Prediction & odds for the game: Wolves (8/15) v Espanyol (6/1)
When: Thursday, 20th February 2020 @ 8pm K.O
Wolverhampton Wanderers are set to meet Espanyol this week at Molineux in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie.
The efficiency of this Wolverhampton Wanderers side has ensured that they’re still in the hunt for a Champions League spot with just a few months left to play in the Premier League. As of late the only losses they’ve suffered have come courtesy of Liverpool in the Premier League and Manchester United in the FA Cup, with draws against Leicester and Newcastle thrown in there for good measure. They also pulled off a sensational comeback win against Southampton to get them back on the winning trail in the league.
In the Europa League, Wolves stumbled out of the group stage blocks with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Braga. That stumble didn’t last for long, though, as they proceeded to put together three straight wins against Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava – all by one goal. They produced an entertaining 3-3 draw with Braga in their penultimate group game before absolutely torching Besiktas 4-0.
A 2-1 win over Villarreal in mid-January gave a lot of fans hope that Espanyol could forge a Great Escape for themselves after a poor start to the campaign – but losses to Real Sociedad and Granada alongside a draw against Athletic Bilbao brought them crashing back down to Earth. They managed to pick themselves back up against Mallorca, though, edging out a 1-0 win before a spirited 2-2 draw against Sevilla.
Espanyol’s Europa League group stage began with a less than convincing 1-1 draw against Ferencvaros, but as was the case with Wolves, they put together three wins in a row against CSKA Moscow and Ludogorets, with the reverse fixture against the latter finishing 6-0. They drew again when they met Ferencvaros for the second time before finishing on a downer with a 1-0 loss to CSKA Moscow.
Both teams have been keeping their games tight in their respective leagues and we think that’s going to be the case again here. Espanyol were able to introduce a few game changers into the mix during the January transfer window and we believe that’ll help them shine here. Alas, there aren’t all too many teams who can outplay Wolves at Molineux, and we think their well-structured attacking line-up will nudge them over the finish line and give them a lead to take into the second leg over in Spain next week.
We do expect quite a few fireworks on either side of the ball on Thursday night, ensuring that we hit the over 2.5 goals marker.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 8/15 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/1. (All odds are taken from bet365).
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