thumbnail Hello,
Live

UEFA Champions League

  • September 18, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb
  • Referee: D. Orsato
  • • Attendance: 4683
0
FT
2

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

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

Getty Images

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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

DINAMO ZAGREB

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

Kovacic
Cop
PORTO

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

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.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • 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.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 21, 2012 Porto 3 - Dinamo Zagreb 0
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 18, 2012 Dinamo Zagreb 0 - Porto 2
  • Player Ratings
  • Match Report
  • Play by Play
  • Preview
Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
30Ivan KelavaGoalkeeper
4Josip SimunicDefender
13TonelDefender
19Josip PivarićDefender
17Domagoj VidaDefender
16Adrián CalelloMidfielder
6Arijan AdemiMidfielder
10SammirMidfielder
77Marcelo BrozovićMidfielder
55Ante RukavinaStriker
90Duje CopStriker
33Romeo MitrovićGoalkeeper
3Luis IbáñezDefender
14Sime VrsaljkoMidfielder
7Bryan CarrascoDefender
10Mateo KovačićMidfielder
20Mehmed AlispahićMidfielder
21Fatos BecirajStriker
1HeltonGoalkeeper
4Maicon Pereira RoqueDefender
-Miguel LopesDefender
-Alex SandroDefender
23Nicolás OtamendiDefender
8Lucho GonzálezMidfielder
-Joao MoutinhoMidfielder
10James RodríguezMidfielder
-Steven DefourMidfielder
-Jackson MartínezStriker
17Silvestre VarelaStriker
-FabianoGoalkeeper
-DaniloDefender
-Eliaquim MangalaDefender
-André CastroMidfielder
-Juan Iturbe Striker
-KléberStriker
-Christian Twasam AtsuStriker
Players to Watch
Sammir
Sammir
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Brazilian will have to step up to the plate as Dinamo's most potent attacking midfielder after the departure of Milan Badelj, but from what we have seen so far it looks as if he is up to the challenge. Expect him to drive his side forward from midfield.
Joao Moutinho
Joao Moutinho
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
A deadline day move to Tottenham failed to materialise for the Portuguese so it will be interesting to see his reaction when he dons the Porto shirt in Europe again. If he can carry through his form from the European Championships into the Champions League, he will be a top player in the competition.
Prediction
Dinamo Zagreb have notched up a very impressive unbeaten run of 33 games since Ante Cacic took over in December 2011, but they will not have faced a calibre of opposition like Porto too often. Stadion Maksimir is usually a difficult place for travelling teams but expect the champions to earn a point in Croatia. The home advantage of Dinamo and the attacking talent of Porto should see both sides cancel each other out.
Editor's Prediction
Porto 1

From the web