“Porto is a dangerous team with enough quality in attack, with speedy and technically gifted players. We are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, so there are no longer easy opponents.” Philpp Lahm is completely aware that Bayern Munich will not have it easy tonight.
The Dragons have not lost a single match in their past 10 league games, winning five of their last six games and drawing just one. Moreover, the Portuguese side are still unbeaten in this season’s Champions League edition as they seek to preserve their unbeaten run when they face the German giants in tonight’d quarter-final first leg tie at the Dragao.
Bayern themselves were unable to grab a win in a goalless draw in Ukraine in the previous round and the game in Portugal is likely to be a tougher one. The Germans will have to play without Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben which means they cannot field their best possible XI. However, Porto are also missing their best player, Jackson Martinez. The home side’s chances of springing a surprise will be hampered by his absence.
Julen Lopetegui and Pep Guardiola were Barcelona team-mates from 1994 till 1997 but tonight each of them is coaching a different side and both aim for qualification. Porto have a big ambition in this competition and their qualification to this round was down to merit and not mere luck. The Dragons have great respect to their German opponents and their approach to the game could be decisive in determining the outcome.
While Guardiola’s side are unbeaten in 11 games on Portuguese soil, they can’t take anything for granted as the games are not won paper. Munich are expected to dominate possession while Porto will be hoping to maximize their chances. Who will remains to be answered on the pitch.