Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters have been very upbeat in recent times after seeing their side maintain their excellent start to the Premier League season last weekend.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s men won promotion from the Championship at a canter last term and were being tipped by many to adapt to life in the top-flight seamlessly this time round, and they have certainly done that so far with nine points from their opening six games. And their most recent point came courtesy of a 1-1 draw at Manchester United last weekend, with a Joao Moutinho effort cancelling out Fred’s opener for the Red Devils to earn the West Midlands side a deserved point from their visit to Old Trafford.
As such, there have been many happy Wolves fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson, in which he makes the bold prediction that Santo’s men will finish ‘seventh or eighth’ in the Premier League this term.
And while some may raise a few eyebrows at ex-Arsenal midfielder’s claim, based on the evidence we have seen so far, it’s a prediction that has a lot of substance given how impressively the West Midlands outfit have been this term.
Ultimately, many felt that Santo’s team were one of the best the Championship had ever seen in accumulating 100 points from their 46 matches last term, and they then added even greater strength and quality to the squad over the summer, luring the likes of Moutinho, Raul Jimenez, and Adama Traore to Molineux.
And although they looked nervous in their opening game against Everton, but still managed to draw 2-2, and then lost their second game at Leicester City, they have since produced the goods in winning two and drawing the other two of their four matches.
And those two draws came against last season’s top two sides, with Santo’s men going toe-to-toe with champions Manchester City at Molineux last month and earning a deserved point, before arguably finishing the better side against Jose Mourinho’s United last weekend – they were easily good value for their point.
And it’s the way in which Wolves have gone about this season which has impressed so many, including Merson, who has said that he likes ‘watching’ Santo’s side.
Many teams that come up from the Championship, especially against the top teams, play within themselves and are slightly more defensive in a bid to nick a point here and there, but not Santo’s Wolves, who took the game to both City and United, and came close to winning on both occasions.
And in narrowly winning against West Ham and Burnley this month, the West Midlands outfit have proven that they can beat the more established Premier League sides in that mid-table vicinity of the division – after all, Burnley came seventh last season, and many expected the Hammers to fly high after their summer of spending.
Wolves are currently tenth as it stands, but with matches to come against Southampton, Crystal Palace, Watford, and Brighton in October, they could well be in the region of ‘seventh and eighth’ place come the end of the month.
And they have showed so far that they have the quality and indeed the attitude to fight for those places come the end of the season, which is why Merson’s prediction may well be slightly bold, but it’s one made with a lot of substance.
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