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Porto visit gives Dinamo a fresh start

GNK Dinamo Zagreb leaked goals aplenty in last season's group stage and will be hoping to show less generosity when they begin a new campaign against FC Porto.

Dinamo celebrate reaching the group stage again
Dinamo celebrate reaching the group stage again ©Getty Images

GNK Dinamo Zagreb conceded 22 goals in last season's group stage – a UEFA Champions League record – and will be hoping to show more resilience as they start a new campaign at home to FC Porto.

Previous meetings
• The four previous meetings between the teams have ended in a home victory, Dinamo winning 3-1 in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage and 2-1 in the 1983/84 European Cup Winners' Cup first round. Porto triumphed 3-0 in 1998 and 1-0 in 1983 in the reverse fixtures in Portugal.

• While Dinamo are the only Croatian opponents Porto have faced, Dinamo have registered one victory in five attempts against other Portuguese sides.

• That came in the 1982/83 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round when they beat Sporting Clube de Portugal 1-0. The other games resulted in three defeats (all away) and a 0-0 draw at home to SL Benfica in the 1980/81 European Cup Winners' Cup first round.

Match background
• Champions of Croatia for the seventh year in succession in 2011/12, when they completed the domestic double, Dinamo are taking part in the group stage for the second season running and the fourth time in all.

• As in 2011, they came through three qualifying rounds, first overcoming PFC Ludogorets Razgrad through Domagoj Vida's winner eight minutes into added time for a 4-3 aggregate success. They twice had to come from behind in that second leg, Ante Rukavina scoring two equalisers to add to his goal in the first game in Bulgaria.

• In the third qualifying round goals from Vida, Fatos Beqiraj, Duje Čop and Luis Ibáñez gave Dinamo a 4-0 home win against FC Sheriff, winning 5-0 on aggregate.

• In the play-offs Tonel's first-half goal at NK Maribor confirmed Dinamo's progress after they had won 2-1 in Zagreb.

• Dinamo opened last year's group stage against nine-time champions Real Madrid CF, losing 1-0 at home. They also suffered defeat in their remaining five fixtures, going down at home 2-0 to AFC Ajax and 7-1 to Olympique Lyonnais – their heaviest defeat in UEFA competition. Their group stage goal difference of -19 is a competition record.

• 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 Ajax in 1998/99 and again the following season away to holders Manchester United FC. In that first season they were unbeaten at home, drawing two games and winning 3-1 against Porto, while in 1999/2000 they lost twice and won once. They have lost their last four home games in the group stage.

• Porto also missed out on the knockout stages in 2011/12 although only one more goal would have taken them through; instead the 0-0 home draw with FC Zenit St Petersburg on matchday six consigned them to third place in Group G, a point behind APOEL FC and Zenit.

• Porto, in the group stage for the 17th time, lost their first two away games last season before winning 2-0 at FC Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday five.

• The Portuguese title holders, and two-time European champions, began last season with a 2-1 home win against Shakhtar but that was only their second victory in their last eight matchday one fixtures.

Team ties
• Tonel was schooled in the Porto junior and reserve teams but moved on without appearing in the first XI. He played with João Moutinho at Sporting between 2005 and 2010 and Silvestre Varela during 2005/06.

• While with FC Salzburg Nikola Pokrivač faced Eliaquim Mangala and Steven Defour in the last 32 of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League as R. Standard de Liège advanced 3-2 on aggregate. The Porto duo featured in both games while Pokrivač played the last 17 minutes of the second leg.

• Čop spent 2008/09 in Portugal with CD Nacional, but was only used for a total of 174 minutes in official games.

• Rukavina faced Mangala and Defour while with Panathinaikos FC in the last 16 of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League. Standard went through 4-1 on aggregate.

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