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Lopetegui hoping for Porto reaction

Julen Lopetegui hopes Porto’s exertions in the UEFA Champions League do not hamper them in Sunday’s crucial Primeira Liga clash with leaders Benfica.

Having beaten Bayern Munich 3-1 in the quarter-final first leg, Porto were beaten 6-1 at the Allianz Arena to end their dreams of reaching the last four.

They return to league action this weekend with only three points separating them and Benfica, with Lopetegui hoping Tuesday’s humbling will not hand their rivals the advantage. 

“The Champions League is one thing and the league is another, our Champions League run was fantastic,” he said.

“We have prepared for this game in the best possible way, unfortunately our rivals have had much more time.

“Benfica have had a week at home to prepare for the game and will use that as one of their weapons.”

Any hopes Porto had of recalling Cristian Tello to the first team following a hamstring injury have been dashed, though, with Lopetegui ruing his continued absence.

“Tello is very important, he was the best player in the league in March,” he added. “But he has not recovered.” 

Sat 25 Apr, 2015
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