In-form FC Porto have obtained a well timed harm enhance forward of the primary leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in opposition to Liverpool on Wednesday evening (14 February) after skilled defender Ivan Marcano declared himself match for the match on the Estadio do Dragao.
A daily fixture in Sergio Conceicao’s defence, the versatile Spanish centre-back has not performed because the Taca da Liga semi-final defeat to Sporting CP on 24 January as a consequence of a thigh downside, lacking the goalless draw with Moreirense and subsequent wins over Braga, Sporting and Chaves.
Diego Antonio Reyes has deputised alongside Felipe in Marcano’s absence, however the 30-year-old insists he’s prepared for Porto’s first European knockout conflict with Liverpool because the quarter-finals of the 2000-01 Uefa Cup after returning to coaching at Olival.
“I am prepared [after a knock] so now it is as much as the coach to resolve who performs,” he advised reporters at a pre-match press convention, as relayed by Uefa’s official website.
“I’m bodily OK. At no level did I take into consideration not taking part in this sport; I used to be at all times hopeful [of regaining my fitness and being ready].”
Marcano’s return to health comes at a superb time for Porto, who will likely be with out the suspended Felipe in opposition to Liverpool after the Brazilian defender was despatched off following an altercation with Rachid Ghezzal in the course of the 5-2 Group G thrashing of AS Monaco in December. Andre Andre has additionally been coping with an harm of late.
Conceicao confirmed, per Reuters, that defensive midfielder Danilo wouldn’t be match for the primary leg as he continues to nurse a calf downside suffered in that aforementioned penalty shootout defeat to rivals Sporting.
Maybe most importantly, he additionally admitted that it was “unlikely” that Vincent Aboubakar will likely be accessible to face Jurgen Klopp’s facet. The Cameroon ahead presently stands as Porto’s main scorer having notched 26 targets in simply 33 appearances throughout all competitions up to now this time period, though he missed Sunday’s [12 February] Four-Zero Primeira Liga demolition of Chaves with an unidentified muscle challenge.
Whereas Marcano was again coaching with out limitations yesterday, Porto confirmed via their official website that Danilo continued to obtain remedy and that Aboubakar was restricted to conditioning coaching and fitness center work.
Liverpool, in the meantime, will assess the fitness of defenders Joe Gomez (knee) and Ragnar Klavan (thigh) earlier than the sport in Portugal. Emre Can is suspended as the results of his reserving within the 7-Zero thrashing of Spartak Moscow, whereas Nathaniel Clyne has travelled however won’t characteristic as he continues his restoration from a long-term again harm.
Loris Karius is set to continue forward of Simon Mignolet between the posts and Virgil van Dijk ought to make his debut in Europe’s elite membership competitors for the Reds.