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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves’ likely line-up vs Everton: Patricio, Jonny & Moutinho all start

Josh Challies

Wolves caught the eye with their transfer business in the summer, securing a total of 11 new signings under the guidance of Nuno.

One of those, Benik Afobe, has since moved away on loan while Diego Jota returns permanently after starring for the club last season during the club’s promotion winning campaign from the Championship, where they have been joined by plenty of impressive additions.

While not all of those are likely to start for Wolves against Everton on Saturday, there could be a number of debutants as we identify the likely line-up for Nuno’s side.

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Goalkeeper – Patricio

The Portugal international arrived as one of Wolves’ earlier recruits in the window and paved the way for the rest of Nuno’s exciting additions. Remarkably, Wolves did not pay a penny for Rui Patricio due to a series of unfortunate circumstances at Sporting Lisbon.

Sporting’s loss is certainly Wolves’ gain though and Patricio will be first-choice for the club’s return to the Premier League, where the 30-year-old stopper’s experience could prove to be vital as Wolves look to remain in the top-flight for the long-term.

(Photo by James Baylis – AMA/Getty Images)

Defence – Boly, Coady, Saiss

It may seem like a ballsy move for a newly-promoted side to enter the Premier League campaign playing a three-man defence but Nuno’s squad is well equipped to cope with the pressures and the signing of Willy Boly from Porto provides a huge boost.

The 27-year-old is set to slot immediately into Wolves’ defence, alongside Conor Coady and Romain Saiss – who were both established regulars for Wolves last season, accumulating a combined total of 87 appearances between them.

That trio will receive support from two wing-backs playing in a more advanced role, while Leander Dendoncker can provide protection from midfield or even slot into the defence himself when he settles after his Deadline Day move.


Midfield – Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny

The wing-back roles will be crucial for Nuno’s side in the formation that Wolves are likely to call upon and 26-year-old Matt Doherty is well established at the club, having first joined in 2010 and accumulating a total of 178 league appearances since.

Jonny Castro, arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid, will play a similar role down the left-side and is a major coup for Wolves given the fact the 24-year-old is highly-rated after shining for Celta Vigo previously before moving to Atletico this summer. While his long-term future is in Madrid, he can be a real threat this season.

In the middle, the partnership of Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves is plenty for Wolves fans to get excited about. Neves was one of the best players in the division last season, scoring six goals in 42 appearances, while Moutinho can provide plenty of experience and may prove to be the ideal role model to his compatriot.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Attack – Cavaleiro, Bonatini, Jota

Returning to Wolves on a permanent basis after starring on loan from Atletico Madrid last season, Di0go Jota is another Portuguese ace who could be key to the club’s performances in the top-flight this season. After scoring 17 goals and contributing five assists, he could be the leading man.

Leo Bonatini, like Jota, spent last season on loan at Wolves before joining on a permanent basis this summer. He netted 12 goals in 43 appearances this season and is expected to start as first-choice, though Raul Jimenez’s arrival gives him plenty of competition.

On the right this weekend is likely to be Ivan Cavaleiro, a player who was linked with an exit in the summer and needs a top performance on the opening day to keep new club-record signing Adama Traore out of the side. He is not 100% fit due to a shoulder injury and is unlikely to be risked.

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