Express & Star

Wolves v Espanyol: Abelardo not here for the sights

Espanyol chief Abelardo insists his charges are not just here as ‘for sightseeing or as tourists’ – they are intent on upsetting Wolves.


The hosts are the big favourites with the bookmakers.

However, despite his side being bottom of La Liga, Abelardo said on coming over to Molineux: “It’s going to be an exciting encounter.

“We’re not here just for sightseeing or as tourists, we want to win or take a positive result back with us.

“We know Wolves are a very good side. But we are here and taking it seriously. We are very excited about the game.”

Abelardo, though, did admit he is likely to make changes to his team, with them also having an important league clash with Real Valladolid on Sunday to think about.

He is Espanyol’s third boss of the season, and this will be his first game in Europe as a manager.

On Wolves’ strengths, Abelardo said: “They’re very organised, both in attack and defence.

“They play with three centre-backs and have creativity up front; Raul Jimenez. Options in midfield; Joao Moutinho.

“They think very quickly on their feet and give 100 per cent. They’re very dangerous in the transitions.

“We have to be very careful if we lose the ball. That said, I’m confident in my boys and I see no reason why we can’t give a good account of ourselves.”

Didac Vila is likely to be marking Wolves speedster Adama Traore, and the Espanyol full-back added: “The key is that we set up well, tactically.

“It’s important we don’t give him space to run into.

“We try to reduce the threat, but we know he is a skilful and strong player.

“Wolves have been going well in the league. It will be quite a physical encounter, but we’re confident we can go through to the next stage.”