Porto's Fonseca counting on home comforts
Monday, September 30, 2013
Paulo Fonseca stressed the importance of home advantage as FC Porto limber up for the visit of a Club Atlético de Madrid team who will not betray their attacking principles.
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Paulo Fonseca wants FC Porto to "control the game" when they host Club Atlético de Madrid in UEFA Champions League Group G. After prevailing 1-0 at FK Austria Wien on matchday one, the 40-year-old is eager to make the Estádio do Dragão a fortress as Porto bid to overcome visitors who have started the Liga season with seven straight wins. Meanwhile, Diego Simeone vowed not to compromise on his style of play and bestowed lavish praise on David Villa, who played his part in the opening 3-1 defeat of FC Zenit.
Paulo Fonseca, coach
We know how important the home games are and it's vital that we win our next two matches here in order to create a comfortable cushion. We are facing a very strong team, boosted by recent results, but we are highly motivated and ready to go. Each game is difficult and I expect they will give us lots of problems that we don't usually encounter in the league.
I consider Atlético an Italian team playing in the Spanish Liga. They sit deep and are very well balanced. We need to control the game throughout, be patient and look for gaps in their defence, which will be difficult.
Friday: Porto 1-0 Vitória SC (Josué 51pen)
Helton; Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Alex Sandro; Fernando (Carlos Eduardo 76), Lucho, Quintero (Defour 68); Licá (Varela 61), Josué, Jackson.
• Porto stretched their unbeaten league home run to 75 games, though it was not easy for them especially after last weekend's 2-2 draw with Estoril Praia.
Centre-back Maicon is the only absentee and Fonseca says "he has already decided the starting XI".
Diego Simeone, coach
We are coming up against a great team who are very strong at home. The stats tell you that Porto have a very good record at home in the Champions League. We have prepared in the best possible way in order to win tomorrow. David Villa is very important for us, he takes up great positions, is good with the ball and most importantly, scores goals.
They are well organised with a great history in this competition, so we have to be wary. We always play to win and I think Paulo Fonseca understands our philosophy. We have some question marks around who we play in midfield, so we'll see how training goes and take it from there.
Saturday: Real Madrid CF 0-1 Atlético (Diego Costa 11)
Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe Luís; Arda Turan (Cristian Rodríguez 89), Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Diego Costa (Baptistão 86), Villa (Raúl García 87).
• Atlético followed last May's Copa del Rey final victory over Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu with a first Liga win against their rivals in almost 14 years. Diego Costa's eighth goal in seven top-flight games maintained their 100% start to the season.
Diego Costa serves the last match of his European ban on Tuesday, while Adrián López is out after fracturing a cheekbone in the matchday one win against Zenit. Diego Godín travels to Portugal despite suffering a knee strain at the weekend and Mario Suárez remains sidelined.
• The clubs' four past encounters all came in 2009, starting with a Porto success on away goals after two draws in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16. Porto prevailed with greater ease when the clubs met again in the next season's group stage, winning 2-0 at home and 3-0 in Madrid.