While Mark van Bommel picked Porto as favorites during his media appearance, a flattered Conceição did not think so later in the day. “I thank him for those kind words, but I don’t share his opinion. Antwerp play in a very good league and they are an opponent that we cannot underestimate. They will be looking for revenge after their defeat against Shakhtar and that will be it.” “It’s a tough match for us. We have to stay strong.”
Many players are still unsure about their presence in the Portuguese team, including the tireless centre-back, Pepe. His coach, the former captain of Standard de Liège, was unable to provide confirmation about the possible absences. “We will make an assessment tomorrow and see who can play, even for ten or twenty minutes,” he said. In the Antwerp squad, the absence of Mandela Keita, “an important element in the midfield”, could work in Porto’s favour, although Sergio Conceicao has no doubt that he “will be replaced effectively”.
Brazilian striker Evanilson, who was present alongside his coach in the press room, scored against Club Brugge in his team’s 0-4 win last year, also in the C1 group stage. “It’s a beautiful memory,” he recalls. “My first goal in the Champions League. I’m happy to be able to return to Belgium. I came out of a difficult period, but I feel 100% again. I hope I can show myself again tomorrow.”