Wolves’ Portuguese stars set for debuts against Everton

Wolves’ Portuguese stars set for debuts against Everton

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Everton’s summer signing Richarlison scored five times in 41 games for Watford last season

TEAM NEWS

Wolves could hand debuts to World Cup players Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez.

Jonny may also feature, but new signings Adama Traore and Leander Dendoncker are unlikely to be involved as neither has trained fully this week.

Everton pair Richarlison and Lucas Digne are set to play their first competitive game for the Toffees.

But manager Marco Silva will not consider deadline-day acquisitions Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes or Bernard.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

@alistairmann01: While for almost every promoted team consolidation is the aim, Wolves’ ambitions appear a great deal loftier – and with justification.

It became apparent very quickly last season that they were a Premier League team in waiting, whose burgeoning confidence in possession was destined for a higher status.

They have since recruited more players with genuine international pedigree, and anything lower than a top-10 finish would be a surprise.

Everton are similarly buoyed by their summer recruitment, including the manager they craved – their first goal will be to harness the optimism which their astonishing deadline-day activity has created.

With the calibre of player on show, this should be a truly fascinating opening weekend duel.

VIEW FROM THE DUGOUT

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo: “We cannot control expectations outside, it doesn’t affect us.

“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.”

Everton manager Marco Silva: “The market is difficult and the World Cup year is not easy.

“It’s not easy to bring players to Everton either because they ask for lots of money in some moments.

“But I am happy as a coach. We have finalised the market and we are happy with the players here and the players we’ve brought in.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Wolves have got some very talented Portuguese players and they are a team that I can see scoring lots of goals and having a decent season.

I think Everton will have a less turbulent season than last time but it might take Marco Silva a while to work out what his best team is. That’s why I am going for Wolves to win this one.

Prediction: 2-1

Adama Traore dribbled past an opponent on 267 occasions in the Championship last season – 132 more times than any other player

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Wolves are winless in the last six league meetings, losing four, since a 2-1 victory at Molineux in May 2004.
  • Wolves have scored in just two of their last eight home league games against Everton.
  • The two sides previously met on the opening weekend in the 1957-58 season, when Wolves went on to win the second of their three top-flight titles.

Wolves

  • Wolves ended their most recent Premier League season, in 2011-12, with a winless run of 14 games (D4, L10).
  • Their last top-flight victory came at QPR on 4 February 2012, when Matt Jarvis and Kevin Doyle scored in a 2-1 win.
  • They lost just two games at Molineux last season, the most recent of which was a 2-0 defeat by Cardiff in January.
  • The last four winners of the Championship have avoided relegation from the Premier League the following season.
  • Wolves could break the record for most Portuguese players in a Premier League starting line-up (three), set by Chelsea.
  • Nuno Espirito Santo and Marco Silva met four times as head coaches during their time in charge of Portuguese sides Rio Ave and Estoril respectively, with each game won by the away team.

Everton

  • The Toffees have not lost their opening Premier League fixture since 2011, when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to QPR at Goodison Park.
  • Since then they have drawn four of six games on the opening weekend, winning the other two.
  • The Merseysiders have won their last five Premier League games against newly-promoted sides without conceding a goal.
  • Marco Silva is the first manager to take charge of three different clubs in his first three Premier League seasons (when those seasons have run consecutively).
  • Richarlison registered five goals and four assists in his first 13 Premier League appearances for Watford, but contributed just one assist and no goals in his subsequent 25 games.

Soccer News

via BBC Sport – Football https://ift.tt/OHg7x6

August 10, 2018 at 03:42PM

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