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Wolves vs Fulham - Match preview

Wolves must harness the energy of the Molineux crowd and make a winning start at home when they face Fulham tomorrow.

Goncalo Guedes (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).
Goncalo Guedes (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).

A big part of the loss to Leeds on the opening day came when Wolves wilted under the Leeds pressure – most of which was created from the loud and intimidating atmosphere at Elland Road.

In order to avoid losing their opening two games of the season, the Molineux crowd will need to play their part in making it a difficult place for Fulham to play.

Equally, the Wolves players must give the fans something to cheer about and realise the attacking potential they have in the back four system.

Having trained all week, Goncalo Guedes will be available and is expected to be involved in some capacity, but it remains to be seen if Bruno Lage throws him straight into the starting XI.

The head coach tends to give new signings some time to get to grips with what he wants from them, meaning Guedes may have to make his Wolves bow from the bench.

Despite losing to Leeds, Lage is likely to go with an unchanged side. It is unlikely that he now abandons the back four, and with injuries elsewhere he has limited options to make changes.

If Hwang Hee-chan is having any difficulty with his hip issue that caused him problems in pre-season, then Guedes may come in for him, otherwise the team largely picks itself until Guedes is up to speed and players return from injury.

Nelson Semedo and Adama Traore are recovering well from hamstring issues and are relatively close to returning, however tomorrow’s game may come too soon for them.

Lage is set to be quizzed on Joao Moutinho’s injury, while Raul Jimenez is not expected back until later this month at the very earliest.

Toti Gomes, however, did play for the under-23s on Monday and could make his return to the senior squad.

Fellow youngsters Hugo Bueno, Luke Cundle, Joe Hodge and Chem Campbell – as well as midfielder Connor Ronan – could all make the bench as Wolves struggle for squad depth.

Meanwhile, the Fulham fixture will be the first since Conor Coady departed for Everton on-loan.

Although they did play without him against Leeds, it will be the first game he is not around the squad and in the dressing room, and Wolves’ experienced players must fill that leadership void.

Ruben Neves is expected to continue with the armband, while Max Kilman and Morgan Gibbs-White have been name-checked by Lage as potential captain understudies.

Starting against Fulham, Wolves now have the chance to move on from the Coady era and a win would put them in good stead.

Also, considering the fixtures they have and the ones to come, three points would go a long way to easing fans’ nerves. Spurs away follows before clashes with Liverpool and Manchester City in September.

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