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Wolves’ Portuguese four primed to face the Netherlands in final

Wolves’ Portuguese contingent are looking forward to facing the Netherlands in the Nations League final on Sunday after defeat for England.

Holland beat the Three Lions 3-1 after extra-time after the semi-final ended 1-1 after 90 minutes.

The result means Rui Patricio, Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Diogo Jota are preparing to face the Dutch this weekend instead of a showdown against English players they have played against in the Premier League.

That said, there are no shortage of Premier League stars in the Netherlands squad. Liverpool pair Virgil Van Dijk and Gino Wijnaldum, Fulham forward Ryan Babbel, Brighton’s Davy Propper, Patrick van Aanholt of Crystal Palace and Bournemouth centre back Nathan Ake are all in the Dutch squad.

Midfielder Neves warmed up to face them by playing a peach of a ball through to help Cristiano Ronaldo score his second goal as Portugal beat Switzerland 3-1. All the headlines went to the Juventus superstar for his hat-trick, and so Neves’s superb defence-splitting pass for Bernardo Silva, who crossed for Ronaldo’s volleyed finish, has been largely overlooked by the media.

Goalkeeper Patricio and Neves started the game, with the midfielder deployed as the anchorman at the base of Portugal’s diamond formation. Moutinho replaced Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes in the 89th minute to win his 115th cap, while Jota was again an unused substitute for the second international in a row. Patricio, Neves and Moutinho will be aiming for more silverware after being part of Portugal’s victorious Euro 2016 squad.

Elsewhere, Wolves’ £32m record signing Raul Jimenez came up against Molineux transfer target Salomon Rondon as Mexico beat Venezuela 3-1 in a friendly in Atlanta, Georgia. Jimenez played the first 82 minutes before being replaced by Ernesto Vega of Toluca, while Albion striker Rondon was involved for the first half before being replaced by Jefferson Savarino of Real Salt Lake at half-time.

Wolves wing back Matt Doherty is hoping to be part of Mick McCarthy’s Ireland team who play Denmark in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday night then host Gibraltar on Monday evening, when Jimenez is expected to be in action for Mexico at home t Ecuador in another friendly.

Midfielder Leander Dendoncker is set to play on Saturday, in Belgium’s Euro 2020 qualifier at home to Kazhakstan.