Newly promoted Wolves begin life in the top-flight with a difficult visit from Premier League veterans, Everton, who are beginning life under Marco Silva following a stodgy season under Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce.
Both sides have strengthened their squads in preparation for the season, but can Wolves adapt to life in the Premier League quickly and win their first match at Molineux?
Wolves to Win @ 13/10 – BET NOW
It’s unusual to find a newly promoted team to be the favourites going into their first Premier League game of the season against an established side, but Wolves are 13/10 to win in comparison to 12/5 for Everton to win.
Portuguese boss, Nuno Espirito Santo, transformed Wolves from middle table fodder into the dominant force in the Championship within one season and gained promotion at the first time of asking by winning the league ahead of Cardiff City.
Over the summer months, the former Porto and Valencia manager has been hard at work adding to his squad with Joao Moutinho, Adama Traoe, Rui Patricio, Jonny Casto and Raul Jimenez walking into an already impressive squad for a newly promoted side.
Pre-season wasn’t plain sailing for the midlands side with just three wins in nine games, but embedding new signings into the team is crucial if the club’s ambitions in the first season are to be reached. Many have tipped Wolves to potentially snatch a European spoit this year and the their first game against the Toffee will give people an idea of just how good this Wolves team is.
Everton to Win @ 12/5 – BET NOW
Everton start life under another new manager, former Hull and Watford gaffer Marco Silva. Massively underachieving last season, the new boss will hope to bring some stability and cohesion to a team that was unsure of what style of football they were meant to be playing.
Seen as the strongest side in the division outside the big six, Everton have added £40m signing Richarlison from Watford and £18m defender and French international, Lucas Digne to their ranks. With Yerry Mina also looking set to join Digne from Barcelona before the transfer window, Everton fans will hope their young team can reach their potential this time round.
Pre-season has been mixed for the Toffees who started on cloud 9 after a 22-0 (yes, you read that right!) win against Austrian side ATV Irdning, but they haven’t won a match since and lost four on the bounce to opponents of mixed ability – Porto, Blackburn, Rennes and Valencia.
Marco Silva will need to ensure any teething problems in his side are ironed out come Saturday evening as Wolves look strong enough to pounce on any complacency or lack of preparation in the Everton camp.
Both Teams To Score @ 19/20 – BET NOW
Everton might be the established side here, but defensive deficiencies are still a major problem with the Toffees conceding 10 goals in their last three matches. The signings of Digne and, potentially, Yerry Mina, will definitely shore up their back line, but question marks arise as to whether they have had enough time to embedded themselves in to the squad.
Wolves are happy to playing on the front foot with Diego Jota, Leo Bonatini and Ruben Neves creating a formidable attacking trident last season in the Championship which is why I expect them to grab a goal, but their defence worries me. Everton have the personnel upfront to cause the Wolves back line some issues – Wolves haven’t been tested at this level yet.
Cenk Tosun and Richarlison will be Everton’s biggest threat and the Turkish striker will cause Conor Coady, Matt Doherty and Danny Batth a few issues at the back. Both teams to score looks inevitable and odds on with the bookies with a best-price of 19/20.
Wolves to Win at Half Time @ 21/10 – BET NOW
Everton in their last three pre-season fixtures have conceded in all three first halves and like I mentioned above, Marco Silva has yet to address his defensive deficiencies. Molineux will be rocking on Saturday and the talent Wolves have in Neves and Jota will give the Everton midfield and defence a nightmare.
An early goal and heading into the break at 1-0 will do a lot to settle the nerves in the crowd and on the pitch – I think the season might have start just a week too early for the Toffees. 21/10 on this tip looks like smart value to me as despite Wolves being untested at this level yet, Everton might not know what to expect on the day.
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|VfL Bochum v Wolves||0 - 0 (5-4 Pens)||22/07/2018|
|Wolves v Ajax||1 - 1||19/07/2018|
|Everton v Valencia||2 - 3||04/08/2018|
|Rennes v Everton||4 - 1||28/07/2018|
|Blackburn Rovers v Everton||3 - 0||26/07/2018|
|Porto v Everton||1 - 0||22/07/2018|
|Lille v Everton||0 - 0 (4 - 2 Pens)||21/08/2018|
|Bury v Everton||1 - 1||18/07/2018|
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