Wolves Southampton Premier League Tactical Analysis

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Coming into this match still on a high from their thrilling 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, Wolves were the pundits’ favourites to pick up all three points. Despite an energetic start, the pack struggled creatively and for a while, things looked shaky. There was no need to panic though, as super-sub Ivan Cavaleiro made his Premier League debut and completely changed the game. The boys in gold and black went on to pick up all three points, beating Southampton by two goals to nil.

Creative Slump

As a team, Wolves started off superbly. They forced some impressive saves from Alex McCarthy early on and it looked like they were going to batter Southampton. However, as the minutes went on the team became far less convincing.

Overall, Wolves had less possession, fewer shots, and were dispossessed twice as many times as their opponents. You could tell tensions were high as they picked up three yellow cards and Rui Patricio was forced to make a total of six saves to keep the boys in the game.

Wolves Southampton Premier League Tactical Analysis

Luckily, with a change in direction things picked up. Adama Traoré helped steer things away from disaster with his incredible pace, but it was Ivan Cavaleiro who really turned things around.

The Cav is Back

Before Cav’s game-changing debut, Wolves were looking on edge. Coming on for a worn out Diogo Jota, Cavaleiro made a huge impact. Not only did he score after being on the pitch just two minutes but it was also his first touch of the game, making it just that bit more impressive.

Having been out of the running due to injury, he made sure his Premier League debut was not one to forget. His passing was impeccable, averaging out at 81% accuracy, and he made the whole team come to life. Before his introduction, Matt Doherty looked fairly laid back but with Cav on the pitch the two linked up well, and the passing and chances got much more creative. Doherty even got an assist for the second goal.

Considering he was only on the pitch for 13 minutes, Cav managed to do more than Jota did in 77 minutes. Jota had zero shots on goal, only one successful dribble attempt and his passing accuracy was only 76%, which is really quite poor. While he has been improving, I feel we’re still yet to see Jota reaching the same level he was at in the Championship. On another note, I’m really looking forward to seeing more of Cavaleiro in the Premier League, and what he has to offer.


Not as impressive as Wolves have been so far this season, however, some good managerial decisions ensured a comfortable win and a clean sheet. Looking forward to their next match away to Crystal Palace, hopefully, we’ll see them back to full strength and another run out for stand-out player Ivan Cavaleiro.