Thursday 15 August: 7.45pm KO
Live on Premier Sports
Wolverhampton Wanderers continue their bid to reach the Europa League group stages. This is a third qualifying round tie and they won the away leg 4-0. The winners of this tie face Torino or Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the next round. It’s looking like they could be off to Italy. Torino are 5-0 up after the first leg of that game and will prove tough play-off round opponents.
A seventh place finish in the Premier League last season was enough to qualify Wolves for the Europa League. Many of course cheered that achievement but there were plenty of others who were a bit concerned. It’s ok if you go straight into the group stages but that’s not the case for Wolves.
Instead, they found themselves getting ready for competitive qualifying games starting on July 25. Fans hoped for a glamorous second qualifying round draw. Perhaps somewhere nice and sunny, instead they got Crusaders from Northern Ireland. It’s probably quite nice there, but it’s not continental Europe is it?
Wolves won the home first leg 2-0, though the second goal didn’t come until the 93rd minute. August began with that trip to Northern Ireland and after 13 minutes they went a goal down. There was to be no shock though as the Premier League side went on to win 4-1. Raul Jiminez scored two of their goals and he’s 2/5 (1.4) to score in this game if making your wager with Betway.
The third qualifying round draw took Wolves to Pyunik. Wolves fans were probably quickly on wikipedia to discover just where their opponents came from. The answer was a trip to Armenia and Wolves recorded a comfortable 4-0 win Jiminez again hit two goals and he’s 13/5 (3.6) at SkyBet to score at least two goals in this second leg.
It looked like being an even more convincing win. After 46 minutes they were 3-0 up but didn’t get a fourth until a 91st minute penalty. Even so, a 4-0 away win should see Wolves make it to the play-off round. There it looks like being that glamorous tie with a trip to Torino and that will be a lot tougher. Wolves are 25/1 (26.0) at Ladbrokes to win the Europa League this season.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of team Wolves put out for this game.Their opening Premier League game ended in a goalless draw at Leicester City on Sunday afternoon. They don’t play Manchester United in their next Premier League game until Monday evening. However, would you risk your top players getting injured by playing them in a tie where you already lead by four goals? The odds on Wolves winning this game on a -3 handicap is 5/6 (1.83) at BetVictor.
There were some great comebacks in European competition last season. If Pyunik can somehow win this tie, it’s not a comeback but a miracle! William Hill have odds of 50/1 (51.0) on the Armenian side qualifying. The club were only formed 27 years ago but have already won the Armenian title on 14 occasions. Their most famous player is probably Henrikh Mkhitaryan, currently playing for Arsenal.
Pyunik last won the title in the 2014/15 season. Their top scorer that season was called Cesar Romero, though not the one that played ‘The Joker’ in the 1960’s ‘Batman’ series of course. The last four seasons haven’t been a joke with no titles and they finished second in the league last season. They have only played one league game this season and won that 3-0.
Pyunik haven’t had that much success in European competition. They have never made it past the third qualifying round of this competition. Only one of their last four away games in European matches has ended in victory for them. It’s 33/1 (34.0) that they win this match.
The two sides have only met once before and that was the first leg of this tie. You can get odds of 8/15 (1.52) on Wolves scoring at least four goals in this game.
Wolves are likely to make changes for this game with them being so far ahead in the tie.
Wolves have more than one leg in the play-off round. They will most likely play a weakened side for this game but should still get a win. A bet on Wolves to win and leading at both half and full time has odds of 1/4 (1.25) at Boylesports.