#SHUWOL | 5 things to know

Following the shortest pre-season in recent memory, Wolves will be back in action on Monday evening as Nuno Espirito Santo travel to Bramall Lane and face Sheffield United. Here are five things to know ahead of the pack’s opening match of the 2020/21 Premier League season.


Exactly one month ago, Wolves were in Europa League action, aiming to reach the semi-finals of the European competition for the first time since 1972, but their continental campaign fell short as Nuno’s men lost to eventual champions Sevilla. Just four weeks later, Wolves are back for the 2020/21 season, but preparations for the campaign have been disrupted due to last week’s international break.

With nine members of the first-team squad only returning to Compton Park for the first time this season for pre-season training on Thursday, it’s been the quickest of turnarounds, with Nuno being given just four days to prepare his team for Monday night’s clash with the Blades. Their opponents, on the other hand, have had a much longer timespan to prepare, having not played a competitive match since 26th July. United have already got four pre-season friendlies under their belt, with wins over Dundee United, Hearts and Derby County before drawing 2-2 with Preston North End.


Not only has Nuno had limited time to work with the majority of his players from last season – with the exception of Matt Doherty, who is now at Tottenham Hotspur, Bruno Jordao and Morgan Gibbs-White, who are on loan spells with Famalicao and Swansea City respectively – but he’s also integrating three new players into his squad following their arrivals at Molineux in the past week. Portuguese striker Fabio Silva made the move on Saturday from Porto, Brazilian defender Marcal joined from Lyon on Sunday and midfielder Vitinha was a loan signing from Porto on Wednesday evening.

All three met up with their new teammates this week, with Silva and Marcal joining in with training for the first time on Tuesday, while Vitinha travelled back with fellow Portugal under-21 stars Pedro Neto and Ruben Vinagre, in time for his first training session with the whole squad back together on Thursday. However, settling in Wolverhampton and adapting to Nuno’s system might be made slightly easier for the trio, having joined the large contingent of Portuguese speakers among the club.



When they step out at Bramall Lane on Monday evening, Wolves will be aiming to get one over on the Blades having been blunted by the team in red and white just a few months ago. With a place back in Europe in their sights, Wolves looked to have earned a well-fought point in Sheffield, only for John Egan to pop up with a 93rd minute header to snatch all three points for the hosts.

But not only will Wolves want to right the wrongs of last season’s encounter at the lane, but also aim to maintain their unbeaten opening day run. Having drawn both of their first league matches of the season against Everton and Leicester City in the previous two campaigns under Nuno, Wolves will be aiming to win their first opening day tie in the top-flight since a 2-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers back in 2011/12. However, Wolves have lost just once on opening day in the past 10 years – a 1-0 defeat at Elland Road in the forgetful Championship relegation season.


All of Wolves’ Premier League matches throughout September will unfortunately be played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But there are still plenty of ways for supporters to stay up to date with the action at Bramall Lane. Wolves’ three league matches this month will be shown on TV in the UK, beginning with Monday night’s game live on Sky Sports from 6pm.

However, for those supporters who don’t have the pleasure of a Sky package, Wolves’ popular Matchday Live Extra will return tomorrow evening, with Mikey Burrows once again joined by former old gold stars to preview the clash with the Blades, before providing full, uninterrupted kick-by-kick commentary of the Premier League opener.


When it comes to team selection for Monday evening, Nuno has got an almost fully fit squad to choose from, with the exception of long-term absentee Jonny. With the addition of his three new signings, the head coach did admit in his pre-match press conference that Silva, Marcal and Vitinha will all be part of the squad tomorrow night. But whether they will make their gold and black debuts is anyone’s guess, as Nuno likes to keep his cards close to his chest.

As for Sheffield United, Chris Wilder could hand a first start in red and white to four players following their arrival at Bramall Lane last week. Jayden Bogle and Max Lowe come into the group to compete with George Baldock and Enda Stevens respectively, while Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu and Oli Burke will also be hoping to start, meaning some tough calls will need to be made by both managers.