WOLVES take on Sevilla on Tuesday evening in Germany for their quarter-final Europa League tie. Jack Wright (@JackWright_BSB ) showcases his favourite fancies.
Wolves vs Sevilla | Tuesday 11th August 2020, 20:00 | BT Sport
Sevilla’s love affair with the Europa League continues as they aim to win the competition for the fourth time in seven seasons – their opponents in contrast, despite contesting the maidan final (UEFA Cup) back in 1971-72 are preparing for their first European quarter-final in 48 years.
I watched Los Rojiblancos swat aside the challenge of Roma on Thursday where it seemed their extra freshness really made a difference in a game they should have won by more than the eventual 2-0 scoreline.
Julen Lopetegui’s side had a huge 13 days rest/prep time more than their Serie A opponents and it showed.
Although Wolves’ Premier League season finished just one week after La Liga concluded, the English side looked a bit leggy in edging past Olympiakos, no surprise maybe when taken in to account their campaign started 13 months ago on 25th July last year!
In fact, if it had it not been for a wafer thin VAR offside call and two fine Rui Patricio saves, the Old Gold would be heading for the beach rather than Duisburg for this winner-takes-all-tie on neutral territory.
Freshness could be key
I firmly believe that extra week will be crucial here and before Nuno Espirito Santo’s side did what they do and ground out a win, the Greek side caused plenty of problems, having 62% possession and being allowed to fire off 16 attempts at goal.
Sevilla could have too much about them for a Wanderers side that concluded their season with defeats to Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United and with their record against the better sides leaving something to be desired having won only six times against teams outside the bottom-five – Sevilla are one of those better sides.
Los Nervionenses ride in to this fixture on the crest of an 18-game undefeated streak (W9-D9-L0) and are also yet to be conquered by English opposition in this competition (W3-D2-L0) with victories over both Liverpool and Manchester United in the not too distant past.
Skipper and former Manchester City wide-man Jesus Navas was spot on when asked for his post-match thoughts on the Roma win and if they are “on it from minute one” here again I feel a spot in the semi-finals will be Sevilla’s.
Sergio Reguilón currently on an extended loan from Real Madrid added that they “want to win the tournament , we want to win everything we can” which is the talk of a hungry side that aren’t going to settle for finishing joint-third in La Liga – they want silverware. Currently available at a best priced 6/5 (Sky Bet) I’m taking Sevilla to get the job done inside 90 minutes.
Koundé to shine for Sevilla
Several players stood out in the Last 16 victory – the aforementioned Reguilón not only opened the scoring but was a constant menace down the left where 42% of Sevilla attacks came from.
When they did venture down the right 16 goal top scorer Lucas Ocampos provided a constant supply line for the lively Youssef En-Nesyri, including an assist for the Moroccan’s goal, as well as firing off four shots of his own.
Evergreen Ever Banega pulled the strings centrally, completing most passes overall (59) as well as in the final third (17) directly creating four chances in the process.
Los Rojiblancos forced 10 corners looking dangerous from most with Jules Koundé striking the bar from one such early set-piece situation – and with Wolves leaking a massive 30 crosses against the Greeks, he may have plenty of opportunities in this one.
The French centre back also had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside in open play as he registered a total of three shots, something he manages with consistent regularity. From his last 16 La Liga starts the 21-year-old has registered at least one shot in 14 of them and in five of his six Europa League appearances – a hugely impressive 86% of those 22 total games.
PokerStars offer of 23/20 – implying a 46.5% chance – for Kounde to have 1+ shot, therefore representing huge value.
Wolves vs Sevilla – Sevilla to win (6/5 SkyBet)
Wolves vs Sevilla – Jules Koundé to have 1+ shot (23/20 PokerStars)