Wolves’ 2022/23 Premier League campaign officially starts today!
The wait is over, and after many weeks of frustration on the transfer front, Wanderers fans can now at least finally sink their teeth into some football.
It’s Leeds United at Elland Road up first for Bruno Lage and his players.
The Whites have brought in six new faces so far, but they do have eight players unavailable for selection for today’s game.
They’ll be looking to start the season the right way at home, and it will be a big test for Wolves.
Wanderers head into today’s game with no Raul Jimenez (injured) or Fabio Silva (loaned out), and it is expected Lage will field a back four from the start for the first time.
It promises to be a fascinating encounter and with that, he’s a predicted Wolves XI for the clash…
Predicted Wolves XI to face Leeds
Jose Sa should be OK to start in goal after playing 90 minutes against Sporting CP last weekend. The star had a pretty bad night at the office last time out against Leeds back in March, and will hopefully be much better today.
So if Lage is going to go with a back four, then it is likely going to mean a place on the bench for captain Conor Coady.
Sadly, there are two stronger options than him for this system in Maximilian Kilman and Nathan Collins.
The pair have looked pretty good together in pre-season and ought to be the starters at Elland Road.
The full-backs are likely to be Jonny Castro Otto on the right and Rayan Ait-Nouri on the left.
Jonny is highly like to get the nod on the right, with Nelson Semedo having not played any minutes in pre-season after only recently recovering from his hamstring injury.
Lage’s midfield will also be very interesting to see.
We have seen 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 in pre-season and both have looked decent.
Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho are safe bets to start. But it’s whether the manager would like a disruptor in there (Leander Dendonker) or a creator.
It would be good to see Wolves play with a number 10, and great for that man to be Daniel Podence in particular.
Podence’s unpredictability could make him the ideal pick to play just behind the striker.
Out wide, Pedro Neto is nailed on to start after a superb pre-season. And Morgan Gibbs-White is also very likely to start too.
This week, Lage was seen telling Gibbs-White in training that he didn’t really see him as a winger. So it’s very possible he could be interchanging with Podence and picking up central positions.
And up top, maybe Hwang Hee-chan will replace Jimenez.
He got some minutes in Portugal last weekend and played through the middle.
Perhaps that was a little hint that the South Korean will lead the line for Wolves in West Yorkshire.
Hwang has shown previously he has the potential to be clinical. He’s very quick and can be looking to spring that offside trap.
With Neto, Podence and Gibbs-White all around him, the South Korean should get pretty good service.
It’s going to be a fascinating match, and hopefully Wolves can just take the game to Leeds and play with the shackles off.
No Jimenez is obviously a big blow. But there is still a lot of talent in this team should it be the one Lage goes for.
Wolves 4-2-3-1: Sa/Jonny, Collins, Kilman, Ait-Nouri/Neves, Moutinho/Gibbs-White, Podence, Neto/ Hwang.