Sergio Conceicao’s comments about FC Barcelona during a pre-match press conference have caused a stir. The Portuguese club had been undefeated in this Liga Portugal campaign until they lost 1-0 to Lisbon rivals, Benfica. This, however, didn’t waver the manager’s confidence, who made assertive comments ahead of their Champions League encounter against the Blaugrana.
The Dragões started their UCL campaign with a 3-1 win against Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk. On the other hand, Barça’s last match was a 1-0 win against Sevilla. In their first game of UCL this season they scored five without reply against visitors Antwerp.
The Press Conference
Sergio had some praiseful words about Barcelona’s playing style.
"“I think they are the team with the most possession of the ball in Spain, in a championship where many favor that. They use depth a lot, they are quite dangerous, they are very wide on the field and create difficulties to the opponent. If we stretch, they will find space inside. We have to take precautions in defense, because they have individualities that can resolve the game from one moment to the next”"
The 48-year-old also claimed that he has identified the Blaugrana’s weaknesses and plans to take advantage of that.
"“They have gone some games without conceding goals, but we know their weaknesses, all teams have them. It has a lot to do with our defensive consistency and then taking advantage of some of the opponent’s weaknesses”"
He also added pretty confident remarks, hinting that his side might prove to be tenacious.
"“We have to rise to the occasion. We will suffer against Barcelona, but Barcelona will also suffer against FC Porto”"
The Porto Gaffer also confirmed the unavailability of former Real Madrid star Pepe, who played a key role in Porto’s defence. Injuries have been daunting for both clubs, with the Catalan club missing two players, Raphinha and Frankie De Jong. The list is quite big for Porto as Ivan Marcano, Evanilson, Veron and Sanusi are all doubtful for the clash.