Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton

Rejoice! Premier League football is back and Everton are ready to attack the 2018/19 campaign under the guidance of Marco Silva, starting with a tough test at Molineux.

The fixture will be Wolves’ first taste of PL action since they finished rock bottom of the division back in May 2012, with just 25 points to their name.

They suffered a torrid time after they slipped out of the top level of English football.

The next season they were relegated once more, meaning as recently as the 13/14 campaign, Wolves plied their trade in League One.

But since their 2016 takeover and collaboration with super agent Jorge Mendes, fortunes have turned for the midlands club.

Former Porto boss Nuno Espírito Santo led them back to England’s top level, winning the Championship, with an impressive 99 points.

This summer Wolves have recruited a mammoth 13 players, which could prove as a negative. As Everton found out themselves last term, quantity doesn’t  always mean better quality.

But with recruits such as past-Everton target Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez, Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore the newly promoted outfit are many ‘experts’ tip to be this season’s dark horse.

It is the first game in what could be yet another transitional season for the Toffees, with Silva, alongside Marcel Brands, attempting to undo the damage inflicted by the previous set of managers.

But the new Portuguese gaffer will be desperate to get off to a winning competitive start to life at Everton after a not-so-inspiring set of pre-season results.

One to watch 

Eyebrows were raised when Ruben Neves decided to swap the glamour of Champions League football and title challenges with FC Porto for the second tier of football in England last summer, but the 21-year-old proved it was the right decision.

He dictated games from the midfield in the Championship and Nuno will be hoping his star man continues the trend this time around.

The midfielder bagged six goals last season, all coming from outside the penalty area so the Blues must be wary if Neves is given space in shooting positions from range.

Team news

Jordan Pickford didn’t feature in pre-season, but England’s World Cup hero is in line to make his first appearance under Silva against Wolves.

Richarlison and Lucas Digne could make their official debuts for the club but Yerry Mina and Bernard’s lack of match action leave the pair doubtful.

Andre Gomes and Mason Holgate will sit this one out.

Man in the middle 

Craig Pawson will take charge of Saturday’s 17:30 kick-off, he showed 112 yellows and four reds in the 34 games he refereed last term.

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