Nuno expecting tough Braga test
Nuno Espirito Santo believes Wolves will be in a for a tough evening when they take on Braga in the Europa League on Thursday.
Wolves are playing in Europe for the first time since 1980 this season and they successfully negotiated their way through three qualifying rounds to make it through to the group stage.
Nuno’s side have been drawn in Group K for the competition proper where they will face Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava, as well as Braga, who they take on first at Molineux.
Braga finished fourth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga last season but have endured a stuttering start to the current campaign and they will head to England after successive defeats to Benfica and Vitoria Setubal – failing to score in both matches.
However, Nuno has nothing but respect for Ricardo Sa Pinto’s side and he is expecting a very close game on Thursday night.
“Braga is an opponent that we respect, that we analyse, and we want to compete again tomorrow,” he told reporters. “They are a very balanced, competitive team, so I don’t think there are favourites. They have some very good players and they’re a very good team, so it will be a great game tomorrow.”
Nuno should have some inside knowledge on Braga, as he has both played and managed against the club on a number of occasions, while Wolves also have a number of Portuguese players in their squad, including midfield duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho.
However, the boss does not feel his familiarity with Braga will give his side any kind of advantage this week.
When asked about facing a Portuguese opponent, he responded: “I don’t think it’s anything different. Our analysis is the same, I’ve observed the team; I don’t think it’s anything special.
“Tomorrow, Braga will know the players and all our opponents are the same. Obviously, it may be different when we go to Braga for the Portuguese players who will be going back to our country.”