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Struggling Espanyol unlikely to trouble Wolves at Molineux

Wolverhampton vs RCD Espanyol Preview 20/02/2020

18 February 2020 | Europa League | Preview
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Struggling Espanyol unlikely to trouble Wolves at Molineux
Christian Bertrand / Shutterstock.com

Wolverhampton Wanders host La Liga strugglers Espanyol on Thursday for the first leg of their Round of 32 tie in the Europa League.

Wolves are continuing to exceed all expectations in the Premier League this term. Nuno Espirito Santos’ side remain in the hunt for a top-four finish, and his talented squad is now more than capable of competing in Europe.

Santo’s men have only lost one of their previous five league games and currently sit eighth in the table. However, the congested nature of the Premier League standings means they are only five points behind fourth-place Chelsea.

Following a draw with Newcastle, Wolves came from behind to secure a stunning comeback win against Southampton. Wolves then lost to Liverpool, but back-to-back draws with Manchester United and Leicester City have prevented them from sliding down the table.

While Wolves are enjoying another promising campaign, it’s safe to say that no other team left in the Europa League is struggling as much as Espanyol this season.

Everything seemed to be going to plan when the Spanish club made it through the group stage with one defeat from six games. But since then, Espanyol have been in free fall.

Four wins in 24 league outings have left Espanyol rock bottom of La Liga. A couple of promising results recently will have lifted the team a little, but the Spaniards are in serious danger of dropping into the second tier if they don’t get their act together soon.

As well as leaking far too many goals at the back, Espanyol have also struggled massively in attack this term. No Espanyol player has reached double figures for the season yet, and this is a cause for concern.

The Spanish side’s main aim is to avoid relegation this term, so manager Aberlardo Fernandez is likely to field a weakened team on Thursday to keep key players fresh for a vital clash with Valladolid at the weekend.

On the other hand, Wolves striker Raul Jimenez has been involved in 12 goals in his last 11 games in European competition. The Mexican has scored nine and assisted three during that time and is likely to cause Espanyol some serious problems.

Ruben Vinagre is the English club’s only injury doubt for this tie, so Nuno Espirito Santo is set to field a full strength starting eleven for the first leg.

Espanyol have been poor at both ends of the pitch lately, while Wolves are extremely well-organised in every department.

Forebet predicts that Wolves will claim a comfortable first-leg victory while keeping a clean sheet.

Predictions for Europa League

Home team - Away team Forebet
flag_14 UEL
Sevilla FCAS Roma
12/03/2020 18:55
X
flag_14 UEL
Inter MilanoGetafe CF
12/03/2020 21:00
X
flag_14 UEL
Istanbul BasaksehirFC København
12/03/2020 18:55
X
flag_14 UEL
Eintracht FrankfurtFC Basel
12/03/2020 18:55
1

Europa League - predictions, tips, statistics
Group A
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Sevilla FC 15 6 5 0 1 14 3 11
2. APOEL FC 10 6 3 1 2 10 8 2
3. Karabakh Agdam 5 6 1 2 3 8 11 -3
4. F91 Dudelange 4 6 1 1 4 8 18 -10
Group B
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Malmö FF 11 6 3 2 1 8 6 2
2. FC København 9 6 2 3 1 5 4 1
3. Dynamo Kiev 7 6 1 4 1 7 7 0
4. FC Lugano 3 6 0 3 3 2 5 -3
Group C
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Basel 13 6 4 1 1 12 4 8
2. Getafe CF 12 6 4 0 2 8 4 4
3. FK Krasnodar 9 6 3 0 3 7 11 -4
4. Trabzonspor 1 6 0 1 5 3 11 -8
Group D
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. LASK Linz 13 6 4 1 1 11 4 7
2. Sporting CP 12 6 4 0 2 11 7 4
3. PSV Eindhoven 8 6 2 2 2 9 12 -3
4. Rosenborg BK 1 6 0 1 5 3 11 -8
Group E
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Celtic FC 13 6 4 1 1 10 6 4
2. CFR Cluj 12 6 4 0 2 6 4 2
3. Lazio 6 6 2 0 4 6 9 -3
4. Stade Rennais 4 6 1 1 4 5 8 -3
Group F
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Arsenal 11 6 3 2 1 14 7 7
2. Eintracht Frankfurt 9 6 3 0 3 8 10 -2
3. Standard Liège 8 6 2 2 2 8 10 -2
4. Vitória Guimarães 5 6 1 2 3 7 10 -3
Group G
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. FC Porto 10 6 3 1 2 8 9 -1
2. Rangers FC 9 6 2 3 1 8 6 2
3. BSC Young Boys 8 6 2 2 2 8 7 1
4. Feyenoord 5 6 1 2 3 7 9 -2
Group H
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. RCD Espanyol 11 6 3 2 1 12 4 8
2. Ludogorets 8 6 2 2 2 10 10 0
3. Ferencvaros TC 7 6 1 4 1 5 7 -2
4. CSKA Moscow 5 6 1 2 3 3 9 -6
Group I
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. KAA Gent 12 6 3 3 0 11 7 4
2. VfL Wolfsburg 11 6 3 2 1 9 7 2
3. AS Saint-Étienne 4 6 0 4 2 6 8 -2
4. PFK Aleksandriya 3 6 0 3 3 6 10 -4
Group J
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Istanbul Basaksehir 10 6 3 1 2 7 9 -2
2. AS Roma 9 6 2 3 1 12 6 6
3. Mönchengladbach 8 6 2 2 2 6 9 -3
4. Wolfsberger AC 5 6 1 2 3 7 8 -1
Group K
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Sporting Braga 14 6 4 2 0 15 9 6
2. Wolverhampton 13 6 4 1 1 11 5 6
3. Slovan Bratislava 4 6 1 1 4 10 13 -3
4. Besiktas JK 3 6 1 0 5 6 15 -9
Group L
OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1. Manchester United 13 6 4 1 1 10 2 8
2. AZ Alkmaar 9 6 2 3 1 15 8 7
3. FK Partizan 8 6 2 2 2 10 10 0
4. FC Astana 3 6 1 0 5 4 19 -15

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