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Lucho looks to stem red tide

Published: Tuesday 18 September 2007, 19.02CET
Liverpool FC hold no fear for Lucho González as his FC Porto side start their UEFA Champions League campaign with a stiff test against last term's finalists.
by Andy Brassell
from Porto

Tournament statistics

PortoLiverpool

Goals scored9
 
29
Attempts on target42
 
77
Attempts off target59
 
66
Corners49
 
71
Offsides19
 
32
Fouls committed128
 
188
Yellow cards11
 
17
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Tuesday 18 September 2007, 19.02CET

Lucho looks to stem red tide

Liverpool FC hold no fear for Lucho González as his FC Porto side start their UEFA Champions League campaign with a stiff test against last term's finalists.

Liverpool FC hold no fear for Lucho González as his FC Porto side start their UEFA Champions League campaign with a stiff test against last season's finalists.

'We are ready'
"It's good to play against such a strong team," said the Argentina midfielder ahead of Tuesday's Group A opener. "Liverpool are very difficult opponents but we think we are ready. Of course, they have a very strong defence and they are very good at counterattacking but we hope to impose our own style. We are very good at making goalscoring chances."

European veteran
Lucho too has a strong pedigree in the UEFA Champions League. The Liverpool game will be his 15th in the competition with Porto, while his collection of goals in Europe includes a spectacular long-range strike against Hamburger SV in the group stage last term. And despite Saturday's tough Portuguese Liga encounter with CS Marítimo – a 1-0 win which took Porto top of the table at their visitors' expense – Lucho insists the hosts will be raring to go come kick-off. "We all feel 100 per cent," he said.

Bright start
The 26-year-old is confident that the excellent form shown so far in domestic competition is something Porto will be able to reproduce against the 2005 European champions. "We have started the season really well," he said. "We already have a lot of victories under our belt and we hope to get another against Liverpool."

'Under pressure'
Lucho also recognises the part that the crowd at the Estádio do Dragão can play in getting the Portuguese title-holders off to a perfect start. Having experienced a number of UEFA Champions League nights at the venue which has been Porto's home since 2004, the midfielder knows only too well what an effect the atmosphere can have. "I hope the stadium will be full," he said. "We hope the crowd will put Liverpool under pressure."

Last updated: 18/09/07 11.26CET

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