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Porto reunion for Zenit's Hulk in Group G

Published: Thursday 29 August 2013, 22.05CET
Vyacheslav Malafeev is hoping for insider information from Hulk when FC Zenit face FC Porto in a competitive-looking Group G also containing Club Atlético de Madrid and FK Austria Wien.
Porto reunion for Zenit's Hulk in Group G
Hulk will be returning to Porto with Zenit ©Getty Images
 
 
 
Published: Thursday 29 August 2013, 22.05CET

Porto reunion for Zenit's Hulk in Group G

Vyacheslav Malafeev is hoping for insider information from Hulk when FC Zenit face FC Porto in a competitive-looking Group G also containing Club Atlético de Madrid and FK Austria Wien.

Paulo Fonseca, Porto coach
It's a difficult group but we have our own ambitions, which start by going through this stage. We know that there are no easy opponents or games in UEFA Champions League but we are very motivated for this competition. It's important to start in Vienna, a city that means a lot for all Porto fans; I hope the successful of that night [the 1987 final] could be repeated. Then we will have two home matches, which we want to take benefit. I think the draw and even the calendar were good for us.

Fernando Gomes, Porto director
This group has some curious facts: we play against Austria Wien in a city that brough us great memories [winning the 1987 final]. Then Zenit, who have Hulk, who we like very much and is a fantastic player. And finally Atlético de Madrid, who we have faced several times over the last years. Our immediate goal is no doubt to go through, in a group that demands a lot. After that we will think about the future.

Clemente Villaverde, Atlético adviser and director
Although it's a manageable group, any team in the group stage of this tournament can cause you problems. The teams among the second seeds are almost as strong as those in the top tier. The best thing is that we can give our fans UEFA Champions League football. Every team in our group is competitive and all will be looking to finish in the top two positions in order to get through. We want to compete to the best of our ability in order to achieve our goal [in the competition].

Vyacheslav Malafeev, Zenit goalkeeper
It's quite a good draw. We don't have a clear favourite, no really big names, so it's a balanced group. Zenit will have to battle for qualification. But we can't underestimate anyone, and I include the debutants Austria Wien. They can cause a shock, especially at home.

Porto we know very well – we remember our match there [in December 2011 when a 0-0 draw took Zenit into the last 16 at their hosts' expense]. But now we have an advantage in Hulk. He plays for us now, so he can help our coaching staff in naming their weak spots. Atlético are a well-balanced team, they didn't lose to Barcelona in two Spanish Super Cup meetings. That tells its own story. They have great players and a decent goalkeeper.

Nenad Bjelica, Austria Wien coach
All 32 teams are top-quality. I was hoping for a Spanish opponent so I'm particularly looking forward to facing Diego Simeone [Atlético coach]. Porto are also attractive opponents as former Champions League winners. Zenit perhaps aren't as attractive but they are certainly very strong.

Roman Kienast, Austria Wien forward
There is no such thing as weak opponents in the Champions League. Most of the teams were hoping for one of the big Spanish clubs. I wanted Real Madrid but Atlético are a great side, one of the top three teams in Spain. It certainly won't be an easy task.

Last updated: 06/09/13 0.37CET

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