Wolverhampton Wanderers will entertain Olympiacos at the Molineux Stadium on Thursday evening hoping to secure a victory in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League last 16 tie. Both sides played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg, so neither team would be willing to give up their place in the competition when the ball starts rolling later this week.
Nuno Espirito Santo will stick with his preferred 3-4-3 formation and is expected to name his strongest team for this midweek showdown versus their Greek counterparts. Wolves will look to play an open, expansive game of football with their wing-backs providing some natural width out on the flanks. The home team can expect to enjoy more of the ball, but they would need to find a way to breakdown the opposition defence by moving the ball quickly in the final third.
Pedro Martins will opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation and could instruct his players to sit deep and soak in the Wolves pressure before hitting them fast and hard on the break. The Greek giants are still very much in the contest, but they would need to score an away goal if they are to have any chance of qualifying in midweek.
Joao Moutinho is expected to return to the starting lineup after being rested on the bench versus Chelsea last month. Nuno Espirito Santo has no new injury concerns to cope with and will have a fully fit squad to choose from when they host Olympiacos on Thursday.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Predicted XI
Patricio; Boly, Coady, Saiss; Doherty, Moutinho, Neves, Jonny; Jota, Jimenez, Traore
The Greek champions won’t have their centre-half Ruben Semedo available for this game as he is suspended after being given his marching orders in the first leg. Otherwise, Martins has no fresh injury worries and will name a strong team for this game away at the West Midlands.
Olympiacos Predicted XI
Sa; Elabdellaoui, Ba, Cisse, Tsimikas; Guilherme, Bouchalakis, Camara; Valbuena, El-Arabi, Masouras
Raul Jimenez will once again carry most of the goal-scoring workload for Wolves up top. Both Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho has to have a good game if the home side are to dominate the midfield battle and create some decent chances to score in the final third.
Youssef El-Arabi will have to make himself a constant menace in the Wolves half if the Greek outfit are to have any chance of scoring on the road. The defensive performance of Ousseynou Ba and Pape Abou Cissé would also play a crucial role in determining the outcome of this European tie.
The bookmakers have made Wolves the favourites to emerge victorious on Thursday after they were priced at 4/6. The draw has been listed as 11/4 while Pedro Martins’ men are 9/2 underdogs to pull off an upset at the Molineux.
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