Group D Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
With Atltico Madrid struggling to find their form and FC Porto fresh from a derby win, Jesualdo Ferreira says their meeting could not have come at a better time.
Yet under-fire Atletico coach Abel Resino has seen encouraging signs over the past week to give him cause for optimism.
“This is the best time for us to play Atlético because our last game [a home win against Sporting Clube de Portugal] gave us a real lift,” said Jesualdo Ferreira. “We know Chelsea and Atlético are our two main opponents and that this match will have great importance regarding the table, but it will not be a decisive game.
“More than the frailties of our adversaries we believe in our strength. Sometimes if there is an idea that we are going to face a fragile team and there are false expectations it can create an environment that we do not want.
“[On the absences of Silvestre Varela and Cristián Rodríguez] Nobody wins alone and only the team can promote individual talent. We can cope with the most important absences. Porto are building a team and the players we have chosen for this game are the ones we think will have the best chance of solving our problems against Atlético.”
The two sides met in the first knockout round of last season’s competition, but Atletico coach, Abel Resino, says that the circumstances and personnel have changed since that encounter.
“It’s different to when we played in March,” he said. “True, Porto have lost some good players like Lucho and Lisandro, but they have others that are doing well this season. They still have the same style; they’re a strong team – aggressive and quick – that likes to play on the counterattack.
“My team have been playing very well but results haven’t been going well. Since the [2-2 draw] with Almería we have been playing very well, but that’s not enough; we need results, and that’s what we’re going for against Porto.
“Everyone wants to get out of this bad patch – it isn’t decisive, but it is very important. Falcao looks like a very good player with great movement and the goal against Sporting shows how dangerous he is.”