Wolverhampton Wanderers Season Preview for 2019/20 With Odds and Predictions
Most newcomers to the English Premier League struggle in the first season. Many even get relegated instantly.
That wasn’t the case with Wolverhampton Wanderers, as the club finished 7th in its first campaign in the elite since 2012.
However, a lot of teams struggle from the so-called second-season syndrome. Wolves will have to find a way to combine the EPL with their games in the Europa League, and this could be a challenge.
I will explore their chances of a good performance in 2019-2020, as well as the main goals in the summer. Based on that and the betting odds offered by the leading sports betting sites, I will also share my predictions for the near future.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2018-19 Season Review
The expectations before the start of the season were high. And yet, I don’t think that even the most optimistic supporters expected to see the Wolves finish seventh in the English Premier League.
It was obvious right from the start that Wolverhampton wouldn’t be pushed around. The team came with its own style of play that included a lot of discipline and hard work.
That was the result of the vision of manager Nuno Espirito Santo and the backing of the board. The Portuguese was given most of the players he wanted, including the likes of Rui Patricio, Diogo Jota, Joao Moutinho, and Raul Jimenez.
They quickly adapted to the English Premier League and brought a lot of tactical flexibility for the Wolves. The team was able to keep possession well and dismantle most opponents with patience.
From the early days of the season, the strong defense and the ability to dictate the tempo were the strongest weapons of Wolverhampton. The team was capable of standing its ground even against the leading clubs in the league.
The only issue was the lack of goals, but the form of Raul Jimenez improved later on, which helped Wolverhampton reach the seventh position.
The danger of relegation was never in sight; it was clear that the Wolves would finish in the middle of the table. It was a job well done, and the supporters can certainly dream now.
If there was a pinch of disappointment in the past season, it was related to the cup competitions. The team was eliminated by Leicester in the third round of the English League Cup, but the heartbreak came in the FA Cup.
Wolverhampton was on a great run, reaching the semi-finals of the tournament. With most of the big guns gone, the next opponent was Watford.
It was all looking great, as the Wolves went 2-0 ahead in the 62nd minute of the match, thanks to goals from Doherty and Jimenez. The opportunity of an FA Cup final appearance was real before a stunning comeback from Watford.
Gerard Deulofeu scored in the 79th minute before a Troy Deeney penalty deep in the added time brought extra time. Deulofeu scored another one, and the dream was gone.
It was a sad moment for the team, but it managed to bounce back and earn the 7th place in the EPL. Thanks to the triumph of Man City in the FA Cup final, that was enough for a place in the Europa League qualifiers.
What Wolverhampton Needs This Summer
It’s obvious that Wolverhampton has a squad that can comfortably stay in the middle of the English Premier League table.
The summer started well, as the club announced that Raul Jimenez would join permanently after impressing during his loan last year. The Mexican striker will be instrumental in the Wolves attack, so that’s good news.
Nuno Espirito Santo will have most of his key players available in the 2019-2020 season, but I don’t think that will be enough. The main reason is the participation in the UEFA Europa League.
The tournament will certainly bring some prestige to Wolverhampton, but it will affect the performance in the EPL negatively. Teams like the Wolves usually don’t have the squad depth to fight on a couple of fronts.
On top of that, the European adventure starts in July. That’s way too early, and it will most likely affect the club’s preparations for the new season.
A good example of the impact of the Europa League can be found in the performance of Burnley last season. The side finished seventh the year before, only to start the campaign in terrible shape and fight against relegation for most of the year.
There are other examples in the past, and I think that Espirito Santo and the board know that it will be hard.
This leaves the manager with two problems. The bigger one would be to add enough new players so that the squad has the depth to compete. The past transfer window shows that Espirito Santo is good at identifying the proper targets, and the club will give him the money to buy them.
I expect Wolves to sign at least 5-6 players in different positions. A lot of them won’t be high-profile names, but the manager’s knowledge of the Portuguese league will certainly help him find useful additions at a decent price.
The second issue that needs to be addressed is the attack of the team. Wolverhampton struggled on that front at the beginning of the season and looked over-reliant on the form of Jimenez in the later stages.
The Wolves need to find at least one more typical striker that could provide goals. That would give Espirito Santo the option to rotate and pick the best player, depending on the opposition.
I expect the club to do well in the summer and prepare for the forthcoming season. With that in mind, let’s move on to the next section.
Wolverhampton Betting Odds for 2019-2020
There won’t be that many betting odds related to Wolverhampton, but some of the leading bookmakers online do offer a couple of interesting markets.
Let’s start with the English Premier League and take a look at the betting odds offered by 888sport. I don’t think that Wolves will be in the relegation battle or the battle for top 6.
The club will most likely finish in the middle of the table again, so the top 10 market is the realistic target. I would normally expect Wolverhampton to finish there, but the price of 1.40 is simply too low.
There are risks related to the European involvement of the club, and if there aren’t enough transfers in the summer, Wolves could very well end up below 10th.
The danger is real, and the odds are low, so I don’t think that would be a good wager.
Next in line is the Europa League. Most people probably think that’s too optimistic for a side that was in the Championship just a season ago. However, Wolves have all the ingredients to flourish in a knockout tournament.
Their midfield can expertly control the tempo, depending on the needs of the side. They can keep possession and calm the game down or push the opposition.
On top of that, the Wolverhampton defense is solid. It’s no coincidence that the side reached the semi-final of the FA Cup last year.
With some luck with the draw and enough signings in the summer, Wolves could actually engage in an exciting European campaign. Winning the Europa League is a long shot, but the price of 26.00 is tempting.
You could combine Wolverhampton with one of the favorites in the tournament for the best effect.
Other Domestic Competitions
Another reason why Wolverhampton is a strong cup team is their distinguished style. It doesn’t depend on the starters that much because it’s more about the system than the individual.
That allows Espirito Santo to rotate a lot and still get a similar performance. And yet, the bookmakers know that, and the odds for the Wolves to win the FA Cup are about 15.00. It’s the same for the League Cup, which sounds fair.
After all, Wolverhampton will most likely face at least two sides from the Big 6 on the road to any of them.
Wolverhampton is one of the most interesting teams, in my opinion. I’m looking forward to seeing what the club does in the summer. I think there will be a lot of deals that will strengthen the squad and allow Wolves to perform well on multiple fronts.
With such an ambitious coach and owners that back him, the future seems bright for Wolverhampton.
Do you agree with my opinion, or do you think that Wolves might struggle in the second season in the EPL? Let me know in the comments below.