Wolverhampton Wanderers take a 3-2 lead into the second leg of their Europa League playoff tie with Torino on Thursday night.
An own-goal from Gleison Bremer, plus scores from Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota, gave Nuno Espirito Santo's men the advantage following a thrilling encounter in Turin. Should they avoid defeat at Molineux, a place in the competition's group stages will be there's, though a 2-1 or 1-0 loss would also take the Midlanders through.
Lorenzo De Silvestri and Andre Belotti grabbed the goals for the Italians in the first encounter. The sides have already navigated their way through two rounds of qualifying, Wolves having overcome Crusaders and Pyunik, whilst Torino saw off Debrecen and Shakhtyor.
Check out our preview of the all-important clash below.
Where to Watch
|When is Kick Off?||Thursday 29 August|
|What Time is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where is it Played?||Molineux|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 1|
Where to Buy Tickets
Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams' official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.
Wolves have a full compliment 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.
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.
Neither side have any suspensions to be served, nor are any of their players at risk of picking one up ahead of the groups. Yellow card suspensions do not carry over from playoff matches, though a dismissal would.
|Wolverhampton Wanderers||Patricio; Vallejo, Coady, Boly; Traore, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Vinagre; Jota, Jimenez.|
|Torino||Sirigu; Izzo, N'Koulou, Bremer; De Silvestri, Meite, Baselli, Ansaldi; Zaza, Alex, Belotti.|
Head to Head Record
Given Wolves had been in exile from European competition since 1981, it's unsurprising that this tie represents the first ever meeting between the two clubs. As should be patently obvious, the Premier League side have a 100% record in this fixture.
Santo's recruits were marvellous in Italy last week, securing a well-deserved lead that could - and perhaps should - have been greater. It took a last-minute spot-kick from Belotti to keep Torino in touching distance ahead of the rematch in the Midlands.
Bremer inadvertently sent the ball into his own net as a devilish delivery from a free-kick glanced off the centre-back's shoulder, with Jota doubling the advantage after the break with a clinical finish from the centre of the box.
A bullet header from De Silvestri got the Bulls back in the game, but the visitors once again pulled away as Jimenez drove straight through the heart of the team.
The Mexican placed an effort neatly into the bottom corner after gliding beyond a host of would-be tacklers, only for Belotti to reduce the deficit following a wild lash at an opponent's legs by Ruben Vinagre.
Wolves are unbeaten in 2019/20 after Sunday's clash with the Clarets ended in deadlock, Jimenez converting a 97th-minute penalty to secure a draw. Two of last season's heroes - the Mexican and Jota - have continued their rich vein of form into the new campaign, the strike-pairing sitting on six and three goals, respectively.
They are yet to win in the league having drawn all three of their fixtures thus far. Nevertheless, that is a more than acceptable outcome given their exhausting exploits on the continent.
Like their opponents, Torino are sitting on three points in their league. However, they have reached that total after just one match, Simone Zaza hitting a brace as Walter Mazzarri's team defeated Sassuolo 2-1 in their opening fixture.
Here's a look at the two sides' last five results:
|Leicester City 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (11/8)||Debrecen 1-4 Torino (01/8)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 Pyunik (15/8)||Torino 5-0 Shakhtyor (08/8)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Manchester United (19/8)||Shakhtyor 1-1 Torino (15/8)|
|Torino 2-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers (22/8)||Torino 2-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers (22/8)|
|Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Burnley (25/8)||Torino 2-1 Sassuolo (25/8)|
Wolves' electric performance in the first leg should give them plenty of confidence as they welcome Torino to Molineux for the second.
They know precisely what is required to seal safe passage into the groups and are more than capable of achieving it. Nerves should not be an issue, with the likes of Ruben Neves, Joao Mourinho and Rui Patricio leading by example and keeping their teammates focused.
It would take a monumental performance from the Italians to overturn Wanderers' lead. Santo has turned them into a fluid, cohesive unit and even the most talented squads struggle to break them down. Qualification should be all but guaranteed by the closing stages of this encounter.
What's more, Torino have no choice but to come at their hosts, especially as the game wears on and the need for goals increases. That is where Wolves can pounce, as they so often do when opponents dominate possession.
Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 Torino