MX23RW : Sunday, January 19 13:10:45| >> :600:3429945:3429945:
Dec 12, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Molineux Stadium (Wolverhampton, West Midlands)
Attendance: 27,866
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Jota (58', 63', 69'), Dendoncker (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Besiktas - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Thursday's Europa League fixture between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Besiktas.

Wolverhampton Wanderers head into their meeting with Besiktas having already secured their place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

However, Nuno Espirito Santo's side must record all three points against their Turkish opponents in order to finish ahead of Braga in Group K.

Match preview

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo regards the action on September 19, 2019© Reuters

With talk of a potential switch to Arsenal having now ended, Nuno has been left to focus on trying to maintain Wolves' progress on both the domestic and European scene.

Despite a big effort being made to claim the point that they required against Braga in Portugal two weeks ago, it has not hindered their Premier League form with five points coming from games against Sheffield United, West Ham United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

However, there were signs during Sunday's 2-2 draw at the Amex Stadium that Nuno's first-choice XI were in need of a small break after a run of games where the Portuguese has only made enforced alterations to his starting lineup.

While top spot is still up for grabs, the hectic schedule will likely lead to Nuno making mass changes for this game, giving an opportunity to the likes of Pedro Neto and Patrick Cutrone, who have been shy of game time.

The duo combined to seal Wolves' win over West Ham last week, and this encounter represents a better chance to impress their head coach at a time when he will be considering fresh additions during the January window.

When Wolves claimed a last-gasp win in Turkey in October, Besiktas found themselves well off the pace in Turkey's top flight, with Abdullah Avci battling to keep his job in the dugout.

However, while the Black and Whites have struggled in this competition, Avci has overseen a resurgence in the league with 22 points being registered from a possible 24.

Besiktas now sit in second position in the table, just three points behind leaders Sivasspor, and Avci will now feel that his team are perfectly placed to soon move to the top of the standings.

There is an argument for Avci to rest his entire starting lineup for the visit to Molineux, although the 56-year-old must take into account whether it is worth disrupting the rhythm of his in-form team at an important period of the season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Europa League form: WLWWWD
Wolverhampton Wanderers form (all competitions): WWDDWD

Besiktas Europa League form: LLLLW
Besiktas form (all competitions): WWWWWW

Team News

Ryan Bennett in action for Wolves on September 19, 2019© Reuters

Nuno is expected to change the majority of his starting lineup for the visit of Besiktas, with potentially only Romain Saiss keeping his place after recently serving a one-match ban on the domestic front.

Ryan Bennett could take the place of Conor Coady, with Jesus Vallejo and Max Kilman being used either side, and academy player Dion Sanderson may get the nod at right-back.

Fellow youngsters Taylor Perry and Chem Campbell are also in line to play, and Owen Otasowie and Luke Cundle could be named among the replacements.

However, Morgan Gibbs-White is expected to remain sidelined as he continues his recovery from a back injury.

Avci will rest a number of his key men, meaning that the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Adem Ljajic may miss out.

Former Sunderland winger Jeremain Lens could come into the team after missing the win over Slovan Bratislava due to suspension.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup: Ruddy; Vallejo, Bennett, Kilman; Sanderson, Saiss, Perry, Vinagre; Campbell; Cutrone, Jota

Besiktas possible starting lineup: Karius; Uysal, Vida, Roco, Rebocho; Ozyakup, Yilmaz; Boyd, Diaby, Lens; Yalcin

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We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-2 Besiktas

With both teams expected to make changes for this contest, any result is realistically possible. Taking that into consideration, we feel that an entertaining draw is the most likely overcome, with Wolves potentially claiming a late share of the spoils.

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Who will win Thursday's Europa League clash between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Besiktas?

Wolverhampton Wanderers
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