Everton play host to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon, aiming to bounce back from their previous Premier League defeat to Aston Villa.
Marco Silva’s men suffered their first defeat of the campaign last Friday night, as they spurned the chance to hit the top of the table and start the season with three clean sheets for the first time in over 100 years.
They did, however, follow that up with Carabao Cup progression on Wednesday night - fighting back from an early deficit to dispatch of Lincoln City. Their opposition also had themselves a midweek tie, as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men completed their Europa League qualification campaign with success against Torino.
Yet, despite their European success, Wolves have had a lacklustre start to their second season back in the Premier League - including needing a helping hand from VAR to bag a late point against Burnley last time out.
Last time they met
When the two sides met last season, though, it was Wolves who had the upper hand - especially when they made the trip to Goodison Park.
Espirito Santo’s men waltzed to victory on Merseyside thanks to an early Ruben Neves spot-kick, as well as goals from Leander Dendocker and Raul Jimenez. Andre Gomes scored the only Everton goal of the afternoon as the Blues continued their mid-season tailspin.
Silva highlights Wolves style
Revenge, then, especially against a compatriot, would be the perfect result for Everton boss Silva - who made his assessment of Wolves during his pre-match press conference.
He stated: “We know all about Wolves, they had a very good season last time and this will be their third season with almost all the same players together. They know each other and have changed nothing this season.”
The Everton boss continued: “They are strong on the counter-attack, they will be solid and waiting for the opportunity to counter to try to cause us problems. It is up to us to play in our way, how we like to play.”
Nuno focusing on Everton trip
While progression in Europe marks a huge milestone in the club’s long-term project, Espirito Santo is only focusing on his weekend opposition and not upcoming trips across the continent.
“We have to look at Everton now, and they’re such a good team. What we did was amazing [with the win last season], but now we have to think about a very good squad and a very good manager. It’s going to be a very tough game for us,” he said, following the win over Torino.
He added: “Their home form shows how good they are and how well they do things.”
Team News and predicted XI's
After making his Everton debut against Lincoln City, Fabian Delph could be in-line for his first Premier League start against Wolves. Jean Phillipe-Gbamin is set for an extended stint on the sidelines with a quad muscle problem, while Morgan Schneiderlin has been less than impressive so far.
Alex Iwobi and Moise Kean joined Delph in that Carabao Cup successful line-up, with Iwobi putting the Blues ahead late. They could both be handed Premier League starts.
As for Wolves, Ruben Neves, Matt Doherty and Ryan Bennett did not take part in the Europa League win over Torino and could be set for returns - even though Espirito Santo advised caution with Doherty.
Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Digne, Keane, Mina, Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Richarlison, and Kean.
Wolves: Patricio, Bennett, Boly, Coady, Doherty, Jonny, Neves, Moutinho, Gibbs-White, Jota, and Jimenez.