MX23RW : Sunday, June 20 16:55:40| >> :600:262254:262254:
Aug 29, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Molineux
Attendance: 29,222
WolvesWolverhampton Wanderers
2-1
Torino
Jimenez (30'), Dendoncker (59')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Belotti (58')

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

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League playoff second leg between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Torino, with the English outfit holding a 3-2 aggregate lead.

Wolverhampton Wanderers are potentially 90 minutes away from earning a place in the group stages of the 2019-20 Europa League as they prepare to welcome Torino to Molineux on Thursday evening.

The Premier League outfit recorded an entertaining 3-2 victory over the Italians in Turin last week, leaving them knowing that even defeat in the playoff second leg could still be enough for them to progress into the competition proper.


Match preview

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on August 25, 2019© Reuters

With the exception of a three-year spell in the now-defunct Anglo-Italian Cup, Wolves have not made the finals of a European club competition since a brief UEFA Cup appearance in 1981, when they were knocked out in the first round.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side are now well in the driving seat to end that 38-year wait following their exploits in Turin last Thursday, scoring three away goals against a team that only conceded 37 times in Serie A throughout the whole of the previous campaign - a defensive record only Juventus, Napoli and the Milan clubs could better.

Indeed, had it not been for a late Andrea Belotti penalty which reduced the deficit to one goal again, Torino may have even been effectively out of the tie at the halfway stage.

As it is, Wolves know that avoiding defeat will be enough to book their place in the group stages, and even a 1-0 or 2-1 loss would do the job due to the away-goals rule, although Nuno will no doubt want to keep his side's unbeaten start to the campaign alive.

The Midlands outfit are eight matches unbeaten across all competitions this term, winning all five of their Europa League outings but drawing all three of their Premier League games so far - a low-key start for the surprise packages of last season.

Considering they have already faced two top-six rivals in Leicester City and Manchester United it is not the worst return, and even the slightly more disappointing 1-1 home draw with Burnley on Sunday will have felt more like a win courtesy of Raul Jimenez's 97th-minute equaliser from the spot.

Everton and Chelsea are next up in the league as their challenging start continues, but progress in Europe would no doubt give them a major boost ahead of Sunday's visit to Goodison Park - as will discovering their group stage opponents later this week, should they avoid a slip-up on Thursday.

Torino are more than capable of overturning the deficit, though, and got their Serie A campaign off to a winning start with a 2-1 triumph over Sassuolo on Sunday.

The Italian outfit - managed by former Watford, Napoli and Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri - have averaged three goals per game during the Europa League qualifiers so far and will therefore be confident of wiping out Wolves' first-leg lead.

Torino have also experienced a dearth of European football in recent years, qualifying for the Europa League just once in the last 25 seasons, so they will be every bit as determined as their hosts to make it through to the group stages this time around.

Wolves form (all competitions): WDWDWD

Torino form (all competitions): WWWDLW


Team News

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo on August 15, 2019© Reuters

Wolves are blessed with a clean bill of health at this early stage of the season but could still make changes as Nuno looks to keep his side fresh.

Adama Traore, Leander Dendoncker and Ruben Vinagre were among the players to miss out against Burnley at the weekend, and all of them could come back in for this match.

With just a one-goal lead, Nuno is likely to stick with the in-form pairing of Jimenez and Diogo Jota up front, having seen the strike partnership combine for eight goals already in this season's Europa League.

Torino do have injuries to contend with, though, the main one of which sees Iago Falque miss out.

The visitors will also be without Simone Edera, Vittorio Parigini and Lyanco through injury, although Bremer is expected to keep his spot despite his own goal in the first leg.

Wolves possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Vallejo, Coady, Boly; Traore, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre; Jimenez, Jota

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Izzo, N'Koulou, Bremer; De Silvestri, Rincon, Baselli, Ansaldi; Zaza, Belotti, Berenguer


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We say: Wolves 2-1 Torino

This tie is far from over and Torino have the quality to punish Wolves should they think otherwise. However, last week's first leg should give the English side a huge amount of confidence and, if they can put in a repeat performance on Thursday, they should have enough to ease through to the group stages.



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Ruben Neves celebrates scoring a free kick for Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 11, 2018
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