Porto coach sets sights on summit

Jesualdo Ferreira is quietly confident his Porto side can beat leaders Chelsea and take a massive step towards finishing top of Group D.

Last Updated: 24/11/09 at 16:02

Ferreira: Porto play host to Chelsea

Ferreira: Porto play host to Chelsea

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Both sides have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League but the fight to finish in top spot is far from over.

Ferreira's side have only lost to Chelsea so far in Europe and now trail the Blues by just a single point going into the final two games.

Victory in the Estadio do Dragao on Wednesday night will give them a two-point advantage ahead of their final game against Atletico Madrid.

Ferreira's confidence is buoyed by Chelsea's less than sparkling European away form this season.

A narrow 1-0 win over Apoel Nicosia in Cyprus was followed by a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid and there is no doubt tomorrow's game will be Chelsea's stiffest test by far.

A point would be sufficient for Carlo Ancelotti's side, who would then have the seemingly easy task of overcoming Apoel at Stamford Bridge to ensure first place.

Ferreira's steely determination is at odds with his side's current league form. They lie third in the Portuguese league but a draw with struggling Belenenses and defeat at

Maritimo last time out has not been the best preparation.

But Ferreira remains convinced his side can shock the Blues and is not affected by the pressure of a vital game.

"None of the games of Porto is without pressure or responsibility," said Ferreira. "The most important thing is to guarantee a good game.

"The idea is to get the most points in qualification and go forward. Porto, in the last few years, has always made its presence felt in the knockout phase of the Champions League.

"We want to play at a more superior level than we have been during the last few weeks.

"We had a very good performance at Stamford Bridge so we must now look to win the game here and to compete at the most superior level we can.

"Porto has been struggling, that's a fact. But the international break allowed us to work intensively and gave us a positive outcome.

"We need to compete and there is nothing better than playing against a good team like Chelsea, to see how we are evolving.

"Chelsea are having a very strong Champions League and have one more point than us but Porto can win against a very strong opponent.

"The result depends on the capacity of Porto to face its opponent."

Porto could recall experienced Brazilian goalkeeper Helton, out of action since November 8 with an injury to his right foot, but Ferreira was determined to give nothing away.

"We have 22 players who can play and they will be chosen from the criteria Porto always follows, which is the quality of the player," said Ferreira.

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