This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Wolverhampton Wanderers have a lot to thank Portugal for and on Sunday afternoon the Portuguese nation did the Midlands outfit yet another favour.
It’s no secret that Wolves’ recruitment policy in recent years has been heavily built around the signing of players from Portugal due to their affiliations with super-agent Jorge Mendes.
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Of course, signing top-end talent means that these players will be selected for international duty, and that can be a spanner in the works for any squad as these players are much more susceptible to injury, with congested schedules and intense travelling contributing to that.
However, Portugal may have inadvertently done Nuno Espirito Santo’s side a massive favour with their team selection on Sunday.
Fernando Santos helped the Molineux outfit out with his team selection against Luxembourg as he opted to leave three of Wolves’ key players on the bench.
Indeed, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota were all left out of the starting XI this weekend, and while that may be seen as a negative by the players it will be music to the ears of their club.
Of course, the fact these players were left on the bench from the start on Sunday meant that they were allowed a little bit of extra rest, and with Wolves having three very winnable fixtures coming up against Bournemouth, Sheffield United and West Ham, this slight extra advantage will certainly help Wolves.