Wolves vs Brighton preview: Hosts looking to add to Seagulls relegation fears
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Last Updated: 20/04/19 8:08am
Wolves host relegation-threatened Brighton on Saturday, hoping for a change in fortune.
Nuno's side have lost their last two games - crashing out of the FA Cup semi-finals to Watford before a disappointing Premier League defeat to Southampton.
Manager Nuno Espirito Santo said: "All the games are the most important ones because it's the one that we play.
"I have sympathy to all the managers because we share the same job. We are going to face a difficult team, we want to perform well. We are ready.
"It's about us. We are back at Molineux and the most important thing is we perform well. The main thing we want to achieve is a good performance. Our fans are exceptional. They give amazing support to the team.
"We are a team that always want to compete in the best way possible. It's game by game then we think about the next game and the next one. The target is always to improve and grow as a team."
Chris Hughton insists it is business as usual at Brighton despite the club's precarious Premier League position.
Brighton's midweek loss to relegation rivals Cardiff - their fifth straight defeat in all competitions - left them anxiously looking over their shoulder with five games left to play.
The Seagulls hold a two-point advantage over Cardiff and do have a game in hand on the 18th-placed Bluebirds, but their daunting run-in includes fixtures against Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.
Hughton said it is imperative that Brighton shut out any external noises during the final month of the season.
"You can't afford to let it concern you," he said. "As regards any criticism it's normal and it's understandable.
"What we have to accept is if there is going to be good things said about a team or individuals then at times when things haven't gone so well you have to accept that's how it is.
"What you have to think about is making sure you improve in the next game, put it to one side, be big and brave enough to get results."
Wolves have a fully-fit squad as they look to get their quest to secure Europa League football next season back on track at Molineux.
Espirito Santo may opt to recall Ryan Bennett in defence in place of Romain Saiss following the 3-1 defeat to Southampton but the rest of the team is likely to remain unchanged.
Relegation-threatened Brighton have a clean bill of health.
Midfielder Pascal Gross emerged unscathed from the 2-0 midweek home defeat to Cardiff after seven weeks out with hamstring trouble.
Solly March has also overcome a calf problem and the only absentee is fellow winger Anthony Knockaert, who serves the second game of a three-match ban after being sent off against Bournemouth last weekend.
- Wolverhampton Wanderers have only recorded two wins in 14 games against Brighton at Molineux (W2 D5 L7), with a current winless run of four (D3 L1).
- Brighton have won each of their last three league fixtures against Wolves, keeping clean sheets in each encounter - they had won just three of their previous 17 meetings beforehand (W3 D10 L4).
- Each of the last five meetings between Wolves and Brighton have failed to see both teams score; Brighton winning three, drawing one and losing one.
- Wolves have lost two of their last three Premier League games, more than they had in their previous eight in the competition (W4 D3 L1). However, Wolves are unbeaten in their last five at Molineux (W4 D1).
- All five of Brighton's away wins in the Premier League have come against sides starting the day 13th or lower in the table. Against sides starting in the top half, the Seagulls have earned just two points from their 39 available (P13 W0 D2 L11).
- Brighton have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (D1 L6), and haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last 11 on the road.
- Wolves have a better points-per-game ratio against the current top six in the Premier League this season (1.3) than they do against the sides currently in the bottom six (1.1).
- Wolves' Raúl Jiménez has been directly involved in six goals in his last five Premier League games at Molineux (3 goals, 3 assists).
- Diogo Jota has had a hand in nine goals in his last seven home Premier League games for Wolves (6 goals, 3 assists). The Portuguese forward has only failed to score or assist a goal in one of those seven matches (1-1 draw with Newcastle in February).
- Brighton's Glenn Murray has scored 27% of Brighton's away league goals this season (4/15), with three of those four goals coming in his last four appearances on the road.
Confidence is a funny thing. This Brighton team is no different to the team that went on to beat Crystal Palace. It is all about confidence, which has completely and utterly gone.
When that goes it is a hard thing. I don't see anything other than a Wolves win, with them fighting for the top seven. They continue to impress everyone, and will have too much for a team that are really struggling.
PAUL PREDICTS: 3-0