Puel hails battling Foxes

Leicester City boss Claude Puel was pleased with his team's fighting spirit as they clinched their first victory of the season by beating Wolves 2-0.

The visitors started well at the King Power Stadium, with Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho both hitting the woodwork.

However, the Foxes rode their luck and a Matt Doherty own goal gave them the lead before James Maddison doubled their advantage.

Leicester secured their first three-point haul of the campaign despite having Jamie Vardy sent off in the second half.

A delighted Puel said afterwards: "It was a tough game against a good team. They played well and they have a system in their play. It's difficult to defend against this team and, in the first 20 minutes, we were not in a good position.

"But I am happy about our fighting spirit. We scored two times and we had other chances to score. I am happy about our solidity and fighting spirit because, without this mentality, it was not possible to win this game."

Leicester, 8/13 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season, can be backed at 15/8 to win their next game of the campaign against Southampton.

Speculation doesn’t worry Puel

Leicester City manager Claude Puel insists speculation regarding his future isn't a matter for his concern.

Puel, who was appointed last October, is reported to be under pressure after just one game of the new Premier League season, where his Foxes team lost 2-1 at Manchester United.

It has been reported that Puel is in serious danger of being sacked, with Saturday's home clash against Wolves and the following week's trip to Southampton said to be crucial to his hopes of staying in charge.

Belgium's management duo of Roberto Martinez and Thierry Henry are being touted as potential replacements but Puel isn't worried.

If he does depart, the former Southampton boss insists he'll leave the squad in good shape for anyone coming in after him.

"It's just speculation," he told a press conference.

"I would be happy for my successor, because he would have a good squad and a very good team.

"I can't comment on speculation. My job is to build something with Leicester; to continue to develop this club, to develop the players and the squad. After this, if people are angry or not satisfied, that is not my concern.

"It is not the first time, it will not be the last."

Leicester are 21/20 to beat Wolves this weekend. The visitors are 14/5 to win the King Power Stadium clash, with the draw available at 11/5.

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Baines hails new boy Richarlison

Veteran Leighton Baines has backed new signing Richarlison to build on a superb two-goal debut for Everton in their 2-2 draw at newly-promoted Wolves.

The 21-year-old Brazilian netted either side of half-time at Molineux to help the Toffees secure a share of the spoils despite having Phil Jagielka sent off five minutes

And left-back Baines was clearly impressed by the performance of the former Watford man, who suffered a long goal drought during the second half of last season.

He told his club's official website: "He has been magnificent since he came in. He's a really, really good player. He has great work rate, a great attitude – everything you want from a footballer.

"His ability is unquestionable and I'm so excited to play with him and watch him play. He does it all. He has strength, he's got pace, he's got skill, he can find a pass and he can score a goal."

Toffees boss Marco Silva, who previously worked with Richarlison at Watford, was also delighted with how his £40million recruit had showed up at Molineux, adding: "It was a very good performance from a player I know can play like this.

"It's not just his goals. He works hard, makes runs and I'm pleased to see him score two goals, but the most pleasing thing was the team performance."

Everton are available at 7/2 to finish in the Premier League top six this season, with West Ham 10/1 and Leicester City 10/1.

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Zouma set for Everton loan

Everton boss Marco Silva has indicated that he is on the verge of completing a loan deal to bring Chelsea's Kurt Zouma to Goodison Park.

Silva signed two players from Barcelona on Thursday – Colombia defender Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes on a season-long loan – as well as Brazilian winger Bernard on a permanent deal.

He snapped up Richarlison from Watford earlier in the summer as well as another Barcelona player, Lucas Digne, and is pleased with the business he has been able to do.

Wayne Rooney, Kevin Mirallas, Davy Klaassen, Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori have all left the club since the end of last term.

Former Watford and Hull City boss Silva said: "The Kurt Zouma loan from Chelsea is almost done, not official, but almost done. There is no option to buy.

"I am ready, I am happy and the environment at the club is good. Everyone has a smile and everything starts on Saturday.

"Ademola Lookman is in my plans. He's an important player for our squad. I know the speculation but I've analysed his quality and now is our moment to develop him. He is our present and our future.

"We sold Ramiro Funes Mori and Ashley Williams goes out on loan, Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma come in so we have the same numbers. There is nothing different."

Everton, 7/2 to finish in the top six of the Premier League this season, can be backed at 23/10 to beat Wolves on Saturday.

Dendoncker keen to help Wolves

Belgium international Leander Dendoncker has completed his season-long loan switch from Anderlecht to Wolves.

The 23-year-old midfielder's move to Molineux will become permanent next summer.

Dendoncker, who made his international debut in 2015, came through Anderlecht's youth system and made 190 senior appearances for the club.

During his time in Brussels he won the Belgian First Division title in 2016/17 and two Belgian Super Cups.

He played 42 games for Anderlecht last season and has represented Belgium on six occasions, including against England in the group stages of World Cup 2018.

Dendoncker, who could make his debut against Everton on Saturday evening, said: "I'm very excited to start. I followed Wolves a little bit last year and saw they did really good.

"I think it's an ambitious club and that's what attracts me the most. I'm ready to give everything. I'll do everything to adapt as fast as possible and help the team in every possible way.

"I'm excited by the challenge. They say the Premier League is like playing in the Champions League every week and I don't think that's a lie. I think the best players are in the Premier League."

Wolves are available at 11/8 to beat Everton and 7/4 to keep a clean sheet against Marco Silva's team.

Molineux move suits Traora

Wolves have continued their preparations for life in the Premier League by signing the 22-year-old winger Adama Traore from Middlesbrough.

