Coach Sergiy Rebrov is anticipating a stern test when Dynamo Kiev make their Champions League return against Porto on Wednesday.
Kiev are back in Europe’s premier competition after a two-season absence, having claimed their first Ukrainian Premier League title since 2009 last season.
Porto begin their 20th Champions League group campaign with the departure of star striker Jackson Martinez to Atletico Madrid the headline story from a familiar close-season of multiple comings and goings at the Estadio do Dragao.
Nevertheless, Julen Lopetegui’s men have made an unbeaten start to their Primeira Liga campaign and Rebrov is well versed in the talents at his opposite number’s disposal.
“We’ve watched Porto’s friendly against Napoli and two domestic league fixtures,” he told Kiev’s official website.
“Of course Porto have changed, as a lot of players have left the club, but that doesn’t make this team weaker. Their newcomers are high-profile performers.
“At the moment Porto players are looking for mutual understanding, but still they are a very good team. They try to control the ball and defend in an orderly way.”
Lopetegui is without defender Ivan Marcano through suspension but otherwise has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Winger Jesus Corona will aim to build on a dream debut for Porto, after he scored a brace in the 3-1 over Arouca on Saturday.
Corona had already shown dedication to the Porto cause, passing up on joining his Mexico team-mates during the recent international break in order to become well acquainted with his new surroundings.
“It’s always hard when you travel to represent your national team and then come back one or two days before a match, but any of us can play and do our job,” said Corona – a pre-deadline signing from FC Twente – on Porto’s official website.
“I was fortunate enough to score two goals and now I’m happy to have helped the team.”
Aleksandar Dragovic is set to return for Kiev, having been rested for the 3-0 weekend win over Oleksandria.
The game is expected to come too soon for Serhiy Sydorchuk and Lukasz Teodorczyk – the latter recently returning to training from a broken leg – while Rebrov will hope to see a continuation of the miserly defensive form that has seen Kiev concede just twice in their last eight matches.