Thursday, August 13, 2020

Prediction: Crusaders vs Wolves

Harry Kettle in Free Soccer Predictions 31 Jul 2019

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Prediction: Wolves win

Best Odds: 1/8

Bookmaker: bet365

The UEFA Europa League qualifying stages continue, as we get closer and closer towards the start of the domestic season. These teams have the chance to achieve things that, just a few years ago, they would’ve thought were impossible. The game we’re going to be taking a look at today will be contested between Crusaders and Wolves, as this all-British affair comes to Northern Ireland.

Crusaders

While Crusaders may not be the top dogs in Northern Ireland, they certainly have the heart of a team that can go above and beyond the restrictions that finances allow for in the world of football. They played a lot of defensive football during the first leg, and as you can probably imagine, they weren’t able to pull off the upset because of that. Still, it was only 1-0 until injury time, which should be viewed as a small victory in itself.

Team News

Crusaders captain Colin Coates will be hoping that he can get back to full fitness in time for the second leg after missing the Molineux trip. Aside from that, the expectation is that we’ll see a similar line-up to the side that took part in the first leg last week.

Wolves

Wolverhampton Wanderers progressing into the group stages of the Europa League seems like a formality at this stage, but of course, it isn’t. If they are able to get through Crusaders then they’ll have two more opponents to face across four games before they can start celebrating, and even then it’s going to be a pretty quick turnaround when you consider how hectic their Premier League schedule is going to be. If anyone is going to pull it off, though, you’d have to think Nuno is the man to do it.

Team News

New signings Vallejo and Cutrone will not be able to feature as they arrived too late in the day, whereas Saiss and Jimenez are expected to push for places in the starting XI. Neves’ knee problem seems to have rectified itself, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see him start this game from the bench.

Factors to Consider

  • Wolves won the first leg 2-0 at Molineux after a dominant display.
  • Crusaders beat Torshavn 5-2 on aggregate in the first qualifying round.
  • This is the first tie for Wolves in their Europa League journey this season.
  • Crusaders finished in fourth place in the NIFL Premiership last season.
  • Wolves finished in seventh place in the English Premier League last season.

Conclusion

Crusaders are going to put up a bit more of a fight in front of their home fans, which we think will probably leave them vulnerable for a series of counter attacks from the Premier League side. Wolves aren’t going to play their very strongest side, or at least you’d imagine they wouldn’t, which will fling the door wide open for some fringe players to really make a statement as they ease into the next round of Europa League qualifying.

Prediction: Wolves win

Best Odds: 1/8

Bookmaker: bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harry Kettle


Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.

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