Wolves v Middlesbrough preview
Last Updated: 04/08/17 2:00pm
Club-record signing Ruben Neves is one of several summer signings expected to make his Wolves debut in the opening game of the season against Middlesbrough.
The midfielder, signed from Porto for a reported fee in excess of £15million, is the most high profile of 11 new arrivals in what has been a huge turnover of players at Molineux since May.
Striker Nouha Dicko could be fit after suffering a knock in pre-season but defender Kortney Hause looks set to miss Saturday's curtain raiser. Helder Costa (ankle), Phil Ofosu-Ayeh and Ben Marshall (hip) are also out injured while Ivan Cavaleiro has a suspension to complete after his red card against Derby at the end of last season.
Garry Monk has a fully-fit squad for his first game in charge of Middlesbrough, including seven new signings. Boro travel to Wolves as they begin life back in the Sky Bet Championship, with Monk choosing from a full panel.
Jonny Howson, Cyrus Christie, Martin Braithwaite, Britt Assombalonga, Connor Roberts, Darren Randolph and Ashley Fletcher have all arrived this summer and will be hoping to make their debut. Gaston Ramirez looks to have played his last game for the club, having been given permission to speak to another club.
Wolves have won four and lost just one of their last seven opening day matches (D2).
Middlesbrough have won just one of their last eight matches on opening weekend (D4 L3), beating Birmingham 2-0 in 2014/15.
On home soil, the Black Country side have won four of their last six clashes with Middlesbrough in all competitions, though lost the last meeting in October 2015.
There will be five players who played in the Champions League last season set to appear for Championship clubs in 2017-18, three of those for Wolves (Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Willy Boly).
Middlesbrough signing Martin Braithwaite hit double figures in each of his last two seasons in the French top-flight for Toulouse, bagging 22 goals in total.
I think Middlesbrough will be expected to go and win here but it won't be as straightforward as that. I'll be very intrigued to see how Nuno gets on at Wolves with his new players.
Both clubs have spent plenty of money and I think they'll be looking to attack at home. It's very well poised and both sides will want to set their stall out early on with a victory at Molineux.
Prutton predicts: 2-3 (40/1 with Sky Bet)