Crusaders vs Wolves betting tips: Europa League qualifying match preview & predictions

Crusaders vs Wolves prediction: Crusaders 0-3 Wolves

They certainly were not convincing but Wolves head to Belfast with a lead.

It took them until the 37th minute to make the breakthrough when Diogo Jota volleyed home from the edge of the area.

However, despite completely dominating possession, it looked like the Premier League side were not going to add to their one goal.

That was until the 93rd minute when goalkeeper Sean O’Neil dropped a cross and Rúben Vinagre stroked home his first goal for Wolves.

That second goal could make all the difference as Nuno Espírito Santo’s side are in a far more comfortable position.

Can they book their place in the third qualifying round where they’ll meet either Pyunik or Jabloenc?

First leg highlights: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Crusaders

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Crusaders: Who will win?

Crusaders are huge underdogs at 20/1 to win this home leg.

Wolves are 1/12 to make it two wins out of two.

A draw, which would still be a huge upset, is 13/2.

Over 2.5 goals is 4/9.

Wolves to win and over 2.5 goals is also 4/9.

Wolves to win and both teams to score no is also 4/9.

Diogo Jota

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea FC at Molineux on December 5, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Jordan Owens is Crusaders’ leading goalscorer of all time. He is 22/1 to score first and 13/2 to net anytime.

Diogo Jota got Wolves’ first European goal for 39 years last week. He is 12/5 to open the scoring once again and 8/13 to make it two in two.

Raúl Jiménez was their top scorer last season and scored five as Mexico won the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this month. He is 12/5 to score first and 8/13 to net anytime, just like his usual partner in crime.

Both Raúl Jiménez and Jota to score is 15/8.

Crusaders vs Wolverhampton Wanderers: Match preview

This will certainly be the biggest game Seaview has ever hosted.

Crusaders may be far more used to being in Europe than their opponents but have enjoyed little success.

They lost their first 14 European ties between 1967 and 2013 before finally beating Ekranas five years ago.

Since then, they’ve won just two of the seven ties that they’ve played in.

But, one of those did come this season.

The Hatchetmen met Bóltfelagið 1936 Tórshavn from the Faroe Islands in the first qualifying round.

In the first leg at home, goals from Chris Hegarty and then Philip Lowry guided them to a 2-0 win.

In last week’s second leg in Tórshavn, they took the lead after just three minutes through Jordan Forsythe.

Before the half hour mark, Paul Heatley had made it 4-0 on aggregate.

B36 Tórshavn did get it back to 2-2 on the night before Heatley’s second of the evening secured the win.

For a side who finished fourth in the NIFL Premiership last season, it was a great occasion to play at a sold out Molineux.

Stephen Baxter was proud of the display his side put in but the second goal leaves them with a mountain to climb.

Will it be more of a contest this time?

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 11: Rúben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring their first goal during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton FC at Molineux on August 11, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Will Wolves march on?

Wolves meanwhile look set for the next round.

Last season in the league or FA Cup, they recorded six wins, four draws and suffered just four defeats against those six sides who finished above them.

However, they really struggled against the bottom six, amassing just 14 points from those 12 games.

Their problems against inferior opposition were evident last week too as they really struggled to break Crusaders down.

Nevertheless, they’ll be very happy with the 2-0 lead they’ve got and will be more than confident of getting through.

Jablonec of the Czech Republic or Pyunik from Armenia are the prize on offer in the Europa League third qualifying round.

If it is Wolves who go through, regardless of who wins that tie, they will be massive favourites to win again.

Can Nuno’s men build up some momentum ahead of tougher tests to come?

Crusaders team news vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Europa League live streaming

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – MARCH 15: The logo of the UEFA Europa League is seen prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund at the Red Bull Arena on March 15, 2018 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images,)

Stephan Baxter, is likely to make a couple of changes from the first leg.

Veteran goalkeeper Sean O’Neill will be in goal; he joined the club way back in 2011.

In defence, Howard Beverland will return at centre-back.

Midfielder Jordan Forsythe scored in the last round and, at any opportunity, will try and get forward.

Ross Clarke will play just in behind the main centre-forward.

He’s likely to be Jordan Ovens despite the fact he was left on the bench a week ago.

Can this side pull off the biggest win in the club’s 121 year history?

Wolverhampton Wanderers team news vs Crusaders

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 06: Matt Doherty of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Selhurst Park on October 6, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

As for Nuno Espírito Santo, he made the fewest changes to his starting XI in the Premier League last season.

He’s likely to continue that trend this season by naming an unchanged side.

His squad includes four players who won the UEFA Nations League last month including goalkeeper Rui Patrício.

Ahead of him will be the very familiar back three of Boly, Bennett and captain Coady.

Romain Saïss could be available after representing Morocco at AFCON.

Jesús Vallejo joined on loan from Real Madrid last Friday but is ineligible until the next round.

In midfield, Leander Dendoncker made his loan deal from Anderlecht permanent last month.

He’ll be the anchor behind Portuguese duo Rúben Neves and João Moutinho.

Out wide, Matt Doherty is not 100% fit so won’t be risked.

Nuno could bring in goalscoring substitute Rúben Vinagre and switch Jonny to right wing-back.

However, in a game his side will dominate, Adama Traoré is likely to start.

He will cause problems down that side.

Up front, last season’s top scorer Raúl Jiménez will probably be on the bench once again.

He scored five goals during the summer in helping Mexico win the CONCACAF Gold Cup as recently as 25 days ago.

Italian international Patrick Cutrone joined from A.C. Milan on Tuesday but he, like Vallejo, will have to wait for his debut.

Given both of those, Morgan Gibbs-White will be pushed forward and join Diogo Jota in attack.

Even with key players missing and no new arrivals available, Wolves should easily win this one.

Predicted Crusaders line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Crusaders line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Crusaders line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Crusaders

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Crusaders

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Crusaders.

The latest tweets from Crusaders pre Wolves

The latest tweets from Wolves pre Crusaders

The latest YouTube interviews from Wolves pre Crusaders

All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Why you need a VPN?
Cut chords:
Watch everything (Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu) online using a VPN.
Unlock geoblocking:
A VPN gives you access to the best content from anywhere in the world.
Privacy & security:
A VPN keeps your information private, activity encrypted & data anonymous.
Just $6.67 a month + 3 months free!

Bet £10, Get £10! Grab a £10 free bet, when you bet £10!