Deportivo La Coruna travel to Porto for the first leg of the Champions League looking to reach a European final for the first time in their history.
Deportivo attracted the headlines in the quarter finals following their stunning 4-0 win over Milan – a result which overturned a 4-1 first leg deficit.
However, Porto, the 1987 winners of the old European Cup and reigning UEFA Cup holders, have been no slouches when it comes to upsetting the odds. Already this season they have disposed of Manchester United and Lyon.
“You can be sure there are going to be two matches that are very close and hard-fought,” said Deportivo’s Portuguese international Jorge Andrade.
Andrade, a former Porto player, has been happy to share his first-hand knowledge of the club with Deportivo boss Javier Irureta.
“They are the type of side that are going to give everything to get to the final. Deportivo may be a richer club in terms of money, but Porto has a great history and many supporters to cheer them on,” added the defender.
Mourinho meanwhile, was playing down his side’s chances of reaching the final.
“Deportivo are a team with a great deal of heart and an impressive array of players, they have some especially dynamic midfielders and can be very dangerous down the wings,” said Mourinho, with fulsome praise of his opponents.
“What we are going to do is go out and try to play calmly, and hopefully go to La Coruna with some sort of advantage, An acceptable result for us here would be 1-0.
“But we are also out to enjoy ourselves. We are one win away from winning the Portuguese title and that has always been our main target. Anything else we achieve will be a pure bonus,” added Mourinho.
Irureta has warned his players to be at their most alert against what he expects will be organised Porto team.
“You can’t afford to play in a ragged fashion against Porto otherwise you will pay a very expensive price. They are very organised and difficult to surprise,” the coach said.
“The one thing I will say is that this tie will not finish in Porto. There are 180 minutes of football to be played.”
Porto expect striker Edgaras Jankauskas to recover from a sprained ankle in time for the game while Carlos Alberto returns to the squad after being dropped at the weekend for arriving late for training.
Deportivo coach Javier Irureta’s only concern is defender Lionel Scaloni, who faces a late fitness test.
Porto: Baia, Ferreira, Costa, Carvalho, Valente, Costinha, Mendes, Maniche, Deco, Alberto, McCarthy.
Deportivo: Molina, Pablo, Naybet, Andrade, Romero, Victor, Sergio, Silva, Luque, Valeron, Pandiani.