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Espanyol vs Wolves prediction: Espanyol 0-2 Wolves
What a night for Wolves who head to Cornellà de Llobregat with a, potentially, unassailable lead.
Diogo Jota scored a hat-trick, his second in as many Europa League games, but he did not grab the headlines.
Rúben Neves scored a wonder volley in the second half as his side ran out 4-0 winners at Molineux.
So, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side surely have one foot in the last 16.
They reached the UEFA Cup Final back in 1974 and are dreaming of something similar here.
Abelardo’s side, after this one, can surely focus on their battle to survive in La Liga.
Will Wolves finish the job at RCDE Stadium?
Highlights of Wolves 4-0 Espanyol
Highlights of Wolves 3-0 Norwich
Highlights of Real Valladolid 2-1 Espanyol
Espanyol vs Wolves: Who will win?
Espanyol are 7/4 to win this match but even that is unlikely to take them through.
Wolves meanwhile are 13/8 to beat Espanyol again.
A draw, which will do Wolves nicely, is 21/10.
Under 2.5 goals is 8/13.
Both teams to score no is 5/6.
Wolves to win and both teams to score no is 10/3.
Wǔ Lěi missed some good chances at Molineux. The Chinese centre-forward is 7/1 to open the scoring and 3/1 to net anytime.
Jonathan Calleri could also start up front. He is 13/2 to score first and 14/5. to score anytime.
Diogo Jota will be looking to extend his amazing scoring run in the Europa League. He’s 15/2 to break the deadlock and 16/5 to torment Espanyol again.
Daniel Podence could also start. He’s 17/2 to score first and 7/2 to open his account in old gold.
Wǔ Lěii and Ferreyra to score is 12/1.
Wǔ Lěi and Matías Vargas to score is 22/1.
Pedro Neto and Jota to score is 25/1.
Romain Saïss and Leander Dendoncker to score is 110/1.
Espanyol vs Wolves: Match preview
Surely Espanyol’s European adventure is going to come to an end.
On the final day of last season, they beat Real Sociedad 2-0 at home which meant they finished seventh, qualifying for Europe and the fans were so delighted there was a pitch invasion.
This is because, in their last European campaign, they got all the way to the UEFA Cup Final in 2007 losing on penalties to Sevilla at Hampden.
Like their hosts, they began this season in the second qualifying round, easily beating Stjarnan. Luzern and Zorya Luhansk last summer.
Then, they impressively topped a group above Ludogorets Razgrad, Ferencváros and CSKA Moscow.
They have won eight of their 13 Europa League games this season and, in contrast, they’ve won only four of 25 in La Liga which means they are bottom.
Abelardo is the Head Coach now but David Gallego and Pablo Machín have already been sacked on 7 October and 27 December respectively.
Under the new man, they’d been showing signs of life until this weekend.
On Sunday, Espanyol were beaten 2-1 at Estadio José Zorrilla by relegation rivals Real Valladolid.
Prior to that, they’d lost just one of six games but are now five points from safety.
This is their 25th consecutive top-flight season so relegation would be a catastrophe.
However, they’ll be able to focus on their survival bid after this game.
Last mid-week at Molineux was their biggest ever European defeat so surely they can’t turn it around at RCDE Stadium.
Will Wolves win away?
As for Nuno Espírito Santo’s side, they can surely look forward the round of 16 after last Thursday’s stunning win.
Wolves have already faced Crusaders, Pyunik, Torino, Braga, Beşiktaş, ŠK Slovan Bratislava and now Espanyol in Europe this season.
Surely they’ll be in Friday’s draw thinking who next?
Whoever they get, assuming they finish the job in Catalonia, Wolverhampton Wanderers will feel they have a great chance.
They reached the first ever UEFA Cup Final back in 1971/72, losing to Tottenham over two legs.
Will they be at Stadion Energa Gdańsk for the final in May?
Despite their long and impressive European run, Wolves are still challenging in the upper echelons of the Premier League too.
