Having led Sporting Clube de Portugal to the final last season, Orlando Duarte is hoping to go one better in Lleida but has a tough semi-final against hosts FC Barcelona on Friday.
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Having led Sporting Clube de Portugal to the UEFA Futsal Cup final last season, losing to ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 in Almaty, Orlando Duarte is hoping to go one better in Lleida but has a tough semi-final against hosts FC Barcelona on Friday. The former Portugal coach, whose side's unbeaten start to their domestic league season ended with a 4-2 loss at AR Freixieiro on Friday, spoke to UEFA.com about exploiting Barcelona's weaknesses.
UEFA.com: What are your expectations for the semi-final with Barcelona and the tournament generally?
Orlando Duarte: We're aware that Barcelona are very strong, with half of the squad part of the Spanish national team and rest from the Brazil team. They have a lot of quality players but we will not go there just to visit Lleida. We know it will be difficult but it will also be difficult for them.
They are very strong in certain aspects, especially on the attack, but they also have weaknesses that we will try to exploit. There are no super teams; there are just very good teams. There are no teams with no weaknesses.
UEFA.com: Sporting had perhaps an unlucky draw as they will face the hosts in the semi-finals. Does this make them favourites and could it be a handicap for your team?
Duarte: I don't know who the favourites are! We can play anywhere; it doesn't worry us that they are at home. For us it's the same as we don't change the way we play by doing it at home or away. If we want this so much, we cannot take this goal for granted; the first was to qualify, and now that we are there we will do everything to go as far as possible.
UEFA.com: How will you deal with Deo's suspension for the Barcelona game and the injuries to João Matos (ankle) and Buiu (knee)?
Duarte: They are important players, but it doesn't afflict us. If one doesn't play, someone else will. We are a team in the truest sense of the word. I believe João will be fit but his physical condition will not be ideal – we'll have to wait to see if we have good news. Buiu is out for sure.