FC Porto have established a reputation as redoubtable opponents on their home soil and the visit of GNK Dinamo Zagreb – who have extended their run of consecutive UEFA Champions League losses to ten – offers them the opportunity to underline that.
• Porto began the campaign with a 2-0 win in the Croatian capital through a Lucho González tap-in and a last-gasp Steven Defour strike, ending Ante Čačić's run of 33 unbeaten games since taking the Dinamo reins in December 2011.
• The Portuguese champions followed that with a 1-0 win at home to Paris Saint-Germain FC. The double-header with FC Dynamo Kyiv brought a 3-2 home win and an away draw that gave Porto a one-point lead over PSG in the section and confirmed their place in the round of 16 with two matches to spare.
• Dinamo followed their opening reverse with two more 2-0 defeats, in Kyiv and then at home to PSG. In Paris they were beaten 4-0 and, four points adrift of third-placed Dynamo, must gain at least a draw to have any chance of claiming third position. To do so they must end a run of successive UEFA Champions League defeats that is exceeded only by RSC Anderlecht, with 12.
• Prior to Porto's win in Zagreb, the home side had prevailed in each of the teams' first four fixtures. Porto won at home 3-0 in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage and 1-0 in the 1983/84 European Cup Winners' Cup first round. In the reverse fixtures in Zagreb, Dinamo won 3-1 and 2-1 respectively.
• Dinamo have lost on all five previous visits to Portugal when they also failed to score a single goal, conceding 11. Those five Porto fixtures aside, their only goal in five other meetings with Portuguese clubs came in a 1-0 victory over Sporting Clube de Portugal in the 1982/83 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round first leg, when they went down 3-0 in the away return.
• Dinamo's most recent trip to Portugal was a 2-0 loss to SL Benfica in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup group stage.
• Porto are in the group stage for the 17th time and in last season's campaign remained unbeaten at home. They beat FC Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 and then drew with APOEL FC (1-1) and FC Zenit St Petersburg (0-0).
• The Portuguese champions have won six of their last nine home European games, losing only against Manchester City FC (1-2) in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg.
• Champions of Croatia for the seventh year in succession in 2011/12, when they completed the domestic double, Dinamo are taking part in the group stage for the second season running and the fourth time in all.
• As in 2011, the Zagreb outfit came through three qualifying rounds, first overcoming PFC Ludogorets Razgrad 4-3 on aggregate before defeating FC Sheriff (4-0) and NK Maribor (3-1).
• The Croatian club lost all six group games last season, going down 2-0 at Lyon, 4-0 at AFC Ajax and 6-2 away to Real Madrid CF. They conceded 22 goals in all, a UEFA Champions League group stage record.
• Tonel was schooled in the Porto junior and reserve sides but moved on without appearing in the first team. He played with João Moutinho at Sporting between 2005 and 2010 and Silvestre Varela during 2005/06.
• While with FC Salzburg, Nikola Pokrivač faced Eliaquim Mangala and Steven Defour in the last 32 of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League as R. Standard de Liège advanced 3-2 on aggregate. The Porto duo featured in both games while Pokrivač played the last 17 minutes of the second leg.
• Duje Čop spent 2008/09 in Portugal with CD Nacional, but was only used for a total of 174 minutes in official games.
• Rukavina faced Mangala and Defour while with Panathinaikos FC in the last 16 of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League. Standard went through 4-1 on aggregate.
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