Football Previews

Wolves vs Besiktas preview, predictions & confirmed team news

By J Smith

Published: 18:43, 12 December 2019

Wolves host Turkish giants Besiktas in the Europa League on Thursday looking to seal top spot in Group K.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men currently trail Braga by a point but already have qualification for the knockout rounds assured, having lost just one of their five group games so far.

For Besiktas, Thursday is purely about pride with Abdullah Avci’s men having lost four and winning just one of their five group games.

Can Wolves head into the Europa League knockout stages in style or will Besiktas save face with an unlikely away win? Read on for our preview, prediction, team news and TV coverage information.

When is Wolves vs Besiktas and where can I watch live?

Competition: Europa League

Venue: Molineux

Date: Thursday, 12 December 2019

Kick-off: 8:00 PM (UK time)

TV coverage (UK): BT Sport ESPN

Recent form


08 Dec 2019: Brighton 2-2 Wolves (Premier League)

04 Dec 2019: Wolves 2-0 West Ham (Premier League)

01 Dec 2019: Wolves 1-1 Sheffield United (Premier League)

28 Nov 2019: Braga 3-3 Wolves (Europa League)

23 Nov 2019: Bournemouth 1-2 Wolves (Premier League)

Wins: Draws: Defeats: 0 Goals for: 10 Goals against: 7


08 Dec 2019: Kasimpasa 2-3 Besiktas (Super Lig)

05 Dec 2019: Besiktas 3-0 24 Erzincansport (Turkish Cup)

02 Dec 2019: Besiktas 4-1 Kayserispor (Super Lig)

28 Nov 2019: Besiktas 2-1 Slovan Bratislava (Europa League)

23 Nov 2019: Konyaspor 0-1 Besiktas (Super Lig)

Wins: Draws: Defeats: Goals for: 13 Goals against: 4

Ones to watch

Wolves: Ruben Vinagre

With qualification assured, Espirito Santo has completely overhauled his starting XI ahead of an incredibly hectic December schedule.

One of the most high-profile players to be given a run-out is Portuguese wing-back Ruben Vinagre, who has had to play second fiddle to Jonny Otto since joining Wolves.

Wing-back is arguably the most important position on the pitch for Espirito Santo and this could present a real opportunity for the 20-year-old to stake his claim for the rest of the season.

Key stat: No Wolves player has made more successful open-play crosses during the Europa League group stages than Ruben Vinagre (4).

Besiktas: Domagoj Vida

Domagoj Vida truly rose to prominence during the 2018 World Cup and has been consistently linked with a number of high-profile European clubs since.

For now, he remains at Besiktas, where his non-compromising brand of defending plays a vital role in the success of Avci’s side.

Key stat: Vida has made more interceptions (13) than any other Besiktas player during the Europa League group stages.

Team news


Wolves have made seven changes from the side that drew 2-2 with Brighton on Sunday evening.

John Ruddy, Oskar Buur, Ryan Bennett, Maximilian Kilman, Ruben Vinagre, Pedro Neto and Patrick Cutrone all come in, while Joao Moutinho provides an experienced head in midfield.

Confirmed XI: Ruddy; Bennett, Coady, Kilman; Buur, Dendoncker, Moutinho, Neves, Vinagre; Neto, Cutrone.

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Former Sunderland winger Jeremain Lens starts for Besiktas alongside Tyler Boyd and Guven Yalcin in an attacking trio behind Umut Nayir. Utku Yuvakuran replaces Loris Karius in goal with Besiktas already out.

Confirmed XI: Yuvakuran; Kalafat, Uysal, Kaya, Rebocho; Ozyakup, Secgin; Boyd, Yalcin, Lens; Nayir.

Squawka prediction

With the sheer amount of changes that are likely to be made, this one is really tough to call.

A number of Wolves players will be using this as a chance to show Espirito Santo what they can do ahead of the busy festive period but could find it tough against a confident and in-form Besiktas.

Scoreline prediction: Wolves 2-2 Besiktas