Wolverhampton Wanderers will be hoping to kick off their return to the Premier League with winning start when they host Everton at Molineux Stadium on Saturday.
Wolves were runaway winners of the Championship last season, amassing a very impressive 99 points on the way. Traditionally, teams who’ve achieved 100 points or more in their promoted season have faired very well in the Premier League subsequently.
While the home side did not hit three figures last term, they came very close and have strengthened significantly in the off-season, with the new signings Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez, Leander Dendoncker and Jonny Castro all expected to play some part this weekend, while record signing Adama Traore will, unfortunately, miss out with a shoulder injury.
One element that Wolves will need to be concerned about is the upheaval that many new arrivals can bring, especially in light of how well the squad played last year.
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo is happy with his club’s dealings though and is full of confidence ahead of their Premier League opener.
“We cannot control expectations outside, it doesn’t affect us,” he said. “We are comfortable and confident with the way we are starting the game. We are ready.
“There is no aim or target position. We are highly motivated to play in the Premier League.”
However, Everton themselves were very active in the transfer window and are expected to hand debuts to Richarlison and Lucas Digne so could suffer from a lack of cohesion themselves.
Manager Marco Silva is obviously aware of that particular danger and is leaving all of Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Bernard out of his lineup.
On whether his new signings would play, he told a press conference: “The last ones, no.
“Like you expect more or less, it isn’t easy to sign and them to play in the squad.
“We need to respect our players. We need to give them time to come in and prove their value.”