Porto, Lyon prepare for Champions League encounter

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

FC Porto, conqueror of English champion Manchester United, host Olympique Lyon in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Porto, Lyon prepare for Champions League encounter

Lisbon:

FC Porto, conqueror of English champion Manchester United, host Olympique Lyon in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday. Porto is unbeaten this season in the Portuguese league and leads the domestic championship by seven points, but they go into this match fighting injuries. Lyon has been boosted by the return to form of Brazilian striker Giovane Elber, a Champions League winner with Bayern Munich three seasons ago, who has scored three goals in three games. FC Porto emerged as a dark horse to win last season's UEFA Cup and, until it knocked out Manchester United in the last round, wasn't a fancied team in this season's Champions League either. Now Porto's through to the quarterfinals where it meets Lyon, another outsider, at the Stadium of the Dragon on Tuesday. Porto, unlike its opponent, is having to patch together a side for the game in northern Portugal. Veteran defender and captain Jorge Costa is injured, as is midfielder Pedro Mendes. The good news for Porto coach Jose Mourinho is that left midfielder Cesar Peixoto has recovered from an injury sustained last October. But he is bracing for a tough encounter against the French champion. Lyon, meanwhile, has no injury worries and is brimming with confidence after picking up 25 points in its last 10 league games to overtake Monaco and go top of the French championship. A further bonus is the return to form of Brazilian striker Giovane Elber, whose goal in Saturday's 1-0 win over Nantes was his third in three matches. Also, midfielder Vikash Dhorasoo is back in the team and in brilliant form after falling out with coach Le Guen only last month. However Lyon coach Paul Le Guen was also cautious, pointing out that Porto was a good side. Brazilian international and Lyon player Juninho said Lyon would not be complacent. Lyon go in as the underdog to this match, but will fight hard to have a good result to ease the pressure on the return leg to reach the last four. (AP)



Topics : Football
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