Everton vs Wolves Prediction
Monday 26th December 2022
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Where Can I Watch Everton vs Wolves?
Amazon Prime Video (UK, NI, CI, IoM); USA – TV channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
Everton vs Wolves Prediction Match Overview
Boxing Day sees the return of league football after players’ escapades at the World Cup. Everton vs Wolves kicks off at 3 pm at Goodison Park. The hosts had Jordan Pickford and Conor Coady playing at the World Cup for England, where the former played all games. In contrast, the latter did not play a single minute but is ineligible regardless, as he is on a season-long loan from Wolves. Idrissa Gueye played for Senegal, and Amadou Onana for Belgium. None of these players made the semi-finals, so they should be ready. For Wolves, Ruben Neves played a starting role as Portugal made it to the quarter-finals. Jose Sa and Matheus Nunes were in the squad, but Sa was a reserve goalkeeper, and Nunes only got a few minutes. Raul Jimenez was a starter for Mexico, and Hwang Hee-Chan started the round of 16 match against Brazil for South Korea. Again, all these players should be ready, as none reached the semi-finals.
Both teams enter the match in poor form. Everton have lost four of their last six games, their sole victory being a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace. They have failed to register a single goal in the other five and have conceded eight. Wolves have picked up four points in their last six (the same as Everton) but have scored two more goals with five. However, they have conceded twelve. Their only win on that run was a narrow 1-0 defeat of fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest. These clubs take up the bottom two places in the form guide over the previous six games. Therefore, we anticipate a war of attrition with minimal quality on show. Wolves may be better than they have been as it is new coach Julen Lopetegui’s first match in charge. His Sevilla side was known for being defensively decent.
Everton vs Wolves Team News
Injuries and Suspensions
Might not play: Mina, Davies, Calvert-Lewin (Everton); Jonny, Traore (Wolves)
Will not play: Garner, Townsend (Everton); Costa, Kalajdzic, Neto, Chiquinho (Wolves)
Everton (4-3-3): Jordan Pickford; Vitaliy Mykolenko, James Tarkowski, Michael Keane, Nathan Patterson; Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye, Amadou Onana; Demarai Gray, Anthony Gordon, Neal Maupay
Wolves (4-3-3): Jose Sa; Hugo Bueno, Nathan Collins, Max Kilman, Nelson Semedo; Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Matheus Nunes; Goncalo Guedes, Daniel Podence, Raul Jimenez
Everton vs Wolves Prediction Analysis
The Midfield Battle
Both teams will likely line up in 4-3-3 formations, a departure for Wolves from their previous three at the back. Both sides play cagey, defensive, counter-attacking football so Everton will likely have a little more of the ball as the home team. Despite struggling all season, Everton manager Frank Lampard does have some quality players in the middle of the park. Gueye and Onana are powerful midfielders who can inject energy into proceedings. Iwobi is more of a winger-midfielder hybrid and tends to drift wider onto the left. Gueye makes many tackles and will be expected to try to stop Wolves from getting into a rhythm. Onana, for his part, is more of a jack-of-all-trades who can use his height, passing, and power to speed up the game and get in the opponents’ proverbial faces. Abdoulaye Doucoure is also an option to start for Everton.
Lopetegui, too, has quality options for Wolves. Neves has steadily grown as a midfielder and has much more experience as he enters his prime years. Nunes is exciting, and Moutinho is an old, wise head in this all-Portuguese midfield three. Nunes is an all-rounder and will be asked to use his tenacity, tackling, passing, and ability to drive forward to push Wolves on in this match. Neves is always deadly from range when he gets near the opposing box. Moutinho has the intelligence to keep the game ticking over by playing clever short passes. All three are defensively diligent. Many of these midfielders for both sides can be cautious and will receive the ball from their centre-backs and cover for their full-backs when they go forward.
Battle of the Defences and Chances at a Premium?
Both of these teams have really struggled to score this season but have conceded plenty of goals at the other end. Indeed, Everton have scored 11 and conceded 17 in their 15 games. Wolves have scored a minuscule eight and conceded a high 24 in their 15. Clearly, these two teams could be better at both ends of the pitch. Therefore, we see Everton vs Wolves being a match of two struggling teams low on confidence. In Everton’s last six games, at least one team has failed to get on the scoresheet (generally Everton being the ones who don’t register). Likewise, Wolves have played in many games where one team keeps a clean sheet (again, typically the opposition). Therefore, this is a game where one mistake or piece of magic could decide it. Neither team is proficient or creative enough in the final third for this to be a goal-fest.
There might be few chances in this game, and they must be taken when they arrive. With Coady ineligible, Tarkowski and Keane must be strong when crosses come in for Jimenez. Mykolenko, Patterson, and the defensive midfielders must also beware of the trickery of Podence and Guedes out wide, where Hwang is also an option to start. The speedy Adama Traore could be introduced against tired legs. Kilman and Collins must do the same defensive work for Wolves when the Everton full-backs, Gray, Iwobi, and the quick Gordon try to create for Maupay up front. Lampard would love to have Dominic Calvert-Lewin back, but he might only be fit enough for the bench. Generally, though, we see it being a tight and dour game between two teams who struggle to create. Both sides have key players out, and even when they do not, they are mediocre in attack. In Wolves’ case this is often because they cannot finish, despite a good expected goals ratio.
Beat the Bookmaker Everton vs Wolves Prediction
As stated, Everton vs Wolves is a game between two teams in dire straits. Both have been in awful form and desperately need a win to kick-start their seasons. Again, these teams are in the bottom two places in the form table over the last six matches and might feel relief at playing each other rather than a team higher up the table. Alternatively, this match could be viewed as a relegation six-pointer, even at this early stage of the season. We are expecting a low-calibre match consisting of plenty of mistakes. Both teams have some quality, but we expect there to be nerves, especially from Everton with an expectant and demanding home crowd. However, Wolves do not score enough goals and concede plenty. They haven’t won away all season (2 points from 21) and Everton will possibly get the job done with their home advantage. As we said, these teams often play in games where one side keeps a clean sheet, and we don’t think both teams will score. A solitary goal may well decide it.
Everton 1-0 Wolves
Beat the Bookmaker Everton vs Wolves Prediction – Everton to Win:
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