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Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups
22/09/2021 11:32:15

Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur will both endeavour to recover from demoralising Premier League defeats in Wednesday's EFL Cup third-round encounter at Molineux.

Bruno Lage's side went down 2-0 to Brentford at the weekend, while Spurs were sunk 3-0 by London rivals Chelsea in front of their own fans.

We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Wolves to win on penalties)

Neither Spurs nor Wolves enter this encounter in inspired form, although the visitors can take confidence from their strong record at Molineux and the hosts' goalscoring woes in front of their own fans.

However, we simply cannot separate the two sides on this occasion and expect the tie to be decided from 12 yards, where Wolves could give their fans something to cheer as they knock their former manager out of the tournament.

Match preview

Brentford talisman Ivan Toney has taken a bit of time to adapt to the rigours of the top flight, but the striker was at his scintillating best in gameweek five as Wolves felt the full force of the Bees' sting in a 2-0 defeat.

Toney opened the scoring from the penalty spot and could have easily taken the match ball home with him had it not been for VAR, and the 25-year-old then proceeded to lay the ball on a plate for Bryan Mbeumo to kill the game off before the half-time whistle blew.

The jubilation of claiming their first Premier League win of the season against Watford has since died down for Wolves, who have lost four of their opening five top-flight encounters under Lage to occupy 16th spot in the fledgling standings.

However, the Molineux outfit hit four unanswered goals past Nottingham Forest in the second round of the EFL Cup to set up a clash with Tottenham, but they have failed to make it past the fourth round of the competition since the 2011-12 season.

Lage has highlighted the importance of fans returning to Molineux this term, but the new Wolves coach is yet to see his side score on home soil during his reign, while they also suffered a dampening exit to Stoke City at home in the EFL Cup last season.

The Nuno Espirito Santo revolution at Tottenham has suffered some momentum-killing blows in recent weeks, with the Lilywhites travelling to Molineux on the back of a draw and two defeats from their last three games domestically and continentally.

Spurs were always expected to struggle against Thomas Tuchel's free-flowing Chelsea, and the Blues taught their London rivals a footballing lesson on Sunday afternoon as Thiago Silva, N'Golo Kante - helped by a huge deflection - and Antonio Rudiger all made the net ripple.

Tottenham's humbling on their own turf succeeded a 2-2 Europa Conference League draw with Rennes and previous 3-0 Premier League defeat to Crystal Palace - not the sort of form that Santo would desire before this weekend's North London derby with an Arsenal side starting to find their stride.

Ryan Mason famously led Tottenham out for last year's EFL Cup final before perennial winners Manchester City shattered their dreams of silverware, but Spurs had failed to make it past the fourth round in four of the five previous editions before that.

Dele Alli's penalty handed Spurs all three points during their Premier League outing at Molineux a month ago, and that 1-0 victory stretched Tottenham's unbeaten run at Molineux to six games since a 1-0 loss in the 2009-10 Premier League campaign.

Team News

Wolverhampton continue to make do without long-term injured duo Pedro Neto and Jonny Otto, while teenage full-back Hugo Bueno is nursing a hamstring strain.

Despite the calibre of opposition, Lage is still expected to shuffle the pack in midweek, with Yerson Mosquera and Willy Boly both vying for minutes in the heart of defence.

RB Leipzig loanee Hwang Hee-chan has found it difficult to displace Adama Traore and Francisco Trincao out wide so far, but the South Korea international can feel optimistic about his chances of earning a start here.

As for Tottenham, Japhet Tanganga returns from suspension following his sending off against Palace, and the defender should slot straight back into the rearguard - potentially in place of Emerson Royal at right-back.

Spurs' South American contingent all earned minutes against Chelsea following their quarantine in Croatia, but Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn are carrying ankle knocks and are unlikely to make the cut.

Further changes for the visitors should see Bryan Gil and Oliver Skipp return to a more youthful side, while Pierluigi Gollini ought to be handed the gloves as Hugo Lloris is rested.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup:

Ruddy; Mosquera, Coady, Boly; Hoever, Neves, Dendoncker, Ait-Nouri; Traore, Silva, Hwang

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:

Gollini; Tanganga, Sanchez, Rodon, Davies; Winks, Skipp, Ndombele; Gil, Kane, Son

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