In one of the more eye-catching Europa League play-off ties, Serie A Torino and Premier League Wolves go head-to-head on Thursday night at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. Both teams will be looking to gain the edge ahead of the second leg at Molineux next week.
Torino (Odds of 5/4 to win)
One of the most famous names in Italian football, Torino, have returned to European football this season after a four-year absence.
The Serie A season kicks off this weekend, so all the Italians side attention has been on making it through to the group stages of the Europa League. Walter Mazzarri’s team have already seen off Debrecen and also Shakhtyor Soligorsk in this season’s competition. Wolves should prove a far tougher proposition for the home side.
However, Torino’s recent record in the Europa League will give them encouragement, as they have won four of their last five games in this competition while suffering just one defeat in ten games in the Europa League. The hosts are also unbeaten on home soil in the Europa League in nine matches, having recorded seven wins dating back to 2014. Confidence will be high for a positive result in this clash.
Wolves (Odds of 11/5 to win)
Wolves are already two games into their Premier League campaign, having drawn both their top-flight matches so far this season. Last time out, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side drew 1-1 with Manchester United on Monday night.
The fact that the team from the Midlands have enjoyed very little rest time means that fatigue could play a part in their display in Turin. Torino are certainly in another class to Wolves previous opponents in this competition this season. The visitors have won all four of their Europa League games so far, beating Crusaders of Northern Ireland and Pyunik of Armenia.
The fact that Wolves have scored at least twice in all their European games this season shows the gulf in class to their opponents. Santo’s team has also conceded just one goal in the competition so far.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo may choose to rotate his squad for this clash after the gruelling draw against Manchester United just a few days ago. The visitors look to be without wing-back Matt Doherty, who limped off through injury during the United game. Adama Traore came on for the Ireland international and could start in his absence in this clash.
This is the toughest test that either side has faced so far in the Europa League. Both are very good teams and would grace the group stages if they made it through. However, one must suffer elimination from the competition. The outcome of this game could play a pivotal role in who progresses to the next round.
Torino are highly dangerous in attack on home soil. Meanwhile, while Wolves have the stellar attacking talents of Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, they can be compact when they want to be. We believe that this game could be a tight one, with not much between the two teams. The bet we are going for is the draw, which is available at odds of 9/4.
Verdict: Back the draw at odds of 9/4 (All odds from Bet365)
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Who will gain the upper hand in this vital Europa League play-off?