Six points off the top four with a place in the last 32 of the Europa League, the transformation at Wolves has been rapid and remarkable.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s team know that victory in this evening’s game with Leicester City will see them leapfrog Champions League-chasing Tottenham and sit just three points off the coveted fourth place.

They also host Espanyol on Thursday as their Europa League adventure continues.  

Sportsmail looks at the key components of the Wolves side and their run-in for the second half of the season.

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Wolves could go three points behind Chelsea if they beat Leicester City on Friday night

Attacking power  

With 11 goals in 25 league games, it’s hard to overlook the importance of Raul Jimenez. 

The 28-year-old has been a revelation since making the move to Molineux and has unsurprisingly attracted interest from other clubs.  

Wolves are blessed with attacking midfielders such as Pedro Neto, Diogo Jota and January signing Daniel Podence but don’t have any other out-and-out strikers that could step up if the Mexican was injured or suspended. That’s why it was imperative they held on to the forward in January.

However, Jimenez isn’t the only player that can weigh-in with a goal. Adama Traore has netted five times in all competitions and has also provided eight assists.

The winger has made notable improvements to his game this season and has the ability to punish defenders with his pace and strength. 

Traore is another player that has been linked with a move away from the club but he will be crucial to Wolves’ hopes of finishing in the top six and progressing in the Europa League.

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Raul Jimenez and Adama Traore have netted 15 goals between them in the league this season

Captain fantastic

Conor Coady is the only outfield player to have played every minute of every Premier League game for Wolves this season.

The captain wears his heart on his sleeve and isn’t afraid of speaking his mind when it comes to post-match interviews. 

However, Coady is not immune from errors and two of his mistakes have resulted in opposition goals. 

Romain Saiss and Leo Dendoncker also have better defensive stats compared  with almost double the amount of interceptions and both have won more tackles (32 and 47 in comparison to Coady’s 30).

But it’s the captains organisation and determination that makes him so vital.  

Every club needs a leader and Coady epitomises the spirit of Nuno’s team. 

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Conor Coady is the only outfield player to have played every minute of every league game 

Magic Moutinho 

For the last few years there has been a buzz about the young players in the Wolves midfield with names like Jota, Neto and Ruben Neves emerging as exciting prospects.

But it’s arguably been a more experienced player who has been the star in the centre of the park this season.  

Joao Moutinho will be 34 this year but the midfielder no signs of slowing down. The Portuguese international has started all but one league match this season and his experience makes him an essential part of Nuno’s side.

Moutinho has provided seven assists in all competitions and has also made the most tackles of any player. 

His vision and ability to control the midfield makes it easy for others to play around him and he’s a great example for the younger players to learn from.

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Joao Moutinho has provided seven assists and has made the most tackles of any Wolves player


If Wolves started games as well as they finish them they could be even closer to the top four.

Nuno’s team have conceded the first goal in a league-high 17 different games this season.

However, they’ve gone on to pick up 18 points from losing position which is more than any other side. 

With 35 goals scored in the Premier League, 26 of those have come in the second half including three strikes in injury time. 

Liverpool may have been branded the division’s ‘mentality monsters’ but it seems Wolves have developed their own never-say-die attitude. 

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Wolves have picked up a league-high of 18 points from losing positions this season

Nuno’s vision

After winning the Championship during his first year in charge, Nuno guided Wolves to seventh on their return to the top-flight.

This ensured Europa League football for the current campaign and his team now face Espanyol in the last 32 after finishing second in Group K.

It’s been a remarkable rise for a club that finished 15th in the second tier only three seasons ago.  

Nuno joined a year after Fosun International’s takeover and with their backing has been able to transform the team’s fortunes. 

Although the Portuguese manager has been given plenty of money to spend, signings such as Traore, Jimenez, Moutinho, Neves and Jota have all proved to be succesful.

The 46-year-old is still waiting to be offered a new contract with his deal set to run out in 2021. If Wolves don’t get their manager tied down soon there could be several clubs competing for his services. 

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Nuno has guided the club to the last 32 of the Europa League but is still waiting for a new deal 

The run-in

With 13 games left to play, Wolves are firmly in the race for a spot in either of the European competitions.

Nuno’s side have to play five of the eight clubs currently above them starting with Friday night’s game against Leicester.

 Fixtures against Arsenal, Sheffield United, Everton and Chelsea all come in the last six games of the season in which could prove to be a crucial period.

But the club’s chances of challenging for the top six and above could be hampered if they progress to the latter stages of the Europa League. 

Wolves started their season on July 25 when they took on Crusaders in the second qualifying round of the competition. If they were to make the final their campaign would finish on May 17. 

It will be a balancing act for the club to continue their efforts on two fronts but it’s a challenge Nuno and his side will be relishing. 

Wolves have top four in sight and are flying the flag in Europe

Progression in the Europa League could affect Wolves’ chances of finishing in the top six


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