"There's nobody better to learn off. He will have a good future at City..." - FC Porto vs Manchester City (Ask The Opposition w/ FCPortoGlobal)
Manchester City welcome Portuguese giants FC Porto to the Etihad Stadium for their first game in this seasons Champions League. Group C's top seed carry a lot of historic pedigree, and it's something Pep Guardiola made sure to point out in his pre-match Press Conference.
To get their thoughts on the tie - as well as everything FC Porto at the moment - we spoke to popular fan page FCPortoGlobal. Here's what they had to say on a number of topics concerning both sides...
Thanks for joining us ahead of Wednesday night's game! Let’s start with a player both sets of fans will be familiar with; Ruben Dias - as fierce rivals of Benfica, what opinion do you have of the 23-year-old?
"Ruben Dias has just came off playing three games for Portugal alongside Porto centre-back Pepe, so there's nobody better to learn off! Dias will have a good future at Manchester City - he's strong and tackles hard!"
Keeping on the theme of centre-backs, what do you make of Nicolas Otamendi’s return to Portugal but to Benfica, considering his successful time with Porto?
"Nicolas Otamendi had many successful days at both Porto and Manchester City, but it's been six years since he left the Estádio do Dragão. He's a professional and was offered an interesting contract. Since he's not Portuguese born, it's somewhat understandable of not feeling such a hard allegiance to clubs in this country."
Let’s get your reaction to the Champions League group draw - what did you make of Porto’s draw, and do you fancy your chances of progressing to the knock-out stages?
"The draw is difficult for Porto, as the squad has a lot of new parts to put together this season, and on paper, is theoretically weaker than years gone by. The club is experienced in this competition though, and has a good Champions League identity, which can help them through to the next round. I reckon second place is achievable, behind Manchester City. The key will be to beat Olympiacos and Marseille at home, then have to sneak an away win at one of the three clubs."
How have Porto started the new season and what are the overall expectations amongst the fans?
"It's been one of the weakest starts since 2005: two wins, one loss and a draw. Porto have conceded already six goals - by comparison, they didn't concede six until match day 13 last season. Manager Sérgio Conceição has a slew of new faces - some on loan - to integrate. It can be a difficult opening couple weeks, added to the recent international break causing added fatigue on an already busy Covid-19 induced schedule."
"Fans of the club always expect to win the league, at a minimum. Several Porto coaches have been relieved of their duties in the past if that's not delivered. Porto have been playing under three years of FFP sanction now, and it's hindered the squad quality greatly. We would rarely ever take players on loan without a buy-out clause, but this season had to take straight loans of Sarr, Anderson and Grujic from Premier League clubs due to our financial difficulties caused by FFP and the outbreak and subsequent impact of Covid-19."
For Manchester City fans who don’t know too much about Porto, who are the standout players we should be keeping an eye out for ahead of this one?
"Jesus Corona is by far the best player in the squad; a dynamic winger who dribbles, crosses and shoots well. Majority of the attack will come from him. Marega is also a strong and imposing player but lacks the technical ability to make himself a premier goal scorer, but does manage to find the net every so often. Defensively, 37-year-old Pepe is playing better than he has in recent years, but he has new defensive partners to whip into shape."
Can we get a predicted Porto starting XI?
"Porto's coach does not like much change, but as we're playing such a powerful squad as Manchester City's, I have a feeling he'll input a fourth midfielder into the side and field a 4-4-2. Predicted XI: Marchesin; Manafa, Pepe, Mbemba, Zaidu; Otavio, Sergio, Grujic, Uribe; Marega, Corona."
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