Vitoria Guimaraes vs Portsmouth Preview
Harry Redknapp will be looking to finish the job after Pompey secured a 2-0 win at Fratton Park but Guimaraes boss Manuel Cajuda believes that the tie is far from over after seeing his side beat Trofense on Sunday.
Redknapp is likely to select the same side that started against Tottenham although Sean Davis will be competing for Richard Hughes' place. There has been talk that 'Arry will go with the 3-5-2 formation and try to catch Guimaraes on the break but after the Man City disaster I think we will play a 4-4-2.
Guimaraes have to come out an attack and will be boosted by the return of top striker Douglas who scored twice on Sunday on his return to the side. The key players such as club captain Flavio will be returning and so this tie is certainly not over because they will be much stronger than what they were at Fratton Park.
Vitoria are known for their excellent home record so a loud and passionate crowd will await the visiting Pompey fans at the Estadio D. Afonso Henriques tomorrow night. Should the home side score early then we will be in for one hell of a ride and after suffering two humiliating defeats recently there is a small chance that the floodgates may open again.
However, you could look at the situation the other way and say that if we can grab a goal then that would effectively kill off the tie as Vitoria would need four goals without conceding again to advance. We have the firepower to do the job in Portugal and I'm quietly confident we can secure our passage to the group stages.
I'm personally very excited about the trip to Guimaraes and I know I'm not the only one! For Pompey fans this will be a completely different experience. It will be a chance to sample the Portuguese culture and visit a city steeped in history and then witness what promises to be a different atmosphere to anything we have ever experienced before.
If you are making the trip tomorrow and your Portuguese is poor like mine then don't worry as many "Portugeezers" speak a bit of English and the Guimaraes fans are a welcoming bunch that should do all they can to help you.
I stated at the beginning of the season that my biggest fear was crashing out of the UEFA Cup in the first round. The reward for passing this test will be another four European nights to look forward to so let's hope that Pompey's European adventure has only just begun!
Jogue acima o Pompey!
LB: LUCIANO AMARAL
DM: FLAVIO Meireles
DM: Joao ALVES
CM: Yves DESMARETS
GK: David JAMES
RB: Glen JOHNSON
CB: Sol CAMPBELL
CB: Sylvain DISTIN
LB: Nadir BELHADJ
RM: Glen LITTLE
CM: Richard HUGHES
CM: Lassana DIARRA
LM: Armand TRAORE
CF: Jermain DEFOE
CF: Peter CROUCH
Guimaraes are probably going to come at us from the start and so I think we will play as cautiously as possible and try and hit them on the counter-attack with our pace. I fancy Crouch to nick one but only after they have scored to pile the pressure on.
Vitoria Guimaraes 1 Pompey 1