Crusaders

Crusaders vs Wolverhampton Wanderers

, KO: 20:00 Aug 1, 2019, Seaview
Wolverhampton Wanderers

IT was hard not to feel for Crusaders keeper Sean O'Neill when his blunder gifted Wolves their second deep into stoppage time at Molineux.

O'Neill had put in a heroic shift, making some fine saves to deny the Premier League side, and it looked like Wolves would be heading to Northern Ireland with the narrowest of leads.

But he spilled a Joao Moutinho cross in the fourth minute of added time and Ruben Vinagre tapped home to double his side's lead after Diogo Jota's first-half opener.

It still couldn't ruin what O'Neill described as an ‘unforgettable' night and the keeper is refusing to rule out a miracle in the Seaview return.

I took a bit of flak for tipping under 4.5 Wolves goals in the first leg, with some punters expecting Nuno Espirito Santo's side to rack up a cricket score.

But, as the Molineux boss admitted himself after the game, it was always going to be hard for his players to hit top gear in their first competitive match so early in the season.

His forwards lacked a bit of match sharpness, as witnessed by the tally of just two strikes from 30 attempts on goal, with only 10 of those on target.

A week further down the line they should be fitter and a bit more ruthless but the tight Seaview pitch will be a world away from the wide open spaces of Molineux.

When you throw a plastic pitch into the equation it could add up to another frustrating night for Santo's stars, especially if Crusaders manage to score first and give them a scare.

The minnows netting first is 6/1 with Bet365 but they only managed one shot at goal in the first leg and even that was off target.

They have nothing to lose at home and might have a go but I can still see Wolves having a monopoly on possession and chances.

I thought the first leg might end 3-0 or 4-0 to the Molineux men and wouldn't be surprised if that's how the return plays out. Wolves to win by a three-goal margin pays 7/2 at Bet365 and I'll be having a punt on that.

Backing the English side to win with a clean sheet offers more value than the first leg but the odds still aren't great, at a best 8/15 with Bet365. Instead, try backing Wolves to win both halves which looks overpriced at evens with the same firm.

I flagged up Diogo Jota as Wolves' main threat in the first leg and he grabbed the opener but my bet on him scoring in both halves didn't come up.

Jota is odds-on here for anytime scorer (a best 3/5 with Skybet) so instead I'll have a punt on youngster Morgan Gibbs-White, who's 23/20 with Ladbrokes. He was lively in the first leg and got a standing ovation when subbed late on.

This match between Crusaders and Wolverhampton Wanderers will be played on Aug 1, 2019 and kick off at 20:00

Crusaders vs Wolverhampton Wanderers Betting Tips & Predictions
Wolves to win by three-goal winning margin
7/2
Bet365
Wolves to win both halves
Evens
Bet365
Morgan Gibbs-White anytime scorer
23/20
Ladbrokes

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