Home match against Copenhagen, at 19h45, starts the 21st participation of the Dragons in the Champions League. The importance of starting with a victory in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League is huge, as is known. That will be just another motivation for FC Porto to try to start Group G with the right foot, on the home match against Copenhagen, on Wednesday, at 19h45. The match will be previewed by Porto Canal, and can be followed live on FC Porto’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts, and on the official app. After the final whistle, Porto Canal will do the review of the match and www.fcporto.pt will have the report and statements from the coach and players. The match will be special for FC Porto as it will be the 200th in the competition, excluding qualification stages, but counting all the matches played when it was still called European Club Champions Cup. This is an historic mark, as only seven other clubs have more matches played in the Champions League: Real Madrid (395), Bayern Munich (305), FC Barcelona (262), Manchester United (247), Juventus (234), Milan (233) and Benfica (212). The match against the Danish champion is also the debut of the 21st participation (in 25 possible) in the Champions League, a format that exists since 1992/93: this is a record, shared with Barcelona and Real Madrid. The blue and whites are hoping to get the 88th victory in 200 matches played for the biggest European club competition, adding another chapter to the already beautiful history that includes the titles won in 1987 and 2004. There are many names that will echo in those matches throughout history, but this squad is still relatively young: José Sá, João Costa, Felipe, Boly, Sérgio Oliveira, João Teixeira, Otávio, André Silva and Diogo Jota are all looking for the debut in the group stage. There is, however, a name to look for in terms of experience: should he play, Casillas will start his 18th season in the Champions League (only beaten by Giggs, with 19); the goalkeeper is the player with the most matches played (160), ahead of Xavi (former Barcelona, with 157). At the press conference aimed at previewing the match, Nuno Espírito Santo avoided the word “favourite”, as it is a “guarantee of nothing”, while stating that there are no “targets or limits” for the blue and whites in the competition. As for Layún, the defender assured that, as always, the group is expecting “a match of maximum demand”. The referee will be Slovenian Matej Jug, and this will be the second time he meets the Dragons.
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