Wolves' Europa League Preview
Diogo Jota of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team's goal with team mate during the Premier League Asia Trophy 2019 match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Olympic Sports Center Stadium on July 17, 2019 in Nanjing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images for Premier League)

Three years on since Wolverhampton Wanderers were taken over by Chinese conglomerate, Fosun International and the Midlands club have just completed their pre-season tour in preparation for their first European adventure since the 1980/81 season.

Nuno Espirito Santos' men managed to defeat Manchester City on penalties in Shanghai to lift the Premier League Asia Trophy, but their attention can now be turned to the Crusaders of  Belfast.

The Crusaders have reached the Second Round of Qualifying for the Europa League following a 5-2 aggregate victory in the Faroe Islands. This is the furthest they have reached in the competition, but they will have their chance to better that when they travel to Molineux on Thursday night.

Wolves go into the second round as the seeded team, and therefore the favourites. If they progress further they are only two games away from the main rounds of the competition. Before they can think about the final in Gdańsk there are plenty of tricky customers still left in qualifying.

This may be the first major European fixture Wolves have featured in for 39 years, however, for many of the squad, Europe is no stranger. Midfield maestro Joao Moutinho has 61 career appearances in the Champions League alone and therefore many will be looking at him to pull from his experience.

Fellow Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves showed his promise captaining a winning Porto side at the age of 18 in the group stages of the Champions League.

Who knows how far Wolves can go on their return to Europe, competing with the five-time winners Sevilla, and Champions League semi-finalists, Roma. All we do know is that their first steps on their long-awaited journey will be taken under the lights at Molineux on Thursday night.

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