Wolverhampton Wanderers head into this afternoon’s Premier League meeting with Everton in rather desperate need of three points, with Julen Lopetegui‘s side currently occupying 20th place in the top-flight standings.
However, with the Toffees also struggling in the league this season – currently sitting just four points above Wolves in 17th place – Lopetegui will be well aware that Monday’s fixture provides him and his side with the perfect opportunity to pick up a win in what will be the Spaniard’s first top-flight game in charge of the Old Gold.
So, after a confidence-boosting 2-0 Carabao Cup victory over Gillingham last week, how many changes will Lopetegui make to his starting XI at Goodison Park this evening?
Here’s how we at Football FanCast think Wolves could line up against Everton, as well as the latest team and injury news…
Predicted Wolves XI: Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Nunes, Neves, Moutinho; Guedes, Ait Nouri, Jimenez.
With both Boubacar Traore and Jonny Otto both remaining injury doubts for the trip to Everton this afternoon, in addition to all three of Pedro Neto, Chiquinho and Sasa Kalajdzic being long-term absentees, we predict that Lopetegui will make three changes to the side that lined up against the Gills last time out.
The back five remains unchanged, with Jose Sa starting between the sticks, while Nelson Semedo, Nathan Collins, Max Kilman and Hugo Bueno make up the Spaniard’s defence.
In the midfield three, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves also retain their starting berths from last week’s cup clash, while 20-year-old Joe Hodge makes way for the return of summer signing Matheus Nunes – who Portuguese coach Ruben Franco dubbed “something special” – in the middle of the park.
The final two changes come in the front three, with the £50k-per-week Diego Costa dropping out for Raul Jimenez – whose 77th-minute penalty gave Wolves the lead against Gillingham – and Rayan Ait Nouri – whose 91st-minute strike sealed the win at Molineux last week – coming in for Daniel Podence on the left flank, while Goncalo Guedes once again starts on the right.