Champions League preview: Porto vs Atlético

The Rojiblancos will want to erase bad memories against the Portuguese

Rojiblanso boss Simeone praises  Porto in pre-clash presser  (

Rojiblanso boss Simeone praises
Porto in pre-clash presser

No time to linger over the sweet taste of another derby victory. Only three days after conquering Real Madrid at the Bernabéu, Atlético travel to Portugal to face F.C. Porto on the second match day of the Champions League group stage.

Kick-off at the Estádio do Dragão is set for 20:45 CET this Tuesday.

There’s no stopping the Rojiblanco steamroller right now.  Both at home and away, Atlético have been in supreme form, winning all seven games in La Liga and beating Zenit in the Champions League.

This awesome spell could come to an end against bogeymen Porto though, who knocked out the red and whites in the round of 16 in 2008/09 and defeated them twice in the group stage in 2009/10.

“We’re going to face a great team, a group who are very strong at home, and who haven’t lost at home in their last 70 games,” Cholo Simeone said of his upcoming opponent, on Monday evening.

He added: “Porto are a team who play well on the wings and on set pieces. When they play at home, they’re very strong.  They’re in this competition every year and they’re used to playing these kinds of games.”

The Rojiblancos played a demanding away game on Saturday, while Porto had their home game a day earlier. However, the Atlético boss said that this disadvantage is “not an excuse” and that his side are “going to prepare the game well to try to achieve the best result.”

With top goalscorer Diego Costa serving the final game of his suspension, Atlético will need David Villa to step up against the Dragões. The No. 9 has had a mixed start to the season.

But Cholo praised his forward for his effort and his ‘liveliness’, assuring that “the goals will come at the important moments, because he’s known for scoring important goals.”

Mario has made a rapid recovery from a sprained right knee, but will miss out on Tuesday’s game, while Godín’s involvement is uncertain after he suffered a slight sprain in his left knee. Courtois will start despite bruising the index finger on his left hand.

Boss Paulo Fonseca saw his Dragões struggle to overcome mid-table Vitória de Guimarães on Friday. His side were unable to break down their opponents, who were well organized in defence, and only won thanks to a questionable penalty.

A week earlier, Porto dropped points for the first time this season with a draw at Estoril. That followed a laboured 1-0 away victory over Austria Wien on the first match day of the Champions League group stage.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s game, Fonseca described his upcoming opponents as an “Italian team in the Spanish league”, who “sit deep and break quickly on the counter- attack.”

The Dragões’ boss added that he envisioned “a difficult scenario, with little space” and that his side would have to be “close to perfect” in order to win.

He stressed that they need to have “great balance at all times of the game” and “great patience in [ball] circulation” in order to find spaces and lose possession.

Defender Maicon has returned from injury, while midfielder Herrera has joined the first team again after featuring for Porto B over the weekend. Also, Defour is available again after completing his suspension.

Atlético match selection

Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Giménez, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabi, Guilavogui, Óliver
Forwards: Villa, Léo Baptistão

Porto match selection

Goalkeepers: Helton, Fabiano
Defenders: Danilo, Maicon, Fucile, Mangala, Alex Sandro, Otamendi
Midfielders: Lucho, Josué, Quintero, Herrera, Fernando, Defour
Forwards: Jackson Martínez, Ghilas, Varela, Licá

Referee: Howard Webb (ENG)

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think Cebolla is the one who should complete the XI, not Raul Garcia or Leo,
    we could use his speed in the counter attacks which I believe we will have a lot of them tonight beside he knows Portuguese football very well ( I could say he knows Porto but this club have almost a whole new squad every couple of years, so the Porto that Cebolla played for is all gone)
    and the third reason why I prefer him is that he is very hungry to play, he has only played 59 minutes this season in all competitions

    This could be The Onion night

  • Atletico madrid is doing an amazing job.

  • GreekRojiblanco(piserakos)

    mario won’t play??? about villa, i’ve heard that he will be back to his form at the end of octomber so that’s good. he lacks of comfidence right now that’s why he is not scoring a lot, he lost many opportunities at the opening games and against real i saw him afraid to shot and score… i’m sure that if he score for 1-2 consecultive games he will shine. maybe porto is his chance to do that… so maybe anderweild will do his debut and one player instead of costa i would use garcia he deserves that but on the other way garcia shines against ‘weak’ teams so maybe cebolla will play but with both of them we will change our formation to 4-5-1 who knows..?? only cholo

  • kris

    I am predicting a win for us in this match, even though it will be very difficult. FC Porto 0-2 Club Atletico de Madrid. Aupa Atleti!

  • Let go for the win to avange the 3-0 in our last CL outing against them..

    Go ATLETI we can do it.

  • Dircil

    I don’t see any chance that cebolla could be a starter of this match. It’s prefered that we keep the same line-up and formation which we used to use in the previous match against Real. If we could beat Real at their home with that set-up, why don’t we apply it on the upcoming match against Porto?

  • Pantic#10

    i Will play with the 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1. Villa as forward and Koke, arda, rg8 behind/side him.
    Leo, Cebolla in the 2nd half
    If Godin doesn’t play, i hope to see Toby, or Jimenez more probably.

