Midfielder Ruben Neves says Wolves’ Europa League quarter-final showdown with Sevilla “will be like a final” when the two teams meet in Duisburg on Tuesday (Wolves 11/4, Sevilla 6/5, draw 21/10 – match result).
The latter stages of this year’s competition are being played out in a tournament format in Germany with single-leg games from the last-eight onwards until the final on August 21.
Wolves (5/4 – To qualify), who are in their first European quarter-final for 48 years, are preparing to take on Sevilla (8/13 – To qualify), who have won this competition a record five times since 2006 and three times on the bounce between 2014-16.
Neves is ready for the tough challenge that awaits and says the fact the tie is now just a one-off game changes the dynamic with potentially just three games to play as the Premier League side eye glory and the lifting of a major European trophy.
“We know they have won the tournament before but it’s a different tournament now with just one leg,” said Neves. “It’s hard for every team. There are very good teams in the tournament so it’s a completely different way to play the Europa League.
“It will be like a final for us and for Sevilla. I hope we can go through to the semis.”
Wolves’ long season has now stretched well over a year and, after finishing seventh domestically, they are aiming to conclude the extended campaign on a real high with success in Europe.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s (pictured) side have lost only two of their 16 Europa League matches this season and impressively overcame Olympiacos and Espanyol in the knockout stages so far.
However, this will surely be their toughest test to date as they come up against experienced La Liga outfit Sevilla, who finished fourth in Spain and disposed of Roma with the minimum amount of fuss in the previous round.
Wolves are without Jonny Otto, who could be out for nine months with a serious knee injury, while Daniel Podence is suspended for the tie.
Sevilla’s Nemanja Gudelj tested positive for coronavirus before the round of 16 and remains unavailable for Julen Lopetegui’s men.
The winners take on Manchester United (13/8 – Europa League Outright) in the last four on Sunday after they edged out FC Copenhagen on Monday night.