Emile Heskey believes Wolverhampton Wanderers could force their way into the Premier League’s top six this season at the expense of Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Everton, speaking exclusively to HITC.
If Wolves fans were concerned that their team would be a little undercooked and underprepared during Monday’s season opener at Bramall Lane, it turns out they needn’t have worried.
Just four weeks after a gruelling 2019/20 season ended with the death of a Europa League dream, Raul Jimenez and Roman Saiss combined to produce the fastest two-goal lead in Premier League history, putting Sheffield United to the sword inside six short minutes.
Wolves not only have a quality crop of players, money to burn and a top-class manager these days either. They also have the kind of depth that was previously lacking in a threadbare squad.
The fact that Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and new £35 million record signing Fabio Silva started on the bench against Chris Wilder’s side speaks volumes.
And while Jose Mourinho is facing up to the exhausting prospect of nine games in just 21 days, Wolves stand to benefit immensely from the lack of European football this term.
Perhaps that is why Heskey believes Nuno’s ever-improving side could gate-crash the established elite this season.
“Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, (Manchester) United,” says the former England international, predicting how the top six will look when the season ends.
“I’m going to go Arsenal (in fifth). And I’m going to throw a spanner in the works – Wolves.”
Turing his attention to the other end of the table, Heskey was hardly alone in being unimpressed by the way West Brom and Fulham managed their returns to the big time.
A pair of 3-0 thumpings, at the hands of Leicester and Arsenal, have fans and pundits alike writing off two of the three top-flight newcomers already after just 90 miserable minutes.
But the third and final relegation spot, Heskey fears, could go to one of his former employers rather than Brighton, Crystal Palace or Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United .
“Relegation – West brom, Fulham and sadly Villa (will go down),” Heskey adds, before suggesting that David Moyes cannot afford to rest easy just yet either.
“Its going to be a tough one down there. You can throw into the mix, possibly, West Ham.”
Aston Villa have certainly spent big as they look to avoid a repeat of last season’s near escape with Bertrand Traore and Milot Rashica expected to join new number one Emiliano Martinez in Dean Smith’s squad.
Wolves opening fixtures of 2020/21 season
Sheffield United (A)
Manchester City (H)
West Ham (A)