Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira insists his side will not be underestimating their Champions League opponents Marseille when the teams meet at the Estadio do Dragao, despite the French outfit’s poor domestic form.
“OM still have players with great quality,” said Ferreira. “They are playing very well in the UEFA Champions League, and playing in Europe is completely different.”
Although Marseille have won just two out of 13 Ligue 1 games this season, they have earned as many victories from only three Champions League outings – leaving them top of Group D at the halfway stage.
Ferreira will be without captain Lucho Gonzalez, who was injured in the warm-up to Friday’s 1-1 home draw against Belenenses. Ferreira is, however, able to welcome back defender.
“We played very well in the first game and it wasn’t a fair result,” argued Ferreira. “Now we have a chance to take over as group leaders.”
Marseille boss Erik Gerets insists that the mood in the camp is positive despite his team slipping to 19th position in Ligue 1 after Saturday’s goalless home draw with Lorient.
“Morale is high because we’re playing a UEFA Champions League match,” he said.
Marseille can qualify for the tournament’s second stage for the first time since 1999-2000 by winning tonight, and Gerets says the aim is to do just that: “My philosophy is always the same. If there is a one per cent chance of us winning, we have to go for it.”
“I won’t ask for anything different from the players, than I did when we played Liverpool,” Gerets added. “Porto have talented individuals but are strong as a team too. That’s why they’re in the UEFA Champions League every year.”