Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach, Nuno Espirito Santo, has described Sheffield United as a “fantastic team” ahead of their meeting on Monday night.
Wolves travel to Bramall Lane in the Premier League in their opening fixture of 2020/21. Both teams impressed last season with top half finishes. Their two matches against each other last term were also close fought affairs.
They drew 1-1 at Molineux earlier in the campaign, before a 93rd minute John Egan winner gave the Blades a 1-0 victory post-lockdown.
“They are a fantastic team, I admire their staff and players, as a club and people,” Nuno said in his pre-match press conference, as quoted by Birmingham Live.
“Monday will be tough but I expect a very good game.”
Nuno won’t be taking Sheffield United for granted
United were something of an unknown entity last term following their promotion from the Championship. Despite being tipped by many for relegation before the campaign started, they proved any doubters wrong with a ninth-place finish.
They actually followed very much in the footsteps of Wolves, who finished seventh the previous year following their own promotion to the top flight.
Yet if Nuno – who also met Chris Wilder’s side in the Championship in 2017/18 as they won the title – wasn’t aware of what the Blades were about 12 months’ ago, he certainly is now.
The Portuguese praised the Blades following that draw in the Midlands in December. Lys Mousset gave the visitors a 63rd-second lead before Matt Doherty equalised in the second half.
Afterwards, Nuno described his opponents as “very good” and was impressed with their pressing and intensity.
They are traits that could be attributed to the 46-year-old’s side, who have many similarities with United. They too often play in a 3-5-2 formation with wing-backs offering the width.
Both Wilder and Nuno are also coaches whose teams have a clear identity and who improve players. Monday’s game is likely to be another fantastic competition.