Being one of the stronger sides to gain promotion of late, Wolves will be looking to show their worth by staying up in their first season back in the EPL. Wolves spent almost none of last season out of the automatic promotion spot, gaining the advantage early and displaying strong play throughout the season. Wolves look to be Premier League ready and should find it no problem to stay in the league this season. Following manager Mick McCarthy’s three year plan, Wolves are back in the Premiership and looking to regain their place atop the elite clubs in England. A few additions have been made in the offseason to help Wolves in the upcoming season which should help add depth and quality to the side.
Key Additions: Andrew Surman (Southampton), Marcus Hahnemann (Reading), Greg Halford (Sunderland), Ronald Zubar (Marseille), Kevin Doyle (Reading), Nenad Milijas (Red Star Belgrade)
Loss: Darren Potter (Sheffield Wednesday)
Hahnemann was let go by Reading in the offseason and Wolves will be looking to his veteran leadership in the back to help strengthen a defense that will be tested this season by some of the strongest sides in the league. Surman, Halford, and Zubar had suffered disappointment at their former clubs, but with their offseason moves they should see plenty of playing time and a rejuvenation of their careers as well. Adding Milijas to the midfield will help strengthen the side in the middle, adding leadership and experience in the middle. Thought to have had interest from other clubs in the EPL, Doyle joins Wolves from Reading, strengthening an already strong front line that hopes to provide many goals for the club this season. The club will be looking for results this season and I think they will find them where they need them. I have them finishing around the 14th spot this season, which would keep them in the EPL for another season and give them something to improve on for the next. Not having used a lot of players on loan to help them gain promotion, Wolves should be just as dangerous as last season, having no problem staying up in the first time of asking.
Finishing off last season in the 15th position, I do not see Blackburn moving up much. The will be safe as manager big Sam Allardyce will be leading them from day one this season, but the talent is just not there going into the new term. Not saying that there is no talent on the team, but at the moment Blackburn’s roster looks to be one of mediocre players in the EPL. Big Sam should be able to work his magic and keep the side up, but I do not see them pushing up any farther than maybe 13th position. A few losses in the offseason have hurt them, but Sam has brought in some new faces as well to try and add depth and quality around the pitch.
Key Additions: Franco Di Santo (loan from Chelsea), Gael Givet (Marseille), Lars Christian Jacobsen (Everton), Steven N’Zonzi (SC Amiens), Elrio van Heerden (Club Brugge)
Losses: Andre Ooijer (PSV Eindhoven), Matt Derbyshire (Olympiacos), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Roque Santa Cruz (Manchester City)
Perhaps the biggest loss for Blackburn will be Santa Cruz, the side’s main goal getter, but I think Ooijer who is a solid player will be a big loss for the side as well this season. Di Santo should add to the gap left in the attack by Santa Cruz’s departure, but as a young talent Di Santo is still unproven in the league. Givet and Jacobsen should help strengthen and add depth to the defense, while N’Zonzi and van Heerden should add new dimensions to the midfield. The club still lacks a real attacking presence but they will fight out enough results to stay competitive until the end of the season. Big Sam will be looking for more attacking power going into the season, but at the moment the market looks inflated for options at forward. Hopefully things will work out for Sam and the boys at Blackburn as they usually provide a good match to watch throughout the season. They will be competitive but do not look for them to break into the top ten and challenge for a European spot this time around.