Porto and Malaga have both run into top form at the best time as they prepare for the last-16 first leg tie at the Dragao Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Portuguese champions, who have won the European competition twice, most recently in 2004 under a certain Jose Mourinho, are unbeaten in 19 league matches and go into the game as favourites, not least because of the exploits of their Colombian attackers Jackson Martinez and James Rodriguez.
Coach Vitor Pereira was bullish about his side's prospects at home. "We will be up to the demands of a game of this level against Malaga. Porto are a team used to winning and react to any adversity," he said.
His confidence may stem from the fact this is Malaga's debut season in the Champions League and financial problems have desta-bilised the club since they were bought by Qatari owners in 2010.
Things are rosier on the grass for Malaga. They are unbeaten in the Champions League and are currently fourth in La Liga. The architect of this fine run is the experienced coach Manuel Pellegrini, who took Villarreal to the semi-finals in 2006, and his side defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at the weekend. "We have a difficult game in Portugal," Pellegrini said, "but it is always good to go into a match having won the last game."Reuse content