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Bjelica's Austria not overawed by 'fantastic' Porto

"One Porto player may cost as much as our whole squad but that does not win matches," said FK Austria Wien boss Nenad Bjelica ahead of their debut versus the 2004 winners.

Austria Wien's Nenad Bjelica says it is a 'special feeling' to be in the group stage
Austria Wien's Nenad Bjelica says it is a 'special feeling' to be in the group stage ©AFP/Getty Images

FK Austria Wien coach Nenad Bjelica is well aware that the sole UEFA Champions League group stage debutants are outsiders against two-time winners FC Porto, but warned: "The market value of players is not significant on the pitch."

Bjelica's opposite number Paulo Fonseca was complimentary in his assessment of the Violets, saying the Group G fourth seeds "possess the quality to threaten" the Dragons' 100% start to the campaign in all competitions.

Austria Wien
Nenad Bjelica, coach

Porto have some strong players who could cause us a real problem, but we have prepared our defence for this. Good defending can be the key to success.

Of course, it is a special feeling as we are happy to be part of the Champions League this season. We feel responsibility towards the club and it is a reward for all the hard work we have done. However, we are not nervous, we want to enjoy the competition. Porto are a strong team, we are relying on our strengths to surprise them, but we know it is going to be very hard.

We have seen many Porto games recently. They are a great team with fantastic individuals in top form. All the statistics are in their favour. Together with Atlético de Madrid, they are favourites in this group, though I believe we have our chances. Every game starts at 0-0. One player from Porto might be as expensive as our whole squad, but that does not win matches necessarily. The market value of players is not significant on the pitch. The team's performance decides things.

Weekend result
Saturday: Austria Wien 2-3 SV Grödig (Stanković 28, Royer 72; Leitgeb 47 81, Huspek 66)
Lindner; Koch, Rogulj, Ortlechner, Suttner, Holland (Grünwald 70), Royer, Stanković, Mader, Jun (Kienast 70), Hosiner (Okotie 64).

• Having gone eight home Bundesliga matches and five league games without defeat before the weekend, Austria fell to promoted Grödig in an open contest.

• Bjelica said: "It was a painful loss against Grödig. We should have won, but it happened and we have to learn the lesson from it."

Team news
Dare Vršić, Alexander Grünwald and Alexander Gorgon are out.

Paulo Fonseca, coach
The Champions League itself is a motivation for the players. It is the start of the competition and we want to kick off in style, although a tough game awaits us. Playing away from home in the Champions League is always difficult. Austria qualified as league champions and they possess the quality to threaten us, but we have the ambition to do well in this group.

We have to find a replacement for Steven Defour, who serves a ban from last season. We will stick to our game. The important thing is to retain our identity and put in a collective performance.

Austria have a compact team, they are well organised and dangerous on the counterattack. We have seen lot of their games, they are strong in defence. When they switch to attack it is simple and fast. [Philipp] Hosiner, [Daniel] Royer and [Marko] Stankovic caught my eye – they are players who think quickly on the pitch and pose a threat to us, so we have to look after them and ensure they do not ruin our plans.

Weekend result
Saturday: Porto 2-0 Gil Vicente FC (Varela 8, Jackson 26)
Helton; Danilo, Otamendi, Maicon (Mangala 16), Alex Sandro; Fernando, Defour, Quintero (Ricardo 76); Varela, Licá (Lucho 62), Jackson.

• Leaders Porto made it four wins from four with a third straight clean sheet. Silvestre Varela marked his first appearance of the campaign with the opening goal while Juan Quintero made his first Liga start for the Dragons. The division's 26-goal top scorer last term – in what was his debut season – Jackson Martínez has registered in all four league matches in 2013/14 as well as in August's Super Cup victory.

Team news
• Celebrating his 25th birthday against Gil Vicente, Maicon limped off after 16 minutes and has been ruled out of matchday one with an ankle injury. Diego Reyes and Marat Izmailov, yet to feature this campaign, are in the 19-man squad for the game in Vienna.

Match fact
• Porto are playing at the Ernst-Happel-Stadion which, in its previous guise as the Praterstadion, staged the 1987 European Champion Clubs' Cup final where they claimed their first major international honour by beating FC Bayern München 2-1.

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