Porto v Man United preview
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jose Mourinho has played down the chances of his side, unbeaten in their domestic league this term, overcoming United, while Sir Alex Ferguson was particularly cagey about his team selection plans.
Porto will miss the striking power of Derlei, who is probably out for the rest of the season, and Cesar Peixoto and Marco Ferreira are also injured.
"How can I think of beating Manchester United if I don't have the offensive weapons in my hands?" asked the highly-rated Mourinho.
"It's a round in which a 0-0 draw at home won't be a bad result as we can try to surprise them away from here."
Sergio Conceicao and Maciel Cunha are both ineligible, providing chances for Carlos Alberto and Edgaras Jankauskas, and Costinha is suspended.
Ferguson's sides have been guilty of accepting goalless draws away from home in Europe as decent results in the past, but the United boss knows his out-of-form Red Devils need to score in Oporto.
Mikael Silvestre's absence with an ankle injury is a huge blow, coupled with Rio Ferdinand's suspension, and it has left the Scot with an almighty headache regarding his central defensive pairing.
Either a vote of confidence will be handed to Wes Brown, outjumped by Alan Smith at the weekend, or a gamble will be taken in playing Roy Keane or Gary Neville alongside John O'Shea, who, himself, has not been in the best of form recently.
Nicky Butt will profit if Keane is moved into defence, and Cristiano Ronaldo is looking increasingly likely to be handed a chance to impress in his homeland after sitting out the match with Leeds United.
Louis Saha, not risked in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, should start to provide some pace in the Premiership champions' attack, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, although, in his own words not fully fit, should be on the bench again.