Wolves vs Espanyol betting tips: UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg match preview & predictions

Raul Jimenez

Wolves vs Espanyol prediction: Wolves 3-1 Espanyol

Will Wolves continue their European tour?

Nuno Espírito Santo’s side were so impressive in the group stages and are many people’s dark horses to make it to the final in Gdańsk.

Also, given this is their first European campaign since 1980, they’ll be desperate to go as far as possible.

Will they win at Molineux and take a lead to Catalonia?

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 Beşiktaş

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 Leicester City

Highlights of Sevilla 2-2 Espanyol

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Espanyol: Who will win?

Hosts Wolverhampton Wanderers are odds on favourites to win this first leg at 8/13.

Espanyol meanwhile are 9/2 to win in England for the very first time.

A draw, which would be a better result for the away side, is 11/4.

Over 2.5 goals is 10/11.

Both teams to score is also 10/11.

Wolves to win and both teams to score is 5/2.

Wolves are 2/5 to qualify; Espanyol are 7/4 to make the round of 16.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 27: Adama Traoré of Wolverhampton Wanderers runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester City at Molineux on December 27, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Raúl Jiménez has scored 20 goals this season, nine of which have been in the Europa League. He is 14/5 to open the scoring and 11/10 to keep up his record.

Adama Traoré, as a former Barcelona player, will be desperate to beat his old rivals. He is 13/2 to score first and 13/5 to score anytime.

Facundo Ferreyra is Espanyol’s top scorer with eight. He is 15/2 to break the deadlock and 3/1 to add to his tally.

Wǔ Lěi will also be a threat. The Chinese forward is 12/1 to score first and 5/1 to score anytime.

Both Jiménez and Traoré to score is 7/1.

Both Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota to score is 20/1.

Both Adrián Embarba and Jonathan Calleri to score is 45/1.

Both Marc Roca and Sergi Darder to score is 110/1.

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Espanyol: Match preview

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 06: Nuno Espírito Santo Manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates at full time during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on October 6, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

Will Wolves march on in the Europa League?

Their first European campaign for 39 years began back in July in the second qualifying round.

However, they swept aside Crusaders, Pyunik and Torino, scoring 19 goals, to reach a UEFA group stage for the very first time.

Their matchday one home clash with Braga was highly anticipated but the Portuguese side left with a shock 1-0 win.

Nevertheless, all was forgiven a fortnight later thanks to Willy Boly’s 93rd minute winner in Istanbul against Beşiktaş.

Nuno Espírito Santo’s side would then beat ŠK Slovan Bratislava 2-1 away and 1-0 at home before a thrilling 3-3 draw in Braga saw them qualify with a game to spare.

Despite a 4-0 home win over Beşiktaş on matchday six, they had to settle for second spot.

Given the seeded teams they could have drawn, Espanyol is not as daunting a prospect as it could have been.

However, they do not come into this clash in particularly good form.

On Friday night, they were held to a goalless draw by Leicester, a second consecutive goalless game following their trip to Old Trafford 13 days earlier.

That means Wolverhampton Wanderers have won just one of their last seven league games although they are seventh which should get them back into Europe next season.

First though, their attention is on this current continental adventure.

European nights at Molineux have been memorable this season.

Will Wolves build up a lead to take to Spain next Thursday?

Can Espanyol claim a shock win?

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 24: A UEFA Europa League logo is pictured on the match ball during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Vitória de Guimarães at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

As for Espanyol, their domestic and European form couldn’t be more Jekyll and Hyde.

Just like their hosts, they are back in Europe after a long wait and started in the second qualifying round.

Back in the summer, they scored seven, six and then five as Stjarnan, Luzern and Zorya Luhansk were easily dismissed.

In the group phase, they kicked off with a 1-1 home draw against Ferencváros.

But, three successive wins followed; 2-0 against CSKA in Moscow before they beat Ludogorets Razgrad 1-0 in Bulgaria and 6-0 at home.

Periquitos finished with a 2-2 draw in Hungary and a 1-0 home defeat to CSKA but had already comfortably topped Group H.

However, their form in La Liga could be described as catastrophic.

By Christmas day, they’d won just two of 18 Liga games and sacked two managers; David Gallego and Pablo Machín.

Abelardo came in during the winter break and he has steadied the ship, amassing nine points from six games.

This includes a 2-2 home draw with Barcelona in El derbi Barceloní, in his first game.

They also got an impressive 2-2 draw on Sunday, holding Sevilla at Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.

Adri Embarba scored a free-kick before half time before Wǔ Lě scored a vital second half goal.

Despite this, Espanyol remain bottom of the table but are now just two points behind Mallorca and safety.

On Sunday, they travel to Real Valladolid in what will be a relegation six-pointer.

First though, the Europa League will continue to provide a welcome distraction.

In their last European campaign in 2006/07, they got all the way to the final, losing to Sevilla at Hampden Park.

However, they’ll need a positive result at Molineux surely if they to avoid defeat in this tie.

Can the Spanish strugglers shock Wolves?

Wolverhampton Wanderers team news vs Espanyol

ISTANBUL, TURKEY – OCTOBER 03: Willy Boly of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the UEFA Europa League group K match between Beşiktaş and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vodafone Park on October 03, 2019 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

At times this season, Nuno Espírito Santo has made three of four changes to his XI for European matches.

However, having had six days to prepare with a winter break before that, he’s likely to name his strongest side, looking to take a big lead to Spain.

