Match Previews

Wolves team news: Mitoma could be out for the season

Our preview of Wednesday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Molineux.

By Bruce Talbot • 27 February 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Kaoru Mitoma is likely to miss the rest of the season with a back injury.

Albion go looking for a place in the quarter-finals of the Emirates FA Cup for the second year in a row when they head to Molineux on Wednesday to face Wolves, kick off 7.45pm.

The tie will be settled on the night with extra time and penalties if necessary. The draw for the quarter-finals will take place at 7pm. Wolves / Albion are number six in the draw. 

Team news

At his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, head coach Roberto De Zerbi said that Kaoru Mitoma's back injury will probably keep him out for the rest of the season. Evan Ferguson (ankle) will not be involved at Molineux, and Danny Welbeck and Joel Veltman will have fitness checks. Joao Pedro is still out and De Zerbi hopes he will be back in 2-3 weeks. 

On Mitoma, De Zerbi said, "It's the back injury which kept him out against Everton. It's an important problem. I think two or three months, [so] finished [for] the season."

Billy Gilmour starts a three-match ban following his red card in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Everton.

Our last meeting at Molineux


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PL Highlights: Wolves 1 Albion 4

Player to watch

By Paul Hazlewood
Pedro Neto returned to Wolves' starting line-up after injury in the 0-0 draw at the Amex last month.

Pedro Neto's form is powering Wolves' rise up the table this season. The 23-year-old Portuguese wide forward returned to the starting line-up after eight weeks out with a hamstring injury in the 0-0 draw against Albion last month and since then Wolves have claimed the scalps of Chelsea and Spurs away from home while Sunday's 1-0 victory over Sheffield United lifted them up to ninth in the table. Signed from Lazio in 2019, Neto has contributed 11 goals and 19 assists in 108 Premier League games.  

Stats and facts

This is just the second FA Cup meeting between Wolves and Brighton, with Wolves winning a third round tie 3-2 in 1978-79 previously. Albion, then a second division side, led through Mark Lawrenson’s early goal and dominated the first half only to concede an equaliser to Norman Bell in stoppage time.

Steve Daley put Wolves ahead after the break and an own goal by Gary Williams seemed to have settled the tie but an own goal by Derek Parkin left Wolves, then a top-flight side, hanging on.

Brighton have won their last three away games against Wolves in all competitions, having won just one of their previous 11 visits to Molineux before this (D7 L3).

Wolves are looking to reach the FA Cup quarter-final for the third time this century, previously doing so in 2002-03 and 2018-19.

Since promotion to the Premier League in 2017, Brighton are looking to reach the FA Cup quarter-final for the fourth time (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2022-23). They’d only done so twice in their history before this (1982-83 and 1985-86).

Matheus Cunha scored in Wolves’ third round replay win against Brentford, and in the fourth round against West Brom. The last player to score in the first three available rounds to Wolves in a single FA Cup campaign was George Ndah in 2002-03.

Albion’s João Pedro has scored six goals in his last three FA Cup games. He’s the joint-top scorer in this season’s competition with five (first round onwards), netting a hat-trick in the last round against Sheffield United, although injury means he won’t be able to add to his tally tomorrow.

Match officials

Referee: Andrew Madley

Assistants: Nick Hopton & Nick Greenhalgh

Fourth Official: Sam Barrott

Video Assistant Referee: John Brooks