MX23RW : Monday, September 20 02:07:12| >> :120:14458:14458:
Nov 7, 2019 at 8pm UK at Molineux Stadium (Wolverhampton, West Midlands)
Attendance: 29,789
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
Slovan Bratislava
Jimenez (92')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Slovan Bratislava - 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 Slovan Bratislava.

Wolverhampton Wanderers play host to Slovan Bratislava on Thursday evening knowing that victory would put them on the brink of qualification for the Europa League knockout stages.

However, Bratislava make the trip to Molineux sitting just two points adrift of Wolves in Group K, while also being keen to avenge the 2-1 defeat which they suffered against the English clubs two weeks ago.

Match preview

Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring for Wolves with Diogo Jota on October 24, 2019© Reuters

Having played four successive away games in all competitions, Nuno Espirito Santo and his players would have been relieved to return to home comforts this week ahead of another important double-header in their two priority competitions.

However, Wolves' recent results suggest that they are better equipped to earn results on their travels, with wins coming in Turkey against Besiktas and Slovakia versus their opponents on Thursday.

Saturday's 1-1 draw at Arsenal was also a notable result as Wolves look to move away from the Premier League relegation zone, but Nuno is aware that his side must deliver more victories in front of their own supporters.

Nevertheless, having only played one fixture at Molineux since September 28, the break away from familiar surroundings may benefit Wolves with Nuno continuing to search for combinations which can aid his team at both ends of the pitch.

Whether they can overcome a united Bratislava side for the second time in quick succession remains to be seen, although the opportunity is there for Wolves to move just a point away from progressing through to the last 32.

While Bratislava would have been hugely disappointed to let slip a half-time lead against the Premier League side last month, Jan Kozak will still be satisfied with where his team find themselves at the midway point of the group.

With a home game with leaders Braga still to come, Kozak will acknowledge that a positive result this week could make all the difference as Bratislava look to earn a rare appearance in the latter stages of a European competition.

Since the last meeting with Wolves, wins and clean sheets over Zemplin Michalovce and Senica have kept the club five points clear at the top of their domestic table.

Wolverhampton Wanderers form: WDWDLD

Slovan Bratislava form: WWWLWW

Team News

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Diogo Jota celebrates scoring their first goal with Patrick Cutrone and team mates on September 22, 2019© Reuters

With Diogo Jota serving a one-match ban for his dismissal in the reverse fixture, Patrick Cutrone is expected to partner Raul Jimenez in attack.

Ryan Bennett is likely to return after a groin injury, which could see Leander Dendoncker return to the centre of midfield to partner Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho.

After suffering a minor injury against Arsenal, Matt Doherty could drop down to the bench, with either Jonny or Adama Traore being named in his place.

Barring any late injury concerns, Kozak could name the same XI which began the first game after resting a number of players at the weekend.

Myenty Abena and Andraz Sporar are among the players expected to come back into the team.

Wolverhampton Wanderers possible starting lineup: Patricio; Bennett, Coady, Saiss; Jonny, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre; Cutrone, Jimenez

Slovan Bratislava possible starting lineup: Greif; Medvedev, Abena, Bozhikov, Vernon; Kamps, Rabiu; Daniel, Holman, Rharsalla; Sporar

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We say: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Slovan Bratislava

Like in Slovakia, we expect this contest to be a closely-fought affair. The game is set up for Wolves to complete the double over Bratislava, although we expect the visitors to earn a share of the spoils in the West Midlands.

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Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo on October 3, 2019
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