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Porto put faith in experience

Published: Wednesday 30 August 2006, 21.45CET
FC Porto and PFC CSKA Moskva have prospered in Europe recently but having won the UEFA Champions League the Portuguese side will hope experience pays dividends.

Tournament statistics

PortoCSKA Moskva

Goals scored11
Attempts on target47
Attempts off target44
Fouls committed130
Yellow cards12
Red cards0
Published: Wednesday 30 August 2006, 21.45CET

Porto put faith in experience

FC Porto and PFC CSKA Moskva have prospered in Europe recently but having won the UEFA Champions League the Portuguese side will hope experience pays dividends.

FC Porto and PFC CSKA Moskva have both prospered in European finals in recent years but having won the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup, Porto will hope experience pays dividends when they start their 12th season in this competition against the Russian side.

• Since lifting European club football's premier prize three seasons ago with a 3-0 defeat of AS Monaco FC, Porto have experienced two disappointing attempts to repeat that heady success. They followed up by getting dismissed in the first knockout round and last season finished bottom of their section after just one win and two draws from their six games.

Second Russian meeting
• This is only the second time Porto have taken on a team from Russia in UEFA competition but at least these opponents are familiar. The defence of their trophy in 2004/05 also saw them drawn in the same group as CSKA when a goalless draw in their opening fixture at home was followed by a 1-0 win in Moscow, the solitary goal coming from Benni McCarthy.

• Porto, who won the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1986/87, had also drawn their opening UEFA Champions League fixture in 2003/04 while last season they began with a defeat, coming off worst in a five-goal thriller with Rangers FC. So Jesualdo Ferreira's side will be looking for their first Matchday 1 victory in the competition since the 2001/02 season.

Third campaign
• After a one-season absence CSKA, under coach Valeri Gazzaev, are back on Europe's grandest club stage for the third time in a group that also features Hamburger SV and Arsenal FC.

• In their first participation, in 1992/93, CSKA defeated holders FC Barcelona as they came through the first two rounds before finishing bottom of their section in the group stage, failing to win a single game.

• Two years ago they began with that creditable draw away to Porto and followed up with a 2-0 home victory against Paris Saint-Germain FC. Then came three successive defeats and although they won their final group fixture in Paris, it was not enough to earn a place among the two leading sides.

UEFA Cup glory
• However non-qualification proved a blessing in disguise as the Muscovites moved into the UEFA Cup, progressing all the way to the Lisbon final. There they made light of the any perceived advantage Sporting Clube de Portugal had from playing in front of their home crowd to win 3-1 and become the first Russian side to lift a UEFA club prize.

• CSKA have faced all three of Portugal's top sides in European competition as, on their way to their UEFA Cup triumph, they also met SL Benfica in the third round, winning 2-0 at home and drawing 1-1 away.

Last updated: 11/09/06 19.19CET

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