By Aramide Oladipo
Paul Merson believes that Wolves will get off to a poor start to the new Championship season on Saturday against Middlesborough at Molineux.
The former player believes that the visitors will come away with a 2-1 victory in Nuno Espirito Santo’s first league match as Wolves manager.
Although Middlesborough were relegated from the Premier League last season, they have managed to keep the majority of key players under new boss Garry Monk and added quality with the signing of striker Britt Assombalonga from Nottingham Forest.
Speaking on Sky Sports News on the EFL Kick Off:AM show on Friday (4 August, 10am), Merson feels that Wolves’ new arrivals might struggle to immediately adapt to life in the Championship.
“I’m going to go for Middlesborough,” he said.
“I think that they’re the team to beat this season.
“Wolves have brought in some players and they have a lot of money but they’ve got to gel and the Championship is a hard, hard league.”
New signings such as Ruben Neves, John Ruddy, Ryan Bennett and Willy Boly will be hopeful of making their competitive Wolves debuts on Saturday afternoon.
The West Midlands should be flying into the first match of the league season with confidence after picking up two successive wins in pre-season, including a 1-0 victory over 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City.
Last season, Wolves had to settle for a point on the opening day of the season as they drew 2-2 away at Rotherham United.
The last time Wolves started the Championship season with a home fixture, they beat Norwich City 1-0 in the 2014-15 campaign.
In other Wolves news, the club have agreed terms with title-winning 23-year-old.