Can Wolves continue their extraordinary progress and create a ‘Top 7’?
Welcome back to ‘The 2019-20 Premier League Season Preview’ – a feature series that previews all 20 clubs of the Premier League ahead of the new football season.
It’s time to preview the final team in this feature series… Wolverhampton Wanderers.
MANAGER: Nuno Espírito Santo
CAPTAIN: Conor Coady
ODDS TO WIN THE LEAGUE: 150-1 (via Oddschecker)
Wolverhampton Wanderers are on a journey, metaphorically and literally. Their advance in the last two years from Championship drek to a Premier League force has been a thrill ride but the steps that follow from that bring challenges to which they must rise.
Wolves proved last season they weren’t just in the Premier League to make up the numbers, and with the long-game in mind, they’re sniffing even higher up the food chain.
The question is… can they do it again?
HOW THEY FINISHED IN THE LAST FIVE SEASONS
2014-15 – 7th (Championship)
2015-16 – 14th (Championship)
2016-17 – 15th (Championship)
2017-18 – 1st (Championship)
2018-19 – 7th (Premier League)
Premier League – 7th
FA Cup – Semi-Finals
Carabao Cup – Third Round
Top Scorer – League: Raúl Jiménez (13), All: Raúl Jiménez (17)
Raúl Jiménez (Benfica – £30m)
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan – £16.2m)
Leander Dondecker (Anderlecht – £12m)
Bruno Jordão (Braga – Undisclosed)
Pedro Neto (Braga – Undisclosed)
Jesús Vallejo (Real Madrid – Loan)
Kortney Hause (Aston Villa – £3m)
Ethan Ebanks-Landell (Shrewsbury Town – Undisclosed)
Hélder Costa (Leeds United – Loan)
Ivan Cavaleiro (Fulham – Loan)
Will Norris (Ipswich Town – Loan)
Bright Enobakhare (Wigan Athletic – Loan)
GK – Rui Patrício, Ruddy
DF – Doherty, Vallejo, Bennett, Boly, Coady, Jonny, Vinagre, Kilman, Sanderson, Miranda
MD – Rúben Neves, Gibbs-White, Perry, Saïss, João Moutinho, Dendocker, Jordão
FW – Raúl Jiménez, Cutrone, Diogo Jota, Traoré, Léo Bonatini, Neto
PLAYER TO LOOK OUT FOR – PATRICK CUTRONE
The feeling amongst those who had watched Patrick Cutrone at AC Milan prior to his Wolves move was that the Italian would offer something different to Raúl Jiménez and Diogo Jota.
While the aforementioned duo are spectacular players, they aren’t penalty box strikers. Cutrone appears to be just that. All of his movements were geared towards the centre of the goal, whereas some of Jimenez and Jota’s best work comes out wide.
It will take the 21-year-old a while to get his feet under the table and dislodging either of Wolves’ forwards is an unenviable task – but Cutrone will be given chances. And don’t be surprised if does take them too.
HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAINST CHELSEA
Matches played – 107
Won – 39
Drawn – 27
Lost – 41
HOW MUCH OF A THREAT WILL THEY BE TO CHELSEA?
Don’t be surprised if Wolves pose the same sort of threat to the Blues this season as they did in the last one.
Despite Chelsea having an impressive record over the men from Molineux in recent memory, Wolves showed last season how to stifle the Stamford bridge side, easily.
Chelsea getting maximum points from the two games against NES‘ men this season would be an achievement.
WHERE WILL THEY FINISH?
Wolves have received nothing but the rightful praise since the end of last season, but they face a tough ask trying to hit the same heights again.
Everton, Leicester and West Ham have all strengthened significantly over the course of the summer and none of those sides has Europe to focus on. And with their mentality towards the Premier League, Wolves aren’t simply in Europe to make up the numbers.
Wolves will not be getting relegated, so they will absolutely go for it on the continent, even if it means potentially burning out domestically.
This coming season could be seen as a backward step for Wolves if they slide down the table a bit. But in the overall scheme of things, they won’t be the case considering their incredible efforts last season.
Predicted position: 9th
And this is the end of this preview feature series. I hope you enjoyed reading it all and let’s see how many of the predictions end up actually happening, come the end of the season.
Football. Is back.
• Part 1 – Arsenal
• Part 2 – Aston Villa
• Part 3 – Bournemouth
• Part 4 – Brighton & Hove Albion
• Part 5 – Burnley
• Part 6 – Chelsea
• Part 7 – Crystal Palace
• Part 8 – Everton
• Part 9 – Leicester City
• Part 10 – Liverpool
• Part 11 – Manchester City
• Part 12 – Manchester United
• Part 13 – Newcastle United
• Part 14 – Norwich City
• Part 15 – Sheffield United
• Part 16 – Southampton
• Part 17 – Tottenham Hotspur
• Part 18 – Watford
• Part 19 – West Ham United