Ahead of FC Porto’s UEFA Champions League quarter finals first-leg match against Chelsea, head coach Sergio Conceicao is wary of the danger that the Blues possess. However, he adds that the recent 5-2 loss against West Brom would have made Thomas Tuchel’s men more hungry ahead of the crucial clash.
The Blues had a shock defeat against Premier League relegation contenders West Brom. Tuchel’s men were actually ahead in the game when Christian Pulisic scored. However, a red card to veteran defender Thiago Silva changed the whole complexion of the match eventually leading to a 5-2 humbling at Stamford Bridge.
Therefore Conceicao highlighted how he would have liked Chelsea to win the game ahead of facing them as now they would be more desperate to right the wrong.
“You know that Thiago Silva was sent off in the first half and that the game had a different course,” Conceicao said at his pre-match press conference. “Chelsea until this last game had been extremely competent, they have not lost a game in the Champions League, they have the second-best defence in the Champions League and also in the English league.
“They are a competent team, and when these defeats happen it serves as a warning.
“If you want my opinion, I would prefer that they won the last game. Because these situations make the siren sound and make everyone more alert, more awake to danger, and I honestly don’t like these defeats very much,” the Portuguese tactician went on adding.
FC Porto have had a dream run in the Champions League this season as they defeated Juventus in the last round in a dramatic second leg fixture. The Portuguese outfit were a man down when Mehdi Taremi was sent off but they kept fighting and a stunning freekick from midfielder Sergio Oliviera at the second half of extra time meant that Conceicao’s men were going through to the last eight.
Chelsea have also been really good in their last round as they knocked out Atletico Madrid and will start as favourites in their quarterfinals tie against the Portuguese outfit. However, by no means Tuchel’s men can underestimate this team. But adding to Porto’s miseries, Taremi who was sent off against Juventus and Oliveira who scored the winner will both miss the first leg because of suspensions. But Conceicao expects his boys to keep their shape and get a positive result from their visit to London.
“We will not think that Evanilson was our most expensive player at €8 million, and the most expensive player in Chelsea was Kai Havertz, at €80m,” Conceicao said. “On the field, it’s 11 against 11, with a strategy defined according to each team’s idea of play.
“There may be one or another variant of the game to face this opponent specifically, but from there on there is nothing impossible. Everything is possible,” he concluded.