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Craig Dawson returns for Wolves after missing the win at Brentford because of a cut to his knee. Top scorer Hwang Hee-chan is also available despite being forced off in that game with a back spasm. Boubacar Traore, who is recovering from illness, may be fit, but Mario Lemina is doubtful for personal reasons.

Everton midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure faces a late fitness test on the thigh injury that has ruled him out of their last three matches. Idrissa Gueye and Ashley Young remain on the sidelines. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and James Tarkowski sat out training on Thursday because of knocks but should be fit.

Gary O'Neil

Here are the main lines from his news conference:

  • In terms of injuries, Craig Dawson and Hwang Hee-chan are fit and available for selection after a full training session. Boubacar Traore will be assessed again before the game but should be in contention.

  • Wolves might be without Mario Lemina, who returned to France this morning due to a family issue, with O’Neil stating: “I don’t want to speak about too much as it’s not my place. He didn’t train today, that’s all I can really say on it. Whether he’ll be with us tomorrow it’s too early to say.”

  • On opponents Everton: “They’ve been very impressive. They’ve had some fantastic results and really good performances and seem to have evolved quite a lot from when we last played them, having watched quite a lot of them this week.”

  • He added: “I still see them as a point ahead of us in the league because they would normally be on 26 [points]. That shows what a good side they are and how well they’ve done, so it will be a really tough test.”

  • Wolves are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run at home, but O’Neil says they will need all of the support for their third game in six days: “We’re going to need as much energy from as many people in the stadium as possible. We need to create that ourselves on the pitch, but the help from the side will be massive for us.”

  • Wolves will look “within the squad” for other players to “step up” when Hwang Hee-chan goes on international duty for the Asian Cup, says O’Neil, adding: “He’s really excited to go and play for his country. Hopefully he does well there, continues his good form and comes back in good shape.”

  • On January transfer window plans, O’Neil said: “We’re going to have to be really clever with how we do things and it might have to be that some go out before we can bring some in, but everyone’s working so hard to identify targets.”

  • O’Neil hopes Fabio Silva’s loan to Rangers will give the 21-year-old forward “a lot of opportunities to score goals” and more minutes than he is currently getting at Wolves.



  • Wolves have won four and drawn one of their last five league games against Everton. Those four wins are as many victories as they had managed in their previous 21 top-flight fixtures against the Toffees.
  • Everton have managed just two wins in their nine Premier League games at Molineux.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Wolves have eight more points than they did at this stage last season.
  • They are aiming to win three league games in a row for the first time since January 2022.
  • Gary O’Neil’s side are on an seven-match unbeaten run at home in the league (W4, L3) since losing 3-1 to Liverpool on 16 September.
  • Wolves have scored in each of their last 16 Premier League home games. They last had a longer scoring run at Molineux in the top flight between April 1965 and April 1968 (22 matches).
  • They have failed to win their final league game in each of the last four years and did not score a single goal in any of those matches.
  • They last won their final league fixture of a calendar year in 2018 when they beat Tottenham 3-1 at Wembley.
  • Wolves have scored all 17 of their Premier League penalties since returning to the top flight in 2018.
  • Hwang Hee-chan’s tally of 10 league goals this season is already two more than he managed in his first two seasons at Wolves combined.
  • Gary O’Neil has won three of his four competitive matches as a manager against Everton.


  • Despite their 10-point deduction, Everton’s tally of 16 points at the halfway point of the campaign is one more than they had at this stage of last season.
  • This is the eighth consecutive calendar year that their final league game is away from home. They are unbeaten in their last four such matches, beating Newcastle in 2019, Sheffield United in 2020 and drawing with Chelsea and Manchester City in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
  • Everton have won five of their last seven away league fixtures, losing the other two at Liverpool and Tottenham.
  • Their five away league wins is already more than the four they won in the previous two seasons combined.
  • They are the only top-flight side to yet be awarded a penalty this season.
  • Seamus Coleman (353) is one short of moving level alongside Tim Howard (354) as Everton’s all-time leading Premier League appearance maker.
  • Their defeat in the reverse fixture this season was only Sean Dyche’s second loss in 13 league matches as a manager against Wolves.


Referee: Tom Bramall. Assistants: Simon Bennett, Mat Wilkes. Fourth official: Darren England. VAR: Michael Oliver. Assistant VAR: Adrian Holmes.


Match kicks off at Molineux at 30pm on Saturday 30th December, this match is not shown live on UK television.

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