Portugal vs Germany; Wolves vs Norwich: A reflection of their European influence
There is a Portuguese flavour in the Wolves squad (Photo: Getty Images)

Including players out on loan, Wolves and Norwich boast a mammoth 17 individuals between them from their managers' respective home nations.

The most recent Championship champions, Nuno Espirito Santo and Daniel Farke both took the second tier by storm with a European-influenced brand of free-flowing football, each cruising to promotion by 11 points ahead of the playoffs.

Yet, as they prepare to meet on Saturday, the two clubs appear to be on different Premier League paths, reflective of the recent fortunes of their international representatives.

Expensive Portuguese influence vs German value for money

Ten Portuguese natives in the Wolves squad boast 224 international appearances between them, underpinned by a number of youth caps held by those players not to reach the senior squad yet.

The likes of Diogo Jota and Pedro Neto have cost upwards of £10 million, let alone imports from outside of Portugal during a two-year Premier League spell that has cost over £150 million.

In contrast, not one of the seven German nationals in the Norwich squad have featured at international level with just a trio of players to feature at youth team level.

Norwich have barely spent £3 million since the beginning of last season when Wolves started life in the top-flight.

Success vs transition

Wolves are chasing immediate success, the Portuguese lavish lifestyle if you will. In comparison, Norwich are building for the future, a lengthy transition under Daniel Farke emulating the current foundations being restored in the German national team.

Whilst the West Midlands club were preparing for their first spell in the Premier League during summer 2018, Germany were embarrassed during the World Cup - defeats in the Group Stage to South Korea and Mexico, a certain Raul Jimenez featuring for the South Americans. Time for transition.

Norwich had finished that season 14th in the Championship, 39 points behind Wolves. Time for transition.

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Positive 2019

As Wolves danced their way to Europa League qualification last season, the Portugal stars in the dressing room were also enjoying the success of their national team - Nations League champions just a month after Wolves secured their place on the European stage.

Rui Patricio, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves all featured in that contest.

In the last two seasons, Portugal have lost just once.

Meanwhile, Norwich eased their way to the domestic top table, just as Germany had found themselves in Pool A of the Nations League.

But the return to competitive football at its finest hasn't been overly kind to Norwich, a role reversal of Germany's fortunes during their transition period with a youthful squad.

Whilst Germany finished bottom of their Nations League group with two points from four games, they have since cruised to Euro 2020 qualification with seven wins from eight. From bottom to top, in contrast to Norwich going from top to bottom.

Mixed 2020

Defeat for Norwich on Saturday would be their 17th of the season - just two behind Wolves' cumulative total for the last two campaigns.

As Wolves prepare for another onslaught on European qualification, whether that be Europa League or Champions League, Portugal are once again amongst the favoured names for Euro 2020 success.

Yet a German victory in that competition has been backed almost twice as often as a Portuguese success.

If, and perhaps when Norwich get relegated, they will be hoping to bounce back to the top table just as quickly as their German counterparts.

Hope for Norwich?

Three Germans featured for Norwich when they lost 2-1 to Wolves at Carrow Road in December. Five Portuguese players represented the visitors.

But the last player from either nation to score in this fixture? German Christoph Zimmermann in October 2016.

No current available Portuguese Wolves player has ever scored against the Canaries, Jota the most regular attacking feature without a goal to his name in three meetings.

In 17 combined outfield appearances during the past five fixtures between the two clubs, Helder Costa is the only Portuguese player to net and that was from the penalty spot. In four of those matches, Wolves started with either a duo or trio of Portuguese nationals in attack.

And Portugal have failed to score against Germany since 2008, losing their last four...

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