The Premier League returns to action this weekend following a two-week interval for international duty.
Such a pause in the season would have potentially come at the worst time for Nuno Santo and his side as they looked to have finally turned a corner during their domestic campaign.
Wolves made it three straight victories in all competitions with the surprise scalp of Manchester City after Adama Traore’s late brace secured all three points at the Etihad Stadium.
Now that the top-flight is back, Southampton are in town, looking to spin their own fortunes around after being thrashed 4-1 by Chelsea last time out – it’s happened to everyone this season, right?
There’s at least one positive to be found in the team having some time off as it has allowed players to return to full fitness ahead of a hectic festive period.
But will the Portuguese boss make any significant changes?
Diogo Jota has been the main absentee over the past month or so, and his fitness will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s game. Therefore, it seems wise that Patrick Cutrone keeps his starting place next to Raul Jimenez.
Romain Saiss is likely to be the only certainty to be missing through injury after he pulled out of Morrocco’s international fixtures, meaning Nuno will have to make a change in defence – he is sure to favour Ryan Bennett over Jesus Vallejo given the Spaniard has only started one Premier League game this term.
The 45-year-old may also reintroduce Jonny at left wing-back after Ruben Vinagre was drafted in to feature against City.
His fellow countryman’s only two appearances this season have come against perceived ‘better’ opposition with last season’s eighth-ranked side Everton the other game he’s featured in, but it remains to be seen if such a trend is indeed true.
Leander Dendoncker should be fit enough to play according to reports after missing Belgium’s Euro 2020 qualifiers through illness.
The remainder of the side is expected to remain the same as beating the reigning champions is no easy feat – Traore should be well above Matt Doherty in the pecking order now, even with the Irishman claiming he’s still not feeling 100%.