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2010/2011 Premier League Preview: Wolves

Wolves have made some shrewd signings this summer after defying the odds in order to stay up last year.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers/Stoke City Premiership 11.04.10 Photo: Tim Parker Fotosports International Kevin Doyle Wolverhampton Wanderers 2009/10 Photo via Newscom
Manager: Mick McCarthy
Position Last Season: 15th
Transfers In: Jelle Van Damme, Steven Fletcher, Stephen Mouyokolo, Stephen Hunt, Adlene Guedioura, Geoffrey Mujangi Bia
Transfers  Out: Jason Shackell, Mark Little, Daniel Jones, George Friend, Chris Iwelumo, Alan Irvine, Andrew Surman

Last season, Wolves were predicted by many to go straight back down to the Championship, but they defied the odds and secured their Premier League status with a 15th place finish. This season, manager Mick McCarthy will be looking to improve on that finish, but it is debatable as to whether they have the quality to do so.

McCarthy did his transfer business early this summer, snapping up the likes of Steven Fletcher and Stephen Hunt before anyone else had the chance to even consider a swoop. Hunt is a proven talent, and Fletcher could be the perfect partner for Kevin Doyle. McCarthy has spent £6.5million on the striker after he stood out in a poor Burnley side last season. Both strikers are more than capable of accumulating a total of 20 goals collectively.

It is in other positions though, where Wolves seem to lack quality. It will be interesting to see whether the signings of Jelle Van Damme and Stephen Mouyokolo prove to be good defensive additions, and whether Michael Kightly will be able to return from last season’s injury nightmare in order to add something extra to their hard-working midfield.

The team are sure to adopt similar tactics to those used last year, scraping results and slowly accumulating points in order to reach the desired 38-point target, but they should also now be willing to give it a go against the bigger teams. Last season, the team picked up a suspended £25,000 after fielding a weakened side against Manchester United, seemingly giving up any slight chance of gaining points, in order to concentrate on other games. In order to improve on last years finish, they must begin to believe in themselves a lot more.

Caughtoffside prediction: A 15th place finish is a realistic target, but if they are not careful, Wolves could find themselves involved in a relegation battle.

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