Ex-Liverpool hopeful Coady ready to excel in the top flight – Wolves 2018/19 Opposition Preview

9 August 2018

Wolves strut into the Premier League as one of the best-equipped promoted sides in recent history, with former Liverpool youngster Conor Coady a key man.


When we play them: December 22 (away); May 12 (home)


Nuno Espirito Santo’s side cruised to the Championship title last season, amassing 99 points and playing a rich brand of attacking football.

The West Midlands club have been spending big in recent years and the acquisition of highly rated Portugal midfielder Ruben Neves last summer summed up their level of ambition.

Wolves have continued to splash the cash in the leadup to their return to the top flight, with Portuguese veteran Joao Moutinho a particularly eye-catching purchase.

Coady, who was such a well-thought-of figure during his youth days on Merseyside, has matured into an excellent footballer and captains the side.

Deployed in the middle of a back three, the 25-year-old has truly come of age.

Wolves supporters are understandably confident, with some even predicting a top-half finish in 2018/19, and they are going to be a fascinating watch.

 

Wolves

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo (Dave Thompson/PA Wire)

Players in: Adama Traore, Diogo Jota, Willy Boly, Benik Afobe, Joao Moutinho, Leo Bonatini, Rui Patricio, Ruben Vinagre, Raul Jimenez (loan), Jonny Castro (loan), Leander Dendoncker (loan)

Players out: Benik Afobe, Barry Douglas, Ben Marshall, Jon Flatt, Duckens Nazon, Prince Oniangue, Carl Ikeme (retired)

Best XI: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Boly; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Castro; Jota, Jimenez, Costa


We spoke to The Wolves 77 Club podcast (@77ClubPodcast) to hear all about expectations at Molineux and how they think Liverpool will fare this season.

How optimistic or pessimistic are you for the new season, and why?

Most fans are very optimistic—we think we can push on towards the top half of the table.

Because of that, I am a little bit pessimistic due to the expectations. If we do get off to a bad start I can see the fans getting on the players’ backs and it could go a bit south.

What we have seen in the past when we’ve reached the Premier League is things go sour, and the big money we have spent over the last couple of years means we are still in fantasy land a bit.

We don’t know if this push on to greater things is actually going to happen—there is still that air of doubt cast over Wolves fans’ minds.

What are your aims for the season?

First and foremost we have to remember that we have just come up from the Championship and we do need to build and establish ourselves as a Premier League team.

The immediate goal is to get to that 40-point mark so we can see where we are.

Ruben Neves, Wolverhampton Wanderers (Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)

Who’s your man to watch?

Neves. He was phenomenal for us last season in the Championship, scoring all six of his goals from outside the box.

He is not the only Portuguese who is going to shine at Molineux this season, though.

Diogo Jota was our top goalscorer last year and the style of his play will suit him more in the Premier League, so I can see him shining.

Completing the trio is Helder Costa. He is a tricky winger who could potentially also be suited to the Premier League.

He ran the whole length of the pitch at Anfield and missed by about two inches in our FA Cup win there back in January 2017.

* All rival supporter views taken before the end of the transfer window.

 

Molineux

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Tuesday, January 31, 2012: A general view of Molineux, the home of Wolverhampton Wanderers, before the Premiership match against Liverpool. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 31,700

Away fans’ pubs: Truth be told, there aren’t many places for away fans to drink in the town centre. The Bluebrick literally behind the station does allow away fans in though, I believe, but is more of a restaurant.

One piece of advice for visiting fan: Rather than trying to drink in Wolverhampton, get the 15-minute train into Birmingham and have a drink there. There’s a much better selection of pubs.

 

Liverpool

DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Saturday, August 4, 2018: Liverpool's new signing goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the preseason friendly match between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at Landsdowne Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

How do you rate Liverpool’s chances heading into the season?

I think Liverpool look really strong.

Retaining the title is a difficult thing, even though Man City did stand out quite a long way last year, and I think Liverpool can take their chance.

They’ve made good signings and when they get going with Jurgen Klopp‘s style of play you can’t argue against them.

If anyone can beat this City team, it’s them.

Who’s going to be the Reds’ Player of the Year, and why?

Alisson. Strikers win you matches, goalkeepers win you league titles.


TIA’s Wolves Predicted Finish: 8th (Average of the TIA writers’ predictions)

Where The Wolves 77 Club say Wolves will finish: 12th

Where The Wolves 77 Club say Liverpool will finish: 2nd


This is part of our club-by-club opposition previews this summer, getting the views of away fans on their club and their thoughts on LFC:

Arsenal | Bournemouth | Brighton | Burnley | Cardiff | Chelsea | Crystal Palace | Everton | Fulham | Huddersfield | Leicester | Man City | Man United | Newcastle | Southampton | Tottenham | Watford | West Ham | Wolves

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