Optimism wasn’t the expected overriding emotion to emerge from the Fulham camp following an opening day test against Liverpool, but there is plenty of it at Motspur Park after Marco Silva’s side more than matched the Champions’ League runners-up with a stirring showing last Saturday. Harrison Reed spoke of heading to the Midlands with a renewed confidence given the character shown in a display that surprised plenty of pundits – and Silva has two long-awaited central defensive additions to take with him to Molineux, even if both Shane Duffy and Issa Diop might have to wait for their full debuts after the excellence of veteran Tim Ream.

The problem with upsetting the odds so convincingly (consider the fact that the Match of the Day panel of Lineker, Shearer and Wright devoted all of their post-highlights analysis to Fulham’s fabulous display after selecting our game to top the bill) is that an expectation starts to build. Momentum is vital at this stage of season and any run of results impacts on morale – as we saw negatively on Fulham’s last two attempts to crack the top flight – so banking points in August can be the difference between staying up and going down with a whimper. There is a suggestion that Silva’s philosophy, as opposed to the bespoke game plan used to befuddle Liverpool, could be better suited to playing away from home in the Premier League – but Wolves away will be a tough nut to crack.

Fulham’s last success at Wolverhampton came in the FA Cup in January 2015 following a snowy see-saw encounter and a penalty shoot-out, but they haven’t won in the league at Molineux in thirteen visits since a 4-0 second tier success in April 1985 inspired by Tony Sealy’s sensational hat-trick that was witnessed by a meagre crowd of 6,172. It looked as if Slavisa Jokanovic’s side would end the barren run in December 2016 when they took a 3-1 lead just before half-time thanks to Tom Cairney’s incredible volley, but – as it turned out – the Whites were grateful for an injury-time intervention from Floyd Ayite to rescue a point at the end of an end-to-end encounter that saw the sides share eight goals. There is an added statistical quirk to be wary of for the pessimists: Wolves haven’t won in eleven Premier League matches in August since they beat Fulham (of course!) in 2011 and they are currently on a eight match winless run, matching their worst spell since their return to the top flight. The Whites, with our renowned generosity to the less fortunate, are the perfect opponents to cheer up Bruno Lage.

Wanderers badly needed a striker with Raul Jimenez, who they badly missed during his spell out of the side following that horrific head injury, absent again after picking up a knee problem – and they now have Goncalo Guedes primed for a debut after his £27.5m move from Valencia. The Portuguese forward, who scored the winner against Holland in the Nations’ League final two years ago, knows Lage well from their spell together at Benfica, where he won four domestic titles, and his intelligent running will certainly pose a problem for the Fulham defence. The Whites will probably need to track the runs of available-again Nelson Semedo and Adama Traore, although Wolves will definitely be without the influential Joao Moutinho in the middle of the park.

Silva has been at pains to portray his team selection as a meritocracy this week. There’s no case to drop Marek Rodak for a new arrival, as happened immediately after the first game back in the big time two seasons ago, even if Bernd Leno has clearly been bought as the club’s number one. Both Ream and Adarabioyo could be considered culpable for Liverpool’s second equaliser, but the American veteran – bafflingly a target for the vitriol from the keyboard warriors despite his sublime service to the club – has credit in the bank from a brilliant goal line clearance that had earlier kept the Whites in front. Adarabioyo is clearly a talented, ball-playing centre half around whom Silva would like to build and it makes sense to retain the partnership that gelled so effectively last term against opponents who are unlikely to try and get in behind the back line.

The devastating loss of Manor Solomon after an encouraging cameo from the bench against Liverpool – added to the absence of Harry Wilson also caused by a behind-closed-doors friendly – means it will likely be a case of ‘same again’ on the flanks too. There’s much to admire in the work ethic of both Neeskens Kebano, so unlucky not to cap an energetic afternoon with a goal when his second half shot bounced back off the inside of the post early in the second half, and Bobby Decordova-Reid, whose effectiveness in the top flight can’t be questioned after his superb showings two years ago. There were even a few sublime skills on show against Liverpool – allied to his diligence in tracking back, which will be needed again tomorrow.

Silva has been unequivocal in his backing for Aleksandar Mitrovic – although why he had to voice support for the Serbian’s suitability for the Premier League after Fulham’s number nine humiliated Virgil van Dijk in a manner nobody else has managed since he moved south of the border is anyone’s guess. One of the keys to his expansive approach is getting runners alongside – and beyond – Mitrovic on a regular basis, which is a refreshing change from the era when Scott Parker couldn’t even bring himself to select the club’s most potent goal threat. The eagerness of Andreas Pereira, as well as the Brazilian’s set piece delivery, will present a different problem to top flight defences should they simply focus on stopping Mitrovic but Silva’s side will need to reprise their combative and clinical best to end our bleak run at Molineux.

MY FULHAM XI (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Tete, A. Robinson, Adrabioyo, Ream; Palhinha, Reed; Decordova-Reid, Kebano, Pereira; Mitrovic. Subs: Leno, Mbabu, Duffy, Diop, Chalobah, Harris, Jasper, Stansfield, Muniz.