Rough guide for Wolves' Espanyol excursion

Thanks to a Diogo Jota hat-trick and another Ruben Neves wonder-goal, Wolves travel to Barcelona with the hard work already done in their Europa League tie with Espanyol.

The RCDE Stadium, home of Espanyol
The RCDE Stadium, home of Espanyol

More than 2,000 Wolves fans will be heading there in the hope of seeing their side complete formalities and secure a place in the last 16 of the tournament.

Here, Mark Sochon reveals what will lie in wait for them in the Catalan capital.

What to Expect from Espanyol

The struggling Spanish side made nine changes for the first leg at Molineux and many fringe players are expected to feature again.

Having spent more than £30million in January, Espanyol’s Chinese owners are desperate for the club to avoid relegation from La Liga and recently appointed coach Abelardo looks to have been given clear orders to prioritise that fight.

Their survival hopes took a fresh blow at the weekend as they lost a key relegation six-pointer against Real Valladolid.

Their pressing domestic matters combined with the very slim chance of them overhauling a four goal deficit, means restoring some pride will be Espanyol’s main objective here after last week’s 4-0 defeat.

The RCDE Stadium

Espanyol’s home is the modern 40,000-capacity RCDE Stadium. It lies on the fringes of Barcelona in the suburb of Cornella de Llobregat, close to the city’s main airport.

Visiting Wolves fans should note that it is best reached by Catalonia’s suburban rail network rather than the Barcelona metro.

The fastest connections take 18 minutes to get to Cornella from Plaça de Catalunya, a central square where visiting football fans to the city regularly gather.

The area surrounding the RCDE Stadium does not rank among Barcelona’s best districts though – so Wolves fans would be advised to head to Cornella purely for the game and then return to the city centre to enjoy their evening.

The Spanish police have advised these changes for the safety of official Wolves supporters and to assist with the safe arrival at Estadi Cornellà-El Prat. On police advice all supporters with tickets for the away end are requested to meet at Plaza Espanya in good time to catch the 5pm trains to the stadium.

Please note that there will be three trains carrying up to 2,400 supporters and will be the only trains that will have a dedicated police presence for the protection of Wolves fans. All other trains will be mixed and have RCD Espanyol supporters on board.

Train tickets will be available to purchase at the time of collecting tickets in Barcelona.

Supporters travelling by train should disembark at the FGC Cornellà Almeda station, and not the Cornellà Riera as previously advised. From here you will be escorted directly to the away section entry point where you will be required to present your match ticket and copy of your passport, which must be clear and in colour.

Turnstiles open at 5pm for the 6.55pm kick-off. Any supporters arriving after 5.30pm are not guaranteed to be in their seat for the start of the game, due to the strict entry controls in place.

On police advice Wolves must close the ticket collection point at 4pm to allow all supporters sufficient time to travel to the stadium. Any late arrivals will have to collect their tickets at the stadium, in a location to be confirmed.

Anyone travelling with Sport Options will also need to follow the steps above as the coaches with drop off and pick up at Plaza Espanya as there are no parking facilities at the stadium.

Barcelona

Wolves may not be taking on the mighty FC Barcelona but many visiting supporters may also take the opportunity to visit Camp Nou, with stadium tours running throughout the week.

Aside from Plaça de Catalunya, which lies at the top of the famous La Rambla, the central Barceloneta Beach is likely to be another popular spot to soak in the pre-game atmosphere.

With sunny weather and mild temperatures of around 18C expected in Barcelona this week, it should be an enjoyable trip for Wolves fans.

Mark Sochon is a football writer based in Spain who writes for laligaexpert.com

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News