Posted this just a little above on this thread in regards to wild card teams for Grand Tours:What's the latest on who's going to have a World Tour license and how many wildcards there'll be next year? Will we see Quintana outside of France?
If there are only 2 wild cards, there won't be any automatic wild cards if there are only 2 wild card options. For the two automatic Wild Cards to be there there must be 4 Wild Cards. Last paragraph of this article: https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/exclusive-risk-of-legal-challenge-leads-uci-to-expand-worldtour-to-20-teams/
Back to 18 WorldTour teams in 2023
The rule changes for 2020-2022 have avoided the possible relegation of two current UCI WorldTour teams but only delayed the risk of relegation, kicking the problem down the road. The stakeholders have agreed that the 2023 WorldTour will include only 18 teams, meaning up to two teams could be relegated from the WorldTour in 2023.
The possibility of having up to 20 teams in the 2020-2022 UCI WorldTour will also impact other new UCI’s rules, introduced just a few months ago, concerning Professional Continental teams and the compulsory invitations to WorldTour races.
The UCI has told Cyclingnews that Grand Tour organisers will still be able to award two wild card places to teams but the two automatic places that were due to be awarded to the two best-ranked Professional Continental teams are now at risk and will be cancelled if 20 WorldTour places are awarded.
Based on the above, la Vuelta will only invite Spanish Pro Conti teams as their wild cards. So you can exclude any hope of an invite there if you aren't one of those teams.
As for the two teams who get the WT license it would be a total shock of Cofidis isn't one of the two. It appears that Direct Energy will get the other one.