On Sunday, they easily beat the league’s bottom club Norwich City 3-0 at home; Diogo Jota with a brace before Raúl Jiménez added to his tally.
That leaves them eighth, just two points of fifth which could be enough to secure qualification for the Champions League.
First though, they’ll need to ensure their first European tour since 1980 continues into the last 16.
Will Wolves win in Cornellà de Llobregat?
Espanyol team news vs Wolves
Given the first leg score and their precarious position in La Liga, Abelardo is likely to ring the changes for this virtually dead rubber second leg.
In goal, Diego López is the regular number one but Andrés Prieto has now started the last two Europa League games, including last week, so is likely to keep his place.
In defence, Leandro Cabrera and Dídac Vilà, who started at the weekend, are both likely to be left out.
Víctor Gómez and Adrià Pedrosa would come in to join captain Javi López and Bernardo Espinosa in the back four.
In midfield, David López was sent off on Sunday so is suspended for next Sunday’s home game with Atlético Madrid.
Given this, he is likely to start here.
On the other hand, Ander Iturraspe was booked at Molineux so is suspended for this second leg.
Marc Roca will continue in the deeper midfield position with Facundo Ferreyra displacing Sergi Darder in the number ten role.
Out-wide, Wǔ Lěi will start.
He is the Chinese Super League’s top-scorer of all time from when he was playing for Shànghǎi SIPG but has also scored 10 goals since moving to Spain.
On the other wing, Adri Embarba will be looking to support the loan front man Jonathan Calleri.
He’ll be looking for some confidence having scored just twice this season.
Can Espanyol give Wolves something to think about? This time.
Wolves team news vs Espanyol
As for the visitors, it is well documented that Nuno Espírito Santo does not like to rotate his starting XI.
However, he will surely make wholesale changes for this game.
Rui Patrício has started 38 games this season, keeping 12 clean sheet, but could be rested with John Ruddy making only his seventh appearance of the campaign.
In defence, Connor Coady has now played the full 90 minutes in 100 consecutive league games.
He’s already played 3,780 minutes this season but is likely to be one of just two who keep their place from the weekend.
The other will be alongside him in Leander Dendoncker with 22-year-old Max Kilman making up the back three.
Romain Saïss and Willy Boly would be those rested.
At wing-back, Rúben Vinagre returned from a hamstring injury off the bench on Sunday so could start at Jonny’s expense here.
On the other side, Matt Doherty is likely to be afforded a rare rest with youngster Oskar Buur coming in.
In the middle, João Moutinho and Rúben Neves could be given a rare night off with Bruno Jordão and Morgan Gibbs-White may be given opportunities.
In attack, they have a plethora of options.
Diogo Jota has scored hat-tricks in back to back Europa League games as well as two more at the weekend.
However, he, Adama Traoré and top-scorer Raúl Jiménez could be rested.
January signing Daniel Podence and Pedro Neto could be in support of another winter arrival.
Teenager Leonardo Campana signed from Ecuadorian club Barcelona S.C. last month and could make his debut in old gold.
Will this side finish the job?
Predicted Espanyol line-up vs Wolves
Predicted Wolves line-up vs Espanyol
Highlights of Beşiktaş 0-1 Wolves
Highlights of Slovan Bratislava 1-2 Wolves
Highlights of Braga 3-3 Wolves
Highlights of Sevilla 2-2 Espanyol
Highlights of Villarreal 1-2 Espanyol
Highlights of Espanyol 1-0 Mallorca
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
La Liga table:
|12||Real Betis Balompie||27||8||9||10||38||43||-5||33|
|14||Deportivo Alaves Sad||27||8||8||11||29||37||-8||32|
|17||RC Celta de Vigo||27||5||11||11||22||34||-12||26|
|20||RCD Espanyol Barcelona||27||4||8||15||23||46||-23||20|
Premier League table:
|15||Brighton & Hove Albion||29||6||11||12||32||40||-8||29|
|16||West Ham United||29||7||6||16||35||50||-15||27|