Porto - Dynamo Kiev Preview: Hosts aiming to maintain 100 per cent record against faltering Ukrainians
Vitor Pereira's men are hoping to build on their convincing 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain on matchday two against the visitors, who are beginning to falter domestically
By Mohammed Ali
Danilo, Otamendi, Maicon, Miguel Lopes
Varela, Martinez, James
Danilo, Mykhalyk, Khacheridi, Taiwo
Harmash, Miguel Veloso
Yarmolenko, Kranjcar, Husyev
Porto boss Vitor Pereira is set to be without left-back Alex Sandro, who is still recovering from a muscle injury, and will not be risked for the visit of the Ukrainian giants to the Estadio do Dragao, with Miguel Lopes expected to deputise.
Colombian striker James Rodriguez - scorer in the matchday two 1-0 win over Paris Saint-Germain is once more expected to lead the line in an unchanged front three.
Steven Defour is likely to return to the starting line-up ahead of Fernando, having been benched for the last two competitive fixtures.
Dinamo Kiev coach Oleg Blokhin is set to re-jig his faltering side, with Niko Kranjcar in line to replace Raffael in midfield, with the latter starting in the league defeat to Metalist Kharkiv.
Maksym Koval should regain his place in goal once more, with Denys Harmash also set to return. The Ukrainians have failed to win a game since their last Champions League outing against Dinamo Zagreb.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Porto are top of Group A with a 100 per cent record thanks to wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Paris Saint-Germain.
- The Dragoes have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four Champions League encounters.
- Porto have won six and lost just one of their eight continental encounters against Ukrainian sides. That record includes three wins and a defeat to Dynamo Kiev.
- Dynamo Kiev recorded a 2-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb last time out, having lost their first game against PSG 4-1.
- The Ukrainian side beat Porto in Portugal at this stage in 2008, which was also their last away win in the competition in 15 attempts.
- Dynamo's last group stage campaign saw draws on the road against Rubin Kazan and Inter, before losing 2-0 to Barcelona.
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Top 3 Predictions
Porto 2-0 Dynamo Kiev
- 30.2 %
Porto 2-1 Dynamo Kiev
- 12.75 %
Porto 3-1 Dynamo Kiev
- 10.4 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 6, 2012||Dynamo Kiev 0 - Porto 0|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 24, 2012||Porto 3 - Dynamo Kiev 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Nov 5, 2008||Dynamo Kiev 1 - Porto 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 21, 2008||Porto 0 - Dynamo Kiev 1|
|Mar 9, 2014||Porto 4 - FC Arouca 1||POR1|
|Mar 2, 2014||Vitoria Guimarães 2 - Porto 2||POR1|
|Feb 27, 2014||Eintracht Frankfurt 3 - Porto 3||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Porto 0 - G D Estoril Praia 1||POR1|
|Feb 20, 2014||Porto 2 - Eintracht Frankfurt 2||EL|
|4||Maicon Pereira Roque||Defender|
|-||Christian Twasam Atsu||Striker|
|25||Haruna Abdulkarim Lukman||Midfielder|
The Colombian striker was undoubtedly the star against Carlo Ancelotti's men in midweek, and after scoring once more against Sporting in the Liga Sagres, the 21-year-old will definitely be the man to watch once more at the Dragao. James is a pacy forward, who can easily burst past a defender. Blessed also with immense trickery and dribbling skills, the likes of Khacheridi and Mykhalyk will have to be at their best to shut him out.
Arguably one of the best known faces in the Dynamo squad, the midfielder returns home to face a side which he will need no introduction against. Veloso is well versed in the tactics that Porto deploy, having featured for arch-rivals Sporting, with the Portugal international needing a big performance from deep in the middle of the park to re-ignite his lagging side. Will come up against friend and international team-mate Joao Moutinho.
The hosts are flying high domestically and in the Champions League, and after their high-pressure 1-0 win over dark horses PSG in the last game, it would be unwise to bet against Vitor Pereira's men extending their lead at the top of the group. Dynamo are still in contention for an unlikely qualification, but two defeats to Europa League sides Dnipro and Metalist have leaves a lot to be desired form-wise.