Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Wolverhampton and Espanyol, the La Liga and the Premier League side, go head to head at Molineux Stadium in the first leg of the Europa League last 32. The Wolves were struggling to find their best form in the first half of the season, but they have been showing signs of improvement of late. Nuno Espirito Santo’s team have been showing character in recent Premier League fixtures, and it is no wonder they are seen as favourites to win Thursday’s football match.
Defender Ruben Vinagre is sidelined with injury, but Nuno Espirito Santo can count on key players for the first leg. Considering that los Periquitos have been struggling in the Spanish top flight this season, we predict that the hosts are going to emerge triumphant in the Molineux Stadium showdown without any difficulties. A man to watch in the home team will be Barcelona target Adama Traore.
Highlighted Player (Adama Traore):
After starting his youth career at Hospitalet, Adama Traore moved to Barcelona football academy La Masia in 2004. The pacey winger made a great progress during his spell with the Catalan giants and it has to be noted that he scored eight goals in 63 appearances for Barca B.
Adama Traore made his debut for the first team against Granada (4-0) on November 23, 2013, replacing Brazilian superstar Neymar in the 83rd minute of the match. In the summer of 2015, he signed for Aston Villa for a fee of £7 million, but he made no more than 11 appearances in the Premier League for the Vilans. At the end of the 2015/2016 season he moved to fellow English club Middlesbrough and he made his debut for the Boro in a 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on September 10, 2016.
Due to his dual citizenship, Adama Traore is eligible to represent Spain and Mali at senior level, but it has to be noted that he played for youth categories of La Roja.
Highlighted Team (Espanyol):
Espanyol are a Catalan club that plays in Spanish La Liga. Espanyol were founded in 1900 and their original name was Sociedad Espanola de Football. In 1901 the Catalan club changed its name to Club Espanol de Futbol. Los Periquitos used to play in bright yellow shirts in the past, but current colour of the team’s home kit is blue and white.
Espanyol’s fiercest rivals are Barcelona and the two teams face each other in the Catalan derby (Derbi barceloni). Espanyol have always been in Barca’s shadow, but it has to be noted that los Periquitos have won four Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup trophies).
The likes of Raul Tamudo, Jose Maria, Antonio Argiles and Mauricio Pochettino are players with most appearances for the Catalan outfit. Espanyol play their home games at Estadio Cornella-El Prat and the capacity of the stadium is 40,500. Los Periquitos have never participated in the Champions League.