Thursday, August 13, 2020

Prediction: Wolves vs Torino

Verdict: Wolves win and over 2.5 goals 

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

Within touching distance of securing a full Europa League return for later in the year, Wolves will welcome Serie A outfit Torino to Molineux on Thursday night.

Wolves

Starting with Thursday’s hosts, while Wolves may have left it late to snatch a 97th-minute equalizer against Burnley on Sunday, Nuno Espírito Santo’s side have shown some signs of a struggle after a hectic summer. Having to juggle both European and Premier League duties, fans around Molineux are still waiting for their side to collect a first domestic victory of the new season. While the Oranges may have only managed to pick up a trio of draws since opening the 2019/2020 campaign, Wolves have arguably saved their best performances for their Europa League qualifying exploits. Picking up three away goals in Turin last week in what was a lively 3-2 victory, there is no doubt that Wolves’ Portuguese boss will be looking for the red-hot Raul Jiminez to continue on what has been a stellar summer run. Finding the net against Burnley over the weekend and also bagging Wolves’ third out in Turin last week, the former Benfica striker already has six Europa League goals to his name.

Team News

Wolves have a full complement of players for Thursday evening’s showdown with the Bulls. A number of the first-team were rested during the 1-1 draw with ​Burnley on Sunday in order to keep them fresh for the midweek match-up with Torino.

Torino

As for the visitors, while many around the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino were far from impressed to see their side ship three goals in the first leg last week, Torino did appear to refind their form over the weekend. Opening the new Serie A campaign with a 2-1 victory over Sassuolo, Head Coach Walter Mazzarri will be desperate for his side to build off of that result. Despite their seventh-place finish in Italy’s top-tier last season, the former Watford boss will be more than aware of his side issues on their travels. Criticized for their 1-1 draw away at little-known Belarus outfit Shakhtyor earlier in the month, Torino have recorded just three away victories since the 4th of November. While Torino might be in the midst of dealing with some worrying defensive issues, they do hold one attacking talisman who has continued to shine over the summer. Converting from the spot in the first leg last week and also finding the net against Sassuolo on Sunday, Andrea Belotti also has six Europa League goals in just his five appearances during qualifying.

Team News

There are, however, injuries to several members of the ​Serie A club’s squad. Wing trio Iago Falque, Simone Edera and Vittorio Parigini are all sidelined, whilst central-defender Lyanco is out with a muscular problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Both Raul Jiminez and Andrea Belotti both have six Europa League goals already.
  • When the two sides met last week Wolves picked up a 3-2 victory.
  • Torino have won just three away matches in any contest since the 4th of November.
  • The last six combined matches between both sides have seen both teams find the net within 90 minutes.

Conclusion

On paper, this has all the makings of a matchup that should produce plenty of chances at both ends. With Wolves potentially struggling to adjust to their new hectic schedule, Thursday could prove to be a tough test for the Premier League outfit, despite bagging three away goals in Turin last week. With the first leg seeing a five-goal thriller and both sides boasting attacking talismans enjoying a stellar run of form, we’re backing another lively encounter at Molineux.

Verdict: Wolves win and over 2.5 goals 

Best Odds: 2/1

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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