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Duda ready for biggest game in Malagas history
Published : 13 Mar 2013 01:46:55Rss feed
Malaga's former Portugal international Duda is confident his side can overcome a 1-0 deficit at home to Porto in their Champions League last-16 second-leg clash on Wednesday to claim a place in the quarter-finals.
The Oporto-born midfielder insists his side will be ready for what he describes as the biggest game in Malaga's history as they seek to extend their dream run in what is their maiden campaign in European club football's most prestigious competition.
"The boss (Manuel Pellegrini) has everybody available and we will give everything to make sure we get to the quarters. We know very well what we have to do, we are at home in front of our fans and we have to take advantage of this."
Duda has never played for Porto after 12 seasons in Spain but he recognises the quality his home town club possesses.
"It will be difficult against a very good side but we have to concentrate on our job. They have great players and a good squad, even if they have a few key players out it will still be hard but it would help us," he said.
Malaga will hope to continue an impressive unbeaten Champions home record this season to reach the quarters and repeat the victories over AC Milan and Zenit St Petersburg in the group stage.
Porto, however, should be at full strength with coach Vitor Pereira announcing on Monday that he will travel with a group of nineteen players to the Costa del Sol.
There are slight doubts about the fitness of the French centre-half Eliaquim Mangala and the goalscorer from the first leg Joao Moutinho who has been receiving treatment for a muscle injury.
The Portuguese international's 56th-minute strike in the first leg divides the sides and he would be a big miss for the winners of the 2004 trophy.
Moutinho has told uefa.com of his clubs ambitions to win the tournament again this season.
"We must take it match by match," he told the website.
"We all have the ambition to win the Champions League. Anyone who is at this stage has a desire to go as far as possible, but we're not thinking further than the game against Malaga. That would be a mistake, because they're extremely difficult to beat and will be doing everything they can to go through.
"Our ambition grows every day and this season we want more. We want to become champions again and we want to go as far as possible in the Champions League," he said.
Mangala, who is said to be interesting a host of Premier League clubs, should also be ready after a shoulder injury kept him out of the side since the first-leg.
Both players were left out of Friday's 2-0 win at home to Estoril that leaves Porto in second position in the Portuguese league, two points behind leaders Benfica.