Back at Estádio do Dragão, almost a month after the last match played there, against Portimonense (5-2), FC Porto is looking at returning to victories in Liga NOS this Saturday, at 20h30 (SportTV), against Paços de Ferreira, to remain ahead in the lead of the table. On the other end of the pitch will be an opponent who, in 19 official matches against the blue and whites, was never able to do better than two ties, in 2009/10 and 2010/11. Since then, Paços suffered six defeats in six matches, with the last three always having a Mexican goal.
Héctor Herrera was the first, scoring the fourth goal in a big 5-0 victory in 2014/15. The following season, Jesus Corona and Miguel Layún built the 2-1 victory. Last season, Herrera was the one opening the scoreboard in the 4-1 win, in a match in which Brahimi also scored. The Algerian and the Mexican trio are part of the restricted group of five players who still represent the club and know what it is to celebrate against Paços, joined by Ricardo, who, in 2013/14, helped the blue and whites win by 3-0, also at Estádio do Dragão.
The relations between the two clubs from the district of Porto are deep and long, and there are several players who have worn both shirts. Sérgio Oliveira is the only case in the current squad of FC Porto, having played on a loan at Mata Real from 2013 to 2015. On the other side, there’s a bigger number of players connected to the Dragons, seven in total. Colombian fullback Quiñones is the only one who played for the main team, but defenders Francisco Afonso and Pedro Marques, midfielders André Leão, Vasco Rocha and André Seabra, and striker Bruno Moreira have neem in the youth ranks.
Currently tenth in the table, with nine points, Paços de Ferreira is still looking for the first victory away in this edition of the Portuguese League, and will find a FC Porto “with all the ambition in the world”, “with great determination and willingness to play well” and committed in “giving a positive answer, in line with the greatness of the club”. These were the words of Sérgio Conceição at the press conference previewing the 20th match between Dragons and Beavers.
Manuel Oliveira will be the referee of matchday nine. The match will be previewed by Porto Canal at 19h45, and can then be followed live on Facebook, Twitter, and the official app of FC Porto. In the end, the analysis of the match will be made in Porto Canal and www.fcporto.pt will have the report and statements of the coach and players.