Traore, who has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Molineux, moves from Teesside to Wolves for an undisclosed transfer fee, believed to be £18million.

He came through the youth team ranks at Barcelona before leaving the Nou Camp in 2015 and moving to Aston Villa.

Traore spent one campaign at Villa Park before signing for Middlesbrough. He enjoyed a two-year stay at the Riverside Stadium, failing to score in 27 Premier League appearances when Boro were relegated from the top-flight in 2016/17, and scoring five times in 34 Championship matches last term.

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has already signed Rui Patricio, Jonny Castro Otto, Joao Moutinho and Raul Jimenez this summer while last season's top club in the Championship are expected to confirm the capture of Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht before the transfer window closes on Thursday afternoon.

Dendoncker, who played for Belgium against England at World Cup 2018, has represented his country on six occasions. He has scored 11 goals in 171 appearances for Anderlecht.

Wolves can be backed at 11/10 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table this season and at 11/8 to beat Everton in their opening game of the campaign on Saturday.

New defender a priority for Silva

Marco Silva is desperate to add at least one central defender to his Everton squad before Thursday's transfer deadline.

Since Silva succeeded Sam Allardyce in the Goodison Park hot-seat he has signed Richarlison from Watford and left-back Lucas Digne but knows central defence remains his side's main weakness.

Everton slumped to their fifth pre-season defeat in a row at the weekend when they lost 3-2 to Valencia and Silva continues to be linked with moves for Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles and Barcelona's Colombia international Yerry Mina.

"It is not the best thing to do to wait until the last days but the market is really difficult," said former Hull City and Watford boss Silva.

"When we started we knew more or less what were our targets.

"Since the first day I got here if I want to put one central defender in the game we don't have any. Mason Holgate has been injured since the first week of pre-season. We have to sign new players there."

Meanwhile, Silva has agreed to let Kevin Mirallas join Fiorentina on a season-long loan while Yannick Bolasie is being linked with a return to Crystal Palace.

Everton can be backed at 11/5 to beat Wolves at Molineux in their opening game of the campaign on Saturday while Cenk Tosun is 6/4 to be their top goalscorer this season and Richarlison 5/2.

Digne excited by Everton challenge

Everton new boy Lucas Digne says he is excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League.

The Toffees confirmed the arrival of the Frenchman from Barcelona on a five-year deal on Wednesday morning and he becomes Marco Silva's second signing after the recent deal that brought Richarlison in from Watford.

Despite still being only 25, Digne has won domestic titles with both Paris Saint-Germain and Barca, while he also enjoyed a spell with Roma, having originally come through the ranks at Lille.

Silva has been looking for a new left-back due to the ageing legs of Leighton Baines, who has been linked with a move to the MLS.

The new boy, who has 21 caps for France and was part of Les Bleus' squads at both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, appears to have the pedigree to replace the former England international.

Digne could make his debut against Wolves on Saturday 11th August, a game the Toffees are 19/10 to win, with the draw 9/4 and Nuno Espirito Santo's men 7/5.

The defender admits he is excited about his fresh start and is confident he can make a positive impact on Merseyside.

"Everton is a big club with a great history. I want to play games, win games and excite the fans with the quality of our football," Digne told evertontv.

"I want to show my best football here and discover the best league in the world. Everybody loves the Premier League. I am loving the fact I am coming here.
 
"I am not afraid, I am excited. For me, it is a new challenge to discover a country, a league, people and a great club such as Everton. It is fabulous."

The Toffees are 7/2 to finish in the top six this season.

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Moutinho welcomes Molineux move

Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho is determined to make a success of an opportunity to play in the Premier League, having joined Wolves for £5million from Monaco.

The 31-year-old schemer, who is the third most capped player for his country, has signed a two-year contract with the Molineux outfit, who gained promotion last season by storming to the Championship title.

And Moutinho is looking forward to the challenge of trying to help Wolves establish themselves back in the top-flight, telling his new club's official website: "I'm very excited, it's a new experience with a great club.

"I hope to help the club achieve their objectives and I want to help the team, the players and club to progress.

"I hope we can win all the games. I know it's very difficult with big teams in Premier League, but our mentality – my mentality – is to play every game to win.

"This club is a big club and a very good project and have players I know very well. I hope Wolves can do good things in the Premier League and the other competitions."

"It's one of my objectives to play in the Premier League and now is the opportunity and I hope to help this club a lot."

Moutinho had spent five seasons with Monaco, having previously played in his homeland for both FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon and was a member of the Portugal squad who were crowned European champions in 2016.

Wolves are priced at 7/1 to be relegated next season, while they are 4/6 to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League table and are 6/5 to finish in the top half.

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Wolves seal deals for duo

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has decided to sign Leo Bonatini and Ruben Vinagre on a permanent basis.

Both players spent last season on loan at Molineux.

Bonatini, who scored 12 goals in 43 Championship appearances last season, has inked a four-year-deal, while Vinagre has signed a five-year contract.

Bonatini moves to Molineux from Saudi Professional League side Al-Hilal for an undisclosed fee while teenager Vinagre moves from AS Monaco.

Wolves' sporting director Kevin Thelwell said: "We are delighted to secure the services of two players we rate very highly and we believe can play a huge part in our plans for our first season back in the Premier League and beyond.

"Both players have been part of this group for a season and that means they can hit the ground running and won't need any additional time to adjust to Nuno and his coaching staff's high standards of preparation and training.

"Leo Bonatini was unstoppable for a long stretch last season while Ruben Vinagre is a hugely exciting prospect."

Wolves, 11/10 to finish in the top half of the Premier League table in 2018/19, are 13/10 to win their first game of the season against Everton on 11th August.