Wolverhampton Wanderers will start their Premier League season away at Leeds United on Saturday, with a 15:00 kick-off. The home side from Yorkshire will be striving for an improved season after dramatically avoiding relegation in the closing stages of the 2021/22 season, while Wolves will look to bounce back from a drop-off in form since the turn of the new year.
Leeds United – second season syndrome avoided, what about the third?
A last-minute equaliser against Brighton and 2-1 victory to Brentford secured survival for
American boss Jesse Marsch, who faced a tough task especially after replacing fan favourite
Chairman Andrea Radrizzani has certainly backed Marsch, spending almost 100 million
pounds in transfers reinforcing a side desperate for improvements and more depth,
especially after losing key players such as fan favourite Kalvin Phillips and tricky Brazilian
winger Raphinha to big money exits.
Marc Roca from Bayern Munich, Tyler Adams of RB Leipzig, Brenden Aaronson, and Rasmus
Kristensen of RB Salzburg among others join the club with plenty of pedigree, all handpicked
to suit the aggressive play style of Jesse Marsch, a former RB Leizpig and Salzburg coach,
following the likes of Marco Rose, Ralf Rangnick, Ralph Hasenhuttl and Julian Nagelsmann.
Leeds will look to take the game to their opponents, but goals can be expected to come
from either side, ‘The Whites’ have scored over 2.5 goals in four of their last six matches, as
has Wolves, despite Wolves boasting the 5 th strongest defence of the previous league
However, Leeds are suffering from major injury problems much like large periods of last
season – Stuart Dallas, Junior Firpo, Luke Ayling, Luis Sinisterra, Adam Forshaw, Liam Cooper and Daniel James are all expected to miss the opening fixture. Jesse Marsch will certainly not have the experience and proven quality he would perhaps like to make an impact off the substitutes bench.
For a closer insight into what to expect from this Leeds side, be sure to click here.
Wolves – Uninspiring or a surprise package?
Portuguese manager Bruno Lage much like Jesse Marsch will be missing a few players, Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore, Chiquinho, Toti Gomes and Nelson Semedo are expected to miss the trip from Wolverhampton to Elland Road, but unlike Jesse Marsch, has not been able to count on being backed financially by the board.
The signing of recently relegated Irish international Nathan Collins will be welcomed to help a transition to a four-man defence, but does not inspire confidence to the Wolves faithful, who cry out for more reinforcements.
For a closer insight into the Wolves pre-season, be sure to click here.
Despite forming a very stubborn and hard to break defensive unit, Wolves struggled to create especially after the departure of Adama Traore on loan to Barcelona in January, in fact, ‘The Wanderers’ tallied up the second-lowest expected goals in the Premier League.
The reintroduction of Morgan Gibbs-White, return of Pedro Neto and a transformed Daniel Podence will look to create and score themselves without an out and out striker with Hwang Hee-Chan still nursing some minor niggles, perhaps creating a more dynamic and unpredictable partnership against the second worst defence of the 2021/22 Premier League season.
This match could go either way or even end in a stalemate, with plenty of varying factors at play, my prediction being a highly contested 2-1 win for the home side.