Wolves had more Portuguese in line-up than Porto and Sporting combined
Wolves name more Portuguese players in their starting line-up than Porto and Sporting Lisbon combined for Europa League last-32 clashes
- Wolves played Joao Moutinho, Rui Patricio, Daniel Podence and Ruben Vinagre
- Porto had just Sérgio Oliveira starting against Bayer Leverkusen in Portugal
- Sporting Lisbon had Luís Maximiano and Tiago Ilori on at Istanbul Basaksehir
Wolves named more Portuguese players in their starting line-up than Porto and Sporting Lisbon combined for their Europa League last-32 clashes on Thursday.
Nuno Espírito Santo played fellow countrymen Joao Moutinho, Rui Patricio, Daniel Podence and Ruben Vinagre against Espanyol.
Porto had just Sérgio Oliveira starting at the Estádio do Dragão in their fixture against Bayer Leverkusen, while Sporting Lisbon showcased Luís Maximiano and Tiago Ilori against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Rui Patricio (left) and Joao Moutinho (right) were two of the Portuguese stars in Wolves’s team
Daniel Podence (left) and Ruben Vinagre (right) were the other two to start against Espanyol
It meant the Portuguese clubs started a combined total of three players from the Iberian country, with Wolves rolling out four.
The Black Country club added another two with substitutes – Bruno Jordão and Pedro Neto – while Porto had three more and Sporting had two more on their benches.
Pepe, who was born in Brazil but plays for Portugal, joined Wilson Manafá and Diogo Costa on the sidelines at Porto.
Porto had Sérgio Oliveira starting at Estádio do Dragão in the fixture against Bayer Leverkusen
Sporting Lisbon showcased Tiago Ilori (left) and Luís Maximiano against Istanbul Basaksehir
And Pedro Mendes sat with keeper Diogo Sousa in the dugout for Sporting Lisbon in Istanbul.
PORTUGUESE STARS IN EUROPA ACTION
- Joao Moutinho
- Rui Patricio
- Daniel Podence
- Ruben Vinagre
- Bruno Jordão
- Pedro Neto
- Sérgio Oliveira
- Wilson Manafá
- Diogo Costa
- Luís Maximiano
- Tiago Ilori
- Pedro Mendes
- Diogo Sousa
It comes after another of Wolves’s Portuguese stars called for calm ahead of their clash in Barcelona.
Ruben Neves dismissed talk of his side’s Champions League charge after they thrashed Espanyol 4-0 at Molineux last week.
Winning the Europa League would earn them a Champions League spot, while fifth in the Premier League could also see a place at the top table of club football if Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban fails.
Wolves are eighth in the top flight, two points off fifth, but Neves refused to consider challenging the elite.
He said: ‘We can’t talk about it at this moment. It’s a very good moment but we have our feet on the ground.
‘We know what we’re capable of but we have to be focused on our competitions to keep our pace.
‘It’s not fair to think about it at the moment. Our philosophy is always game-by-game. After we’ll look to the Premier League. It’s not the moment to speak about the Champions League.’
Neves scored a spectacular 25-yard volley in last week’s win at Molineux, adding to Diogo Jota’s hat-trick, but both were rested for Thursday night’s game.
Midfielder Ruben Neves said Wolves’ focus was on the last-32 second-leg against Espanyol
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