Wolverhampton Wanderers take on Premier League table toppers Arsenal in their final match before the mid-season break due to the World Cup.
The Old Gold have finally hired a new manager, with 56-year-old Julen Lopetegui appointed last week, however, he won’t take charge of the club until after the break for international football.
Will Wolves win tonight?
Steve Davis led the Molineux outfit to a midweek EFL Cup win over Leeds United courtesy of a late Boubacar Traore strike as the interim manager made six changes from the loss to Brighton & Hove Albion last weekend.
Davis will most likely revert back to a full-strength side ahead of this evening’s clash and we at Football FanCast predict the Wolves starting XI…
Predicted Wolves XI
Jose Sa will come back into the side after being rested against Leeds in midweek and he will aim to keep just his fifth league clean sheet this season.
Nathan Collins and Max Kilman will form the heart of the Wolves defence and they will be flanked by Nelson Semedo at right-back – who served his one-match ban in midweek – and Hugo Bueno at left-back.
The midfield will see two changes from the win over Leeds.
Ruben Neves will keep his place and he is currently the club’s highest scorer this season with four goals, while Matheus Nunes will hope to put in a solid performance before joining up with the Portuguese World Cup squad.
The £100k-per-week Joao Moutinho will drop to the bench in favour of Boubacar Traore – dubbed a “dribbling machine” by analyst Liam Henshaw – and he will look to build upon his goal against Leeds.
Adama Traore will retain his place on the right wing, while Daniel Podence will come back into the side on the left.
Goncalo Guedes, who missed out on a place in the Portuguese squad for the World Cup, will lead the line and hope to score for the second league game in a row after his goal against Brighton last weekend.
It will be a tough ask for Wolves to secure a positive result tonight, but if they do, it could be a perfect way to head into the break with a new era under Lopetegui to look forward to.
Predicted Wolves XI: Sa; Bueno, Kilman, Collins, Semedo; Traore, Neves, Nunes; Podence, Guedes, Traore