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Can Wolves Win Europa League?

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What does Arsenal's FA Cup win mean for Wolves?

Arsenal's victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup has meant that Wolverhampton Wanderers' impressive season in finishing seventh comes without a return to the Europa League. The Gunners will now take the final spot, with sixth-place Tottenham Hotspur also earning a route thanks to Manchester City's League Cup triumph, whilst Wolves sit without a hope.

This is a harsh reward for what was a brilliant campaign under Nuno Espirito Santo, cementing themselves as a developing side that can more than hold their ground against the top sides in England.

Wolves may have missed out on European competition through domestic qualification, but Nuno’s men can still go one better by winning the tournament and earning a spot in the Champions League.

However, Europa League is out of bounds now for the club and, weirdly enough, their only chance at European football is the Champions League. We take a look at if they can make it there and win the Europa League.

Wolves Europa League draw

Wolves face Olympiacos, who have already knocked out Arsenal at the Emirates, following a goal in the 119th minute. Although, Pedro Neto’s away goal in Greece means the English side are currently tying 1-1 with Olympiacos ahead of the second leg at Molineux, with a vital away goal.

Should they get past the Greek giants, Wolves have been drawn against two top European clubs in Roma and Sevilla, setting up a difficult test in a prospective quarter-final. However, it would be the semi-final that would truly set pulses racing: a highly-dramatic all-England clash awaits Wolves as they could battle Manchester United for a place in the Europa League final.

With Bruno Fernandes and co. putting United as the most in-form English side since the restart, it would be an almighty battle for Wolves. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men are the favourites to win the Europa League at 15/8, whilst Santo's side sit with a price of 15/2, behind only Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen, with odds of 5/1 and 7/1 respectively.

However, Wolves have proved themselves to be a frustrating opponent for the Red Devils – the Premier League fixtures between the two sides in 2019/20 both ended in draws. Firstly, they must get past Olympiacos and beat either Roma or Sevilla over one leg, which is no easy tasks in itself.

Who can win the Europa League for Wolves

Like much of the season, Wolves’ hopes against these household European names rest on the shoulders of players like Raul Jiminez and Adama Traore. The duo have taken centre stage this season, with Jiminez attracting the attention of rivals Manchester United due to his exceptional performances – the forward being pegged to move to Old Trafford at 13/5.

The Mexican, who is also linked with Juventus (10/11), has scored 20 goals in all competitions for Wolves this season, proving his quality as a leading man for any top club. As for Traore, he has gone from strength to strength this year, establishing himself as one of the top wingers in English football thanks to his impressive combination of pace and power.

The ruthless Spaniard is more of a threat than his statistics suggest, as he registered 12 assists and scored just six goals in 52 appearances this season. Whilst improving his end product would elevate his standing in world football, Traore is already a constant headache for opposing defenders.

If Wolves don’t have European football to offer to the duo, they may seek moves away. The same may also be feared of Ruben Neves, who is considered to be the crown jewel of this Santo setup. The Portuguese playmaker dictates the tempo in midfield whilst possessing a fierce shot from distance, and he allows Nuno to implement his strategy flawlessly.

Can wolves win Europa League?

Winning the Europa League might appear to be a step too far for Wolves, but they certainly have the potential to do just that. The club have beaten all of England’s top six in the last two seasons, including the two teams that met in the Europa League final last season in Arsenal and Chelsea.

It seems as though the likes of United, Inter and Leverkusen are more favoured than Wolves, but they are certainly in with a chance with such a fantastic, diverse and threatening squad. With their ability to churn out an important result, these one-off games are going to be more open, and it could simply be a case of a piece of brilliance from one of their star players that wins it.

In the likes of Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio, Wolves possess experience in playing in high-stakes European football, and have attackers that can wreak havoc against any team on their day.

By Andrew Gamble