FC Porto have several absences due to injury. Maicon, Fernando, Alex Sandro and Kléber have all been ruled out. Vitor Pereira has called upon Brazilian Kelvin to take the place of Kléber. The latter was injured in the last practice.
In Academica, the big news is the inclusion of Carlos Saleiro who has not played this season. The striker was injured for two months and could not make a contribution to the team. Saleiro represented Academica in 2008/09, on loan from Sporting. After two years in Lisbon and one year at Servette in Switzerland, this game could mark his return to the Coimbra team.
These teams have different objectives for the season. While FC Porto are fighting to reclaim the championship, Academica plan to enjoy a quiet season in the Portuguese League. During the pre-match press conference, Pedro Emanuel said he hopes to surprise the Dragons:
“All small teams dream of winning at the Estadio do Dragao. This is something no-one has done in a long time. I think the team that achieves that could be Academica.”
For Vítor Pereira, the opponents must be well studied. Despite the injuries, it is more likely to see Porto begin the game fiercely, trying to avoid a setback right from the start of the game. The Dragons will have to pay attention to Wilson Eduardo who has proved to constitute a danger in Academica’s attack. He is the man to stop, if Porto want to keep a clean sheet.
Head to head – Last five matches
11/08/2012: FC Porto 1-0 Académica
10/03/2012: FC Porto 1-1 Académica
19/11/2011: Académica 3-0 FC Porto
02/10/2011: Académica 0-3 FC Porto
20/03/2011: FC Porto 3-1 Académica
• FC Porto played in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Academica played in the Europa League on Thursday. It is a 48-hour rest advantage for the Dragons.
• Last season, Académica achieved a draw at the Estadio do Dragons and beat the National Champions 3-0 in a Cup match at Coimbra.
• Pedro Emanuel, Academica’s coach, was a centre back and team captain at FC Porto for several years. With Porto’s shirt, he won one Intercontinental Cup, one Champions League trophy, one UEFA Cup, six Primeira Liga titles and four Cup medals.
Academica will need to be perfect if they want to win, at least, a point in this match. However, FC Porto seem unbeatable in the moment.
FC Porto 3 – 0 Académica