Wolverhampton Wanderers are in pole position of making it to the Round of 16 in the Europa League as they face Espanyol in the second leg after getting a 4-0 lead at home. Things look complicated for Espanyol, as they must make a decision regarding starting or resting a few first-team players since they’re five points adrift to the safety zone in La Liga. As for Nunu Espirio Santo, it is highly likely that he rotates his playing eleven to an extent, as Wolves face Tottenham Hotspur next in the Premier League.
Date- Thursday, February 27
Kick-Off- 11:25 PM (IST)
Venue- Comella-El Prat
The eleven that Sergio Gonzales selects is quite uncertain and the question is if he chooses his strongest eleven in hope of making a comeback or rests them in an attempt to prioritize La Liga. Having said that, Sebastien Corchia is on the sidelines due to injury, while Raul de Tomas and Victor Campuzano are doubtful to start. David Lopez however, should be starting for the hosts. Whereas, Pedrosa, Naldo and Calero could accompany him in defence.
After the resounding 4-0 win in the first leg, Nuno will be expected to bring in quite a few changes in the starting lineup. Players such as Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence, Morgan Gibbs-White, Ruben Vinagre and Max Kilman could get to start for the away side.
ESL (Expected Playing 11)- D Lopez; Pedrosa, Naldo, Calero, J Lopez; Vargas, Lozano, Iturraspe, V Gomez; Ferreyra, Malendo
WOL (Expected Playing 11)- Patricio; Kilman, Coady, Dendoncker; Doherty, Gibbs-White, Neves, Vinagre; Podence, Jimenez, Neto
Matias Vargas has been one of the standouts for Espanyol in midfield. Vargas has two goals, two assists and a pass accuracy of 76% from 373 minutes in the Europa League this season.
Raul Jimenez can pack a punch in the final third region for Wolves. Jimenez has three goals, three assists and has a pass accuracy of 68.5% from 494 minutes in the Europa League this season.
Oscar Melendo has bagged two goals and an assist from 340 minutes in the Europa League this season.
Pedro Neto could be given some minutes and has two goals, two assists and a pass accuracy of 83% from 712 minutes in the Premier League this season for Wolves.
Wolves should be heading in as the favourites in the second leg.
Goalkeeper- Diego Lopez
Defenders- C Coady, M Doherty, Naldo
Midfielders- M Gibbs-White, P Neto (C), D Podence, M Vargas, O Melendo (VC)
Forwards- R Jimenez, F Ferreyra
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