  • GreekRojiblanco(piserakos)

    i prefer toby instead of jimenez he is more experienced and he has played many cl games. the chemistry will be the same even if toby play or jimenez so i will use toby… that’s why we bought him

  • Dircil

    Could somebody speak about the monetary reward for 1 victory? I was told once that 1 million of euros is the reward for winning per match. I don’t really trust my memory though so I need reconfirmation from u guys. Thanks in advance!

  • Silchas

    1 Million for victory
    500k for a tie
    and 250k for defeat

  • GreekRojiblanco(piserakos)

    zenit austria 0-0

  • Will


    out of curiosity, the prize for the Championship Winner of the South American Libertadores Cup is 2.65M Euros.

  • pantic#10

    Porto is playing strong, aggresive.
    we, due to their pressure, are making a lot of mistakes.
    Godin lost Martinez and scored with a header.
    Diego Costa where are you? we miss you…..

  • pantic#10

    Miracle by Courtois….what a save.

  • dircil

    Unbearable performance, where is the Atletico who beat Real at Bernabeu days ago?

  • pantic#10

    Villa out (thanx Cholo!) and Cebolla in.
    Villa starts to worry me….it’s like we play in 10 and not in 11…last matches he was invisible.

  • dircil

    It’s Godin Porto bitches!!!!!

  • pantic#10

    bang! beautiful free kick by Gabi and…. Godin!!! 1-1

  • pantic#10

    Out Leo, Koke in.
    we don’t have a real forward at the moment on the pitch.
    Koke, RG8, Cebolla, Arda on the front!! i like it 😉
    Great save by Hilton on RG8 shot (assist by Arda)

  • pantic#10

    RG8 injured in that action…Oliver in!! we need his magic!

  • pantic#10

    I knew it!!! i knew it!!! another stunning free kick by Gabi…Arda Gol…..!! yes yes.
    The same free kick when Tiago scored last time…yes yes!!!

  • dircil

    Porto, it’s Arda, u jelly????? hahaha

  • pantic#10

    Gabi “The Mentalist” and Arda “The wizard”..what a trick 😉
    Aupa Atleti, another unforgettable night. thanx guys.

  • Will

    Hahahahaha… and we did it again!!! 😀

    And we’ll have Diego Costa back from now on.

  • dircil

    By the end of the first half, I didnt even expect we would leave Porto’s home with a win. However, thing has changed in the way that an optimist like me couldn’t imagine. We were outplayed but we did optimize as many chances as possible. What a fantastic night!!!!

  • Zakaria

    Nothing can stop us now …. Go atleti goooooooo. Am speachless

  • Jeronamo

    This is the first game of the season that we’ve been scored on first, its great that we had a come back victory, I cant remember the last time we did that

  • Erlend

    Was worried in the begining of the match, after the 1-0 they let Atletico in the match. And with the high pressure from porto forced atletico to make a lot of dangerous passes and often missplaced. Nice to see Godin got the first goal and made up for the lack of marking on the first goal.

    When koke finaly got on the pitch the left side started to look like its old self and created some good plays. Oliver also made some imprint on the game with hard work and passes that made us hold on to the possesion.

    Great freekick agian with Gabi and Arda, Cholo jumped around like a little girl;)

  • Jimbo_With_the_Dancingshoes

    Raul Garcia came off injured in the 79th minute after a shot inside the box that was blocked by Helton. The medical report says it’s a sprained right ankle grade II. He is pending medical tests.

    the club on RG8 situation

  • epoy

    Win the next 2 games against vienna and then we can send our B team against zenith away and porto at home….. or do we need every bit of money from a win in UCL?

  • Scott Lind

    We need to finish top of our group if possible, so we can get paired with a second place opponent in the knock out stage 🙂

  • GreekRojiblanco(piserakos)

    one more fantastic victory… i was the only one who like the team without a striker?? espatially when garcia was the false ‘9’ we played very well that time… that was a poor performance from villa and from all the team at the first half cebolla gave a lot of energy… now we can give our all attention again to la liga. against austria we have to win all the games and reach 12 points after that we can rotate at the other games i belive the 1st place at the group will be secured… aupa atleti… moment of the game was the trick from gabi and arda hahaha fantastic like we did it against almeria this is cholo’s atleti we can not lose

  • kris

    Nope,, we need to get all possible points and wins to stay top of the group, collect all the money and get an easier Round of 16 opponent to advance to quarter finals.. From Champions League,, we are talking about a LOT of money,, so it’s important that we win all these Group Stage matches.. And, well done to the boys for making a comeback from being 1-0 down to winning 1-2.. Now,, we are gonna need to focus on Celta de Vigo… Forza Atleti!

  • Dircil

    12 pts are enough for us to top the group stage, I think. By the way, in the upcoming match in Liga, there would be a lot of changes in the line-up as many main players have undergone two toughest matches against Real and Porto!

  • epoy

    Hope toby and josuha make their debut against celta… celta are dire so it will be less risky to have them start.. besides, im confident in their abilities.

  • Chewie

    6 wins = 6 mils. And we need every single penny.
    I’m afraid, though, that warm-blooded spaniards will freeze to death in November in Russia where it will be about -10 degrees, wind and snow.
    So one-two draws are acceptable, maybe even a defeat.