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Wolves v Olympiacos: Nuno battling close friend Pedro Martins

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published:

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has everyone fit as he prepares to battle ‘very good friend’ Pedro Martins for a place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins (PA)

Former goalkeeper Nuno and ex-midfielder Martins forged a close bond as players at Vitoria Guimaraes in the mid-90s.

They have faced each other as managers a few times over the years, too – beating each other twice and drawing the other three meetings.

And Nuno said ahead of this massive clash with Olympiacos: “I know him very well because we played together, we were team-mates and he is a very good friend of mine.

“We will social-distance but we will speak to each other – before and afterwards.

“He is a fantastic guy, the only thing I will miss is to give him a big hug. I admire and I like him, and we are good friends. We usually meet up and share some time in Portugal.

“We have been on the same coaching courses together and have been to some seminars. We speak a lot.

“Let’s play the game. For sure we both want our teams to perform well and play good.

“At the end we shall see, but the friendship will still be there.”

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The importance of the game is clear for Wolves, with winning the Europa now their only way to seal European football for next season.

Nuno has a full squad to pick from, too – a boost considering Uefa are allowing teams to name 12 substitutes.

“All the players are available. Everybody is committed and ready,” he said.

Olympiacos, though, are expected to be without first-choice goalkeeper Jose Sa after he picked up an injury in training, meaning the relatively untested Bobby Allain is set to come in.

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Nuno, having worked with Sa while in charge of Porto, wished him well and added: “First is the situation of Jose Sa.

“We worked together in Porto, and he is a fantastic goalkeeper and a terrific boy.

“I wish him all the best and hope he recovers as soon as possible, so he is able to compete again. He is a very good goalkeeper.

“Of course, changing a goalkeeper in such an important game is always a situation that can disturb.

“But the quality of the second goalkeeper of Olympiacos, for sure, will not make it easier for us.”

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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