressing room. It’s a good mix for sure
- Wolves are unbeaten against Bournemouth in the Premier League (W3, D2).
- The Cherries have lost both of their top-flight visits to Molineux without scoring.
- Bournemouth’s most recent away win at Wolves came in the Championship in 2014, when the home side were reduced to nine men.
- Wolves are vying to equal a club record of three Premier League victories in a row.
- They could also win three successive top-flight games at Molineux without conceding for the first time since a run of five between October and December 1969.
- Julen Lopetegui’s side have won three of their last four top-flight fixtures – only Manchester City have been in better form during that period.
- Wolves have scored just seven second-half goals in this season’s Premier League, fewer than any other team.
- Diego Costa could make his 100th Premier League appearance. He has had eight shots on target without scoring this season, the highest total in the top flight.
- Bournemouth are winless in their last seven Premier League matches, losing five times and scoring just twice.
- Their tally of two points and two goals since the Premier League resumed after the World Cup is the lowest of any team.
- They have failed to score in a league-high 12 games this season.
- The Cherries have the worst away record in the division, winning just once in 11 attempts and conceding seven goals more than any other team.
- They’ve lost six successive away league fixtures, failing to score in each of the last four.
- Gary O’Neil’s team are the only side yet to keep a clean sheet away from home in this season’s Premier League.
Referee: Michael Salisbury (pictured). Assistants: Marc Perry, Steve Meredith. Fourth official: Tim Robinson. VAR: Tony Harrington. Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt.
The match will take place on Saturday 18th February at Molineux at 3pm. The match is not televised in the UK.