FC Porto – Malaga, the “white-blue” clash from the last 16 of the Champions League put face to face on Tuesday, February 19, at 20:45, two “invincible” teams. FC Porto has not lost at home for over a year, the last team to beat on Dragão being Manchester City on February 16, 2012, in the Europa League. Malaga, in its turn, is undefeated in the Champions League this season.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team, with a game developed and delightful, was the pleasant surprise of the first phase of the Champions League this season, managing to qualify in the knockout stage even to its debut in this competition, from the 1st place in a group with AC Milan, Anderlecht and Zenit.
The two coaches have all sqauds available.
Now, Malaga will give chest the first leg of the knockout round on Dragão in Porto, with a “veteran” of the competition, twice winning the Champions League. Malaga will leave in Portugal with the entire group, although the presence of the Portuguese Eliseu is uncertain due to an injury. Jesus Gomez, Duda and Sebastian Fernandez, who also had medical problems are prepared to play. News from Pellegrini’s group is the returning of Brazilian Julio Baptista, after a year and a half on the sidelines due to injury.
“We met great teams in the group stage and we overcome them, and Porto is not a better team than Milan. They are favorites only because of their record, but they have to demonstrate it on the field,” said the midfielder Ignacio Camacho at the pre-match press conference.
On the other hand, Porto, a team present for the seventh time in the last eight years in the Champions League knockout state, is presented at the match from the leadership position in Liga Sagres, and invincible at home for more than a year. Furthermore, FC Porto won 13 of the last 14 games played at home. The very good form of “new Falcao”, Jackson Martinez, top scorer of the Portuguese league with 20 goals, is also an argument for the Dragons.
As Pellegrini, and Vitor Pereira has available all group for the match against Malaga, after returning of the Colombian James Rodriguez, and the match seems open to any result, despite the slight advantage of the Lusitania that play on their own field.