FC Porto have history against them when they travel to Real Madrid CF in Group C tonight.
FC Porto have the weight of history against them tonight when they travel to Real Madrid CF in Group C of the UEFA Champions League.
The I. Divisão team have lost on their four previous trips to the Santiago Bernabéu in the competition - the last time in 1999/00 when Madrid went on to lift the trophy.Ten of the Merengues players who contributed to that 3-1 defeat are still at the club, but unfortunately for coach Vicente del Bosque, two are injured.
Raúl González has a thigh injury and joins Savio in the stands. Another, Roberto Carlos, plays despite a hip problem sustained in Saturday's 2-1 Primera División loss at Athletic Bilbao. Del Bosque makes just two changes from that team, with Aitor Karanka and José María Guti replacing defender Francisco Pavón and striker Pedro Munitis.
Del Bosque needs a lift
While Del Bosque needs a lift from Madrid's disappointing league form - they have lost three of their last five games - it is the opposite case for his counterpart at the Das Antas stadium. New man José Mourinho defends a record of four victories from four games since taking over from Octávio Machado last month.
However, his main concern will be the side's Group C predicament. Porto have just one point from two games, and in a bid to effect an improvement the manager brings in Paredes, Hélder Postiga and ex-Madrid man Secretário from the side that accounted for Vitória Setúbal at the weekend. Vítor Baía, who like Secretario moved to the Oporto outfit in the midwinter sales, also makes his first UEFA Champions League start of the campaign.
Whether it will be enough to halt the group leaders, and buck a 20-year trend, remains to be seen.