16 September 2014 20:28
Julen Lopetegui is convinced that BATE Borisov will provide stern opposition for his Porto side in their UEFA Champions League opener.
The Belarusian champions head to Portugal to get their campaign underway on Wednesday, with Aleksandr Yermakovich’s men regarded as huge outsiders in Group H by some.
Aside from Porto, BATE have also been drawn alongside Shakhtar Donetsk and Athletic Bilbao.
But Lopetegui is adamant that there are plenty of reasons to be wary of BATE, highlighting the gulf in quality between Yermakovich’s side and their rivals.
Lopetegui said: “We will play against a team that we know is going to line up in a very organized manner, which has a lot of experience and is in the group stage for the fourth time.
“They are 22 games unbeaten in their league and they have a team full of internationals with experience.
“In addition, they prepare almost exclusively for the Champions League, because they always win the championship with a 15 or 20 point lead.
“They also played a day before us and so it will be a tough, tough game. We have to do many things well, continuously, to win.
“We will win with our work, organisation, intensity and order. The past does not give us anything.
“If I had the certainty that we’d get two goals [then I would not worry], but football does not work like that.”