Dinamo Zagreb - Porto Preview: The Portuguese and Croatian champions clash on matchday one

Ante Cacic's outfit aim to keep up their impeccable unbeaten run as they welcome the 2004 Champions League winners to the Stadion Maksimir


 Vrsaljko, Vida, Tonel, Ibanez
Leko, Calello, Sammir, Rukavina


 Danilo, Maicon, Otamendi, Alex Sandro
Lucho, Fernando, Moutinho
Varela, Rodriguez

Dinamo Zagreb welcome Porto to the Stadion Maksimir on Tuesday as the Champions League Group Stage gets underway with the first round of matches in Group A.

Dinamo start their European campaign without talented midfielder Milan Badelj who has moved on to German side Hamburg, but the Croatian side remain strong in the centre of midfield, with Adrian Calello and Sammir set to start in the middle of midfield.  The ever-present defensive pair of Domagoj Vida and Tonel, who played every minute of qualifying, are likely to start as the centre-back partnership.

Summer signing Duje Cop is in line for a starting berth in attack in favour of Fatos Beciraj.

Porto are without commanding centre-back Rolando for the trip to Croatia as the Portuguese is serving a suspension following his dismissal against Manchester City in the Europa League last season. Maicon and Nicolas Otamendi will likely start at the back.

With Hulk's big money move to Zenit St. Petersburg having been completed, Silvestre Varela and James Rodriguez will start on either wing in support of summer recruit Jackson Martinez up front.

  • Dinamo have not lost in 33 games since Ante Cacic took the reins on 23 December 2011, winning 23.
  • Ivan Kelava, Tonel and Domagoj Vida each played all 540 minutes of Champions League qualifying for the Croatian side.
  • Dinamo conceded 22 goals in last season's group stage – a UEFA Champions League record
  • Porto began last season with a 2-1 home win against
    Shakhtar, but that was only their second victory in their last eight matchday one fixtures.
  • While Dinamo are the only Croatian opponents Porto have faced, Dinamo have registered one victory in five attempts
    against other Portuguese sides.
  • Porto, in the group stage for the 17th time, lost their first two away games last season, before winning 2-0 at Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday five.