Wolves are looking to get their season up and running with victory over Fulham in the Premier League today.
Wanderers slipped to a 2-1 defeat last weekend in the opening game against Leeds United.
Bruno Lage could not field a recognised striker in west Yorkshire following the pre-season injury to Raul Jimenez and the decision to loan out Fabio Silva.
Hwang Hee-chan led the line for Wolves. To his credit he played well, but there was a lack of a real presence and cutting edge in the final third.
This weekend, Lage will be able to call on new signing Goncalo Guedes.
The star joined from Valencia on Monday, and his acquisition has excited supporters. The hope is that he can help Wolves to become a bit more potent.
It was not a bad performance from Wolves last weekend. Here’s how Lage could set up against the Cottagers, who will be confident after holding Liverpool in their opening game.
Predicted Wolves XI to face Fulham – New signing Goncalo Guedes starts
Jose Sa will be disappointed with his display against Leeds and will hope to make amends with a strong showing today.
The back four likely won’t see any changes, with Jonny Castro Otto, Nathan Collins, Maximilian Kilman and Rayan Ait-Nouri set to go again as a quartet.
Nelson Semedo may be in contention. But he didn’t get any minutes in pre-season and could be lacking match sharpness. He could perhaps make the bench and come on in the second-half.
Ait-Nouri obviously made that mistake against Leeds, but the 21-year-old ought to be given the chance to start again.
In midfield, Ruben Neves and Leander Dendoncker should continue as a pairing if Joao Moutinho is not fit.
Ahead of them it would be good to see Daniel Podence operating as a number 10.
Out wide, Pedro Neto was lively against Leeds and will surely start out on the left.
On the right Morgan Gibbs-White could get another chance. He was a little quiet against Leeds especially in the first-half. But Lage is a fan of the 22-year-old and called on him a lot in pre-season.
And then leading the line, it could be that Goncalo Guedes comes straight in from the start. And Kilman said earlier this week that he had been looking ‘very sharp.
It would be harsh on Hwang. He was one of the better performers against Leeds, and he did get the assist for Podence’s goal.
But Guedes has a full week of training under his belt and should be ready to go. He carries a greater goal threat than the South Korean, who couldn’t really play on the left ahead of Neto right now.
And he has rarely played on the right, meaning he could find himself on the bench.
Wolves need to respond today after a disappointing first outing against Leeds. And being back in front of a full capacity Molineux might just play a big part in spurring the players on.
Wolves 4-2-3-1: Sa/Jonny, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri/Neves, Dendoncker/Gibbs-White, Podence, Neto/Guedes.