WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 25: Conor Coady of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at Molineux on September 25, 2018 in Wolverhampton, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)

3 Key Battles That Could Decide Wolves' Clash With Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday

Wolves host Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.


Nuno Espirito Santo's men have enjoyed a promising start to life back in the top flight of English football and have picked up plenty of scrapes so far - including an impressive draw away to Manchester United last weekend. 


As for Southampton, the Saints have to make sure they pick up a result in this one to ensure that they don't end up on a slippery slope towards the bottom end of the table.


Here's a look at three key battles which could decide the outcome of the match.

1. Ruben Neves vs. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Ruben Neves has been one of Wolves' standout performers so far this season and has made the jump up to the top flight look effortless.


He has been able to take games by the scruff of the neck from the centre of the park, combining his impressive range of passing with defensive acumen.


He'll be coming up against Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Southampton's key man who has received widespread praise for his man of the match performances against Crystal Palace and Brighton.


He already has two goals to his name from four appearances but, depending on how dominant Wolves are in this one, Hojbjerg may be forced to sit deeper than usual to minimise Neves' effectiveness.  

2. Raul Jimenez vs. Jannik Vestergaard

The main worry for Wolves would be that they wouldn't score enough goals this season as they didn't boast a striker who was proven at the highest level.


Raul Jimenez was brought in on loan this summer from Benfica to some scepticism - he only scored six goals last season. However, he has proved his doubters wrong so far and has already picked up two goals.


Jannik Vestergaard is another summer arrival who has settled in well, cementing his spot in the Southampton back line.


His sizeable frame means that he will be a physical match for Jimenez, so Wolves may need to find an alternative method of getting their Mexican striker involved in the game.

3. Conor Coady vs. Danny Ings

Wolves' club captain Conor Coady had a shaky start to the season, with the former Liverpool academy graduate coming under criticism for occasional lapses of concentration.


He seems to have found his feet and is now looking like an established top level defender and is demonstrating that he is the rightful leader of the team.


Another player who has had to leave Liverpool to find his feet is Danny Ings, who joined Southampton on loan in the summer.


Three goals in five appearances make him the Saints' top scorer and, after missing out last week as Southampton played his parent club, he will be raring to go on this one.