The 2022/23 Premier League fixtures have been released today, and Wolves are in action against Leeds United at Elland Road in their first game.
Wanderers are looking to build on their 10th-placed finish in 2021/22, which many feel was a disappointment considering where the club were positioned in March and early April.
It was an improvement on Nuno Espirito Santo’s final season. But there was very much a feeling of ‘what might have been’ as the dust settled.
Hopes are high for 2022/23, and Wolves kick things off against Leeds United.
Last time the teams met, Leeds came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Molineux.
Revenge will be in the cards, and it will be interesting to see what kind of team Lage puts out.
Here’s how Wolves might line up in their first game on August 6.
Goalkeeper – Jose Sa
Jose Sa is pretty much a dead cert to be starting in the first game against Leeds after a fantastic debut campaign at Wolves.
Centre-backs – Maximilian Kilman, Conor Coady, Toti Gomes
There has been some talk about Lage wanting to switch to a back four next season.
It remains to be seen if that will be the case, and pre-season may give some indication as to whether a system change will be on the horizon.
But if it’s to be a three, then we could see a trio of Maximilian Kilman, Conor Coady and Toti Gomes.
It could be that Lage turns to Gomes as a replacement for Romain Saiss on the left side, with Kilman staying on the right.
With a bit of luck, Kilman will be fit and ready to start the new season after picking up an ankle injury in April.
Hopefully at least one new face will be coming in. But transfer links to centre-backs have been thin on the ground of late.
Wing-backs – Nelson Semedo, Rayan Ait-Nouri
Like Kilman, Nelson Semedo is also battling to be fit for the start of 2022/23 having sustained a hamstring injury in the defeat to Brighton.
He had a really good season last time out, so hopefully he can come back and pick up where he left off.
And Rayan Ait-Nouri may also get the nod to start the season, unlike in 2021/22 when Lage plumped for Fernando Marcal in the first eight Premier League games.
Jonny Castro Otto is his competition, but Ait-Nouri should be getting regular minutes as he has the potential to develop into a top player.
Central midfielders – Matheus Nunes, Joao Palhinha, Morgan Gibbs-White
The Joao Palhinha saga continues to run, but Wolves have surely got to get a deal done.
The club have wanted him for a long time, and given the speculation around Ruben Neves, it feels like it could actually happen this window.
Nunes has also been linked with Wolves. He’d be expensive, but a big Neves sale could make a deal possible.
The talented 23-year-old is reported to be open to joining the club, and may like to link back up with Palhinha at Molineux.
And then there’s Morgan Gibbs-White.
He’s just had a brilliant campaign on loan at Sheffield United, and he looks like he could be ready to make an impact for Wolves in the Premier League.
Lots of fans want to see him given a chance, and the club and Lage do want him to be involved. It’s just a case of what Gibbs-White himself wants to do, with other teams already showing interest.
Strikers – Goncalo Guedes, Raul Jimenez
Wolves were recently reported to be making a striker a priority this summer, with Goncalo Guedes a target.
There’s a good chance he could be signed, especially since he is so versatile.
He can play anywhere in attack, and the club may like the idea of playing him up top with Raul Jimenez.
Jimenez struggled last season and finished the campaign with six goals to his name.
He has been linked with an exit from Molineux, but senior officials expect him to stay.
He might benefit from playing with a partner, as he so often did with Diogo Jota before he moved to Liverpool.