Goalkeeper Rui Patrício is a Premier League ever present and has started ten of the 12 Europa League games.

Can Portugal’s number one add to his ten clean sheets this season?

The rest of the team ahead of him will be very familiar.

Captain Conor Coady has played 3,600 minutes this season and Willy Boly will also start having just returned from an injury.

Romain Saïss will continue to make up the back three; Max Kilman is the other option with Ryan Bennett having left in January.

At wing-back, Matt Doherty has already been involved in six goals this season, scoring twice in the Europa League.

On the other side, with Rúben Vinagre a doubt, Jonny will keep his place.

In the centre, there was a surprise omission against Leicester.

João Moutinho was left on the bench on Friday having started 75 of 84 games since joining the club.

However, he’s likely to return to rekindle his partnership with Rúben Neves at Leander Dendoncker’s expense.

Further forward, after picking up an injury at Old Trafford, Adama Traoré was also a substitute last time out.

However, he will return to the XI with Pedro Neto expected to keep his place ahead of Diogo Jota.

Morgan Gibbs-White and January recruit from Olympiacos Daniel Podence are the other options.

There’s only one man who will start up front though.

Raúl Jiménez has already scored against Crusaders, Pyunik, Torino, ŠK Slovan Bratislava and Braga in this competition.

Will he add Espanyol to that list and fire his side to a win?

Espanyol team news vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

BARCELONA, SPAIN – OCTOBER 13: RCD Espanyol supporters cheer on their team during the La Liga match between Espanyol and Levante in Cornellà de Llobregat on October 13, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

As for Espanyol, they were heavily rotating their team during the group stages.

However, now under Abelardo and with this being a knockout tie, he’s also not expected to make too many changes.

Diego López is the first choice goalkeeper and will keep his place ahead of Andrés Prieto.

The defence is likely to be unchanged from Sunday’s draw at Sevilla.

Captain Javi López will keep his place at right-back over Víctor Gómez.

Bernardo Espinosa, Leandro Cabrera and Adrià Pedrosa will make up the back four with Fernando Calero the man left out.

In midfield, with David López injured, and Víctor Sánchez, who was sent off on Sunday, will anchor ahead of the defence.

Alongside him, Ander Iturraspe could come in for Marc Roca.

Further forward, there could be a change from the weekend to a move conventional front two.

Adri Embarba will keep his place on the right with Matías Vargas coming in on the left with Sergi Darder dropping out.

Facundo Ferreyra and Óscar Melendo are the other options.

Up front, they are without Raúl de Tomás who has scored four goals in four appearance since joining from Benfica for €20 million in January.

He picked up an injury in training last week so is a major doubt.

So, the Chinese Super League’s record goalscorer Wǔ Lěi will lead the line alongside Jonathan Calleri.

The former has scored seven goals this season including netting against CSKA Moscow, Getafe, Sevilla and Barcelona.

Will La Liga’s bottom club leave Molineux with a win?

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Espanyol

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Espanyol

Predicted Wolverhampton Wanderers line-up vs Espanyol.

Predicted Espanyol line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Espanyol line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

Predicted Espanyol line-up vs Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Highlights of Beşiktaş 0-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Highlights of Slovan Bratislava 1-2 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Highlights of Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 Slovan Bratislava

Highlights of Braga 3-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Highlights of Espanyol 2-2 Barcelona

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.

Premier League table:

1Liverpool FC32282270254586
2Manchester City32213881334866
3Leicester City32167960312955
4Chelsea FC321661057441354
5Manchester United321410851312052
6Wolverhampton Wanderers321313645341152
7Sheffield United32121193332147
8Arsenal FC32111384741646
9Tottenham Hotspur32129115144745
10Burnley FC32136133645-945
11Everton FC32128124047-744
12Crystal Palace32119122837-942
13Newcastle United32119123343-1042
14Southampton FC32124164155-1440
15Brighton & Hove Albion32712133444-1033
16West Ham United3286183856-1830
17Watford FC32610162949-2028
18Aston Villa3276193660-2427
19AFC Bournemouth3276193054-2427
20Norwich City3256212560-3521
Last updated: 1 min ago

La Liga table:

1Real Madrid33228361214074
2FC Barcelona33217574353970
3Atletico Madrid331514443251859
4FC Sevilla331512648331557
5CF Villarreal331661153401354
6CF Getafe331410942311152
7Real Sociedad33155135042850
8Athletic Bilbao331212938281048
9Granada CF33137134038246
10CF Valencia331210114148-746
11CA Osasuna331111114047-744
12UD Levante33126154146-542
13Real Betis Balompie33910144354-1137
14Real Valladolid33715112737-1036
15Deportivo Alaves Sad3398163250-1835
16SD Eibar3398163450-1635
17RC Celta de Vigo33713133242-1034
18RCD Mallorca3385203556-2129
19CD Leganes33510182449-2525
20RCD Espanyol Barcelona3359192753-2624
Last updated: 1 min ago

Wolves vs Espanyol betting tips FAQs

What time does Wolves vs Espanyol start?
20:00. UK time. Thursday February 20, 2020.
What is the 101 Great Goals prediction for Wolves vs Espanyol?
Wolves 3 - Espanyol 1
Who are the favourites to win Wolves vs Espanyol?
Wolves are overwhelming 8/15 favourites for victory. The draw is 14/5. Espanyol can be backed at 6/1. Odds via Bet365. Correct at the time of publishing.
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