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Wolverhampton Wanderers to ease past Crusaders in EL second qualifying round

01 August 2019 | Europa League | Preview
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Wolverhampton Wanderers to ease past Crusaders in EL second qualifying round

Wolverhampton Wanderers have one foot in the Europa League third qualifying round after defeating Crusaders, 2-0, in the first leg. Can Nuno Espirito Santo’s team ease past Crusaders once more in the second leg?

Although Wolverhampton Wanderers managed just two goals over the course of 90 minutes, they had little difficulty against the Northern Irish side. The West Midlands club scored on either side of halftime to claim the victory.

Diogo Jota scored Wolverhampton Wanderers’ opening goal in the 37th minute. Ruben Vinagre added a second strike in second half stoppage time to give the Premier League club a big advantage heading to Belfast.

Crusaders managed a mere one shot during the first leg fixture compared to Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 30 shots. The Premier League club registered 10 shots on target as Crusaders’ defence was able to stop the English team from running away with the win.

Santo has the benefit of resting his top players or giving them an added run out to gain fitness. Striker Raul Jimenez made a brief appearance in the first leg. He could start in Belfast giving the team further attacking power.

Wolverhampton Wanderers splashed transfer cash this week by signing forward Patrick Cutrone from Wolverhampton Wanderers for £16 million. The striker may not feature, however, as he has had a limited amount of time to train with the club.

Santo will need to adjust his squad due to a couple of injuries to key players. Matt Doherty is still recovering from an injury issue. In addition, Ruben Neves suffered an injury in the first leg and is likely to miss out on the return match.

It is likely that Santo gives some of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ youngsters and academy products a run out as they continue to get their fitness in preparation for the Premier League’s kickoff next week.

If Wolverhampton Wanderers can win their second leg Europa League second qualifying round fixture against Crusaders, they will play either Pyunik of Armenia or Czech Republic side Jablonec in the next round.

The Premier League side could then have easy progress into the playoff round of the Europa League. It is doubtful Wolverhampton Wanderers will have that much difficulty defeating Crusaders.

Wolverhampton Wanderers will pick up a win on Thursday night and progress to the third qualifying round. Expect over 1.5 goals and Wolverhampton Wanderers to win to nil.

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Ararat-ArmeniaFK Crvena Zvezda
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Rosenborg BKPSV Eindhoven
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