Old Gold manager Bruno Lage will be hoping to get his team back on track after an anti-climactic end to their 2021/22 campaign, instead replicating their fantastic first half of last season which helped propel them to a comfortable 10th-placed finish.
Having only managed to squeeze out one new summer signing, the 46-year-old will likely be worried that his side will go into this game with only one recognised striker, having not mobilised to replace the injured Raul Jimenez.
Here’s the Wolves starting XI that we’re predicting for today’s encounter…
In goal, Jose Sa looks set to take his familiar place between the sticks for Wolves, a role which gains added significance due to John Ruddy’s summer exit and Matija Sarkic, currenly the only other ‘keeper at Molineux, suffering a thigh injury recently.
Lage will likely retain his tactical system from last season, but with reports linking Conor Coady with a move away from the club, it could see a younger pairing of summer signing Nathan Collins and Max Kilman preferred at the heart of the defence.
It will be exciting to see how the Irishman fares if he is given his competitive Wolves debut, having been hailed by Nathan Judah as a “fantastic” coup for the club.
These two will likely be flanked by Rayan Ait-Nouri and Jonny, with Nelson Semedo said to be ruled out for the foreseeable future.
A midfield trio of Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker is a staple for Lage, who looks to blend a steely resolve with classy finesse.
The attacking trio is harder to predict given the injuries at the club, but with Adama Traore another wantaway player, it will likely pave the way for Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence to flank Hwang Hee-chan, who now looks their most dependable source of goals in Jimenez’s absence.
The South Korean is set to be moved to a makeshift centre-forward role, having predominantly played as a left winger in 2021/22.
Predicted Wolves XI (4-3-3): Sa, Jonny, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Dendoncker, Podence, Hwang, Neto