Over the course of a summer in which a new manager has made changes to both the playing style and squad, expectations for Wolves this season are arguably as high as they’ve been for some time.
Nuno Espirito Santo looks certain to use a possession-based 3-4-3 formation for his first campaign in charge at Molineux, and has brought in 13 new faces to help him try and implement it.
Unsurprisingly then, as many as seven debutants should start the season’s curtain-raiser against Middlesbrough at the weekend.
Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo looks on during the pre-season friendly match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City at Molineux on July 29, 2017 in Wolverhampton, England.
At the back, new-boy John Ruddy should line up behind a back three anchored by converted-midfielder Connor Coady, who has impressed in his new role during pre-season.
Two new faces, Roderick Miranda and Willy Boly both featured either side of Coady in the recent friendly win over Leicester and should start, leaving no room for club captain Danny Batth.
Matt Doherty and another summer signing, Barry Douglas, are shoo-ins for the wing back positions, while Jack Price’s ability on the ball should earn him a starting spot alongside marquee arrival Ruben Neves in central midfield.
It is in the forward positions where Nuno has some real headaches though. Star man Helder Costa is out injured, as is pre-season’s in-form striker Nouha Dicko. Meanwhile, Ivan Cavaleiro is suspended.
That means Diogo Jota, a season-long loanee from Atletico Madrid, and Leo Bonatini – who only signed for the club at the start of the week – are likely to begin their Wolves careers against Boro as well.
Here’s how we predict Wolves will line-up on Saturday: