30 August 2019
A 3-2 away win in the first leg of their Europa League play-off tie against Torino gives Wolverhampton Wanderers a slight advantage ahead of the return leg that will take place at the Molineux Stadium at midweek.
After finishing seventh in the Premier League last year, Wolves have started their European adventure with a 6-1 aggregate win over Crusaders (2-0 H, 4-1 A) in the second qualifying round. The Wanderers then went on the hammer the Armenian side Pyunik 8-0 on aggregate (4-0 A, 4-0 H) and set up their first-ever EL playoff appearance. Before taking part in the ongoing qualifiers, Wolves last featured in the European competition in 1980-81 when PSV Eindhoven came off better 3-2 on aggregate (1-0 H, 1-3 A). Often struggling to secure their way to Europe, Wolves will now face the Italian team for the second time in the history of the club. Juventus were Wolverhampton’s last rival from Italy, with the Premier League side coming out on top 3-2 on aggregate in the 1971-72 UEFA Cup (2-1 H, 1-1 A).
Meanwhile, the visitors have kicked off their 2019/20 European campaign with a 7-1 aggregate triumph over the Hungarian side Debrecen (3-0 H, 4-1 A) before easing past Shakhter Soligorsk from Belarus 6-1 on aggregate (5-0 H, 1-1 A). The Bulls featured in the European competitions only once in the 21st century making their way to the round of 16 after starting the 2014/15 Europa League campaign in the qualifiers. Notably, the Maroons have lost just three of their last 19 EL matches, qualifiers included (W11, D5, L3), with two of those losses coming away from home. However, all four of Torino’s away wins in the same sequence have seen them score over 2.5 match goals, which might encourage the traveling side ahead of this clash.
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