Wolves actually started last season as 16/1 shots to win the Sky Bet Championship title, although the Midlands side were quick to demonstrate they were the outstanding side in the division.
Nuno Espirito Santo was a relative unknown in England, although he took to the English second tier like a duck to water and Wanderers finished the campaign with 99 points.
Thirty matches were won from a possible forty-six and more is expected from a team who have made some notable signings ahead of the new season.
It seems to be a given that Wolves won’t be involved in a Premier League relegation scrap this season, with the best bookmakers predicting a top-half finish, something that is fairly unprecedented for any team who have just reached the promised land by achieving promotion. Most clubs in this bracket simply target survival rather than a possible place in Europe.
It’s fair to say that the manner of their title win last term suggests that they were a top flight team in the making and there have been a number of telling acquisitions made this summer including the arrival of Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio.
Both of these players were part of the Portugal side that featured at the 2018 World Cup, having previously been European champions two years earlier. While they are heading towards the latter stage of their career, they can bring experience and quality to the side.
Nuno’s squad look pretty strong considering the presence of Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves, two players that shone brightly like beacons in the Championship last term. A packed Molineux is likely to make plenty of noise for the arrival of an Everton side who have top half aspirations of their own.
Recent Signings May Help Bolster Toffees
The Toffees managed to finish eighth in the Premier League last season despite a mess of a campaign, with Ronald Koeman not lasting too long before the unpopular Sam Allardyce performed a rescue act before getting booed by supporters.
It now falls to Marco Silva to build something at Goodison Park, with Richarlison a notable arrival and the Brazilian could be a star in the making on Merseyside. His arrival was followed by the capture of Lucas Digne and the Frenchman will prove a perfect counter-balance to Seamus Coleman on the right flank, with Silva clearly intent on playing attacking football.
There has been some notable departures at Goodison Park which has seen Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen depart, while it appears that Ashley Williams will seek pastures new after an ill-fated spell at the club following his arrival from Swansea. We are likely to see more from the promising Michael Keane whose first season at the club was underwhelming.
The first game of the season is always hard to predict and we think that the bookmakers have got a little carried away with their odds about Wolves winning against quality opponents who will regard this fixture as a winnable one against one of the Premier League new boys.
Jordan Pickford will be hoping to kick on from his World Cup heroics, with Seamus Coleman benefitting from a proper pre-season and Cenk Tosun looked lively in front of goal last term and might benefit from the service provided by Gylfi Sigurdsson.