Wolves v Tottenham: Low-scoring contest likely in Nuno's Molineux return

Wolves v Tottenham: Low-scoring contest likely in Nuno’s Molineux return

Wolves beaten in Lage’s opening game

Wolves face former boss Nuno Espirito Santo this weekend, as he returns with Tottenham, with the hosts in transition under new manager Bruno Lage. It is all change at Molineux with Lage taking charge and he has a difficult task in replicating back-to-back seventh-placed finishes achieved under Santo. Wolves could not match this performance last season though and badly missed the injured striker Raul Jimenez during the second half of the campaign.

Lage’s first competitive game resulted in a 1-0 defeat at Leicester last weekend. Wolves had 17 efforts on goal although only three were on target. But the return to action of Jimenez was a major boost and he is likely to be a key figure this season. The Portuguese coach took confidence in his side’s performance despite their opening defeat to the Foxes.

Tottenham lifted by shock win over champions

Nuno is the new man in the hot seat at Tottenham and could not have asked for a better start after their opening win.

Spurs came into the season amid a wave of negativity but stunned champions Manchester City with Son Heung-min’s goal giving them a 1-0 home win on Sunday.

Tottenham displayed the trademark defensive solidity under Nuno’s Wolves and their pressing game frustrated Pep Guardiola’s side.

The endless saga over the future of Harry Kane continues to hang over the club though with the England captain missing both the Man City game and their 1-0 Europa Conference League qualifier defeat at Pacos de Ferreira, which featured wholesale changes, on Thursday night. Kane could be involved this weekend although there is still no guarantee he will be at the club when the transfer window shuts.

Tottenham are the favourites for this weekend’s showdown but the visitors are not an overly appealing proposition at 2.486/4. Spurs impressed last weekend against the champions but there is no guarantee of them reaching the same level again. Tottenham were dogged by inconsistency last season and Nuno’s task is to mould his team into a reliable unit.

Wolves are trading at 3.3512/5 which is the biggest price of the three options in this market. There are too many unknowns to be confident in this selection though with Lage taking charge of his first home game. Wolves have failed to beat Spurs in their last five contests at Molineux and the hosts still have much to prove.

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The draw is available at 3.259/4 and looks the most enticing option in a tricky betting heat. Last season’s fixture at Wolves finished in a 1-1 draw and another stalemate is entirely feasible. Nuno will want to ensure his return to Molineux does not end in defeat and is likely to set up his team to counter-attack so both sides cancelling each other out would be no surprise.

This could be a cagey contest and looks more likely to produce a low-scoring affair.

Nuno will be focused on ensuring his team keep another clean sheet after shutting out the champions while Wolves are far from prolific and Jimenez is working his way back to fitness after such a long layoff.

Only relegated Fulham and Sheffield United produced fewer games featuring over 2.5 goals last season in the Premier League than Wolves with Nuno’s old side managing this 42 percent of the time. Under 2.5 goals is just 1.728/11 but could be worth doubling up to boost the price.

Tottenham are unbeaten in their last five trips to Wolves and the visitors are fancied to extend this run. Backing Spurs or the draw in the double chance market and under 2.5 goals is 11/10 and looks an appealing option in a match where defences could be on top.

Follow Simon’s bets on Twitter @watfordtipster