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Liverpool will be a formidable test for us, Conceicao admits

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Porto’s Portuguese coach Sergio Conceicao holds a press conference at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on April 16, 2019 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Porto and Liverpool. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)

Porto boss Sergio Conceicao is fired up for today’s Champions League quarter-final second leg against a Liverpool side he believes are “sometimes” the best in the world.

The Premier League leaders triumphed 2-0 in the first leg and are firm favourites to reach the semi-final, where they will face either Barcelona or Manchester United.

Porto were thrashed 5-0 at home by Jurgen Klopp’s side at the last-16 stage last season, while they have never before overturned a two-goal first-leg deficit in the competition.

Conceicao admits they will be facing a formidable test, but he is relishing the chance to go toe-to-toe with the five-time champions of Europe.

“There is no greater motivation than to be competing in a quarter-final and to make a historical turnaround,” he told a news conference yesterday. “I like the way Liverpool play. Sometimes, they are the best team in the world.

“We have a two-goal deficit to make up against a very strong team who are quick on the break. Getting the attacking balance right is fundamental.

“The technical team will establish the game plan, then it’s up to the players to put it into action. They are the responsible for everything good that has happened so far.

“We have to work for defensive organisation and we are 100 per cent focused and aware of what our opponents are doing. It is not difficult to analyse Liverpool, but it is difficult to counteract because they have so much individual and collective quality. They’re great!”

Midfielder Hector Herrera says vengeance for last year’s emphatic defeat is not on the players’ minds as they aim to beat Liverpool in a European match for the first time.

“There is no desire for revenge,” he said. “Last year’s result is in the past. We have a great opportunity to continue to make history and we do not want to waste this opportunity. In the first leg, I saw that we can hurt a team like Liverpool.

“They have the advantage, but I believe in the ability we have as players and as a team. I am very confident, and I believe we can get a good result and continue keep our Champions League dream alive.”


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