Jackson Martinez of FC Porto in action during a match between FC Porto and Vitoria Guimaraes. Porto face Dynamo Kiev in UEFA Champions League on September 18, 2012. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Dinamo Zagreb take on FC Porto as UEFA Champions League action kicks off. Can the visitors take a vital three points in Croatia?
With Paris Saint-Germain as Group A's only powerhouse, two other teams will have every hope of qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. As a result, every game in the group stages is meaningful, a refreshing change for those used to them being a procession for the two obvious favourites.
And so that means that Dinamo Zagreb vs. FC Porto should actually be fairly good. Porto, if you'll recall, have just lost Hulk to Zenit St. Petersburg, which will give their Croatian hosts some hope of earning a decent result. Porto, meanwhile, can reasonably expect a win if they go for it in Zagreb, and with plenty of incentive for both sides to attack, we should actually get a reasonably good game.
Dinamo, of course, have contrived to lose their best player, Milan Badelj to Hamburg in the Bundesliga, meaning that they're fairly low on quality here. Porto will be relying on new acquisitions Lucho Gonzalez and Jackson Martinez to provide the firepower -- the duo have already combined for four goals in their first three league games, and there's no reason that Martinez cannot be a good striker at this sort of level.
Winning in Croatia would give Porto an early advantage over Dynamo Kiev, who must travel to the Parc de Princes for their opening match. A draw, though... well, that would make things very interesting.
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Maksimir Stadium, Zagreb, Croatia
TV: DirecTV Soccer (U.S.), Sky Sports Red Button (U.K.), Sportsnet World Plus (Canada)
Online: Fox Soccer 2 Go (U.S.)