Match - Wed 3 October, 20:45,
Porto, first big test for PSG
Parisian striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Carlo Ancelotti’s men, who beat Dynamo Kiev 4-1 at the Parc des Princes in the first match of this group phase, are on a very confident streak after having strung together four consecutive wins in the Ligue 1 and having climbed up to just three points off the leader, Olympique Marseille.
The impressive Parisian war machine has been launched and this away game to the Estadio do Dragao represents a perfect test for Qatari PSG, who are not hiding their ambitions on the European scene.
But although the Parisians are unbeaten in the championship this season, they know that the level of competition in the continent’s supreme tournament is far more elevated.
“The next match will be very different and more difficult than today’s. It is the Champions League. We have to be well-prepared and make the least mistakes possible,” swore Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Saturday after PSG’s win against Sochaux, 2-0.
Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jérémy Ménez were absent against the Lion Cubs of Sochaux, but could make their return to Paris’s starting line-up unless Ancelotti opts for Gameiro, who secured a brace this weekend in his first call-up of the season.
Marco Verratti and Christophe Jallet suffered minor injuries in the championship on Saturday, but hope to be operational for the trip to Portugal.
FC Porto are currently lying second in Group A after the first week following their valuable win away against Dinamo Zagreb 2-0, and could find themselves leading the pool should they outclass PSG at home to impress their supporters.
The two-time European champions (1987 and 2004) have just managed a draw 2-2 away against Rio Ave on Saturday in the fifth week of the Liga Sagres, but remain on a par with their great rival Benfica on the national scene.
The other Group A clash will see Dinamo Zagreb play away against Dynamo Kiev in a match which both teams will be desperate to win, in order to avoid being left behind by the rest of the field.