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Premier League - Football: Wolverhampton Wanderers season preview

22 August 2022 09:51:33 EST
Bruno Lage is set for his second season in charge of Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers secured a top-half finish in the Premier League last season and a repeat performance will be the minimum requirement this term.

Bruno Lage's first campaign in charge at Molineux was largely positive as Wolves spent much of the season challenging for a European place, although a late-season dip in form saw those hopes fade dramatically.

Supporters will be hoping there's not a hangover from that disappointing end to the season, as Wolves prepare for their fifth-successive top-flight campaign.

What

England Premier League 2022/23

Where

England

When5th August 2022 - 28th May 2023
How to watch

Selected matches broadcast on Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime

OddsManchester City 1.20, Liverpool 13.00, Tottenham 34.00, Chelsea 34.00, Manchester United 101.00

Where did Wolverhampton Wanderers finish last season?

10th

What are Wolverhampton Wanderers' hopes for the season?

Wolves have secured top-half finishes in three of their four seasons back in the Premier League and they can be backed at 5.50 to repeat that trick during 2022/23.

However, there will be one or two concerns around Molineux given how they finished last season, as they failed to win any of their final seven games, picking up just two points and scoring a paltry five goals.

Finding the back of the net is not a new problem for Wolves, as they have averaged less than a goal-a-game across the last two seasons, with only relegated trio Burnley, Watford and Norwich City scoring fewer top-flight goals than Lage's men last term.

Solving that issue will be key if Wolves are to mount a challenge for Europe or even match last season's achievements this term, although their cause has not been helped by the news that forward Raul Jimenez will miss at least the first month of the campaign due to a knee injury.

With fellow forward Fabio Silva having been sent out on loan to Anderlecht for the season and as yet no new striker having joined, there could be familiar issues for Wolves supporters to endure this term.

Lage's men are 51.00 to finish in the top six, but perhaps more realistically, they are 1.14 to end the season in the bottom half.

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Who are Wolverhampton Wanderers' opening opponents?

Wolves will travel to Elland Road on the opening weekend of the season to take on a Leeds United side who finished seven places and 13 points below them in the standings last term.

Despite finishing considerably above Jesse Marsch's team in the final table, Wolves only took one point from their two matches, following up a 1-1 draw in West Yorkshire with a 3-2 defeat at Molineux.

Prior to that, Wolves had won five on the spin against Leeds and they are priced at 3.00 to open the campaign with a victory, while the Whites are 2.37 and the draw is 3.30.

When are Wolverhampton Wanderers' key fixtures?

Wolves' first home match of the new season will be against newly-promoted Fulham on 13th August, while they will also host Newcastle United and visit Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth over the opening month of the campaign.

Lage's men will host Arsenal on 12th November - their final fixture before the Premier League pauses for the World Cup in Qatar - while their first match back will be a Boxing Day trip to Everton.

The club's first outing of 2023 will be a visit to Midlands rivals Aston Villa on 2nd January, while they will round off the season with a home clash against Everton and a trip to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal.

Who is Wolverhampton Wanderers' manager?

Lage has been in charge of Wolves since the summer of 2021, but he was no stranger to British football, as prior to his arrival at Molineux he worked as Carlos Carvalhal's assistant at both Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday.

The 46-year-old also enjoyed success in his own right as a manager prior to joining Wolves, as he led Benfica to the Primeira Liga title in 2019 and he was also named best coach for that division in the same year.

During his time as Wolves manager, Lage has won 17 of his 42 matches at the helm, suffering 18 defeats, while seven of his games have ended all square.

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Which players have Wolverhampton Wanderers signed?

Hwang Hee-chan (RB Leipzig)
Nathan Collins (Burnley)
Goncalo Guedes (Valencia)

Which players have left Wolverhampton Wanderers?

Conor Carty (Released)
Pascal Estrada (Released)
Marcal (Released)
Raphael Nya (Released)
Jamie Pardington (Released)
John Ruddy (Released)
Romain Saiss (Released)
Faisu Sangare (Released)
Ki-Jana Hoever (PSV, Loan)
Ryan Giles (Middlesbrough, Loan)
Bendeguz Bolla (Grasshoppers, Loan)
Louie Moulden (Solihull, Loan)
Dion Sanderson (Birmingham, Loan)
Meritan Shabani (Grasshoppers)
Renat Dadashov (Grasshoppers)
Taylor Perry (Cheltenham, Loan)
Fabio Silva (Anderlecht, Loan)
Theo Corbeanu (Blackpool, Loan)
Nigel Lonwijk (Plymouth, Loan)
Conor Coady (Everton, Loan)

Who are Wolverhampton Wanderers' key players?

Star playerRuben Neves
Potential top scorerRaul Jimenez
Set-piece kingJoao Moutinho
Exciting youngsterPedro Neto

While Wolves may lack strength in depth in the final third, they do have a plethora of quality in midfield, with the experienced Joao Moutinho having signed on for another season, while Ruben Neves looks set to stay despite consistent reports linking him with a move to Manchester United.

Wolves also look strong at the back, with a defence martialled by reliable captain Conor Coady, while goalkeeper Jose Sa proved a revelation between the sticks following his move from Olympiacos last summer.

In the final third, Jimenez remains Wolves' main goalscoring threat despite his current injury woes, with the Mexican priced at 751.00 to end the season as the leading marksman in the Premier League.

Wolves may not currently have a direct replacement to fill in for Jimenez, but they do have options in the wide areas, with Daniel Podence, Hwang Hee-chan and Pedro Neto all expected to play key roles.

Portugal international Neto could be one especially to keep an eye on. He missed the majority of last season with a serious knee injury, but he is now back to full fitness.

Which Wolverhampton Wanderers' players will be going to the World Cup?

Wolves have plenty of players that could feature at the World Cup later this year, including skipper Coady, who will hope to be part of Gareth Southgate's England squad.

As many as five players could feature for Portugal in Qatar, with Moutinho and Neves almost certain to be included, while Nelson Semedo, Sa and the fit-again Neto are also in with a chance.

Jimenez is expected to play a key role for Mexico at the finals, while Hwang should be included in the South Korea squad and Leander Dendoncker will hope to be part of Belgium's plans.

Adama Traore, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Barcelona but is now back at Molineux, could also force his way into the reckoning with Spain, having previously featured for Luis Enrique's side at Euro 2020.

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