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Club News

OPPOSITION IN FOCUS: WOLVES

5 July 2018

REX/Shutterstock
Wolves celebrate winning the 2017-18 Sky Bet Championship title and promotion to the Premier League.

Our rundown of Brighton & Hove Albion’s Premier League opposition for the 2018/19 campaign concludes with Wolves. 

League Position 2017/18: 1st Sky Bet Championship 

Top league goalscorer: Diogo Jota (17)

How did they do last season? 

Wolves sealed promotion back to the Premier league after a six-year absence, winning the title in April having been at the top of the league since October. 

Their tally of 99 points was also the club’s highest-ever in the second tier as the side won 30, drew nine and lost seven matches throughout the 2017-18 campaign. The team enjoyed an unbeaten November and December, before big away victories over Middlesbrough and Cardiff City saw the team edge closer to a return to the top flight. 

Home wins over Derby County and Birmingham City set the stage for a 4-0 away win over Bolton Wanderers to seal the league title with two games left to spare.

Who’s in charge?

Nuno Espirito Santo became a manager in 2012 and took charge of Portuguese side Rio Ave, leading the team to both cup finals during 2014. The former goalkeeper then moved to La Liga to take to the dugout with Valencia in the summer of 2014.

During his time in charge, Nuno won three La Liga Manager of the Month awards and also guided the side to fourth place during his first campaign in charge, before moving to FC Porto in the summer of 2016. 

The move to Molineux was confirmed on the final day of May 2017, and his first season saw the club secure promotion, winning 33 matches across all competitions. 

Who should I keep an eye out for?

Ruben Neves arrived from FC Porto for a club and league record fee in the summer of 2017 and he scored six times over the course of last season.

 

All of his goals were from outside the box as the Portuguese midfielder gained a reputation for spectacular strikes, and his volley at home to Derby County was voted as Championship Goal of the Season.

Prior to joining the Midlands club, Neves had worked his way up through FC Porto’s youth system and into the first team, where he made his debut as a 17-year-old and became the youngest player to score in the Portuguese top flight.

He made a further 58 league appearances for the side, as well as appearing in the UEFA Champions League before moving to Wolves.

When did we last meet?

The last meeting between the two sides came towards the end of Albion’s promotion winning 2016-17 campaign. 

A brace from midfielder Anthony Knockaert sealed a fine 2-0 away win at Molineux, as the Frenchman notched a goal in either half and put the Seagulls on the brink of the top flight. 

It was a victory that set Albion up for a promotion-winning game over Wigan Athletic at the Amex Stadium three days later, securing Premier League football for the first time in the club’s history.


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