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Julen Lopetegui piles praise onto 'excellent' Wolves

By Joe Edwards | Wolves | Published: | Last Updated:

Sevilla gaffer Julen Lopetegui knows his side will have to be at their best to get past 'tremendous' Wolves.

Julen Lopetegui (PA)

Lopetegui could well have been the man leading the Wolves charge now.

He was set to move to Molineux when Fosun took over the club in 2016, but he ended up taking the Spain job instead.

Wolves then, of course, endured somewhat of a turbulent first season under Fosun before the Nuno Espirito Santo revolution began.

With Sevilla – taking in a spell at Real Madrid along the way – since last summer, Lopetegui is not underestimating Nuno's men going into this Europa League quarter-final as he said: "Wolves have improved at a very important level.

"They beat Tottenham this year and they have played in Europe.

"A few mistakes prevented them from qualifying for Europe again, but they have invested a lot of money into brilliant young players.

"They have brought in players from important footballing countries and have a great coach, who has been there with a lot of solidity.

"They are at a very, very high level. They have obtained very good results against teams high up in the Premier League.

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"We know the kind of rival we are going to play. They are our reality.

"They'll force us to play a great game if we want to beat them."

Sevilla, given their rich history in the Europa, are considered by many to have the slight edge going into this clash.

They beat Roma last week in the last 16 and if they go all the way, it will be their sixth success in the competition.

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You could also give them the advantage when it comes to the venue, given that victory over the Italian side was also at the MSV Arena in Duisburg.

But Lopetegui was keen to downplay expectation as he piled praise onto Wolves.

"I'm worried about the rival as it's a tremendous team," he said.

"They have excellent footballers, who have been playing with a great coach.

"It's a very solid squad, which has been together for a long time.

"And after Manchester City, it is the team that has spent more money in world football.

"That says a lot for the kind of team we are going to be facing.

"All the players there are top level, and they've been working for quite a long time with the same coach, creating a solidity.

"That's why we are worried as it's going to be a very difficult game. It will be a complex, difficult game.

"The way they compete, it's going to force us to play a great game."

Lopetegui added: "Every game has different nuances, and we need to focus on ourselves and take our work to the limit.

"We'll try to do that while respecting our rival, who are really powerful.

"They have proven to be powerful. It's a very solid team."

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist

Wolves fan turned Wolves correspondent for the Express & Star.

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