Europa League: A summertime slog but a chance for Wolves to show they are different to the pack

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 21 June 2019, 13:20

Wolverhampton Wanderers are about to discover the reality of life in football’s fast lane.

The reward for gatecrashing the top seven of the Premier League last season is a summertime slog that could have repercussions come winter.

In less than four weeks’ time Wolves will be in China having accepted the dubious honour to play in the Asia Trophy. The final is on July 20 - while the Open Golf is still underway.

Then it’s the home leg of the Second qualifying round of the Europa League five days later and a return trip to either Northern Ireland or the Faroe Islands on August 1.

All this before a ball gets booted in anger in the Premier League the following weekend.

But it’s no good complaining. Wolves fans are no doubt already excited at the prospect of a first European tie in 39 years.

Let’s just hope that now they are in the big time they don’t go the same way as all their peers and disregard the Europa League.

Wolves’ manager Nuno Espirito Santo is one of the most highly-regarded in the land. So much so that Chelsea still have an eye on him as head coach.

Qualifying for Europe is a significant anchor to keep him at the club and out of the clutches of the bigger teams. Wolves are on the up.

The added air miles is the price you have to pay and it can be a weight juggling those Thursday and Sunday games.

There is also a third qualifying round before the group stage even kicks in. It will drain legs and resources at Molineux undoubtedly.

But where you can understand teams like Chelsea and Arsenal aiming higher and viewing the Europa League as a mild inconvenience, for Wolves it is a blessing.

Just as Watford, Everton or West Ham whether they would rather be in it or out of it and we all know the answer in advance.

The arrival of the Europa League for Wolves is a timely gift. The club is on the up and achieving European football a year after promotion from the Championship is a seriously good achievement.

It will also help keep all those wonderful players signed through super agent Jorge Mendes happy - for a time at least.

They will play either Crusaders of Northern Ireland or the wonderfully named B36 Torshavn up on the edges of the Arctic Circle.

What a journey could begin there where it will be light 24 hours a day.

And this year at least the Europa League winds up in Poland for the final instead of far-flung Azerbaijan.

Nuno has shown how he has been prepared to buck the trend of newly-promoted teams and put on attractive football for the fans instead of shutting up shop and hoping to simply avoid relegation.

He should treat the forthcoming China Cup as a nuisance; it’s a collection of exhibition games to generate money for the Premier League.

The Europa League is a serious opportunity for Wolves to continue the remarkable progress being made at Molineux and Nuno should embrace it.

sackrace
x
Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
C30
JOIN NOW
New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the 'win' part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org
x
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
100BET365
JOIN NOW
Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5 and 1x settled bet requirement to release Bet Credits. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
x
Bet £10 Get £30
Exclusive Promo Code
30f
JOIN NOW
New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & full T&Cs apply.
x
Bet £20 & Get £20
Exclusive Promo Code
SPORTS20
JOIN NOW
Select 'Use a promo code' in the drop-down list in the Cashier and enter SPORTS20. Deposit £20 or more. An extra £20 will be credited immediately. The deposit and bonus must be wagered 1x onSports at 1/2 (1.5) odds or higher. General bonus terms apply. This offer expires 31 May 23:59. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave

Arsenal

Next Manager

Barcelona

Next Manager

Bayern Munich

Next Manager

England

Next Manager

Liverpool

Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Sheffield Wednesday

Next Manager
x
See the latest Manager Odds - £20 Risk Free First bet
New Customers Only Limited to one per person. If you’ve previously had a Paddy Power account, you will not qualify for the offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is  £20. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Paddy's Rewards Club: Get a  £10 free bet when you place 5x bets of  £10+. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org.
BET HERE