Ivan Marcano insists FC Porto can deal with Liverpool’s attacking threat at the Estadio do Dragao tonight.
The Spanish centre-back believes the hosts can overcome the loss of fellow defender Felipe, who misses the Champions League last 16 first leg due to suspension.
Marcano will have the prolific double act of Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah flying at him but after recovering from a thigh injury he’s ready for the challenge.
He said: “It’s not about individuals, they are a complete team and they haven’t lost in the Champions League. We know Liverpool are a very strong side.
“They want to move forward but so do we. Now we will face each other and we’ll soon see which is better. I think it’s going to be a balanced round.
“Liverpool have a great attack but we have already shown that we also have a great team. We are not fragile.
“Our motivation is to go as far as possible in the Champions League.”
Sergio Conceicao is also without defensive midfielder Danilo due to a calf problem but the Porto boss remains upbeat about their chances of beating Liverpool for the first time in five attempts.
“Liverpool’s forwards are very strong but we will work to expose their weak points and highlight our strong points,” he said.
“The players give me confidence to believe it’s possible to win this round. There is a fantastic spirit in terms of ambition and determination.
“We will have a factor in our favour, which is the fantastic audience that is always with the team.
“I hope Estádio do Dragão will be an added value. I also take this opportunity to welcome the English fans, a crowd that is passionate about football.
“I hope they enjoy the game but not the result. And they must enjoy the port wine!”