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Wiser Dinamo hanker for Porto points

Published: Monday 17 September 2012, 20.05CET
Ante Čačić says his NK Dinamo Zagreb side are bent on doing "much better than last season" as Group A rivals FC Porto come to Croatia for the first game of their post-Hulk era.
by Elvir Islamović
from Zagreb
Wiser Dinamo hanker for Porto points
Ante Čačić hopes lessons have been learned after a point-less 2011/12 campaign ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 17 September 2012, 20.05CET

Wiser Dinamo hanker for Porto points

Ante Čačić says his NK Dinamo Zagreb side are bent on doing "much better than last season" as Group A rivals FC Porto come to Croatia for the first game of their post-Hulk era.

NK Dinamo Zagreb hope they have moved on since picking up no points at all in the group stage last season, and will be eager to show the lessons learned from that experience as they meet FC Porto in UEFA Champions League Group A, in what is the visitors' first game since striker Hulk's move to FC Zenit St Petersburg.

I will do anything to achieve a good result against Porto – and that would be to avoid losing this match
Ante Čačić
Nothing has changed in our team in the 'post-Hulk era'. Porto are a club based on team play and our strength is down to the team, not to any individuals
Vítor Pereira

Dinamo
Coach Ante Čačić
We are up against a very strong team, who are very highly ranked in European football. Our goal is clear: we are looking to do much better than last season. We have reasons to be positive as the team has stayed together for the new season, we are in very good form, we have a long unbeaten streak and many of my players have experience from playing in the Champions League group stage last year.

We are looking not only to be better than last season, but also to win some games as well. I still have some doubts about my starting XI but I know the way we will play. I will do anything to achieve a good result against Porto – and that would be to avoid losing this match.

If we want to do something good, we need to score one or two goals, that's our plan. I hope our fans will help us with that mission as it will be easier to play a difficult 90 minutes against such a strong opponent with strong support from the stands.

Weekend result
Friday:Dinamo 0-0 NK Osijek
Kelava; Vida, Šimunić, Tonel, Ibáñez; Carrasco (Peko 80), Calello, Alispahić (Brozović 46), Sammir; Rukavina (Krstanović 66), Čop

• Dinamo's 11-match winning streak may have come to an end but coach Ante Čačić has now gone 33 games without defeat since taking charge in December.

Team news
• Defender Ivan Tomečak has not played this season because of a pelvis injury.

Porto
Coach Vítor Pereira
Dinamo collected valuable experience in the group stage last season, so they will be a tough side to face at the start of this group stage. Nothing has changed in our team in the 'post-Hulk era'. Porto are a club based on team play and our strength is down to the team, not to any individuals. Every side in this group are targeting the next phase, and that will be our goal too, but you can only have ambitions like that if you have class on the pitch, and we will look to show that.

The Champions League is so different from our domestic championship, and we need to respond well to the challenges we are faced with, but we are aware that the match against Dinamo will be very difficult. Their strength lies in their team play, and I think their strongest line is their defence.

Weekend result
No domestic fixture
• Porto have not played a league fixture since 1 September, when James Rodríguez, Jackson Martinez and Hulk scored in a 3-2 win at SC Olhanense. They have taken seven points from their first three Liga outings.

Team news
Steven Defour should step in for injured Brazilian midfielder Fernando (right thigh). Defender Rolando is suspended while Argentinian forward Juan Manuel Iturbe, 19, could make his UEFA Champions League debut in Zagreb.

Match fact
The Croatian club are still looking for their first matchday one win. In both their first two group stage campaigns they began with goalless draws, at home to AFC Ajax in 1998/99 and again the following season away to holders Manchester United FC.

Last updated: 18/09/12

Related information

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009496/prematch/preview/index.html#wiser+dinamo+hanker+porto+points

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