Both sides will be missing key players for the all-Iberian game between FC Porto and Real Madrid CF in UEFA Champions League Group F.
Porto, the UEFA Cup holders and league and cup winners in Portugal last season, will be without captain and defensive linchpin Jorge Costa, who is ruled out with a knee problem. Influential Russian playmaker Dmitri Alenichev is also missing, having not played since picking up an injury on international duty.
In response to the loss of his captain, Porto coach José Mourinho has called central defender Ricardo Costa into his squad, along with midfield player Tiago and former Madrid right-back Carlos Secretário.
'We must play like we can'
Mourinho was in upbeat mood as he named his squad. "The important thing is that we have to keep on playing like we have been," the Porto coach said. "If we grow as a team, controlling the game, keeping the ball and always pressing, we can be successful.
Of course, when Madrid play at their best, they have players of incredible ability and it is very difficult to beat them."
Madrid lost 2-0 to Valencia CF in the Primera División on Saturday, but Mourinho does not believe that defeat will affect the outcome of the match in Portugal, hoping that their illustrious opponents will encourage his players to raise their game.
'These matches motivate you'
"It is always a good time to face Madrid," Mourinho said. "These are the matches that motivate you and that everybody wants to play, because it is not every day that we face the best squad in the world. We have been waiting for matches like these since last season, when we were in the UEFA Cup, so now it is up to us to seize the opportunity."
Aside from being Madrid's first league defeat of the season, the Valencia match was also notable for a foot injury sustained by David Beckham that keeps him out of the match. The England captain damaged the joint when he landed heavily after taking a free-kick, and club doctors diagnosed acute inflammation of the sole of his right foot.
Central defender Rubén González, meanwhile, will be out of action for around three weeks after dislocating his right shoulder, but striker Raúl González is available again having passed a fitness test after spending two weeks on the sidelines with a hip injury. "Raúl will train with the rest of the squad and we will decide closer to kick-off whether he is fit enough to play," said Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz. "The only problem could be his lack of practise."
'We will not change'
Queiroz confirmed that Madrid will not alter their style of play despite the defeat at Valencia. "The best way to make up for the defeat is to play well against Porto and get the three points," he said. "We will not change our style. They will be very tough opponents, especially on their home ground, but
I hope we can put on a good show and send the fans home happy."
'Stand up and be counted'
However, with Iván Helguera set to replace Beckham, it is likely to be a more defensive Madrid, as Míchel Salgado acknowledged. "Even though we are Madrid, sometimes we have to get everyone behind the ball," the right-back said. "Sometimes we even have to commit a couple of fouls or kick the ball long to give ourselves time to regroup. Teams that are champions and know how to win also know how to stand up and be counted."
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