Wolves host Everton at Molineux on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. Nuno’s side will face a strong test in their first top-flight game for six years. Everton have a new head coach to begin the season in Marco Silva as he looks to push Everton into European football contention.
Wolves v Everton
New Faces at Wolves
The new faces at Wolves will be looking to secure Premier League survival first of all. But despite the media predicting a finish just outside the top ten, the player calibre of which Wolves have brought in will be looking to mount a challenge beyond the top ten and may even challenge for a Europa League spot. Nuno has chosen to take up the option of signing some of the players Wolves had on loan last season, as well as adding international experience to their ranks in Portuguese pair Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Mexican centre-forward Raul Jimenez on loan.
It will be touch and go to see if deadline day signing Leander Dendoncker will make his debut. Club record signing Adama Traore won’t be involved in the game as he’s recovering from a dislocated shoulder he picked up in pre-season playing for Middlesbrough against Sunderland.
Business as Usual
Nuno will be looking for no distractions heading into the opening weekend. With the transfer window closing before the season, Nuno has looked to get his business done early, securing his number one target. Nuno will be happy with the additions made to the squad and will hope it’s enough to mount a serious Premier League top-half challenge.
Everton Looking for Stability
Everton are coming into this season looking for stability under Marco Silva and, whilst ringing in the changes by bringing in the highly rated Richarlison from Watford for £40 million, as well as a Barcelona trio of left-back Lucas Digne for £20 million, centre-back Yerry Mina for £27.1 million and Andre Gomes on a season-long loan deal. Also joining on deadline day was the highly rated Brazilian playmaker Bernard, who signed on a free. They will be looking at the likes of Jordan Pickford who’s come off a wonderful World Cup with England and the experienced versatile midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson to help push on from last season and fight for a spot in Europe.
Wolves have had a mixed preseason, getting wins against good opposition like FC Basel and Villarreal and a draw against Ajax. They also drew against Stoke and lost to Derby. Nuno has gone for both youth and experience in the friendlies, introducing Morgan Gibbs-White and Cameron John to the first team. Gibbs-White has been on the fringes of the first team for some time but this could be the season he makes a real impression.
Everton have had a poor pre-season and fans will be hoping the new signings could improve their form. After a 22-0 walkover in their first game, they went on to draw against Bury and Lille before four loses on the bounce to FC Porto, Blackburn, Rennes and Valencia.
Wolves: Patricio; Doherty, Saiss, Coady, Boly, Jonny; Neves, Moutinho; Costa, Jimenez, Jota.
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Jagielka, Digne; Davies, Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson; Walcott, Tosun, Richarlison.
It’s going to be a tough game for both sides and could go either way.
Wolves 1-1 Everton