Wolves vs Fulham predictions: Mark Mitro out of the game or pay the price

Simon Barlow
Spotlight
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice in Fulham's opener against Liverpool to prove his worth at Premier League level
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice in Fulham's opener against Liverpool to prove his worth at Premier League level

Wolves will have to stop Fulham's supply line to Aleksandar Mitrovic if they are to pick up their first points of the season at Molineux on Saturday. 

The Serbian cut a contented figure as he left Craven Cottage after terrorising the Liverpool defence for 90 minutes last weekend, finishing with a brace. 

Mitrovic scored 43 Championship goals last season but his previous Premier League struggles had seen his top-flight credentials questioned. 

Yet after his display at Craven Cottage, Wolves boss Bruno Lage is likely to have made marking the striker out of the contest among his pre-match priorities. 

And the Molineux faithful will need to raise an atmosphere akin to the one their side faced at Elland Road last weekend to give them a much-needed boost. 

Team news

Bruno Lage may resist the urge to give Goncalo Guedes his first Wolves' start
Bruno Lage may resist the urge to give Goncalo Guedes his first Wolves' start

Having trained all week, Goncalo Guedes is available to make his Wolves debut and should be involved in some capacity. 

But Lage has preferred to ease new recruits into his line-up in the past and may name the club's £27.5million signing on the bench. 

The Portuguese head coach would have picked an unchanged side from Wolves' last pre-season fixture at Leeds but for an 11th-hour injury to Joao Moutinho. 

Unless the midfielder makes a miraculous return to fitness, Hee Chan Hwang is likely to keep his place in the same line-up from Elland Road last Saturday. 

Barring any late injury issues, Silva is expected to keep faith with the same Fulham starting line-up that earned a 2-2 draw against Liverpool. 

Harry Wilson is out for around two months after suffering a knee injury during a behind-closed-doors friendly fixture with Aston Villa in late July. 

Mitrovic will spearhead an attack consisting of Neeskens Kebano, Andreas Pereira and Bobby Decordova-Reid in supporting roles. 

Kenny Tete should keep Kevin Mbabu waiting for his chance at right-back and new signing Issa Diop will probably be named on the bench after his recent switch from West Ham. 

The stats

Mitrovic, who opened the scoring against Liverpool with a towering back-post header, scored the most headed goals in the Championship last season with 12 of his 43 coming in the air. 

The striker's shot conversion rate is currently 1.5 per goal scored, whereas last season it was 4.2.

Wilson, who will be sorely missed while he recovers from injury, finished not only as Fulham's top assist provider but also the Championship's with 19 last season. 

Leander Dendoncker took three of Wolves' 15 total shots at Leeds last weekend, hitting the target twice, and he was rarely reluctant to have a pop last season.

During the 2021-22 campaign, the Belgian midfielder recorded at least one shot in nine of his 10 starts at home and at least two on four occasions. 

Prediction

An even contest with both teams on the scoresheet looks a likely scenario at Molineux after both clubs showed how not to protect leads in the Premier League last weekend. 

Both teams scored in Wolves' final three pre-season games as well as at Elland Road, while Fulham's 2-2 home draw played out in a similar manner to their previous three warm-up assignments.

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