PORTO, PORTUGAL - APRIL 28: Givalnildo Vieira 'Hulk' of FC Porto celebrates his side third goal during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between FC Porto and Villarreal at Estadio do Dragao on April 28, 2011 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
FC Porto had a brilliant season under manager Andre Villas-Boas last season, winning the treble consisting of the Portuguese Liga, Portuguese Cup and the UEFA Europa League. They won an astonishing 49 games with only four losses in total. Much of the credit goes to then-chief Villas-Boas (now at Chelsea) whose attacking flair and pressing game, reminiscent to that of FC Barcelona, helped Porto to triumph in a season that saw all Portuguese clubs do well in Europe. Now, however, Vitor Pereira, the second in command at
The bulk of the scoring duties will arguably fall on Hulk after his strike partner’s Falcao’s exit to Atletico
Falcao’s position is most likely to be taken by Silvestre Varela, who has played a considerable part in the team’s accumulations of trophies.
Hulk - F.C. Porto - Just Incredible 2011 | FULL HD (via DoSantosProduction)
Except for Falcao and Ruben Michel, Porto have been able to keep hold of their other star players such as Freddy Guarin, Joao Moutinho, Alvaro Pereira, Jorge Fucile and Rolando. In addition they have signed some interesting young prospects such as Juan Iturbe, Alex Sandro and Danilo which would make them a very difficult opponent to beat.
FC Barcelona’s confidence will be sky high after beating bitter-rivals Real Madrid to lift the Spanish Super Cup and tearing apart Italian outfit SSC Napoli to win the Gamper Trophy. But taking FC Porto lightly could be a costly mistake.
Real Madrid have been a familiar foe for Barcelona but in Porto they encounter a side that likes to venture forward, attacks from the wings and doesn’t compromise its own philosophy, even when facing a big European side. With Carles Puyol still out due to injury and Pique picking up a knock it would be interesting to see how Barcelona’s back-four (or three) perform against a side worthy enough to beat the European Champions at their own game.
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Is FC Barcelona's defense a major concern without Pique and Puyol?
No we've got enough back-up to take care of that (3 votes)
FC Porto's attack lacks quality without Falcao to bother us (1 vote)
Barcelona needs to be at the top of their game to cut out Porto's threat (9 votes)
Barcelona will win nevertheless (8 votes)
21 total votes