Wolves host Slovan Bratislava in the Europa League as they look to continue their pursuit of qualification for the last 32.
Bratislava will see this as an opportunity to leapfrog Wolves, sitting 2 points behind the hosts. However, Wolves could jump to first place should Braga fall to winless Besiktas.
When the sides clashed earlier in the campaign, Wolves came from behind, courtesy of two second-half goals from Roman Saiss and Raul Jimenez. Diogo Jota received a red card late on, but Wolves held out for a crucial victory.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Thursday 7 November|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Molineux|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||BT Sport ESPN|
Wolves will be without Portuguese forward Diogo Jota after he picked up two yellow cards in Bratislava. The 22-year-old has not mirrored the same stats as last season, and will not be a huge miss to the home side.
Matt Doherty could be missing as the wing-back hobbled off at the Emirates last time out. The Irish international has been nursing a knee injury throughout the season, but an awkward landing against Arsenal has cast doubt over his involvement against Bratislava.
Willy Boly will miss out again as he recovers from an ankle fracture, sustained in training before Wolves' trip to Newcastle. The centre-half has been ever-present in the Europa League, and even scored against Besiktas, but looks likely to watch from the sidelines.
Bratislava nearly have a fully fit side to choose from. The Slovakian side are only missing right-back Mitch Apau, who is set to return in the new year. He did not start against Wolves in the reverse fixture, and will not be a huge miss.
|Wolves||Patricio; Traore, Dendoncker, Coady, Saiss, Vinagre; Neves, Moutinho, Neto; Cutrone, Jimenez.|
|Slovan Bratislava||Greif; Medvedev, Abena, Bozhikov, Morlacchi; De Kamps, Ibrahim, Daniel, Holman, Rharsalla; Sporar.|
The sides met for the first time this season, when they clashed in the reverse fixture. No head-to-head statistics exist for this match, which suggests that Wolves have a 100% win ratio against Bratislava.
The Slovakians will want revenge on Wolves, after leading for so long in their previous encounter. With the added motivation that they will overtake the home side with a victory, these statistics could change.
However, Bratislava have never won in England. They have lost on all five occasions, with their first defeat spanning all the way back to 1963 against Tottenham. This does not bode will for the underdogs, but it is a record that they will be looking to put straight.
Wolves are winless since their victory in Bratislava, drawing twice in the Premier League and losing to rivals Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup. With fixtures coming thick and fast, consistency is hard to come by with such a small squad. Despite this, they sit in 11th place in the Premier League and second in their Europa League group, which can be classed as a success.
Bratislava, on the other hand, sit top of the Slovak Super Liga, comfortably clear of second place MSK Zilina. They have won both games since their defeat against Wolves, so will be high on confidence heading to Molineux.
Here’s how the two teams have performed in their last five games.
|Arsenal 1-1 Wolves (02/11)||Slovan Bratislava 2-0 FC Senica (02/11)|
|Aston Villa 2-1 Wolves (LC) (30/10)||Michalovce 0-1 Slovan Bratislava (27/10)|
|Newcastle 1-1 Wolves (27/10)||Slovan Bratislava 1-2 Wolves (EL) (24/10)|
|Slovan Bratislava 1-2 Wolves (EL) (24/10)||Slovan Bratislava 2-1 Pohronie (19/10)|
|Wolves 1-1 Southampton (19/10)||Oravska Poruba 0-7 Slovan Bratislava (12/10)
On paper, Wolves should come away with a victory. However, they have numerous injuries to key players, as well as a suspension to Jota. They have played a midweek game for the previous three weeks, and may be a little jaded.
Wolves need to win to all but secure qualification, but the away side will be no pushovers. The Midlands side are not short on quality, and that may prove the deciding factor in a game which should be open from the start.
With no disrespect to Bratislava, Wolves should carry out a professional job and pull away from their opponents in their group table.
Prediction: Wolves 1-0 Slovan Bratislava