FC Porto will be glad of one thing prior to the kickoff of their Champions League group stage match against Atletico Madrid - no Diego Costa.
The Brazilian-born striker has been in sparkling form this season, netting eight goals already, including the winner in the Madrid derby against Real last weekend.
Atletico Madrid players celebrate after scoring against Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League, September 18
Costa, though, serves the final match of his European suspension for his sending off in the Europa League last season against Viktoria Plzen, and will not be available for Diego Simeone.
Atletico, however, do have a certain David Villa at their disposal and Simeone is confident the Spanish international can impress after starring in the Madrid club's 3-1 win over Zenit St. Petersburg on Matchday One.
"David Villa is very important for us, he takes up great positions, is good with the ball and most importantly, scores goals," Simeone said.
A win against Porto in Portugal and Atletico will have one foot in the knockout stages; Simeone, though, will be well aware of the magnitude of the challenge that awaits them against the former Champions League winners.
"We are coming up against a great team who are very strong at home," he added. "The stats tell you that Porto have a very good record at home in the Champions League. We have prepared in the best possible way in order to win tomorrow (Tuesday).
"They are well organised with a great history in this competition, so we have to be wary. We always play to win and I think (Porto manager) Paulo Fonseca understands our philosophy."
Home comforts is exactly what Fonseca has in mind for his side. Porto edged Austria Wien 1-0 in Vienna in their first match, and if they can pick up all three points against Atletico, the favourites in the group, then their passage to the next stage will be considerably smoother.
"We know how important the home games are and it's vital that we win our next two matches here in order to create a comfortable cushion," Fonseca said. "We are facing a very strong team, boosted by recent results, but we are highly motivated and ready to go."
Comparing Atletico to an Italian side, Fonseca believes controlling the game and finding the key passes to unlock the steady defence will be important on Tuesday.
Team News: Maicon is the only player missing for Porto, with Fonseca admitting he already has his starting XI in mind, although he did not reveal the lineup.
Apart from Costa, fellow forward Adrian Lopez is also ruled out after fracturing his cheekbone against Zenit. Matias Suarez also missed out, but Diego Godin has travelled with the squad despite suffering a hamstring strain against Real Madrid.
Key Men: Porto: Jackson Martinez will be the man that Fonseca looks to, to find the back of the net against Atletico, with the Colombian international quite dangerous in front of goal if presented with a semblance of an opportunity.
Atletico: In Costa's absence, Villa will be needed to put his goalscoring boots on, but it is Arda Turan that Atletico look to when they need a moment of inspiration. The Turkish playmaker has the capability to unlock any defence and the Porto defence will see him as the main danger man.
Where to watch
The match is scheduled for a 12.15 a.m. (IST, Wednesday) start with no live telecast.
Expected lineups: Porto: Helton; Danilo, Otamendi, Mangala, Alex Sandro; Fernando, Lucho, Defour; Varela, Josue, Jackson Martinez.
Atletico: Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe Luís; Turan, Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Baptistao, Villa.
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