Relegation candidates – big-spending Wolves hunt survival
Having secured Premier League survival in a surprisingly comfortable manner last season, Wolves will be keen to prove that the last campaign was no fluke.
Marcus Hahnemann proved to be one of the unlikely successes at Molineux last season, having joined the Midlands club following his release from Reading.
The American is a consistently sound performer, and he is ably backed up by Welsh international Wayne Hennessey.
McCarthy has bolstered his defensive options by signing Stephen Mouyokolo from Hull and Anderlecht’s Belgian international Jelle Van Damme, for the price of £2.5m each.
Veteran centre-back Jody Craddock outscored Emile Heskey with five Premier League goals last season, but the captain may face a difficult task in keeping his place.
Indeed, while Wolves are 9/4 to be relegated, such fierce competition for places suggests that they have the strength in depth required to survive.
Stephen Hunt is a very shrewd signing at £3m, and the Republic of Ireland winger will enhance the tenacity and work ethic of the Wolves squad.
Karl Henry and Welshman David Edwards impressed in central midfield last season, and with Adlene Guedioura making his loan move permanent, midfield should again be a strong area for Wolves.
Steven Fletcher became Wolves’ joint-record signing when he joined from Burnley for a fee of £6.5m, and the Scotland international is 100/1 to be the Premier League’s top scorer this season.
Kevin Doyle had an excellent first season at Wolves, and having foraged as a lone forward during the last campaign, the Irishman should thrive with Fletcher alongside him.
Who will be Wolves’ main competition in trying to beat the drop? West Ham are 5/1 to be relegated. See the full Barclays Premier League Betting Odds market.