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Football

Deportivo, Porto expect tough tie



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PORTO, Portugal -- Deportivo Coruna coach Javier Irureta is calling for a resolute performance from his players ahead of Wednesday's Champions League semifinal first leg with Porto.

The Spanish side reached the last four after an astonishing 4-0 win at home against defending champions AC Milan, overturning a 4-1 first leg deficit.

But after a lackluster 1-1 draw with Valladolid at the weekend, Irureta insisted his side would need to raise their game against the reigning Portuguese and UEFA Cup champions.

"I want to win in Portugal and we will need to play more like we did against Milan if we want to do that," said Irureta.

"If we play like we did against Valladolid we will come back from Porto having conceded a sackful of goals.

"I wasn't satisfied with the effort of some of the players in that game. We didn't have the necessary edge of concentration."

Irureta at least has the satisfaction of having a full squad to choose from for Wednesday's clash at Porto's Estadio do Dragao.

The match represents a derby of sorts, with the two clubs, both situated in the north-west corner of the Iberian peninsular, separated by just 120 miles of coastline.

Porto coach Jose Mourinho said he expected both legs to be tight, and said he would be happy to emerge from the first leg with a narrow victory or a draw.

"A defeat would be bad but a draw would be a normal result," said Mourinho.

"A win, even by one goal, would be an excellent result. I don't think there will be a big win for either side in either of the games."

Porto will be without their Lithuanian striker Edgaras Jankauskas, but defender Ricardo Costa is back after a month on the sidelines with an arm injury.

Probable teams:

Porto: 99-Vitor Baia; 22-Paulo Ferreira, 2-Jorge Costa, 4-Ricardo Carvalho, 8-Nuno Valente, 6-Francisco Costinha, 23-Pedro Mendes, 18-Maniche Ribeiro, 10-Deco Souza, 19-Carlos Alberto, 77-Benni McCarthy.

Deportivo Coruna: 1-Jose Molina; 2-Manuel Pablo, 4-Noureddine Naybet, 14-Jorge Andrade, 3-Enrique Romero; 18-Victor, 8-Sergio, 6-Mauro Silva, 19-Albert Luque; 21-Juan Carlos Valeron, 7-Walter Pandiani.


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