MX23RW : Monday, September 30 06:25:18| >> :600:291801:291801:
Sep 28, 2019 at 3pm UK at ​Molineux
Attendance: 30,711
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Doherty (18'), Janmaat (61' og.)
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Watford - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League clash between the division's two remaining winless teams, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Watford.

The Premier League's two remaining winless teams go head to head on Saturday when Wolverhampton Wanderers welcome fellow strugglers Watford to Molineux.

The two sides occupy 19th and 20th respectively in the table and will no doubt view this weekend's match as a vital opportunity to finally chalk up that elusive first league victory of 2019-20.

Match preview

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo regards the action on September 19, 2019© Reuters

Much has been made of the impact Europa League football can have on a team - particularly those not in the 'big six' - and Wolves' current plight makes it increasingly difficult to argue against the adverse effect on domestic duties.

Whereas many saw Burnley's seventh-place finish in 2017-18 as a one-off before their subsequent struggles following European qualification the following season, Wolves were tipped to be among the teams challenging to break into that top six this term.

Six games into the league season, though, and Nuno Espirito Santo's men are still looking for a first win, already falling seven points behind the likes of Leicester City and West Ham United, who were also in the category of top-six hopefuls.

Wolves did at least experience a winning feeling again in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, although even then they needed penalties to overcome Championship Reading and the triumph was marred by two players being stretchered off.

It has been a winless September inside normal time, then, and things do not look like getting much easier in the immediate future with away trips to Besiktas and then Manchester City coming up next week.

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores cuts a desperate figure on September 21, 2019© Reuters

Wolves need only ask Saturday's opponents how dangerous Man City are, with the Hornets being on the wrong end of an 8-0 annihilation at the home of the champions last weekend.

The fact that the scoreline arguably flattered Watford more than it did Man City goes some way to indicating just how bad of a beating Quique Sanchez Flores's side took in what was only his second game back in charge of the club following Javi Gracia's sacking.

It was also a far cry from their rousing performance in his first game back at the helm when Watford battled back from two goals down to draw with Arsenal, picking up just their second point of the season.

Indeed, despite their lowly league position Watford have only lost one of their last five games across all competitions having bounced back by beating Swansea City 2-1 to set up an EFL Cup meeting with Everton and former boss Marco Silva in the fourth round.

Watford's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their first goal against Swansea City on September 24, 2019© Reuters

Flores can therefore justifiably console his players that the Man City mauling was a freak result, but it still leaves them with a goal difference of -14 - nine worse than any other team in the division - while no team in Premier League history has shipped more than the 18 goals they have conceded from the first six games.

Letting in an average of three goals per game is clearly not a sustainable habit if they are to stay in the top flight, nor is the fact that they are now 18 league games without a clean sheet, but arguably an even bigger concern comes at the other end of the field.

Watford have no problem creating chances - only three teams have managed more shots than their 91 so far this season - but they have scored a joint league-low four goals and therefore unsurprisingly have the lowest conversion rate in the division.

If they can begin to turn those chances into goals then the only way is up for the Hornets, and with Wolves having conceded five times in their most recent home league outing there could be hope that Saturday will be the day they finally click.

Something surely has to give in this basement battle, with Wolves taking only two points from a possible nine at Molineux and Watford winning just one of their last eight on the road and scoring only three goals in that time.

The match is also a repeat of last season's thrilling FA Cup semi-final at Wembley when Watford came from two goals down to beat Wolves, although that day will seem like a long time ago for both clubs right now.

Wolves form: WLLLDW

Watford form: LWDDLW

Team News

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Bruno Jordao is stretchered off after sustaining an injury on September 25, 2019© Reuters

Wolves were forced to see out the match against Reading in midweek with 10 men after both Bruno Jordao and substitute Meritan Shabani had been stretchered off with injuries.

Nuno made sweeping changes to his side for that match and will recall some first-team players this weekend, with the likes of Raul Jimenez, Joao Moutinho and Conor Coady among those to return.

Romain Saiss served his suspension for his red card against Crystal Palace in that EFL Cup tie and so is available again for this match and could start ahead of Jesus Vallejo and Ryan Bennett.

Watford, meanwhile, are still without captain and talisman Troy Deeney through injury after he underwent surgery on his knee at the end of last month, while Isaac Success remains sidelined with a groin strain.

Craig Cathcart could be fit to feature for the first time since the international break, though, while Danny Welbeck will be pushing for a start after opening his account for the club in midweek.

Gerard Deulofeu would dearly love a goal himself, having registered more shots (18) and more shots on target (8) without scoring than any other player in the league so far this season.

Wolves possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Traore, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny; Jimenez, Jota

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Femenia, Dawson, Cathcart, Holebas; Doucoure, Capoue; Hughes, Cleverley, Pereyra; Deulofeu

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We say: Wolves 2-2 Watford

Saturday's match will be Wolves's 15th of the season already, so going all the way to penalties in midweek would not have helped them. Nuno's side have been disappointing at home recently and Watford's plight is not quite as bad as their points tally and goal difference suggests. Once the Hornets find a clinical edge in front of goal they should start to pick up more points, and we can see them coming away with something from this match.

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Watford's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring their first goal against Swansea City on September 24, 2019
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