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A PLEASURE: Wolves boss Lage looking forward to facing Bielsa

A PLEASURE: Wolves boss Lage looking forward to facing Bielsa

PA David Davies

Wolves boss Bruno Lage says it will be a pleasure to manage against Leeds counterpart Marcelo Bielsa on Saturday and knows exactly what to expect from the hosts at Elland Road.

The Portuguese coach takes his team to Yorkshire in a great moment with four wins from their last five Premier League matches.

Lage has spent plenty of time studying Bielsa and his side so he says he is excited about the challenge coming up this weekend.

“I met Marcelo at the beginning of the season when we had a manager meeting,” Lage said about Bielsa.

“I spoke with him for five minutes and we spoke about my player at Benfica, Helder Costa. And the way he talked about him, it looks like he’s a real gentleman.

“He’s a real gentleman outside of football and in football he’s a brilliant mind who thinks of football in his own way. When you have the chance to see his lectures and when you have the chance to analyse his team, the way he plays, you’re going to play against a strong opponent.

“From my point of view here when I study the team’s first I want to see how they are defending. If they run or not and when you look at Leeds you see they run, they press, they press high and they press as soon as possible.

“The other thing is to look at how they attack and if they want the ball or to only have two or three touches. When you look for Leeds you can see they do both very good. Tomorrow we’re going to play against a strong team.

“It’s going to be a pleasure to play against Bielsa, because when you look for the team you can learn a lot of things; the way he moves, the way he wants his team to play and in this way it’s going to be a strong challenge for us.”

Lage has been able to call upon some inside knowledge when putting plans in place to attempt to secure another positive result against Bielsa and his Leeds side.

The 45-year-old worked with Leeds attacker Dan James during his time as Swansea’s assistant while he is very familiar with Raphinha from the Brazilian’s time in the Primeira Liga.

He added: “I know Raphinha from Sporting and I know Daniel because he worked with me at Swansea. I know what they can do, they are good players, and the dangers from Leeds come from several sides, not just the wingers.

“If you see the position for the right and left-back, sometimes they go inside, and find positions inside, the strikers every time attack the back of our defenders, so they know what to do with the ball.

“We need to be in our best way to compete with everything, but what we want more is to have the ball and create our own problems.”

Francisco Trincao will be back for Wolves after he completed a period of self-isolation following Covid-19 but Willy Boly is not likely to be part of the squad after he missed training this week.

Away from the pitch, the Wolves squad took time out from preparation for Leeds to undergo basic CPR training after a fan collapsed in Newcastle’s match with Tottenham on Sunday.

Lage explained: “I think it should be general for all the population (to learn CPR). When I was in school, I learned some of the techniques but that was 20 years ago.

“It’s not just for the players because what happened in the Newcastle game with Tottenham, it can happen in our lives, in the streets, in cinemas.

“If everybody knows these little techniques, you can help someone for the first moments and the first minutes. Then after of course they need the medical support. It’s not just about football, but about the population.

“It was a good start of the week for us to start with that, seeing the players involved to learn the techniques.”

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