WOLVES are back in the Premier League for the first time since 2012 after an incredible Championship-winning season. The big-spenders host Everton in their opening contest at Molineux and Ross Casey (@RossCasey24) shares his best bets.
Wolves v Everton | Saturday 11th August 2018, 17:30 | BT Sport
Both of these sides have spent big in the summer, with the two sets of fans feeling positive about the season ahead.
This is certainly going to be an intriguing contest as we will get a first look at Wolves at this level and also see how Everton set-up under Marco Silva in his first competitive game in charge after Sam Allardyce left his post at Goodison Park.
Last season this Wolves side walked the Championship with a points total of 99. That was thanks to the managerial expertise of Nuno Espirito Santo – who left the experience of Champions League football for the Wolves project – and the financial clout and contact book they held.
Being able to bring in a far better quality of player than the other 23 sides in the Championship certainly aided their prospects and the Old Gold have managed to hold onto some of the more impressive players, such as Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota, whilst they have also brought in the likes of Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Adama Traore.
What is important to their potential success this season is that the core remains – they have a consistency there and Nuno will have them well drilled in their style of play.
Wanderers' pre-season was a mixed bag with just three wins in nine, but losing just twice. Wolves signed-off with a 2-1 win over Villarreal in their only fixture at Molineux and that should put them in good stead for the season. Last term the hosts lost just two of their 23 matches at Molineux.
After all the upset and strife about Sam Allardyce's style of play last season, Everton fans have gotten what they wanted at Goodison Park and a more progressive coach is now in charge.
The purse strings have also well and truly been loosened. Richarlison, Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina have all arrived for big money whilst quality has been brought in for free and on-loan in Bernard and Andre Gomes.
That has brought a host of excitement to Merseyside as has the departures of some big wages in Wayne Rooney, Fuenes Mori, Kevin Mirallas and Davy Klaasen who all have the bad taste of the previous regime about them.
It feels like a new start at Everton and it will be interesting to see if the fans stay onside if they don't produce immediate success.
Their pre-season form has been pretty shocking with just one win in seven. They actually lost four in a row heading into the season, with a 3-0 away loss to Blackburn probably the lowlight.
The betting angle
I think the bookies have got this right in terms of favourtism as Everton have literally just signed their best new players and their pre-season results show that Silva hasn't quite found the right remedy to his style of play with his new squad.
Wolves have the consistency from last season and a full summer under Nuno will have done them the world of good tactically. Add home advantage to the mix here (remember their excellent form at Molineux in both the Championship and in pre-season) and you have a good enough looking price of 11/8 (BetVictor) on a home win, which is my recommended bet here.
Had this match been played next month with the new Everton signings bedded in, I may have a different opinion, but Wolves are playing Everton at a good time here.
Wolves v Everton – Wolves to win (11/8 BetVictor)