UEFA Champions League Preview: Porto v Atletico Madrid
By Football News
Atletico Madrid and Porto will hope to build on their respective opening wins in the UEFA Champions League when they meet on Tuesday.
Diego Simeone’s side kicked their European campaign off with a 3-1 win over Zenit at the Estadio Vicente Calderon, with Miranda, Arda Turan and Leo Baptistao grabbing their goals.
Atletico have since also beaten city rivals Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in La Liga, a result that will fill them with confidence ahead of their clash with the Portuguese outfit.
Porto travelled to Ernst-Happel-Stadion on the opening Champions League match-day and picked up a slender 1-0 win at Austria Vienna thanks to a Lucho Gonzalez strike.
Domestically, the Portuguese side sit top of the Primeira Liga, but coach Paulo Fonseca has not been immune to criticism over the side's struggles to win convincingly.
He said: "I do not see football as a war, far from it. It is a very engaging sport, played under tremendous stress, and generates positive and negative feelings. I'm ready for whatever is necessary to defend the interests of FC Porto and my team and I will do it whenever necessary.
"I do not do any reading (of the newspapers). I am not even slightly affected by what people outside FC Porto say and think.
"Those who whistled (against Guimaraes) are maybe going to applaud the coming games and those who hissed are maybe the ones who applauded in the first half."
From their first six matches Porto have managed five wins, with only a 2-2 draw against Estoril denying them a 100 per cent record.
The Portuguese champions are competing in their 18th Champions League campaign, the same number as Barcelona and Real Madrid, and bettered only by Manchester United.
In last season’s competition, Porto won all of their home matches, and they have not lost at Estadio Dragao in the league since October 2008.
Atletico come into the tie in excellent form, however. They are the only side to have matched Barcelona’s seven wins from as many games in La Liga so far and are unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions.
The two sides have only faced each other on four previous occasions and all came in 2009 as Porto won twice, with their other ties ending in draws.
Simeone has virtually a full squad to pick from as Adrian Lopez (knee) is the only player who looks set to miss out with injury, while Diego Costa will make a return from suspension.
Fonseca’s side should also be a full-strength, with Steven Defour making his return from a knock against Guimaraes on Friday.