First Knockout round – 2nd leg (First leg: Schalke 1-0 Porto)
Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira is confident home advantage will come into play when his side attempt to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Schalke tonight.
“There are still 90 minutes to go,” said Ferreira. “They have an advantage, of course. But we have a clear game plan, in that we know exactly what we have to do.”
Ferreira has played down suggestions that the Schalke encounter is pivotal to their season.
“It is the most important game at this moment, but in the middle of many important games for us,” he added. “We have 23 players ready to play, and we have to take advantage of all our options if we are to continue winning games.”
Lopez, Bosingwa and Bruno Alves are all in line for recalls, after being rested for the draw with Boavista at the weekend.
Schalke arrive in Portugal on the back of three successive Bundesliga defeats following the weekend home loss to Bayern Munich. However, coach Mirko Slomka prefers to concentrate on their form in the first leg, suggesting that his side could have doubled their lead on home soil.
“We played well, especially in the first half, and could have scored a second goal,” said Slomka. “If we score a goal here it will put us in a wonderful position, because it would be hard for them to score three.”
“A 1-0 win was a better result than 2-1,” he said. “But they are always strong opponents and they are always contenders in the Champions League,” he added. “I don’t think they will go for it during the first ten to 15 minutes. They are a patient, intelligent team so it is 50-50. There are no favourites.”