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FC Porto star a major injury doubt ahead of Chelsea showdown

Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

Attentions turn back to the Champions League and another tough away date in FC Porto.

Much like Newcastle, it's a place where Jose Mourinho's never won as the visiting manager.  Obviously, he won many-many times there as Porto manager, but as the away side, he's only managed a draw and a loss in two prior Chelsea visits (04-05 group stages; 06-07 Round of 16).  Porto opened their new stadium in 2003; Mourinho had failed to win at their old ground, too, losing with Uniao de Leiria in 2001 and with Benfica, as an assistant, in August 2000.

One thing that might help him break this hoodoo is a key injury suffered by the hosts in their Friday night match.  Super-talented winger Yacine Brahimi, the man whose buyout was just raised from €50m to €60m as suitors from all around Europe continue buzzing around him, suffered some sort of a knee injury against Moreirense and had to be substituted just before half-time.  It doesn't sound like too major of an issue, but according to at least one report, he completely missed Sunday training, which makes him a doubt for Tuesday's match.

Other reports cut a bit more hopeful picture.  The club have even released an official statement saying that the winger did participate in a light workout at the gym, though obviously that's not exactly the same as being match ready.  But while A Bola say he might be out, O Jogo say he might be in!  One of them will probably be right!

Even if Brahimi's declared fit for the game, there's a good chance that he'll start on the bench.  Since he can play just about anywhere across the attacking band -- though perhaps most dangerously as an inverted winger coming off the left flank (i.e. The Ivanovic Danger Zone) -- Porto have several options to replace him in the starting lineup.  These include the likes of Barcelona loanee Cristian Tello or the highly entertaining young Tecatito (i.e. Jesus Corona) or even the veteran Silvestre Varela, whom we might remember as the third man in that ridiculously good front line for Porto under Andre Villas-Boas that was led by Falcao and HULK.

Plenty of danger to deal with still, not to mention striker Vincent Aboubakar who scored twice on Champions League matchday 1, but at this point, any help is appreciated.

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