Assuncao certain Atletico will qualify

Atletico Madrid midfielder Paulo Assuncao is confident his side can put their poor start to the season behind them and return from tonight's Champions League tie against his former club Porto with all three points.

Atletico made the trip to Portugal under increasing pressure after taking just three points from their opening five league matches, which has left the team in the bottom three.

The Rojiblancos have not had much reason for cheer in Europe either, and they were booed off by their own fans after being held to a goalless draw by minnows Apoel Nicosia in their opening Group D game. That was a potentially costly setback for Atletico, especially considering the other team in their group are Chelsea, but Assuncao does not feel that result has jeopardised their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.

Instead, he believes they will get back on track against the Portuguese champions tomorrow.

"Porto have a good team and it won't be easy to beat them, although we also have a great squad and I think we can defeat them and come back to Madrid with the three points," said Assuncao, who played for Porto in the 2000/01 season and then again from 2005-08 before making the switch to Atletico.

"Not getting through to the next round isn't something that we are thinking about. I'm sure we'll get past the group stage."

Abel Resino's men go into the match having had contrasting experiences in their last two league matches, both of which finished in 2-2 draws.

Last week, they were denied a first win of the campaign by a last-minute Almeria equaliser, and then on Sunday they were saved from defeat by an injury-time leveller of their own against Valencia.

"We're going to fight just as hard [against Porto] as we did in the Valencia match. We're really looking forward to trying to get the win," added Assuncao.

Atletico already know from bitter recent experience just how hard it is to win at the Estadio do Dragao, though.

In last season's competition Atletico travelled to Portugal needing to score at least once to have a chance of progressing to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, after being held 2-2 at home by Porto.

However, they were unable to find the breakthrough in a goalless draw and Porto, having dominated the first leg and been unlucky not to record a convincing victory at the Vicente Calderon, deservedly went through to the last eight.

Porto could get no further, though, as they were knocked out by the defending champions, Manchester United.

This season Jesualdo Ferreira's side suffered a losing start to their group campaign against another English side, going down 1-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

They have had a much better time of it domestically than their opponents tonight, though, winning four of their opening six games, including a 1-0 triumph over Sporting Lisbon at the weekend.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Travel
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
artCultural relations between Sydney and Melbourne soured by row over milk crate art instillation
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
i100
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm, actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Environment
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices