Wolves comment: Daniel Podence is the man for Olympiacos clash
It is an enormous game for Wolves against Olympiacos tomorrow night – and they should start the man who knows all about the Greek side.
Daniel Podence, following his impressive end to the Premier League campaign, could well be the game-changer in this Europa League last-16 second-leg clash.
Having left the Greek champions for Wolves in January for £17million, he will be desperate to show why he made the switch.
Podence opened his gold and black account in his last Molineux appearance, heading home in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
And – not to be underestimated – he firmly has the inside track on the visitors.
Sure, Nuno Espirito Santo & Co will have done their usual excellent, in-depth research on the opposition, watching video clips and analysing data.
But Podence is fully aware of their nuances, the things you can only find out by spending the best part of two years with them.
You would like to think that counts in his favour.
Aside from that, too, what we saw from the Portuguese in the final weeks of the top-flight term was hugely encouraging.
Podence, make no mistake, brings something different to the table.
He is constantly looking for the ball, capable of taking players on. Scoring and assisting is just in his nature, and he does not strike you as the type to shy away from responsibility in a match of massive importance.
Yes, Diogo Jota was the one who drew the foul which saw Ruben Semedo sent off early on in the first leg, while he has scored six goals from just 10 shots from the Europa group stages onwards.
Pedro Neto made a superb second-half contribution in Greece, too, scoring the equaliser.
But neither of them, really, grasped the opportunity at Chelsea last time out. Nuno was asked a few weeks ago whether he picks players based on form or profile, and ‘everything’ was his reply.
Well, all things considered, there is a strong argument for Podence to get the nod against his old club.